August 10, 2022
Former Putin aide Anatoly Chubais hospitalized with rare neurological disorder

A former senior aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin is in a hospital in Italy after suffering from a rare neurological disorder, according to two people familiar with the matter.

He said Anatoly Chubais, who quit his job as the Kremlin’s climate envoy in March, was hospitalized over the weekend in Olbia, a city in Sardinia, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, while a nearby Were on holiday at the resort of Porto Cervo, he said.

Chubais believes he has contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, he said. “He is stable. There is no danger to his life. He can walk, he can talk. He is fine.”

But Chubais does not believe he was poisoned, said a person close to him. “These are very understandable doubts. But he doesn’t think so.”

Chubais did not respond to a request for comment. Russian TV presenter and socialite Ksenia Sobchak wrote on Telegram on Sunday that he was in an “unstable state” after Chubais’s wife told him that his arms and legs “suddenly began to go numb”.

Sobchak posted that what he said was a statement from Chubais himself, who said: “My condition is moderate and stable.”

A central architect of Russia’s post-communist privatization, 69-year-old Chubais is the senior-most official to resign from the Kremlin since Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine in February.

Chubais gave no reason for his resignation, although it is widely believed in Russia that he left his post in protest of the war.

Some fellow members of the Russian elite say their apparent hatred of the invasion is widespread.

However, fearing retaliation, few of them have dared to speak up. Shortly before Chubais’ resignation, Putin said that Russia needed to “purify itself” to “separate true patriots from scum and traitors” who made up the “fifth pillar” of the elite, which “in its nature” Mentally exist there, and not here, with our people, with Russia ”.

Oleg Tinkov said in May that the Kremlin forced him to sell his stake in his bank after criticizing Putin’s “crazy war” and said: “Maybe now the Kremlin is going to kill me.”

Western governments have accused Russia of poisoning several critics of the Kremlin with nerve agents in recent years, including former spy Sergei Skripal, who was targeted in the UK, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to Sobchak’s news outlet on Telegram, after Chubais fell ill on Sunday, experts from the “chemical protection suit” inspected his room and policemen questioned “all witnesses”.

According to Interfax, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the news of Chubais’s illness was “sad news” and wished him a full recovery.

Guillain-Barré syndrome, Chubais said he had discovered, is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. It often precedes a viral infection such as COVID-19 and usually begins with tingling and loss of control in the hands and feet.

Although the disease is usually not life-threatening, it can lead to paralysis of the entire body and may require months of treatment.

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