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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: July 20, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Gaidar Returns Grant to Presidential Council, Seeks Ukrainian Citizenship to Take Appointment with Saakashvili
7 years
Russian State Censor Issues Second Warning to Novaya Gazeta in a Year

On Friday July 18, Maria Gaidar, the daughter of former Russian prime minister Yegor Gaidar was nominated to serve as the deputy of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili in his new position as governor of the Odessa region, AFP reported.

Gaidar has been a visible supporter of the opposition movement against President Vladimir Putin, although like other Russian opposition leaders, she had been on the record in the past as saying Crimea was rightfully returned to Russia, despite international condemnation of the annexation.

Now she has written on her blog that she "supported the territorial integrity of Ukraine" and opposed "the annexation of Crimea and the war in east Ukraine."

If some Ukrainians are mad that Gaidar is being nominated to this already controversial office, despite high ratings for Saakashvili's corruption clean-up efforts, the outcry in Russia has been worse, says AFP:

Gaidar's nomination has also brought criticism from Russia. Nikita Belykh, governor of Kirov region east of Moscow, where Gaidar was once deputy, said that she had "made a mistake".

"Working with people of which Russia has a very bad opinion is perceived not only as a defiance against power, but also against all Russians," Belykh wrote Saturday on his blog.

Now Yelena Pamfilov, Russia's ombudsperson for human rights has urged that a grant given to Gaidar's foundation from the government be rescinded because of her possible new position, Chronicle of Current Events ( reported, citing

Pamfilova said she was convening a meeting of the grants commission to review the motion to  remove Gaidar's grant for the work of her Social Issue Fund.

She said the funds should be given to other organizations that "defend the rights and interests of Russian citizens inside Russia and not leave it with someone who has abandoned their colleagues in the fund for a dubious political adventure outside the country."

Pamfilova said Gaidar's "ancestors" -- a reference to her father -- would see her behavior "as nothing more than a manifestation of unprincipled political voraciousness, but also as a great stupidity, which will have to be regretted very soon."

Ukrainian bloggers -- along with pro-Kremlin anti-opposition Russian bloggers -- have dug up more on her -- she criticized Saakashvili in 2008.

Translation: Masha Gaidar called Saakashvili "repulsive" in 2008, but now is happy to work with him. Liberals in full regalia.

There's a hash-tag on Twitter now in Russian -- "Gaidar Go Home" which Ukrainians are retweeting.

#гайдардомой hashtag on Twitter

See Tweets about #гайдардомой on Twitter. See what people are saying and join the conversation.

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Jul 20, 2015 12:54 (GMT)
Meanwhile, Gaidar's fund returned the grant anyway.
Translation: Mariya Gadiar's fund turned down the presidential grant.

Translation: Gaidar: I don't want to renounce my Russian citizenship but I will act according to Ukrainian laws.

Chronicle of Current Events also reported citing that reactionary deputy Vitaly Milonov of the St. Petersburg legislature has sent an inquiry to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor's General's office, asking if the acceptance of the position in the Odessa region administration would constitute "state treason" under Russian law.

Gaidar previously served as vice governor of the Kirov Region. Milonov says he believes that in that capacity, she may have had access to state secrets, so that consulting for a foreign government could undermine Russia's national security.

He said she had applied for Ukrainian citizenship, but expressed regret that Russia doesn't have a procedure to strip citziens of their citizenship, and maybe one should be instated, he said.

Demonstrators outside the governor's office today in Odessa carried signs that said "Masha Ne Nasha," which means "Masha isn't  ours," a reference to the diminuitive form of Gaidar's first name.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick