Former high-ranking Russian official Anatoly Chubais is in a European hospital and is suffering from symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder, according to prominent Russian journalist and TV personality Ksenia Sobchak.
Sobchak says she spoke to Chubais’ wife, who said her husband’s condition is unstable. He felt very suddenly bad, he started not to feel the arms and legs anymore.”
Sobchak is the daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the former mayor of St. Petersburg and political mentor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She was also a Russian presidential candidate in 2018. In recent years, she has been critical of Putin, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sobchak also quoted Chubais directly, saying of his condition: “I was admitted to one of the European clinics diagnosed with Guillain-Barr syndrome. Condition of moderate severity, stable.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare condition in which the immune system damages the body’s nerves.
Chubais has not responded to a request for comment from CNN and it is unclear where he is currently in Europe.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday the Kremlin has no details about what happened to Chubais, but called the development “sad news”.
Some background: Chubais stepped down from his post as the Kremlin’s special envoy for the environment in March. Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the case, said he had left the country because of the war in Ukraine. Chubais did not respond to CNN’s request for comment at the time. In March, the Kremlin confirmed Chubais was quitting his job. Chubais had been in the environment since Dec. 4, 2020, TASS said.
He became known in the 1990s as Boris Yeltsin’s finance minister. In the early days of Putin’s takeover, Chubais was viewed as an adversary by the current president. Putin claimed in a series of interviews in 1999 that Chubais had quit the Kremlin job he was initially offered.
In recent years, Chubais continued to advocate for economic reform and was one of the few remaining liberals with ties to the Russian government.