Magazine article Russian Life

Gaidar Dead at 53: Russia's Shock Therapist Passes Away

Magazine article Russian Life

Gaidar Dead at 53: Russia's Shock Therapist Passes Away

Article excerpt

Yegor Gaidar, the young economist appointed prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin in 1992, passed away at the age of 53 in December.

The son of Arkady Gaidar, a popular writer of children's stories in the Soviet era, Yegor Gaidar took most of the blame for the negative impact of economic reforms in the early 1990s. His so-called "shock therapy" caused hyperinflation, wiped out Soviets' savings overnight, and caused systemic cash shortages that led many factories to pay their workers late, in worthless goods, or not at all.

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Gaidar nonetheless was respected throughout the post-Soviet period despite widespread resentment of his government's policies. He argued that the reforms were the only way the remnants of the Soviet economy could be nursed back into shape.

After his brief term as prime minister (June-December 1992), Gaidar served most of the ensuing decade in the State Duma, heading the Democratic Choice of Russia party from 1994-2001. …

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