An entry about the liquidation of the Kudrin Foundation for the development of civil initiatives “Dialogue” appeared on the portal of the tax service.
“The Foundation has actually stopped its activities and does not plan to start it due to the lack of sponsorship and lack of property to fulfill the purposes for which it was created. At the time of filing this statement of claim, all employees of the Fund resigned of their own free will, with the exception of the Director of the Fund, who is the only employee of the Fund. <...> The Fund has no obligations to creditors, the Fund also has no property, including real estate. The Fund does not conduct activities, ”the decision of the Presnensky District Court on the liquidation of the organization says.
The application for closure was filed by the director of the fund, Tatyana Tikhonova, who was hired just for this procedure. Five years ago, she closed the first incarnation of the organization – the Kudrin Foundation.
Kudrin began his democratic campaign 12 years ago, speaking together with Alexei Navalny * (included in the list of individuals involved in extremist activities and terrorism) at a rally for fair elections at the end of 2011. He came there after he was fired from the Government of the Russian Federation amid a conflict with President Dmitry Medvedev. In 2012, the Kudrin Foundation was established. His projects – the Committee for Civic Initiatives and the All-Russian Civil Forum – competed for public attention with the more radical Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition. At the same time, Kudrin carried out analytical work for the authorities – he led the Center for Strategic Research. In 2018, he was appointed Chairman of the Accounts Chamber.
As relations between Russia and the West worsened, the need for Kudrin’s liberal mission gradually declined until it disappeared altogether. One of the allocated projects of the Kudrin Foundation – the Free Historical Society, created to “protect historical knowledge from the pressure of the political situation” – has been in the process of liquidation since the summer of 2022. The Fund for Support of the National Award “Civil Initiative” remained among the existing legal entities, but the competition is not held in 2023.
Kudrin gave work to Vedomosti journalists, and they went for state grants
In 2014, the Kudrin Foundation established the Foundation for Media Research and the Development of Journalism Standards (Mediastandart), which was headed by Dmitry Kazmin, a former journalist for the then opposition Vedomosti. Aleksey Kudrin was the chairman of the fund’s council, and Evgenia Pismenny, an authoritative journalist from Vedomosti and Bloomberg, the author of the book Kudrin’s System. The Story of a Key Economist in Putin’s Russia. The council also included Alexei Glagolev, Kudrin’s ex-secretary from the time of the Ministry of Finance, who later left with Kudrin for the Accounts Chamber – to the position of deputy chief of staff.
The budget of “Mediastandart” reached 10 million rubles a year. Periodically, analytical materials were published, such as a map of the development of the media sphere in the Russian regions, studies of the level of state support for the media, ratings of reputable journalists, and the like. In 2017, MediaStandard received a presidential grant in the amount of 3 million rubles to conduct seminars for journalists in the regions on the ethical standards of the profession, financial literacy, and countering fakes. In the future, applications for these grants were submitted annually until 2020, but each time they were rejected. Applications “Mediastandart” issued in the amount of 5 million rubles for an affiliated project to verify fake news.
Exactly the same project called “Fakchek” was created by Dmitry Kazmin and Maxim Tovkaylo, a journalist who has now emigrated abroad for Dozhd (included by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the register of media recognized as foreign agents) and Vedomosti. Fakecheck began work by exposing colleagues who were accepted into the media team of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (included in the register of individuals acting as a foreign agent), and closed in March 2022. The sites of “Mediastandart” do not work for more than a year. Mediastandart spent 900 thousand rubles a year on some IT developments, as follows from the reports submitted to the Ministry of Justice.
The curtailment of Kudrin’s liberal projects was inevitable, says Pavel Feldman, a political scientist and associate professor at the Academy of Labor and Social Relations.
“Their ideological orientation ceased to correspond to the main direction of the development of Russian statehood with the beginning of the NWO in Ukraine,” the expert notes. – Alexei Kudrin, obviously, decided to disown the role attributed to him as a systemic liberal. Now he deliberately emphasizes his distance from the Kremlin in order to avoid falling under Western sanctions. There is some cunning in this, because the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance still belongs to the political elite of the Russian Federation. However, its influence on the decision-making process has significantly weakened.
“Until the active phase of the confrontation between Russia and the collective West ends, Kudrin will remain in the shadows, positioning himself as an independent expert and innovative entrepreneur. It is unlikely that he will ever hold a state post, but after the end of the SVO, he may return to the public field as the developer of some kind of modernization program or another strategy for economic development.”
Pavel Feldman | political scientist, associate professor at the Academy of Labor and Social Relations
The personal website of Alexei Kudrin has ceased to be updated since his transition to Yandex in November 2022. One of the principles of the IT company is to externally distance itself from politics as much as possible, but there is a feeling that Yandex is trying to distance itself directly from Kudrin’s person. His position is called “corporate development adviser,” but Yandex does not mention the high-status employee at all in the company’s materials. But Kudrin’s telegram channel regularly publishes press releases from his new employer.