Mikhail Fradkov: A Russian Statesman

Mikhail Fradkov: A Russian Statesman -

Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Russian: Михаил Ефимович Фрадков), born on September 1, 1950, is a Russian government official of Jewish descent who served as the Prime Minister of Russia from 2004 to 2007. From 2007 to 2016, he held the position of the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).


Fradkov was born in 1950 in the village of Kurumoch in the Samara region, to a Jewish father and a Russian mother. During his childhood, his family moved to Moscow.

In 1972, he graduated with an engineering degree from the Moscow Institute of Mechanical Engineering. From 1973, he worked in the economic department of the Soviet Embassy in India.

At that time, such positions were typically only accessible to individuals with strong government connections or support from the KGB. Given that Fradkov was Jewish and his parents had no such connections, it is likely that his early career was linked to the KGB.

From 1975, he worked in the state-owned company for heavy machinery exports, known as Tiazhpromexport, which handled Soviet arms sales to various countries. His work in this organization was likely intertwined with his connections in the intelligence community. In the 1980s, he worked in various state institutions dealing with economic foreign relations.

In 1991, he was appointed as a senior advisor to Russian missions in various international organizations. In 1992, he became the Deputy Minister of Economic Relations of Russia and, in 1997, he assumed the role of Minister in the same department.

Fradkov left this position in 1998, with the resignation of the government of Viktor Chernomyrdin, and became the CEO of the insurance company Ingosstrakh.

In May 1999, he returned to politics as the Minister of Trade but left the post with the dissolution of Sergei Stepashin's government. He was then appointed as responsible for Russia's economic security at the Security Council of Russia. In 2001, he was appointed as the head of Russia's Federal Tax Police. From 2003, he served as Russia's representative to the European Union.

In March 2004, he was appointed as the Prime Minister by Vladimir Putin, succeeding Mikhail Kasyanov.

Fradkov was known for not expressing strong political opinions and was seen as a managerial prime minister who implemented the policies of the president.

On September 12, 2007, he resigned as Prime Minister, and Putin appointed Viktor Zubkov to replace him. Later that year, in October, he was appointed as the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of Russia.

On September 22, 2016, Putin decided that Fradkov would be replaced by Sergey Naryshkin on October 5, and he himself was appointed as the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI).

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