A RUSSIAN politician who previously served as a senior aide to Vladimir Putin claims to have relocated to Scotland.

Anatoly Chubais, 68, is known for economic reforms in the 1990s that caused widespread poverty in the post-Soviet era.

According to The Times, he recently published an article in a Russian journal titled Voprosy Ekonomiki (Economic Questions) entitled: “Non-payments in the Russian economy of the 1990s: An unforeseen institution.”

In the paper, he describes himself as being an “independent researcher from the city of Glasgow, UK”.

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Many academics have taken to Twitter to express their surprise at the revelation with Ilya Yablokov, a lecturer in digital journalism and disinformation at the University of Sheffield, saying: “How on earth did Chubais end up in Glasgow as an independent researcher? What a career track!”

Chubais, who is a fluent English speaker, resigned as Putin’s special envoy for sustainable development in March 2022 and left Russia.

It was reported by Bloomberg that he left due to a disagreement over the invasion of Ukraine.

However, he has never spoken publicly on the topic. In May, Chubais and his wife, Dunya Smirnova, were seen at a police station in northern Israel amid claims they were applying for a permanent identity card or Israeli passport although these were denied by Chubais.

Joanna Szostek, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow who specialises in post-Soviet media and politics.

She told The Times: “My first reaction was ‘is this real?’ How did he get into the country? On what basis and with what documents is he here on if it’s true?

“I mean why Glasgow? The stinking- rich Russians hang out in London? He left Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, apparently because he didn’t support the war. He could be putting false messages out about his location for personal safety reasons. It’s a completely bizarre story.”

David Clark, a former adviser to ex-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, said that Chubais was never in Putin’s “inner circle”.

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He explained: “I don’t think there would be any obstacle to him being here. He’s not sanctioned and I don’t think there would be any restriction on his movements.

“In fact, I imagine that he’s the kind of Russian that the UK Government would be reasonably happy to discreetly maintain contact with because if there is going to be political change in Russia, he could be the sort of relatively clean, reform-minded figure to play a role.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.