KIEV, July 17 /TASS/. Mikheil Saakashvili, the newly-appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, wrote on his page in Facebook on Friday that he wanted Russian public figure Maria Gaidar to become his deputy.
Maria Gaidar is the daughter of Yegor Gaidar, an ideologist of liberal economic reforms in Russia in the 1990s. He was Russia’s acting prime minister from April to December 1992. He also held prominent state government posts under President Boris Yeltsin.
"Today, I appointed Maria Gaidar to the post of deputy of the Odessa regional state administration. Maria is a brilliant political leader in Russia …She is an economist. She studied at the Academy of National Economy in Moscow and at Harvard University. I personally knew and respected her father Yegor Gaidar," Saakashvili wrote.
According to him, Maria Gaidar is applying for the Ukrainian citizenship.Denis Bilunov, the former head of the opposition coalition for elections to the Moscow State Duma in 2014, confirmed to TASS that Mikheil Saakashvili had appointed Maria Gaidar deputy administration head of the Odessa region.
"This is absolutely true. I have talked to [Maria] Gaidar. I have even congratulated her on her appointment," Bilunov said.
Maria Gaidar represents the so-called "non-systemic opposition" in Russia. She is the former vice-governor of Russia’s Kirov region and the head of the Social Inquiry foundation. In 2014, she intended to run in elections to the Moscow State Duma but was not registered as a candidate. Gaidar is an active participant in a number of liberal pro-Western movements in Russia. In 2011, she studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.