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Biography of Russian presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky

Yavlinsky is the head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee
Grigory Yavlinsky Yelena Afonina/TASS
Grigory Yavlinsky
© Yelena Afonina/TASS

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia will hold its presidential elections on Sunday, March 18. Eight candidates are running for the highest office in the Russian Federation. Among them is Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee.

Yavlinsky was born on April 10, 1952 in the Ukrainian city of Lvov.

In 1973, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of National Economics (now the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics).

Yavlinsky holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Central Economic Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His doctoral dissertation was entitled "The socio-economic system of Russia and the problem of its modernization." He is a professor of the Moscow-based National Research University Higher School of Economics.

In 1976-1977 Yavlinsky worked at the All-Union Research Institute of Coal Industry Management.

In 1980, Yavlinsky was assigned to the USSR State Committee for Labor and Social Affairs as the head of the heavy industry sector.

In 1984, he joined the USSR State Committee for Labor and Social Issues.

In 1989, he was made department head of the State Commission for Economic Reforms.

In 1985-1991 Yavlinsky was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).

He was one of the authors of the program of the Soviet Union’s transition from centrally planned economy to a free market. The program was known as 500 Days.

To implement the program, in July 1990 Yavlinsky was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR and Deputy Chairman of the State Commission for Economic Reform.

The RSFSR Supreme Council adopted the 500 Days program but it was never implemented. After that, Yavlinsky quit his government posts and established his own think tank, EPICenter, which brought together many members of his 500 Days team.

In November 1991, President Boris Yeltsin considered Yavlinsky’s candidacy as a member of the Russian government. However, the post of the deputy minister for economy was given to Yegor Gaidar.

In October 1993, Yavlinsky, as well as Yuri Boldyrev (former State Comptroller) and Vladimir Lukin (former ambassador to the US) established an elections bloc and named it, "Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin", abbreviated as YaBLoko (the bloc became a political party in 2001).

In 1993-2003 Yavlinsky was a deputy of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, and headed the Yabloko party’s faction.

He supported the market reforms and voted against the commitment of federal troops to Chechnya.

In 1996 and 2000, Yavlinsky ran for President with endorsement from his party and other organizations. In 1996, he came in fourth and received 7.3% of the vote. In the 2000 presidential elections, he finished third and received 5.8% of the vote.

In 2001-2004 Yavlinsky was a member of the presidential council for the pension reforms.

In December 2003, the Yabloko party did not make it to the State Duma, failing to gain 5% of the vote at the parliamentary elections. After that, Yavlinsky decided not to run for President in 2004.

In June 2008, Sergei Mitrokhin succeeded Yavlinsky as the Yabloko party chairman.

In December 2011, Yavlinsky was elected deputy of the St. Petersburg legislature.

In 2012, Yabloko decided to nominate Yavlinsky as its presidential candidate. However, he was denied registration by the Central Election Commission, which declared 20% of the signatures collected in his support invalid.

In December 2015, Yavlinsky took the post of the chairman of the party’s Federal Political Committee. He announced his new presidential bid in February 2017, following Yabloko’s failure to regain its parliamentary status at the 2016 elections to the State Duma. The party won only 1.99% of the vote.

On December 22, 2017 the congress of Russia’s Yabloko political party nominated Yavlinsky as its candidate in the upcoming presidential election. The Russian Central Election Commission registered his candidacy on February 7, 2018.

Yavlinsky is the author of some 70 books and speaks the English and Ukrainian languages.

Yavlinsky is married and has two sons. Both of them live in the United Kingdom.