Mikhail Fradkov

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Mikhail Fradkov
Михаил Фрадков
Mikhail Fradkov (Brasília, 04 April 2006).jpeg
Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service
Assumed office
6 October 2007
President Vladimir Putin
Dimitry Medvedev
Preceded by Sergei Lebedev
Prime Minister of Russia
In office
5 March 2004 – 14 September 2007
President Vladimir Putin
Preceded by Mikhail Kasyanov
Succeeded by Viktor Zubkov
Personal details
Born (1950-09-01) 1 September 1950 (age 71)
Samara, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Elena Ludenko-Fradkova
Children Peter
Awards Order of Honour (Russian Federation)

Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Russian: Михаи́л Ефи́мович Фрадко́в; IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil jɪˈfʲiməvʲɪtɕ frɐtˈkof]; born 1 September 1950) is a Russian politician and statesman who was the Prime Minister of Russia from March 2004 to September 2007. Fradkov has been the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service since 2007.

Early life

Fradkov was born near Samara to a family of Jewish origin on his father's side.[1] He studied at both the Moscow Machine Tool Design (станкоинструментальный) Institute (graduated 1972) and the Foreign Trade Academy (graduated 1981). In 1973, he was posted to the economic section of the Soviet Union's embassy in India, where he remained for two years. He later held several positions back in Russia. In 1991, he was Russia's representative to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in Geneva.

Political career

In late 1992, Fradkov was appointed Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. Less than a year later, in October 1993, he became First Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. On 15 April 1997, a presidential decree by Boris Yeltsin appointed Fradkov Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, a post which he kept for nearly a year. In the middle of 1999, another presidential decree made him Minister of Trade. He was made director of the Federal Tax Police by Vladimir Putin in 2001, having previously been Deputy Secretary of the Security Council. In 2003 he was made Russia's representative to the European Union. On 1 March 2004, he was nominated by Putin as the next Prime Minister, and this appointment was approved by the Duma on 5 March.

Fradkov's nomination as Prime Minister was a surprise to many observers, as he was not seen as part of Vladimir Putin's inner circle. Some commentators, such as the Carnegie Moscow Center's Lilia Shevtsova, have speculated that his "outsider" status might have been an important factor in his nomination, saying that Putin selected him as someone who was "not a representative of any of the warring clans" in the Kremlin. Former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, whom Fradkov has served under, called Fradkov "absolutely independent from any sort of political clan or group." Putin and his allies praised Fradkov as experienced, professional, and honest.

On 12 May 2004, Fradkov was appointed Prime Minister for the second time, as Vladimir Putin had won the presidential election and been inaugurated on 7 May (see also Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet). On 12 September 2007 Fradkov announced his resignation to President Putin, which Putin accepted, nominating Viktor Zubkov as Fradkov's successor.[2] Putin bestowed an award on Fradkov and said that he would remain in office until the confirmation of a successor by the Duma.[3] Zubkov was confirmed on 14 September 2007.[4]

On 6 October 2007, President Putin announced that he would appoint Fradkov as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service.[5]

Fradkov's appointment as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, combined with his service in India, are suggestive of a KGB background. This calls into question earlier assumptions that he was an "outsider" in Kremlin circles and provides an explanation for Putin's trust in him.[6]

In November 2010 reports emerged that one of Fradkov's intelligence officers, a Colonel Shcherbakov, had defected to the United States on 21 June 2010, having betrayed a Russian spy ring in the USA. Critics alleged that the suspicions that Shcherbakov was a double agent which emerged when Shcherbakov turned down a promotion requiring a lie detector test should have been followed up more aggressively. Shcherbakov also had a daughter in the US. Kommersant, which broke the story, speculated that Fradkov might be replaced by Sergei Naryshkin and/or Russian intelligence services reorganized.[7]

Pavel Fradkov, the son of Mikhail Fradkov, is a deputy head of the state property watchdog Rosimushchestvo.[8]

Given his vast political experience, he is often suggested as a possible successor to Vladimir Putin when his time in office comes to an end.[9]

Honours and awards


  1. C. Lev Krichevsky, "Russian Jew named prime minister brings out Jewish pride — and anxiety", JTA, 2 March 2004.
  2. Nabi Abdullaev, "Fradkov Quits, Replacement a Surprise", The Moscow Times, Issue 3742, 13 September 2007, p. 1.
  3. C. J. Chivers, "Putin Shuffles Government, Posing Mystery", The New York Times, 13 September 2007.
  4. Michael Binyon, "Viktor Zubkov confirmed as Russian PM", The Times (UK), 14 September 2007.
  5. "Russian Foreign Intelligence"
  6. Andrei Soldatov, "The Re-agent", Novaya Gazeta, 11 October 2007.
  7. Alexander Bratersky, Fradkov Under Fire for Spy Defection, The Moscow Times, 12 November 2010
  8. The following are some of the leading stories in Russia's newspapers on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy, Reuters, 15 August 2012
  9. Whitmore, Brian. "The Post-Putin Sweepstakes". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Mikhail Kasyanov
Prime Minister of Russia
2004 – 2007
Succeeded by
Viktor Zubkov
Government offices
Preceded by
Sergei Lebedev
Director of Foreign Intelligence Service
2007 – present
Succeeded by