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October 7th, 2009
Russian economic reform architect Anatoly Chubais hopes to marshal oligarch investment into establishing Russia as a world leader in high-tech nanoscience, helping wean his country off dependency on raw material sales.
Chubais has a reputation for getting seemingly impossible things done. Skeptics, however, say Russian science is hindered by bureaucracy and by a lack of small companies capable of translating scientific ideas quickly into commercial production.
As economist, Chubais presided over the selloff of Soviet state property that produced the country's super-wealthy oligarchs and as a politician helped revive Boris Yeltsin's popularity to win a second term as president in 1996. More recently, he dismantled and privatized power generation.
Chubais sees the economic crisis as a "unique chance" for Russia to break away from its dependency on oil and gas, with its fluctuating revenues, into the new world of nanoscience.
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