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Alexander Voloshin

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Updated: 02.11.2003

Ex-head head of the Russian Presidential Administration, born 1956.

Besides being considered a liberal and a pro-business figure with strong sympathies for Mr Khodorkovsky and his oil empire, Mr Voloshin was also seen as a power behind the throne in Moscow during both Mr Yeltsin's and Mr Putin's administrations.

He was appointed to his post in 1999 after a year as deputy chief of staff and came to be seen as a key figure in a group sometimes known as The Family, closely linked to Mr Yeltsin.

He helped to facilitate Mr Putin's rise to power, and the creation of the pro-presidential Unity party.

Mr Voloshin was seen as a major supporter of big business and a counterweight to the powerful defence, interior and security portfolios.

Rumours about his possible resignation have been circulating for months following a series of investigations of Yukos and Mr Khodorkovsky.

He is said to have been furious that the president had not informed him of Mr Khodorkovsky's imminent arrest. In the end of October 2003 Russian President Vladimir Putin has relieved Alexander Voloshin of his duties hours after prosecutors impounded a 44% stake in Mr Khodorkovsky's company, Yukos, replacing him by Mr Voloshin's deputy Dmitry Medvedev, a close associate of Mr Putin from St Petersburg.

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