Learn more about Alexei Kudrin
Kudrin was born 12 October, 1960. He attended Leningrad State University and graduated from that institution in 1983. He worked in the Saint Petersburg Mayoral Office from 1990 to 1996 under Anatoly Sobchak, where he met the future President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
Kudrin is one of three "Liberal Reformers" in President Vladimir Putin's Cabinet. The other two are Mikhail Zurabov and German Gref, the ministers of Health and Social Development, and of Economics and Trade, respectively. He is not believed to have any great influence over Putin's policy decisions, and has been referred to as a "Bean Counter" by at least one analyst.
Kudrin, Gref, and Zurabov all came under fire in early 2005 for economic reforms they tried to implement. Many of the reforms had to do with replacing free benefits, such as medical care and transportation, with cash benefits. This replacement angered many of the elderly because transportation costs are increasing. Protests took place across Russia, but neither the administration nor the State Duma responded to these protests in any substantial way. The President reprimanded Kudrin on national television, and a few members of the State Duma went on a hunger strike for a short period of time. A no-confidence vote against Mikhail Fradkov's cabinet was called by the State Duma in early February, but it failed. Some analysts saw the whole affair as an attempt to either discredit or perhaps get rid of one of the three men by other members of the cabinet. However, this was never proven and Kudrin, Gref, and Zurabov all retained their jobs.