Alexander Borodai

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Alexander Borodai
Александр Бородай
Alexander Borodai (cropped).jpg
First Deputy Prime Minister of Donetsk People's Republic
In office
8 August 2014 – 24 October 2014
Prime MinisterAlexander Zakharchenko
Succeeded byDmitry Trapeznikov
Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic[1]
In office
16 May 2014 – 7 August 2014
DeputyAndrei Purgin
Vladimir Antyufeyev
Succeeded byAlexander Zakharchenko
Personal details
Moscow, Soviet Union
Alma materMoscow State University
Military service
Allegiance Transnistria
 Donetsk People's Republic
Battles/warsWar in Transnistria[2]
1993 Russian constitutional crisis
War in Donbass

Alexander Yurevich Borodai (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ю́рьевич Борода́й, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ˈjʉrʲɪvʲɪtɕ bərɐˈdaj], Ukrainian: Олександр Юрійович Бородай; born July 25, 1972)[3] was Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in 2014. After the Donetsk People's Republic declared its independence from Ukraine on 12 May 2014,[4][5][6][7] Borodai was appointed as Prime Minister by the republic's Supreme Council on May 16, 2014.[8] Borodai, a Russian citizen, had earlier worked as a political adviser to Sergey Aksyonov, the prime minister of the Republic of Crimea.[7] On 7 August 2014 Borodai announced his resignation.[9] He was succeeded by Alexander Zakharchenko;[9] under Zakharchenko, Borodai became Deputy Prime Minister.[10]

In his interview to Novaya Gazeta Borodai acknowledged that he has known Igor Girkin since after the war in Transnistria.[2]


Alexander Borodai lives in Moscow.[11] He is a son of Yury Borodai, a scholar in philosophy.[3] Both his father and Borodai himself were "friendly" with Lev Gumilyov, a Eurasianist philosopher.[12]

Career and education[edit]

Borodai has a degree in philosophy from Moscow State University. In 1994 he worked for the RIA Novosti as a military correspondent during the First Chechen War. Since 1996 he works for the Zavtra [ru] newspaper. Since 1998 he has worked as a "political technologist" specialising in elections. Since 2001 he has headed the consulting business "Sotsiomaster" specializing in crisis management.[3] Borodai and the future military commander of the Donetsk People's Republic Igor Strelkov were close associates of the controversial Russian businessmen Konstantin Malofeev.[3][13]

According to Russian media, he was appointed as a deputy director of Russian FSB State Security in 2002 at the age of 35 [14] ,[15] when he held the rank of major general – Borodai dismissed this as a hoax. He currently has a consultancy in Moscow and worked at a major investment fund.[11]


In the 1990s he edited a Russian[16][17][18] newspaper[19] Zavtra [ru] (Завтра -"Tomorrow"), run by journalist Alexander Prokhanov.

In December 2011, Borodai and Prokhanov co-founded the "patriotic" Web TV channel Den-TV (“Day”).[20][21] Den-TV's programming has regularly included Konstantin Dushenov, who has previously been imprisoned for anti-semitic incitement.[22]


Borodai refers to himself as "professional consultant" with expertise in ethnic conflict. “I have resolved all kinds of complicated conflict situations,” he told journalists.[11]

In 2002, according to the Moscow Times newspaper, he also dismissed reports that he had been appointed a deputy director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB)[14][15] as a hoax arranged for his 30th birthday.[11]


Borodai worked as an advisor to appointed Crimea governor Sergei Aksyonov.[11] Borodai claims he worked as a “political strategist” during the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and states that the political forces that facilitated the takeover are the same as those active in the Donetsk Republic: "Naturally the people who set up these popular movements and were the initiators are the same people, they are connected to each other... So when I finished the work in Crimea I automatically... came here to work in southeast Ukraine.”[11]


Following the 2014 Donetsk status referendum; on 16 May 2014 Borodai was appointed Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic.[9][23]

On 28 July 2014 Borodai left Donetsk for Russia[24] and returned On 4 August.[10]

In a press conference in Donetsk on 7 August 2014 Borodai announced his resignation as Prime Minister.[9] In this press conference he stated “I came here as a crisis manager, a start-upper, if you want. I’ve managed to achieve a lot in the past several months, the DPR has been established as a state”.[9] As Prime Minister he was replaced by Alexander Zakharchenko.[9] Borodai (also) stated he would become Zakharchenko's Deputy Prime Minister.[10] He further stated in the 7 August 2014 press conference that he believed a "native Muscovite" like him should not lead the Donetsk People's Republic.[25] In 2017 Boroday claimed (talking to Reuters) that Zakharchenko succeeded him in a Russian government effort "to try to show the West that the uprising was a grassroots phenomenon".[26]


  1. ^ Kateryna Choursina and Daria Marchak. "Ukraine Forces Fight Rebels as Separatists Prepare Vote". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kanygin, P. Aleksandr Borodai: We are not ready to conclude peace on conditions of capitulation. Novaya Gazeta. 13 August 2014
  3. ^ a b c d "Александр Бородай: "Просто я, Леонтьев и Стрелков давно знакомы"". RBC daily. 26 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Pro-Russians: Ukraine's Donetsk 'Independent'". 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  5. ^ "Премьер-министром ДНР стал россиянин Александр Бородай". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Ukraine's bogus referendums". The Economist. May 11, 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis: Donetsk leader dismisses Kremlin support claim". Financial Times. June 3, 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Ukraine: Donetsk People's Republic elects PM". Turkish Press. May 16, 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "August 7, 2014 - RT News". Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Boroday tired of "prime minister", Ukrayinska Pravda (7 August 2014)
  11. ^ a b c d e f Delany, Max (18 May 2014). "Mysterious Russian fixer heads Ukraine rebel state". The Times of Israel.
  12. ^ Snyder, Timothy (2018). The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America. London, U.K.: The Bodley Head. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-847-92526-8.
  13. ^ Kashin, Oleg (19 May 2014). "Из Крыма в Донбасс: приключения Игоря Стрелкова и Александра Бородая". Slon.
  14. ^ a b "На Лубянку приходит новое руководство".
  16. ^ Durham, Martin; Power, Margaret. New Perspectives on the Transnational Right. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230623705.
  17. ^ Schevchenko, Olga (2008). Crisis and the Everyday in Postsocialist Moscow. Indiana University Press. p. 195. ISBN 9780253002570.
  18. ^ Umland, Andreas (5 August 2013). "New Extremely Right-Wing Intellectual Circles in Russia: The Anti-Orange Committee, the Isborsk Club and the Florian Geyer Club". Russian Analytical Digest (135): 2–6.
  19. ^ "Donetsk chaos leads to split in separatist ranks". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Russias Nationalist Fringe Takes Center Stage In Eastern Ukraine". Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Russia's Nationalist Fringe Takes Center Stage In Eastern Ukraine". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Russian newspaper editor jailed for anti-Semitic incitement". World Jewish Congress. 4 February 2010.
  23. ^ Kateryna Choursina and Daria Marchak (17 May 2014). "Ukraine Rebels Ask to Join Russia as Fighters Free Leader". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  24. ^ "BBC News - Russian ex-police chief Antyufeyev leads Donetsk rebels". BBC News. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  25. ^ (in Russian) Boroday said that he is stepping down as prime minister DNR, RIA Novosti (7 August 2014)
  26. ^ Ex-Rebel Leaders Detail Role Played by Putin Aide in East Ukraine, The New York Times (1 May 2017)
Political offices
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Donetsk People's Republic
Succeeded by
Alexander Zakharchenko