Maria Gaidar

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This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Yegorovna and the family name is Gaidar.
"DA!" redirects here. For the Chicago post-punk band, see DA! (band).
Maria Gaidar
Мария Гайдар
Maria Gaidar.jpg
Maria Gaidar, Moscow, 18 October 2014
Vice-Governor of Odessa Oblast
Assumed office
17 July 2015
President Petro Poroshenko
Governor Mikheil Saakashvili
Deputy governor of Kirov Oblast
In office
23 July 2009 – 8 June 2011
President Dmitry Medvedev
Governor Nikita Belykh
Personal details
Born Maria Yegorovna Smirnova
(1982-10-21) 21 October 1982 (age 33)
Moscow, Russia
Parents Yegor Gaidar (deceased)
Irina Smirnova
Occupation Politician

Maria Yegorovna Gaidar (Russian: Мари́я Его́ровна Гайда́р; 1990–2004 Smirnova (Russian: Смирно́ва);[1] born 21 October 1982, Moscow) is a Russian political activist and since July 2015 a vice-governor of Odessa Oblast in Ukraine.[2] From 2009 till 2011 Gaidar was a deputy governor in Kirov Oblast in Russia.[2] She is also the founder of the Youth movement "DA!" ("Yes!").

Personal life[edit]

Maria Gaidar is the daughter of former Russian Prime Minister, Yegor Gaidar.[3] She is a granddaughter of Soviet admiral Timur Gaidar, and a great-granddaughter of famous Soviet writers Arkady Gaidar and Pavel Bazhov. Maria's parents divorced in 1985, three years after she was born. Gaida stayed with her mother, Irina Smirnova. In 1991 the family moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where they lived for five years. In 1996 she returned to Moscow.

In 2000 she entered and in 2005 graduated summa cum laude from the Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation.[4][5]

Gaidar is fluent in English, German, Spanish and her native Russian.[6][7] In 2011, she was admitted to Harvard University for a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration, where she studied for 8 months.[8] In 2014 she graduated from Kutafin Moscow State Law University.[5]


In Russia[edit]

Gaidar was one of the leaders of The Other Russia organization and Union of Right Forces party. She has been a fierce critic of Putin's government and has been briefly detained for involvement in peaceful dissenters' marches and for placing a propaganda poster under a bridge using mountaineering gear.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Commenting on her arrests, she said that "Politics is becoming more dangerous. I think this is a message people want to put across - if you come to such an event, then you are risking your life".[17] During the 2008 Russian presidential election, Gaidar produced numerous video materials in which Vladimir Putin was depicted as the anti-Christ leading the world to a nuclear apocalypse.[18]

In February 2009, Gaidar became an advisor to the new governor of Kirov Oblast, Nikita Belykh, and on July 23 she was confirmed as a deputy governor in Kirov Oblast.[19] She had previously stated that Nikita Belykh had "sold his soul to the devil" when he accepted the post as governor from president Dmitry Medvedev.[20] In June 2011, Gaidar announced that she would resign as adviser due to her admission to Harvard University.[8] In December 2012, she became an adviser to Moscow Vice-Major for Social Problems Leonid Pechatnikov (ru).[21] In November 2013, she left the Government of Moscow to work for the charity "Sotsialny Zapros" (social query) created by her.[22][23]

In Ukraine[edit]

In July 2015 Gaidar accepted an offer from Mikheil Saakashvili and became a vice-governor of Odessa Oblast in Ukraine.[24][25] Her practical work has been as a fixer combating fraud and ensuring that vital social functions run smoothly.[26] She received Ukrainian citizenship in August 2015.[27][28][29] This she described in September 2015 as “It didn’t feel good at all....But for me to be here, now, and to be here completely, it’s important.”[26] A few days after her appointment Gaidar stated she wants to retain her Russian citizenship, adding "In the future I hope that Russia will be a democratic country and it will be possible to go back and work there."[2] Ukrainian law prohibits dual citizenship and only Ukrainian citizens can serve as appointed public officials.[2] Gaidar has indicated she would be willing to serve on Saakashvili's team as an adviser or volunteer (functions open to foreigners).[2]

The Russian establishment[which?] criticized Gaidar's decision; controversial Russian politician Vitaly Milonov requested an investigation of Maria Gaidar for high treason,[30] the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, proposed forbidding Gaidar from returning to Russia, forecasting that Gaidar would end up working as a cleaner at an Odessa bazaar,[31] while Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Ella Pamfilova announced that the Russian government would freeze grants to Gaidar's charity "Sotsialny Zapros".[32][2] "Sotsialny Zapros" itself stated that Gaidar had already stepped down as the organization's head the previous week and that the NGO had voluntarily and formally already refused all government grants.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Divisions Revealed as Kremlin Critic Moves to Work for Ukraine Government, The Moscow Times (20 July 2015)
  3. ^ Daughters of two Putin opponents take on Kremlin, The Sunday Times, August 7, 2005, by Mark Franchetti
  4. ^ "Гайдар в тройке СПС" (28 August 2007). APN. 
  5. ^ a b "Биография Марии Гайдар". RIA Novosti. 19 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Мария Гайдар биография, фото - узнай всё!
  7. ^ Гайдар, Мария: Российский политик-либерал //
  8. ^ a b Weblog of Maria Gaidar
  9. ^ Eye on Russia: Guests CNN June 29, 2007
  10. ^ Kasparov arrested in Moscow by Megan K. Stack, LA Times
  11. ^ Dissenters Crushed by Ekaterina Savina and Andrei Kozenko, Kommersant
  12. ^ Last samurais without Khakamada by Sergei Mulin, Novaya Gazeta
  13. ^ Two election law protesters detained near Kremlin Sputnik News November 23, 2006
  14. ^ Putin critics, fans battle on the Internet, The Daily Telegraph[dead link]
  15. ^ To Dismay of Some, Bush Takes Gentler Approach Toward Putin, The Washington Post
  16. ^ Jon Skillings When computers write obits by Jonathan Skillings CNET December 13, 2006
  17. ^ Parties start media battle ahead of elections, Russia Today November 6, 2007
  18. ^ Путин - антихрист? on YouTube
  19. ^ "Мария Гайдар утверждена заместителем губернатора Кировской области". Kommersant. July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Oppositionist politician is new governor of Kirov Region". Russia Today. December 18, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008. [dead link]
  21. ^ "М.Гайдар реализует в системе здравоохранения Москвы кировский опыт". RBC. 28 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "Мария Гайдар ушла из правительства Москвы". Lenta. 5 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "О фонде". Sotsialny Zapros. 
  24. ^ "Controversial Russian politician named deputy in Ukraine". Agence France-Presse. 19 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Мария Гайдар стала вице-губернатором Одесской области" (17 July 2015). Kommersant. 
  26. ^ a b Sally McGrane (4 September 2015). "Maria Gaidar, a Scion of a Famous Russian Family, Switches Loyalty to Ukraine". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2015. Things like an online listing of available kindergarten spots to eliminate the hefty bribes parents now pay, and keeping the electricity running in Soviet-era sanitariums housing disabled refugees from war-torn eastern Ukraine. 
  27. ^ "Мария Гайдар получила гражданство Украины". Meduza. 4 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "Мария Гайдар попросила предоставить ей украинское гражданство". Gazeta. 17 July 2015. 
  29. ^ "Мария Гайдар объяснила свой выбор в пользу Украины". Dozhd. 18 July 2015. 
  30. ^ "Милонов попросил проверить Гайдар на госизмену". Lenta. 18 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "Жириновский: Верная дочь Гайдара закончит уборщицей на одесском рынке". REN TV. 18 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "Памфилова заморозит выделение фонду Марии Гайдар 3 млн рублей". Vedomosti. 20 July 2015. 

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