Anatoly Chubais, Russia's climate envoy and advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has resigned from his post and left the country, citing disagreements over Moscow's actions against Ukraine.
Chubais is the highest-ranking official to leave the Kremlin since the beginning of the war in February this year.
When asked about Chubais' resignation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not respond to a request to comment, AFP reported.
Architect of Russia's Privatisation Drive
66-year-old Chubais was one of the few economic reformers active in the 1990s era to remain in the Russian government while maintaining close ties with the west.
Popularly known as the 'architect' of Moscow's privatisation drives in the 1990s, Chubais had given president Putin his first job at the Kremlin in the mid-90s, and endorsed the latter's rise to power in the country.
Under Putin's leadership, Chubais undertook top jobs at esteemed state companies until the president asked him to become the country's climate envoy last year.
He announced his decision to leave the government and the country in a letter to his colleagues and friends on Tuesday, sources told AFP.
Since Moscow's offensive began against Ukraine on 24 February, the government has cracked down on domestic non-conformism regarding the war. Putin had said on 16 March that "scum and traitors" in the country would be cleansed, and accused them of working for Russia's rivals.
"Any people, and particularly the Russian people, will always be able to tell the patriots from the scum and traitors and spit them out like a midge that accidentally flew into their mouths," Putin had said.
Arkady Dvorkovich, former Russian deputy prime minister and senior economic adviser to Dmitry Medvedev during his term as president, stepped down as head of the Skolkovo technology fund after criticising Moscow's actions against Kyiv, making him one of the few former senior officials to speak out against the war.
(With inputs from AFP.)