Arkady Volsky

Arkady Volsky
Born Arkady Ivanovich Volsky
(1932-05-15)15 May 1932
Dobrush, Soviet Union
Died 9 September 2006(2006-09-09) (aged 74)
Moscow, Russia
Cause of death Leukemia
Resting place Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Russia
Nationality Russian
Alma mater Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys
Years active 1950s 2005
Children Two

Arkady Ivanovich Volsky (15 May 1932 9 September 2006) was a Russian politician and businessman. He served as a senior aide to three Soviet presidents, including Mikhail Gorbachev. He was founder and the first head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).

Early life and education

Volsky was born in Dobrush (now Belarus), on 15 May 1932.[1][2] He was raised in an orphanage.[3][4] He studied metallurgy at Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys[5][6] and graduated with an engineering degree in 1955.[7][8]


After graduation, Volsky started his career as an assistant foreman at Likhachyov car plant in Moscow.[1][7] In 1969, he became the Communist Party's top representative at the factory.[9] Then he began to work at the machine-building or the engineering industry department of the party.[1][5] During this period he gained influence over the Soviet directorial corps.[10]

He served as a senior aide to three Soviet presidents.[9] His first post of advisor was in 1983 for then Soviet President Yuri Andropov concerning economic affairs.[11] He continued to served as an assistant on economic affairs to next president Konstantin Chernenko.[9][12] When Chernenko died in 1985, Volsky became a senior aide to next Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.[9] On 24 July 1988, Volsky was named as the representative of the Politburo in the Karabakh province or governor of the province.[10][13] His official title was "representative of the central committee and supreme Soviet" in Karabakh.[13] During the same period, he became a member of the Communist Party central committee's division in charge of industry.[4][14] On 12 January 1989, Gorbachev appointed him head of an eight-member committee of special administration for Nagorny Karabakh.[13][15] The commission was incapable of settling the dispute.[16] After bloody conflict on 20 January 1990, Volsky and his team left the region.[13] In the 1990 elections, Volsky ran for a parliamentary seat, but he lost the election.[5][10] Shortly after his defeat, Volsky was named as the head of the scientific and industrial union that was a pro-Gorbachev body consisting of the state enterprises directors.[10]

After the communist regime collapsed, Volksy founded the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), the business lobby, in 1991 and headed it until 2005.[17][18] The RSPP, called "Union of Red Directors" at the beginning of the 2000s, is the successor of the previous USSR scientific and industrial union in the Russian Federation.[10][19][20] Alexander Shokhin replaced Volsky in the post.[21]

In July 1991, Volksy and other prominent politicians such as Aleksandr Yakovlev, Eduard Shevardnadze, Gavriil Popov and Anatoly Sobchak issued a declaration in order to create a movement for democratic reforms.[22] In August 1991 after Gorbachev resigned from office, Volsky became deputy prime minister in the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ivan Silayev for operative management of the USSR economy.[23] Volsky was in charge with industry and military complex until December 1991.[1] He was also one of the major leaders of Civic Union, a bloc of centrist figures, which was founded in December 1992.[22][24] The bloc was made up the People's Party of Free Russia led by Alexander Rutskoi, the Socialist Party of the Working People, the Union for Revival of Russia, the Social Democratic Centre headed by Oleg Rumyantsev, and the RSPP and Democratic Reform Movement, both led by Volsky.[12][22][25] It became very powerful movement in summer 1992.[26] However, its success did not last long and the bloc was dissolved in summer 1993.[26][27] Volsky also left the bloc.[26]

In June 1995, Volsky was appointed by prime minister Viktor S. Chernomyrdin as deputy head of the peace mission for the conflict in the Chechen Republic.[28][29] Volsky met the Chechen President Dzhokar M. Dudayev at his mountain hide-out near Grozny in July 1995.[28][30] It was the first meeting between senior Russian and Chechen officials since the beginning of the Chechen war.[28]

Personal life

Volsky was married and had two children, a son and a daughter.[31] He was described as "a man who is always in the shadows."[10]

Death and burial

Volsky died of complications of leukemia at age 74 in Moscow on 9 September 2006.[4][32][33] After civil memorial and church service with the attendance of state and political figures of Russia, businessmen, ambassadors, his body was buried at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery on 12 September 2006.[4][34]


Robin White's 2002 fiction, The Ice Curtain, includes Volsky's hypothetical activities in regard to a diamond cartel in Russia.[35]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Vladimir Putin presents his condolences to family of Arkady Volsky". Regnum. 10 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  2. Andrew Barnes (November 2011). "Do We Have A Winner?" (PDF). Ponars Eurasia. Working Papers. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  3. Andrew E. Kramer (13 September 2006). "Arkady I. Volsky, 74, Founder Of Russian Business Lobby". The New York Times. p. 13.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "RSPP Founder Arkady Volsky, 74, Dies". The Moscow Times. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Educational Foundation for Nuclear Science, Inc. 1993. p. 35. ISSN 0096-3402. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  6. "Died Arkady Volsky, the former chairman of the Special Committee of Nagorno-Karabakh". AZE. 10 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Mr. Arkady Volsky: We need resolute actions, not imitation of reforms" (PDF). The Chemical Journal. April 2004. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  8. Bill Keller (10 September 1989). "Around Gorbachev, Centrifugal Forces". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 4 "Arkady Volsky: Kremlin troubleshooter". The Independent. 13 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pavel Gutiontov (January–February 1993). "In the Volsky plan?". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  11. Jeffrey B. Gayner; Ariel Cohen; Natalia Kuznetsova (19 November 1993). "Who's Who in The Russian Elections". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  12. 1 2 Richard F. Staar (12 November 1992). "The Next Coup Attempt In Russia". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 4 Thomas De Waal (2003). Black garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through peace and war. NYU Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-8147-1945-9. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  14. "RSPP Founder Arkady Volsky, 74, Dies". Europe Intelligence Wire. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  15. "Chronology of events" (PDF). Administrative Department of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  16. Ariel Cohen (1996). Russian imperialism: development and crisis. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-275-95337-9. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  17. "Arkady Volsky In Memoriam". RSPP. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  18. Anders Åslund (2007). Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed?. Peterson Institute. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-88132-537-9. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  19. "The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers) (RUIE)" (PDF). International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russian Federation. November 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  20. Kuznetsova, Vera (2000). "Union of Red Directors unites the oligarchs". The Russia Journal (87). Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  21. "Prominent Russian business leader dies, colleague says". Pravda. 9 September 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  22. 1 2 3 Dellenbrant, Jan Åke; Andreev, Oleg (June 1994). "Russian politics in transition: political parties and organizations in Russia and the Murmansk Region". Scandinavian Political Studies. Wiley. 17 (2): 109–142. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9477.1994.tb00053.x. Text.
  23. "Gorbachev resigns as communist leader". Associated Press. Moscow. 24 August 1991. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  24. Ian Jeffries (1993). The Socialist Economies and the Transition to the Market: A Guide. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. p. 556. ISBN 978-0-415-07580-0. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  25. Daniel Sneider (8 December 1993). "Many Russian Parties Are called". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  26. 1 2 3 Marsha A. Weigle (2000). Russia's Liberal Project: State-Society Relations in the Transition from Communism. Penn State Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-271-04363-0. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  27. Michael Ellman (2004). "Civic Union". Encyclopedia of Russian History. 2 (11). Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  28. 1 2 3 Richard Boudreaux (4 July 1995). "Kremlin Envoy Meets With Chechen Leader in Hide-Out". Los Angeles Times. Moscow. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  29. Dave Carpenter (27 June 1995). "Yeltsin reportedly grants news powers to Chechnya negotiators". Associated Press. Moscow. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  30. Igor Rotar (1995). "Yel'tsin's Plan & Chechnya's Peace". Perspectives. 6 (4). Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  31. Valeria Korchagina (11 September 2006). "RSPP Founder Arkady Volsky, 74, Dies". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  32. "RSPP founder Arkady Volsky dies at 74". Ria Novoski. 9 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  33. "Prominent Russian businessman dies". Radio Free Europa. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  34. "Daily News NK-Related News Compiled from Reliable Sources". Office of the Republic of Nagharno Karabakh. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  35. "The Ice Curtain". Publishers Weekly. 4 February 2002. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
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