Alexander Borodai

Alexander Yurevich Borodai (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ю́рьевич Борода́й, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ˈjʉrʲɪvʲɪtɕ bərɐˈdaj], Ukrainian: Олександр Юрійович Бородай; born July 25, 1972)[3] is a former separatist leader who 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]

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

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 educationEdit

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. Archived from the original on 19 May 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, Reuters (1 May 2017)
Political offices
Preceded by
Prime Minister of Donetsk People's Republic
Succeeded by
Alexander Zakharchenko