Anatoly Chubais has quit his post as Russian president Vladimir Putin’s special climate envoy, making him the highest-ranking official to leave the Kremlin since the war in Ukraine began a month ago.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told the Financial Times that Chubais had resigned from his position, without specifying when he had done so or whether he had quit in protest over the invasion of Ukraine.

“Whether he left or not is his personal matter,” Peskov said.

Chubais, a key architect of Russia’s post-communist privatisation, is the most senior figure to leave a government post since the invasion on February 24.

In recent weeks, he posted figures of two late former Kremlin colleagues on Facebook and wrote that one of them, liberal economic reformer Yegor Gaidar, “understood strategic risks better than me, and I was wrong”.

Russian newspaper Kommersant claimed Chubais was in Istanbul and published a photo of him in a baseball cap withdrawing money from a bank machine.

Chubais and his wife could not immediately be reached for comment. News of the resignation was first reported by Bloomberg.

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