Russian power boss survives attack

MOSCOW, March 17 (UPI) -- The head of Russia's state-controlled electricity monopoly, Anatoly Chubais, survived an assassination attempt Thursday morning, the BBC reported.

Gunmen opened fire and also detonated an explosive device near Chubais' armored car in a Moscow suburb as he was being driven to his office.


A spokesman for Unified Energy Systems said in a statement that Chubais was not injured.

Later, Chubais said in a statement released by UES, "I understand quite clearly who could have organized today's attack," the Interfax news agency reported.

"The most important thing that I can say today is that I will double my efforts in everything I have done both to reform the country's energy industry and to consolidate democratic forces," Chubais said.

Chubais, 49, a former deputy prime minister, was instrumental in Russia's privatization program in the 1990s, the BBC reported. He oversaw the widely criticized sale of Russia's natural resources to a select group of Russian businessmen -- the so-called oligarchs.

Oil analyst Stephen O'Sullivan told CNN that some producers, especially those in the metals industry, might be angry over reforms introduced by Chubais which raised prices for electricity significantly. However, he added this was just speculation.


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