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Yuri A. Izrael is known for being Vladamir Putin’s most influential scientific adviser, and was widely criticized following the Chernobyl nuclear accident for "slow and inaccurate monitoring" and for "allowing air pollution throughout the USSR to reach unprecedented levels." He is a climate change skeptic with ties to ExxonMobil through the Heartland Institute. He spoke at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change sponsored by the Heartland Institute.