One of Boris Yeltsin’s brothers-in-arms, Valentin Yumashev (former journalist, author of all Yeltsin’s books, once-head of President Administration), who recently married Yeltsin’s daughter, 41-year-old Tatyana Dyachenko, is afraid of turning Russia into a police state. Last week, Yumashev invited editors of influential Russian newspapers into an elite Moscow restaurant, where he sorrowfully warned them about a “persecution campaign in style of 1930s” and said that “after having brought Putin to power, members of Yeltsin’s team start to feel uncomfortable near to their protege.” Yumashev’s criticism coincided with dismissal and in some cases even with criminal prosecution of some Yeltsin’s former brothers-in-arms. In particular, the investigation of ex-communications minister Nikolai Aksenenko’s activities is regarded by some observers as a kind of “challenge” to the “family”. Aksenenko is accused of non-purposeful use of money in sum of 1.6 million pounds sterling, now he is officially on vacation. This November, press minister Mikhail Lesin also suddenly went on leave, after auditors started to check up his ministry’s activity. First day of his tenure as acting president, Putin signed a decree guaranteeing Yeltsin’s immunity from a criminal prosecution. This decision was preceded by scandals connected with corruption, which caused some questions to Yeltsin and Tatyana Dyachenko. According to experts, it is hardly possible that Putin will once break his word given to Yeltsin. Though Yeltsin’s camp seems to be alarmed.
Marina Romanova PRAVDA.Ru St Petersburg
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Photograph: Valentin Yumashev Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/13/34805.html