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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: President's Ex-Pet Yumashev Is Clean as a Whistle




The unexpected dismissal of Valentin Yumashev from the post of head of the presidential administration has once again stirred up rumors about his wealth. These rumors include talk of "unprecedented royalties" that Yeltsin's pet scooped off the proceeds from the literary labors of his patron.


"The boss always complained to me how shamelessly Yumashev robbed him when he released the [president's] first book," Alexander Korzhakov admitted in his memoirs.


"Unconfirmed information" has even been published about how as Yeltsin's literary assistant, even before he became head Kremlin courtier, Yumashev furnished himself with a considerable amount of real estate in Russia and impressive bank accounts in the West.


Shortly before Yumashev's dismissal this correspondent was able to get a firsthand comment about these questions. From "The Struggle for Russia" and another of Yeltsin's books "co-writer" Yumashev got only about 10 percent of the proceeds. No small amount, of course, since these works were reprinted in many countries. But not so much either, a few tens of thousands of dollars, and not enough to constitute a great personal fortune.


Also, Yumashev confessed he'd managed to spend the lot somehow ... So there's no need to talk about any Western bank accounts.


Nor has the ex-head of the presidential administration accumulated huge ruble savings, as some sources maintain. He did not sin by conducting "secret" business while ensconced in the Kremlin - his monthly pay in the last few months was 7,200 rubles ($360), which is not so much considering city prices. And so he presumably can't have managed to rescue his savings at the peak of the August crisis either.


So what about real estate? Yumashev is registered at the "presidential" house on Osennyaya street, which is now more frequently called the "house of the dismissed," where he has a three-roomed, 147-square meter apartment. If he is completely dismissed from the Kremlin, the apartment remains in his possession. The following order exists in this "ark": You are not allowed to exchange or privatize your apartment. But if you are stripped of your Kremlin allowances, your social benefit comes in the form of this prestigious accommodation.


Not so long ago Yumashev also owned a smart dacha outside Moscow. But now his wife Irina lives there, and as we reported, she has lost Valentin.


As a high-up official, Yumashev also occupied a government dacha on Rublyovskoye Shosse. If he loses his place in the administration entirely, then, unlike the apartment, he will have to vacate the dacha. Although no such instructions have yet been issued by the department of the presidential administration that deals with household affairs.


"It is the truth that I have acquired nothing while working as the head of the presidential administration," Yumashev said categorically at our recent meeting, speaking in terms of his material wealth.


The question of what work he might do in the event of his complete dismissal naturally came up. "Just doing nothing - it doesn't agree with me at all," said Valentin Borisovich. "And no political parties. Nor do I intend to write any memoirs. I simply don't want to have to lie, and it's true that in reality things are never too pretty.


Komsomolskaya Pravda, Dec. 9


No Place for Softies


No one in the administration can say for sure what the one thing was that made Boris Yeltsin rouse himself to action: a sudden visitation of good spirits (amazed witnesses say they "haven't seen him like this for a long time"); an anxiety for the state of the country that finally reached critical point; some comparison with the Queen of England [who is similarly often rumored to be on the way out]; or the insufficient dedication of his subordinates who had become slack.


Sources in the Kremlin say it was anxiety. In that case, the time for throwing stones had passed, and the time arrived to pick them up - with all the severity of the Russian law. Clearly, the "soft" Valentin Yumashev, whose favorite expression was to "regulate the situation" would not be of use in such a turnaround situation. For the imposition of order, Russia needs generals, not journalists.


Moskovskiye Novosti, Dec. 8