When the Soviet Union fell, millions hoped that Russia would become freer. Thirty years later, Putin is leading the country back in time. A conversation with former chief of staff Yeltsin, who helped Putin take office in 2000.
Silk Bigalek from Moscow
When Valentin Yumashev meets the Russian president, the two talk about books, history, and their families. Old acquaintances do not talk about politics, for good reason: Valentin Yumashev belongs to a former power clique, and was an advisor to Putin’s predecessor Boris Yeltsin. At that time, he pursued goals different from those of the head of the Kremlin today. Much has changed since then, and Yumashev, who officially holds the title of presidential adviser, prefers to stay away from current politics, he said.
He and Putin had a lot to talk about, now, thirty years after the end of the Soviet Union. Yumashev calls the collapse of the old order “the happiness of all mankind” – for Putin it was a tragedy.