Putin appoints Yeltsin's old chief of staff to serve as an adviser, but the Kremlin says he's been helping out for 18 years
The Russian media hiccuped slightly on Friday, reporting that an old face from the Yeltsin presidency has returned to the Kremlin, citing an executive order published on the Kremlin’s website on June 22, stating that Putin has appointed Valentin Yumashev to serve as an unsalaried adviser. Yumashev was Boris Yeltsin’s chief of staff in the turbulent years of 1997 and 1998. In 2000, he became one of the founders of the Yeltsin Center.
Why did the media “hiccup”? Yeltsin Center deputy director Lyudmila Telen quickly clarified that Yumashev has served as the president’s unsalaried adviser for the past 18 years. “His status hasn’t changed,” she told the website Znak.com. Putin’s official spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, later confirmed this information, but he refused to explain why reporters have been unable to find any past confirmation of Yumashev’s adviser role in the Kremlin.
Yumashev is married to one of Yeltsin’s daughters, and his own daughter from his first marriage is now married to the billionaire Oleg Deripaska.