The President has lost it, claims Yeltsin's former chief-of-staff

Boris Yeltsin is "remote from reality" and the country is being run by his chief-of-staff and his daughter, according to a former top official from the Kremlin. Nikolai Yegorov has warned that the country faces a worse crisis than in the run-up to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

Mr Yegorov's remarkably trenchant views will be taken seriously because, until recently, he was Mr Yeltsin's chief-of-staff. The job is now occupied by Anatoly Chubais, who has emerged as the power behind the throne during Mr Yeltsin's illness, working closely with the President's youngest daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko.

In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, Mr Yegorov yesterday added his voice to the groundswell of suspicion that Mr Yeltsin, who is preparing for a heart bypass operation, is not in control, despite his edited television appearances, official meetings, and the release of a host of presidential decrees organised by his aides in the hope of convincing the world he is in charge.

"He is remote from reality," Mr Yegorov said. "He does not know what is happening with Russia." Place a problem before the President, and he would become "irritated" and wanted to end the conversation as quickly as possible. His staff therefore avoided discussing anything unpleasant, he said.

His attack comes as the Yeltsin administration is grappling with a host of problems, including widespread strikes over unpaid wages - including in nuclear plants - a disillusioned electorate, endemic corruption and tax evasion, and an angry army, which has seen its resources slashed and fears pending reforms.

Asked about the future, Mr Yegorov said: "Everything is very shaky. And it is very alarming. Some people compare the present situation with that in 1917 - the same feeling that nobody is running the country, the same growth of dissatisfaction from the bottom up, the same destructive lack of principle on the part of the intellectual sections of society and the same Rasputin-type intrigues around the head of state." But, he added: "I think that it was easier in 1917."

Mr Yegorov, who was dismissed in July, had some particularly tart observations about his successor, Mr Chubais. He claimed that anyone who does not belong to his circle has been removed from positions of power in the Kremlin.

"He does not know Russia well" but he treats the country "as if it were some sort of putty" - to be shaped however he wants, said Mr Yegorov. Nor is he kind about Ms Dyachenko's role during the elections. "She kept intervening in matters that had nothing to do with the family," he said.

Grey cardinal, page11


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Deputy Head of Science

£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London