, who was disqualified from running in the gubernatorial race, had been backed by Boris Berezovsky and the Russian Jewish Congress. And not only that: Rutskoi’s mother was–gasp!–Jewish, Mikhailov reported. Just in case anybody was uncertain about where he stood on the Jewish question, Mikhailov called Putin an ally in the fight to “liberate” Russia from the “filth” that had accumulated over the last decade. Following the interview’s publication, Rutskoi promised to sue Mikhailov, while the Russian Jewish Congress said it hoped the Kremlin administration would react to his comments appropriately. A Kremlin spokesman denounced the new Kursk governor’s comments, but would not attach his name to the denunciation. Putin, as usual, maintained a regal distance from the scandal.