Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 110

Russian media has continued to speculate–wildly, some would argue–about the influence of The Family–the Kremlin inner circle–over the cabinet and the country in general. One report this week, citing “information from reliable sources,” maintains that Stepashin was very close to being fired at the behest of Tatyana Dyachenko last month, and was saved only by the intercession of Naina Yeltsin, the president’s wife. The account concludes that, given that even members of Yeltsin’s biological family are split, whether presidential elections will be held next year is up in the air (Expert, June 7).

Another account, meanwhile, reports that members of The Family (the political one) have decided that Dyachenko will succeed her father as head of state–and not through democratic elections. This version has Boris Berezovsky “insisting on a force variant for resolving the problem” of succession, which will include dissolving the State Duma and banning the Communist Party. The pretext for these actions would be created by moving Lenin’s body from the mausoleum on Red Square, as a way of provoking communist followers into illegal actions (Novaya gazeta, June 7).

Meanwhile, Kremlin administration chief Aleksandr Voloshin said in an interview that the theme of the influence of the presidential “family” over Kremlin decisions has been “artificially created” by the media (Izvestia, June 7).