The firing of Yumashev would appear to deal a blow against Boris Berezovsky, the business tycoon and CIS executive secretary. Yumashev reportedly worked closely with Berezovsky, along with Tatyana Dyachenko, Yeltsin’s daughter. Yumashev and Berezovsky were said to be backing former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin as Yeltsin’s successor. Indeed, prior to today’s firings, the presidential administration had apparently split over the question of which political groupings the Kremlin would back. Oleg Sysuev, first deputy head of the administration, recently signed on to a center-right coalition initiated by former acting Premier Yegor Gaidar and privatization architect Anatoly Chubais.
On Friday, top officials of the Russia is Our Home movement (ROH), led by Chernomyrdin, met with Yumashev. While Yumashev himself did not comment on the meeting–Yumashev, a former journalist, never talked to the press during his tenure as head of the Kremlin administration–ROH officials who attended the meeting quoted Yumashev as saying that Sysuev’s support for the Gaidar-Chubais coalition was “emotional” and that the presidential administration would not support the coalition. Sysuev, on the contrary, had said that Yeltsin supported the Gaidar-Chubais coalition. Aleksandr Kotenkov, Yeltsin’s representative in the Duma, quoted Yumashev as saying during Friday’s meeting that he would vote for Chernomyrdin in the next presidential elections (Russian agencies, December 4).
INITIAL ST. PETERSBURG VOTE TABS SHOW YABLOKO WAY AHEAD.