Boris Yeltsin's son-in-law QUITS as Putin advisor in major blow

Boris Yeltsin’s son-in-law QUITS as advisor to Putin amid growing speculation the Russian President is losing his grip on power with army ‘on verge of collapse’ after Ukraine disaster

  • Valentin Yumashev has served as an aide since the presidency of Boris Yeltsin
  • He ran the presidential administration in 1997 when Putin was promoted
  • He has now departed, months after his daughter protested the Ukraine invasion 

Boris Yeltsin’s son-in-law has quit his role as a Kremlin adviser amid speculation Vladimir Putin is losing his grip on power due to his health.

Valentin Yumashev, who is married to the former president’s daughter Tatyana, has served as an unpaid aide who was one of the last links inside the administration to Yeltsin’s rule.

Under Yeltsin, who was Russian president from 1991 to 1999, Yumashev served as a Kremlin adviser and later as Kremlin chief of staff. 

Boris Yeltsin’s son-in-law Valentin Yumashev (pictured, far right at Yeltsin’s funeral) has quit his role as a Kremlin adviser amid speculation Vladimir Putin is losing his grip on power

Putin’s policies over the years have diverged from the values that Yeltsin espoused, but the Russian leader has kept his ties to the former first family

He ran the presidential administration in 1997 when Putin, a former KGB spy who had been given a middle-ranking administrative job in the Kremlin a year earlier, was promoted to be deputy Kremlin chief of staff.

When Yeltsin asked Yumashev his thoughts on Putin, he told the then leader he thought he was ‘a superb candidate. I think you should consider him’. 

That promotion provided the springboard for Putin to be anointed as Yeltsin’s heir apparent, and win a presidential election in 2000 after Yeltsin had stepped down.

Though Putin’s policies over the years have diverged from the values that Yeltsin espoused, the Russian leader has kept his ties to the former first family.

In January 2020, according to the Kremlin website, Putin visited Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana at her home to congratulate her on her birthday.

The adult daughter of Valentin Yumashev and Tatyana, Maria, posted on her Instagram account on February 24 an image of the Ukrainian flag, along with the words ‘No to war,’ and a broken-heart emoji.

Yumashev’s departure comes following a number of other high-profile figures leaving the Kremlin. Pictured: Putin today

Yumashev, who is married to the former president’s daughter Tatyana, has served as an unpaid aide

Maria Yumasheva, daughter of Yumashev, has previously shown her support for Ukraine on Instagram


She posted an image of the Ukrainian flag with the caption ‘no war’ during the outbreak in February 

Yumashev’s departure comes following a number of other high-profile figures leaving the Kremlin, while rumours about his ill-health persist.

In March, Anatoly Chubais, another senior Yeltsin-era figure, left his role as Kremlin special envoy. 

This month, a diplomat in Russia’s mission to the United Nations also resigned over the war.

Western security analysts believe Putin’s grip on power is failing due to his ill-health and weakened state of mind. 

Earlier this month, former NATO general secretary Lord Robertson of Port Ellen said Putin has developed a ‘messianic obsession’ with Russian greatness after being ‘closeted away from the virus and the real world’ for two years.

The security chief who led the pact from 1999 to 2003 said: ‘The man in the Kremlin has a remarkably thin skin and we should avoid provoking him into even more reckless violence against the Ukrainians. I have seen him in the meetings I had, in what were good times, display an emotional side which surfaced from the cool, controlled approach he took to most matters.

‘Today, closeted away from the virus and from the real world, that emotionalism has been boiled up with a partial view of history and a messianic obsession with Russian greatness. It has produced a dangerous mindset.’ 

CIA director William Burns also said Putin is a ‘peculiarly Russian combination of qualities… cocky, cranky, aggrieved and insecure.’

He added: ‘I had dealt with and watched President Putin for many years and what I’ve seen, especially over the last decade, is him in a way stewing in a very combustible combination of grievance and ambition and insecurity [that] are all kind of wrapped together.’

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Yumashev’s leaving his adviser role, and did not answer a call to his mobile number. Yumashev did not respond to a request for comment sent by Reuters.

Lyudmila Telen, first deputy executive director of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre foundation, where Yumashev is a member of the board of trustees, told Reuters that Yumashev had given up his Kremlin adviser role in April.

Asked why he left, she said: ‘It was his initiative.’

A second person familiar with Yumashev’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that Yumashev in April ceased to be a presidential adviser. 

As Kremlin figures continue to jump ship, Putin’s army is also suffering heavy losses with reports it is on the verge of collapse.

A confidential UK report that emerged yesterday suggested more than 30,000 troops have been killed in Ukraine. 

Russia’s army could collapse amid huge losses of more than 30,000 troops in Ukraine, according to a confidential UK report that emerged on Monday.

The document claims Putin sees the losses as a ‘price worth paying’ for victory.

Smoke rises in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops at eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on May 30, 2022, on the 96th day of the Russian invasion. A new report has claimed Russia’s army could collapse under heavy losses

An eldery woman walks away from a burning house garage after shelling in the city of Lysytsansk at the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on May 30, 2022

However, the new report – a secretive analysis of Putin’s brutal invasion seen by The Mirror – claims that the losses could be too great for his soldiers, amid other reports that Russian morale is low.

Latest estimates from the Ukraine’s Armed Forces suggest as many as 30,350 Russian soldiers have been killed since the invasion was launched on February 24, which came after more than 100,000 of the Kremlin’s troops massed on the border.

In addition, several thousand Russian military vehicles – including tanks, aircraft and mobile artillery units – have been destroyed in Putin’s so-called ‘special military operation’ that has dragged into its fourth month.

With his inner circle fleeing and soldiers falling, those still close to Putin have been forced to quash growing rumours that he is severely ill. 

Unconfirmed reports persist that the leader, who is turning 70 this year, suffers from deteriorating health issues and may have been diagnosed with cancer and Parkinson’s. 

In an interview with French TV, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said no one ‘sane’ could see any signs of illness in Putin, who reportedly has his food tested before eating it and bans his staff from standing too close to him.

‘You can watch him on screens, read and listen to his speeches,’ Lavrov said in comments released by the Russian foreign ministry.

‘I leave it to the conscience of those who spread such rumours.’

An FSB officer was quoted in media outlets on May 29 warning that Putin has just three years left to live as speculation abounded over his health.

Lavrov said the fact that viewers can watch Putin on screens and read his speeches disproved any notion that the Russian leader was unwell

Putin’s troops arrange the Russian flag at the city administration building of Svitlodarsk. Russia has taken control of the city, located 80km southwest of Severodonetsk, which was the center of Russian attacks in recent days

British intelligence sources were quoted in various media reports telling outlets that Putin’s health was deteriorating.

Reports about Putin’s health have conflicted, with accounts differing on whether Putin has thyroid, abdominal or blood cancer.

Kyiv military spy chief Kyrylo Budanov said previously he fears the Russian leader still has a ‘few more years’ left in him.

His comments suggested the Ukrainians believe Putin is suffering from cancer, but are unclear on how severe the condition could be and to what extent it could impede Putin’s ability to direct Russian military strategy and exert influence over the country.

The major-general also claimed Putin was the target of an assassination attempt shortly after launching his invasion.

Rumours have been circling for years that Putin (pictured gripping table during a meeting last month) has health problems, and they have intensified since he launched invasion of Ukraine

He said the abortive bid was by representatives of the Caucasus, but did no release further details.

The report mirrored other claims that top-ranking Russian officials are said to be plotting a government without Vladimir Putin, with Kremlin sources claiming insiders are already looking for ways to replace the Russian President.

The news outlet Meduza quoted sources claiming that high-ranking officials in Russia’s security services FSB and GRU – referred to as ‘hawks’ – believe Putin has botched the invasion and want to seize control of the operation.

One method of ‘moving things on’ without need for a violent coup would be to place him in a long term hospital for the incurably unwell, suggested former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove. 

Rumours in Moscow persist that Putin has undergone recent surgery to treat his illness. 

The General SVR Telegram channel, the owner of which has not been confirmed, said that trusted aide Nikolai Patrushev, a former FSB chief like Putin himself, took over from the Russian leader while the operation was underway and took charge temporarily in the Kremlin.

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