A SOLID MANAGER
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin did not remain unemployed for long. On May 19th Sobchak lost the elections and already in June 1996 we find Vladimir Vladimirovich in Moscow as the deputy of the RF president’s business-manager Pavel Borodin. Who organized him this high appointment? Observers of V. V. P. ’s life differ in their opinions. We will name the principal versions. 1). Pavel Pavlovich Borodin himself assisted Putin in his promotion. Putin met him during Yeltsin’s visits in Saint Petersburg. Later in Moscow Pavel Pavlovich presented Putin to Valentin Yamashev and then to Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana Dochenko. Borodin’s version is supported by the fact that when Borodin found himself in an American prison, the president allowed to pay over a million dollars in order to bail him out. 2). According to other information, it was Anatoly Chubais, also a Sobchak’s nestling who recommended Putin on that post (by that time he was already the first vice primer-minister). Supposedly Chubais was aiming to collect compromising materials on Borodin with Putin’s help. 3). A role was played by the recommendations of another Sobchak’s nestling Alexey Kudrin, he was taken to Moscow a bit earlier on the post of head of the Central Department of Control. 4). Alexey Bolshakov, former first deputy chairman of Lengorispolkom, who became a vice prime minister in V. Chernomirdin’s government, contributed to Putin’s appointment. 5). And finally, the most unpleasing version linked to the name of the new governor Yakovlev, Sobchak’s rival. Supposedly he organized a lucrative post in the Kremlin to Putin in exchange of his betrayal of Sobchak during the electoral campaign in Saint Petersburg.
Whatever it was, in June 1996 Putin first appeared in the Kremlin. Putin’s work with Borodin consisted of what he was always used to do – business management of Russian real estate abroad. From 1995 this property – in total 715 objects totaling an area of 550 thousand square meters – was claimed by the Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ministry of the Navy and others. Only the profits from renting a part of this property amounted to about $10 million (Argumenty i Fakty, 2000 issue 3). The businessman Philip Turover, witness on the “Berezovsky case” and the Swiss “Borodin case” accused Putin of being involved in financial machinations when he was occupying the post of deputy manager of the RF president. Novaya Gazeta issue 49 (27. 12. 1998 – 02. 01. 1999) cited Turover’s testimonies in a Swiss court: “When he (Putin) started to work on the so-called classification of the ex-USSR’s and CPSU’s property abroad in 1997, instantly all sorts of sham firms, public organizations and joint-stock companies were created. Most of the expensive real estate and other assets abroad were registered under these structures. This way, the State received its property from abroad in a quite plucked state. ”
On March 26th 1997 Putin received a new appointment – he was appointed deputy of the RF president’s head of administration – the head of the president’ Central Department of Control. He replaced Alexey Kudrin on this post. According to Putin it was Alexey Kudrin himself who recommended him for this post. As for Kudrin, he became the deputy minister of finance. Under Putin the Central Department of Control led the verification of Rosvooruzhenie, the State armament company, which finally led to the resignation of its general director Evgeny Ananyev. The Central Department of Control also discovered abuses during the import of Russian armament to Armenia. It also discovered a lack of financing of the RF Armed Forces. The CDC wrote a secret paper about arms trade with Armenia, which Putin sent to the Defense minister Igor Rodionov. However the secrete paper suddenly found itself in the hands of the chairman of the State Duma Committee on defense – Lev Rokhlin and then in the hands of the journalists, which led to a scandal. When in June 1998 Lev Rokhlin was killed under circumstances that have not been clarified to this day, some journalists were linking Rokhlin’s death with the scandal around Putin’s paper. Still as usual no evidence was found.
On May 25th 1998 Putin became the first deputy of the RF president’s head of administration responsible for the work with the regions, while remaining also the head of the Administration Control Department. Among his other functions on this post Putin participated in fixing a distribution system for transfers to the regions: on June 15th 1998 he headed the commission that prepared the agreements about the divisions of power between the federal bodies and the regions. Putin replaced Sergey Shakhray on this post.
It is clear that switching posts so quickly it is doubtful that Putin had much success on either of them. But it is doubtless that he constantly broadened his relations with the State’s high functionaries. On June 25th 1998 Putin was appointed director of Russia’s Federal Security Service.
What was happening with me all these years, from June 1996 to July 1998? On September 18th 1996 I was attacked near the NBP headquarters situated at 7, 2nd Frunzenskaya Street. This happened around 7:30 PM. I was hit from behind, I fell and I was kicked in the head. As a result I got injuries of both eyes’ balls (I have problems with them up to today), many fractures of the nose and the face bones and a serious brain concussion. I spent April and May in Central Asia heading a group of National-Bolsheviks who went to assist a congress of Kazaks in the city of Kokchetav in Kazakhstan. We were arrested there, and then we ran through the entire Asia in Tajikistan. We spent some time there in the lines of the 201st division. On June 14th 1997 our headquarters on 2nd Frunzenskaya were blown up. The charge of explosives was equal to 250 grams of TNT. Fortunately nobody was injured; there were only major property damage. In June, August and September 1997 I was in the Stavropol region in the city of Georgievsk and I was running in Georgievsk’s electoral district on the State Duma pre-elections. I lost the elections; however the experience I got from there was unforgettable and useful. A part of the region’s territory, in particular the Kursky district with the Galyugaevskaya stanitsa are situated on the border with the Chechen republic. Also my district comprised the ill-famed Budenosvk where, by the way, I took the third place in the numbers of vote. In April 1998 the NBP split, Alexandr Dugin left us; with E. Letov and me he was the Party’s founder. In 1998 the first swift growth of the National Bolshevik Party took place; it appears that the seeds sawed by the Limonka newspaper from 1994 sprouted four years later.