Yeltsin's daughter ruffling Putin's feathers

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Moscow, Jan 24(ANI): Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin's daughter, Tatyana Yumasheva, who wielded huge and unaccountable power from behind her father's throne for years, is back and ruffling feathers in Russia with her blog.

Yumasheva, who disappeared from public view for more than a decade, has painted a hitherto unseen picture of a shy, uncertain and nervous official who once served at her father's side, better known to the Russian public as Vladimir Putin.

The 50-year-old is writing a hard-hitting new blog that not only queries Putin's version of the Yeltsin years as miserable, but also shatters his image as a self-assured hard man, who saved the country from disintegration.

She reveals that when her father handpicked Putin as his successor, he was at first so daunted by the prospect that he asked him to reconsider.

"So many unfair things and lies were said and written about my Papa and the 1990s," The Telegraph quoted from her blog.

"I want to tell people what really happened back then and how I saw things. I want to push to one side the lies that have coloured this period," she added.

Yumasheva's assessments of Russian politics present a potentially serious challenge to Putin's reputation, as the presidential elections is on the horizon in 2012, where the Prime Minister and incumbent Dmitry Medvedev will have an undeclared two-horse race.

Some people also believe that Yumasheva is eyeing the political fray and it may be the opening salvo in her own bid for office.

While she avoids direct criticism, she openly queries the official Kremlin version of recent Russian history - used to justify Putin's authoritarian rule.

"I want us to know what happened in our own country really recently. I want us to stop living with these myths and lies about the 1990s. We need to know our own history," she writes.

Crucially, she reminds people that Putin, who has enjoyed popularity ratings of well over 60 per cent for years, was a virtual unknown before her father chose him as his successor. (ANI)

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