Very rarely have the tears of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, been seen. One was during the funeral of the father of what is now one of his fiercest political opponents and also candidate for the presidency. We tell you the storyVladimir Putin has not been seen crying many times.
Moreover, if something characterizes the president of Russia is the sobriety , seriousness and integrity that portray him as a strong leader in which the electorate seems to trust for 18 years.
But very early in his career towards the Kremlin, Putin cried.
The moment is remembered by the Early In Time journalist Julia Smith, who also traveled to Russia to interview somekey figures of the upcoming Russian presidential elections .
It happened on February 24, 2000, during the funeral of Anatoly Sobchak.
Sobchak was one of the men who, along with Gorbachev and Yeltsin , helped to shape the end of the Soviet Union.
He was also a reformer who brought a mid-level KGB officer out of the dark and gave him his first job in politics. It was none other than Vladimir Putin.
Nobody really knows the reasons behind their decision but, to this day, the old Soviet intelligence guard has seized so much power in Russia that it can barely make sure that the country remains a democracy.On March 18, Russia returns to elect its president at the polls. There are eight candidates but it is assumed that the current president will repeat in office. For the fourth time.
One of the contestants qualifies the appointment with the “false election” ballot boxes .
“As in a casino the house always wins, in Russian democracy victory is always on Putin’s side,” he told me.
This candidate is nothing more and nothing less than Ksenia Sobchak , the daughter of Anatoly, Putin’s old friend and mentor who brought him to power.
Ksenia, as she is best known, is 36 years old. Television host, soon passed to opposition journalism and now to politics.The supporters of Alexei Navalny, the candidate the opposition claims to be “true”, say he is a puppet of the Kremlin , an old family friend recruited by Putin to give the elections an air of credibility.
The certain thing is that Sobchak could not appear to the presidential race without the tacit permission of the authorities. This is how Russian democracy works.
However, those who run the Kremlin may already have regretted their decision.
Ksenia walks through the television studios naming corrupt men from Putin’s circle and denouncing that the annexation of Crimea is illegal.
He affirms that he has presented himself to be heard, not to win.
The truth is that when he goes to the television sets, he breaks several taboos that exist in the way of doing politics in Russia.However, there is something that does not fit: how can one explain that Putin’s mentor’s daughter is now engaged in criticizing him and subjecting him to public derision?
To understand (or try) you have to make a trip to the past.
Anatoly Sobchak was the mayor of St. Petersburg. Putin was his second.
Both were such friends that when Sobchak was accused of corruption , Putin helped him out of the country. That was in the 90’s.
Those were the years of chaos in Russia . Its president, Boris Yeltsin , got drunk too often and barely took over his duties.Those who occupied the Kremlin at that time found the solution: a similar one, a blank sheet that was the antithesis of Yeltsin.
Was so c or mo began preparing a successor .
When Putin ran for president for the first time, his great friend Anatoly Sobchak, 62, died in a hotel room in Kaliningrad.
The autopsy determined that he died of a cardiac arrest but there was no sign in the heart that confirmed it.
Her name is Lyudmila Narusova. I met with her and asked her if she thought her husband had been killed .“Yes,” he told me up to ten times. Then he finished off that repetitive response with a “I do not know”.
Some believe that Putin might have something to do with the death of his mentor.
Did Sobchak have anything against him? Narusova dismissed that idea completely in our conversation .
I examine the funeral photos again. Putin is really anguished . Her eyes are red and she seems to have difficulty swallowing as she embraces Lyudmila Narusova.
Putin is not an actor. Nor is it prone to public displays of emotion. So, can it be said that he is living a duel? Or is it something else? Guilt?
You’re right. Back then, Putin was a power tool of various factions within the Kremlin. And, to some extent, it still is today.
But if Sobchak was killed, was it because some in the Kremlin feared that he would influence his pupil too much? Maybe.
If so, did the former KGB official know that his old friend died so that the “Putin project” could succeed?
It’s just a suspicion, but I’m beginning to believe that it’s possible.I asked Narusova about that autopsy he had done and that he has never seen the light.
The widow keeps the documents in a safe in a secret place outside of Russia.
I asked him why, but he did not want to talk about that. I pressed a bit more and said: “It seems you have a kind of insurance policy.”
“You could see it like that,” he replied.
“Are you afraid, ” I asked, “for your own safety or that of your daughter’s”?
He stopped for a moment.
“You know,” he said, “living in this country is scary, especially for those who have opposing views, so yes, I’m scared, I’m scared …”