Valentin Yumashev, the son-in-law of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin who helped Vladimir Putin seize power, has resigned as an adviser to the Kremlin, according to Reuters, citing two sources close to Yumashev.

Yumashev worked as an unpaid adviser and had limited influence over Putin’s decisions, but his resignation marks a definitive turning point with the previous Yeltsin government, which defended open-minded reforms and rapprochement with the West.

Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24 in what Western powers consider an unjustified aggression and which Moscow describes as a “special military operation” necessary to protect the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine.

In March, Anatoly Chubais, another veteran of the Yeltsin era, stepped down as the Kremlin’s special envoy. Also this month, a diplomat from the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva resigned with harsh criticism of Putin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pekov refused to answer about Yumashev’s resignation when asked about it. For his part, Yumashev has not replied to Reuters after trying to contact him.

Lyudmila Telen, deputy executive director of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, a foundation where Yumashev is a board member, told Reuters Yumashev stepped down in April. She asks why, she has assured that he has been on “his own initiative”.

A second person close to Yumashev who has requested anonymity has also confirmed that he left in April.

During Yeltsin’s presidency, between 1991 and 1999, Yumashev served as presidential adviser and later as chief of staff. He is married to the daughter of the former president, Tatyana.

It was not until 1997 that Vladimir Putin entered the Kremlin as a middle-ranking official, until he was promoted a year later to deputy chief of staff. That promotion served as a springboard for Putin to be anointed as Yeltsin’s successor and win the 2000 elections, after Yeltsin stepped down from the presidency.

Despite the fact that Putin’s policies distanced themselves over time from those of Yeltsin, the Russian leader had maintained ties with the family of the previous president.

In fact, in January 2020, according to the Kremlin website, Putin visited Tatyana at her home to congratulate her on her birthday.

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