Naina Yeltsin: “the Important thing is that he gave people freedom”

Interview with Naina Yeltsina

— As you once celebrated the birthday of Boris Yeltsin? How important this day was for you and for him? What you gave him and what he was definitely glad?

— I don’t like my birthday. And Boris loved to celebrate birthdays the whole family. And generally liked to celebrate. <…> We gave him, but he didn’t like things. All of life is not loved. For him it wasn’t true. When he said, “Come on we’ll get you a coat,” he replied that he has. That is, he never had. So we tried to buy him a new suit or a new sweater, a new shirt. Ties, however, he loved. And watch. And we also tried to give them. But at the same time he could tie to switch with someone. And even in the companies did it, just a joke. And the clock gave quietly. We therefore sometimes daughters are indignant that we have chosen a clock that we liked, and gave you, and you suddenly gave them. He responded that another person is also nice. Smile and all.

— Why do you about all this and much more never dare to write a book? Why is life with Yeltsin you not write? About you in 1991, was wearing the vest at her husband, sending it to work. About how to 1996 upset victory for Yeltsin in the elections. Why is this not on paper? After all, to save memory it is very important it would be.

It’s all true. But I, first, not the writer, but for me, it’s not easy, I’m a techie. We know now how to write a book. You tell and next people sit and write. I was talking over lunch with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren — I was asked to tell it all at least for our family. I began to tell a story, no, it’s not so easy for hex print. I don’t know whether I have or not. But I’m on it. But to go through it all again is not easy. And crying. And in General all.

In 2015 in Yekaterinburg opened the Yeltsin center. A Grand Museum, perhaps the best in the country. I wonder what would you do in this Museum have done differently? Maybe something added or removed from the exhibition?

— Well, I can’t even take on such a responsibility. <…> I was at the opening, the Museum is really wonderful. Just a delight one. When I walked in the first day, I was delighted. However, too hard it was for me, I then burst into tears, but the impression he made on me is huge. It is necessary just. Each period of the country, every President in the Museum, is the truth about this country. In the Museum of Boris Yeltsin there is no varnishing. There is generally the absolute truth. I think if it was something fake, people coming to the Museum, all of this would feel. There is not, so people come and go, in my opinion, over 300 thousand visitors.

— We know perfectly what the review gave Yeltsin center film Director Nikita Mikhalkov. I’m going to quote. He said that “this Museum daily injections of destruction of national consciousness of children.” You hurt the words of Mikhalkov? You are offended?

— You know, I’d like to draw a line on this topic. But these words he wrote when he was not at all in the Center. Then he was there briefly, a short time, almost nothing he did not look, is Not the point. God will judge him. Well I, for one, saw nothing there that saw Mikhalkov. But it is his right. His right.

— Naina, how the attitude of Russians to the historic character of Yeltsin? Is it possible to call an example Mikhalkov — demonstration and folk? After all, today, let’s be honest, conquests and achievements of Yeltsin by many questioned, to put it mildly.

You know, I don’t want statements Mikhalkov to unite with Boris Nikolayevich. Thank God that in 90-e years the Foundation was laid, the solid Foundation of that prosperity which we have in two thousand. It is impossible here to say stuff like that: Oh dashing nineties! To blacken everything. That’s the weight of life and the collapse of the survived people on their shoulders. Well that was a good team. I think so, she was very worried and I witness all of this.

— Yeltsin’s team you mean?

Of course. And Gaidar have done so much. Gaidar forum lives. At least the name lives on it. And when people say that you had things to do… Excuse me, but if tomorrow no bread? Nothing to eat, and how? We had to tell people that they suffered? Here we are for a year will fix our economy, then we’ll all be. Probably needed shock therapy. The shock always he survives. After a shock. If it is common and normal. And country. Probably a good thing it was a short-term shock therapy. And thank God, Russia came to life, by 1993, we have gradually filled the shelves. And the shuttles were, everyone knows it, but not otherwise survive, were destroyed all the same. People survived! Perhaps the Lord God will help us too in this difficult time. You know, I admire our people in such difficult times was focused and found a way to survive. Anyway, here ask people my age: they don’t curse all the time, as do the young politicians from the pages of Newspapers, which are generally at the time went under the table again, and have the courage to say such things.

— Professional question that has long tormented me: why did Yeltsin, despite tons of stuff that he wrote about the media, never took revenge on journalists? You and him talked about this? He didn’t have the temptation still to answer to journalists? As it happens, as we know today.

Well he gave freedom! Most importantly, he gave people the freedom! And the media too! Journalists, he gave freedom! But they’ll peck and peck! Peck and peck every morning for Breakfast on TV you can hear what a scoundrel you are! He believed that he was unable to punish anyone who wrote in the free press. And so what they write is their business. Of course, I was talking about us when the truth said that it is necessary to submit to the court — that we have, there, some castles have been built, how many years was shown at Nikolina Gora Tatianina the country: well, the time will come and everyone will know no garden. There is not anything to find. There are no locks, because they never happened. History will put everything in its place. If we had a long time to be found. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately — we have nothing.

— Are you surprised by the choice of Americans when they chose Donald trump? Still, it is a bit of Zhirinovsky. No?

— I haven’t been able to identify Zhirinovsky. He is an individual, so I don’t even want to talk about this topic. The Russians immediately made the analogy. No, no, no. Once I was sure that Hillary Clinton will be. Everyone thought so. The calculations were. It somehow already got used and was going to congratulate Hillary because I know her personally. And when this happened, the candidate… you know, it’s the people’s choice. I think we judge it not necessary, it is the people’s choice, it should always be treated with respect.

The full interview