Russian secret service seizes Yeltsin’s video archive

June 19th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 19 (DPA) More than a year after the death of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, security forces have seized the video archive of his personal cameraman, Kommersant daily reported Thursday. Secret service agents and officers from several other agencies confiscated some 600 tapes with recordings from Yeltsin’s political career.

Yeltsin’s former cameraman Alexander Kuznezov seemed shocked by the action, accusing the security authorities of disrupting his work on a documentary about the “state of democracy in modern Russian.”

“The people who watched the police action must be thinking: they are either going after a spy or a thief,” Kuznezov said.

The rare video footage was recorded between 1988 and 2000.

Kuznezov was the only person allowed to film during the 1991 coup at the White House, the seat of the Russian government.

He also wrote the book Camera For The President, among others.

Kuznezov’s lawyer said that he would file charges against the seizure of the video material.

Russian security forces made no immediate comment on the seizure.

The political legacy of Yeltsin, who died on April 23, 2007, still causes controversy among the Russian public.

Communists accuse him of destroying the Soviet Union and blame him for the political, economic and social chaos of the 1990s, while liberals praise his contribution to Russian freedom.

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