In a feeble comeback attempt President Yeltsin has redecorated the
inside of the Kremlin in a style that the director of the Art Research
Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences describes as "monstrously
Yeltsin was once a builder, but any competence he might have had
deserted him while building his latest vodka-soaked fantasy.
Double-headed eagles sprout from "spiraling columns of gilt and marble
made to sparkle." As well as restoring portraits of Peter and
Catherine the Great, he has built three new rooms: the Conversation
Hall, the Smoking Room and the Red and Blue Hall. Yeltsin calls this
the "New Power Style," showing off as many baubles and trinkets as
possible, while combining gilded splendor, Russian Orthodox styles and
Tsarist elements. The end result is a little like a moldy wedding
cake, but seen through the eyes of a man who regularly, viciously and
maliciously attempts to murder his liver, it would make Louis XIII
puke with jealousy.
It's just So DAMN BAD that an investigative magistrate in Geneva,
Daniel Deveau, is subjecting Y-boy to a Criminal Investigation in
which it will be revealed that Boris flagrantly and oafishly wrecked
one of the world's coolest architectural gems. There is also the
possibility that the whole thing's a scam to launder loads of money.
The folly's cost is an official state secret. The Swiss firm that's
doing the work mumbled a figure in the hundreds of millions of dollars
region, but I didn't get that confirmed. However, the last job this
firm did for Boris, refurbishing Catherine the Great's Senate Palace,
worked out at $13,000 per square metre. Jesus Christ! If he's got that
kind of money floating around, why is he still stuck on vodka? He
needs some of those South American satellite states to get him set up
with coke. Those are the perks of being the leader of a nation that is
absolutely fucked but still gets noticed because it has nukes.
Yeltsin's a fool not to take advantage of his position.