Formally, the Chairman of the Federation Council, which marks 70 years of age on April 7, is the third person in the state. Although someone believes: zero, responsible for approval by the Council of the Federation of those laws that meet resistance in society. Or, say, presidential decrees on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation abroad (for example, the senators in 2015 unanimously supported the beginning of the military operation in Syria). Even Valentina Ivanovna may impeach the president. But she is unlikely to use this right. Matvienko loves power too much. And this is mutual.
Rusk or perpetuum mobile?
“I still remember Valentina Ivanovna as secretary of the district Komsomol committee,” Boris Vishnevsky, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, shared with Interlocutor +. - Even then, she was distinguished by a rare energy, single-mindedness, and wanted to occupy leadership positions. It was a typical Komsomol, and then a party dignitary.
However, State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov, thanks to whom Matvienko managed to take the current post (more on this below), did not agree with the definition of “dried party worker”:
- Valentina Ivanovna is an exception in Russian politics. Unique, outstanding person. She is great. Elegant, intelligent, experiencing woman. You can hurt her mentally. Therefore, you cannot offend Valentina Ivanovna ...
There is nothing to be offended by the Speaker of the Federation Council in this life. For the last 8 years, she has headed the upper house of the Russian parliament. Prior to that, the same number of years was the governor of St. Petersburg.
“A creative approach was inherent in her at the time when she ruled the city,” Milonov continues. - Vice-governors, who considered themselves kings, drove like Sidorov goats. Unfortunately, her "perpetuum mobile" caused acute envy of political opponents. Nobody reproached Valentina Ivanovna for not doing anything. She was constantly criticized for what she was doing. Therefore, the right person worked!
However, dissatisfaction of citizens with the decisions of Matvienko grew like a snowball. One of the loudest scandals flared up around the construction of the Okhta Center skyscraper (the business quarter of Gazprom), which was lobbied by the governor (the project was not implemented). The other was related to the fact that Valentina Ivanovna allowed Gazprom to give up its obligations to finance the construction of Zenit Arena. As a result, the stadium cost St. Petersburg tens of billions of rubles.
The year 2011 (after the winter communal collapse) became a turning point in Matvienko’s career. Its anti-rating went off scale, and elections ahead loomed.
- It was clear that neither Valentina Ivanovna in the gubernatorial elections, nor the United Russia party in the Sachs elections would expect anything good if Matvienko headed the list. Therefore, she urgently found a place at the head of the Federation Council, says Vishnevsky.
The case remained for the "small": to lead the Federation Council, Matvienko had to become a deputy. At least municipal. This is what they arranged for her - the elections to the Krasnenkaya Rechka Defense Orchestra went down in history as the “secret appointment”. The date of the elections in the district, which was supervised by his former head - Vaks Milonov, deputy of Saks, - as well as the fact that Valentina Ivanovna would participate in them ... became known after the registration of candidates finished (the opposition tried to prove in court the illegitimacy of these elections but in vain). Matvienko received the coveted mandate and left for the capital.
- For officers and sailors (I mean myself and all those who voted for it), these elections were like a farewell to the captain of the ship! - does not reduce the pathos of Milon.
“I would call it evacuation,” Vishnevsky precipitates him. - I am sure it was the decision of Vladimir Putin. Shortly before this, the former speaker of the Federation Council, Sergey Mironov, was dismissed and began to take liberties. He was looking for a replacement. And found. Prior to that, Valentina Ivanovna occupied serious state. One could rely on her, because she is a man who is absolutely devoted to Putin, Medvedev and any other president. She is a man of the system.
Lyudmila Narusova, who was a senator under Mironov and represents the Republic of Tyva now in the Federation Council, notes that under Valentin Ivanovna the upper house "works like a machine."
- If, under Mironov, there could be a discussion, rejected laws, then Matvienko built such a discipline that, if Valentina Ivanovna has the task to pass the law, the Federation Council will accept it. The decision is a foregone conclusion ... She does not have a patriotic jerk, she is an experienced, sober person, a diplomat. But this habit - the party said "must", the Komsomol answered "is" - it lives in it.
Ready to kneel
About hobbies, friends, personal life Matvienko, almost nothing is known. Although just this information could add light strokes to her portrait.
According to media reports, Valentina Ivanovna’s husband (they were married in the fifth year of the institute) was seriously ill and spent several years in a wheelchair. The death of Vladimir Matvienko became known a year ago from a press release from the presidential press service of Belarus, which expressed condolences.
“They told me about her tragedy, which is so heavy that I would not like to repeat it,” said St. Petersburg journalist Dmitry Gubin in an interview with the Interlocutor. By the way, he was dismissed from the radio station Vesti FM, because he called Governor Matvienko on the air "the true Hitler," destroying Leningrad. - So, in this personal tragedy, she behaved heroically and flawlessly, like the wife of a Decembrist. This is the Russian horror - when a remarkable person in a close circle turns into his antipode in state affairs.
“There was one episode that made me respect her,” Vishnevsky adds his spoonful of honey. - A long time ago, in 2004, I had to interview her. It was shortly after the tragedy in Beslan (the terrorist act committed on the school lineup on September 1, 2004. As a result of the assault, 334 hostages died, 186 of them were children. - Ed.). Then they shouted: “We will not kneel before the terrorists!”, “We will not go to negotiations!” I directly asked Matvienko: if she headed the headquarters in Beslan, what would she do? "If, in order to save the children, it was necessary to kneel down before the terrorists, I would stand up." It seemed to me, she spoke sincerely. Because the answer was instant.
"Dancing under Buzov, cut in fool"
There are a lot of videos of official visits of Valentina Matvienko on the Internet where she takes off her shoes and starts dancing. So, at last year's meeting with the World Cup volunteers, the chairman of the Federation Council famously danced to Olga Buzova’s hit “Not enough half”. There was nothing left for the accompanying officials, how to follow her example - bellied men in jackets jumped up to Matvienko’s tact and clapped their hands.
“When Valentina Ivanovna just came to SovFed, she asked:“ Glory, please find a place for me to play tennis, ”ex-Senator Vyacheslav Fetisov told Interlocutor +. - Then we even played with her against each other on the court. In her life there is tennis, and fitness. Recently saw her at one event - Valentina Ivanovna looks gorgeous! Once we returned from Japan with the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. And all the way - and fly almost 11 hours - played the fool! I did not meet a more uncompromising opponent. She really does not like to lose.