Yevgeny Dodolev: Ilyumzhinov is a real Buddhist who is incapable of evil, and who sees what we can not see

One day Kirsan Ilyumzhinov came to our "evening club". He sat, listened, drank a little and he liked it. I talked to him. He was then a deputy of the Supreme Council. I immediately liked him. He seemed a very interesting person. As they would say now, a creative one. Even in those times when everything around was boiling and seething and ideas were born every hour, he seemed to be an outstanding person. They called him a beginner millionaire. Of course, he was not a real millionaire. But does it matter? In my life, I have met only two people of this level of originality and inner freedom. One of them is Sungorkin, and the second is Ilyumzhinov.


We started a friendship. That evening, I gave him a bottle of alcohol. That was the only way I could express my respect and sympathy. Today it would not seem a proper thing to do but then it was all right.

At one of these meetings, he said he wanted to become a president of Kalmykia. This decision was made in our office. Well, I became involved in his election campaign, if you could call it that. We came up with completely insane and sometimes just brilliant slogans for Kirsan’s election campaign. And at first, neither our opponents nor we thought that he had started all this seriously.
Meanwhile, it came to a very real political struggle. The most prominent Kalmyk, Major General Ochirov, who was supposed to win the elections, came out as an opponent of Kirsan. And I must say that at first the idea of ​​a fellow millionaire seemed to be dubious: Kalmyks were a poor people and they might not understand it. And then we decided that we must emphasize his achievements. About seventy percent voted for Kirsan. And it was a real, fair election with two strong candidates.
I don’t like the way our press depicts Kirsan: either some kind of little man “with oddities,” or some evil dictator. Yes, he is probably not of this world in the best, purest and highest sense of the word. But I have been acquainted with him for a long time and I can say: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is a real Buddhist, incapable of evil, and he sees what we do not see.
He was born in a simple family.  He and his wife lived in a modest apartment. A rich person is not the one who has a impressive bank account or a cool business. A rich man is the one with a soul to share. And Kirsan had it.
Kirsan was close to Vanga; he talked a lot about her. I didn’t believe him at that time. And then everything turned out very strange.
It was the summer of 1993. The representative office of Kalmykia was on Novy Arbat in an ordinary room. Yeltsin just started fighting with Khasbulatov, and it was unclear how it would end. And Kirsan went to Vanga that summer. Upon his return, we gathered in his office. Here he sits and tells us his news. And he says: Vanga said that Yeltsin will rule for a long time. And he told us in detail all the events of October 1993: bloodshed and the television centre being shot at. Vanga told him that he would go for negotiations with a white flag and would be an envoy in the White House. He even mentioned the dates, the entire chronology of October 1993.
I told him: Kirsan, well, we are adults, stop this nonsense! It was a hot summer and there seem to be not a single soul in Moscow! I did not believe him, but the events turned around exactly as he promised.
Many such stories are connected with him. The same Vanga predicted to him that he would "occupy a post of world importance." We laughed again: even the presidential post in Kalmykia, with a population of 300,000 people, could not be considered as the one of world importance. When Kirsan became the president of FIDE, I remembered this conversation and how I laughed.
I can tell a lot about him. After reading the news that Kirsan went to Gaddafi to play chess, I thought: if a man like Ilyumzhinov went there to a bombed country to play a game with a strange colonel, it means that is still too early to write off Gaddafi.
Moreover. Not a single Russian television company has shown this extraordinary game. All the major news agencies of the world and television companies presented videos and photos of this meeting. Apart from ours. And this, in my opinion, was a huge mistake. Such news does not happen every day. And not everyone will go to Libya now, and the disgraced Gaddafi would not accept everyone. But it was at least beautiful. Almost like "breakfast under bullets from La Rochelle.

Evgeny Dodolev

“Novodvorskaya. The last vestal of the revolution "