Boris Yeltsin

Orfeas Katsoulis | Oct 10, 2022

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Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (February 1, 1931 (1931-02-01), Butka, Butka District, Ural Region, USSR - April 23, 2007, Moscow, Russia) - Soviet and Russian party, state and political figure, the first President of the Russian Federation elected by popular vote (in November 1991 - June 1992, simultaneously headed the government. From March to May 1992 he performed duties of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Deputy of the Union Council of the USSR Supreme Soviet of the 10th and 11th convocations (member of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (1984-1988). People's deputy of the USSR and member of the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet (1989-1990). People's deputy of the RSFSR and chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (in the party he held the posts of the First Secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU (1976-1985), Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee (1985-1986) and First Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU (1985-1987). Commander of the Order of Lenin (1981).

He went down in history as the first popularly elected head of the Russian state, a radical reformer of the socio-political and economic structure of Russia. Yeltsin's reign was marked by the August coup d'etat and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, price liberalization and privatization in early 1992, impeachment attempts in 1993 and 1999, dispersal of the Supreme Soviet and adoption of the 1993 Constitution, confrontation with the Communist Party, the first and beginning of the second Chechen war (1994-1996) and default in 1998.

Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931, in the village of Butka in the Ural region (now the Talitsky district of the Sverdlovsk region) into a family of dispossessed peasants, as Yeltsin himself wrote in his memoirs. The right to be called Yeltsin's birthplace, however, is disputed by the neighboring village of Basmanovskoye. As Boris Minaev, the first president's biographer, wrote, the Yeltsins really did live in the village of Basmanovo, "but the "maternity hospital" was located in Butka, and it is there that Boris Yeltsin was born. Yeltsin later recalled:

...The Yeltsin family, according to the description sent to the Chekists in Kazan by our village council, rented five hectares of land. "Before the revolution his father's farm was a kulak farm, had a water mill and a windmill, had a threshing machine, had permanent labourers, had crops up to 12 hectares, had a self-propelled reaper, had horses up to five pieces, cows up to four pieces..." I had, I had, I had... That was his fault - he worked a lot, he took a lot for himself. And the Soviets loved the humble, the inconspicuous, the unassuming. It did not like and did not spare strong, smart, bright people.

Boris Yeltsin's paternal grandfather was Ignatiy Yekimovich Yeltsin (1875-1936), a wealthy peasant and kulak who was exiled to Nadezhdinsk (now Serov) in the Ural region in 1930. His paternal grandmother was Anna Dmitrievna Yeltsin (1887-1941).

Boris Yeltsin's mother Klavdia Vasilyevna Yeltsina (nee Starygina, 1908-1993). Starygina, 1908-1993.

Boris Yeltsin's father was Nikolai Ignatyevich Yeltsin (June 27, 1906 - May 30, 1977), a construction worker. On April 28, 1934, Nikolai was arrested along with his brother Andrian and four other workers; they were accused of "systematically carrying out anti-Soviet agitation among the workers, aiming to corrupt the working class and introduce dissatisfaction with the existing legal order. Using the existing difficulties in food and supplies they tried to create unhealthy sentiments while spreading provocative rumors about war and the imminent death of Soviet power. They agitated against the loan and actively opposed aid to the Austrian workers. On May 23, 1934 he was sentenced by the Troyka of the OGPU for the Tatar ASSR under Article 58, paragraph 10 (anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation) to spend three years in the penal colony. On May 28, 1934, he and his brother were transported to the Dmitlag NKVD, where they worked on the construction of the Moskva-Volga Canal and on general and auxiliary jobs in the Taldomsky region.

While Nikolai Ignatyevich was serving his sentence, Yeltsin's family - his wife Klavdia Vasilyevna and son Boris, who had been evicted from the barracks - was sheltered by Elizaveta Petrov, the wife of Vasily Petrovich Petrov, a doctor from Kazan who was also serving time. К.  V. Yeltsin registered in the house number 32 on the Sixth Union Street (in 1956, the house was moved to the street Karagandinskaya, in 1999 it was visited by wife of Boris Yeltsin, N. I. Yeltsin).

September 29, 1936 N.I. Yeltsin was released from prison early for good behavior, in early October 1936 he returned to Kazan and settled in the same house. Here in 1937 Nikolay and Klavdia Yeltsin had their second son Mikhail, whose godmother was the daughter of Vasily and Elizaveta Petrovna Nina.

In 1937, the Yeltsins returned to the Urals, where N.I. Yeltsin worked as a foreman at the construction site of the chemical plant in Berezniki, and a few years later became head of the construction unit at the plant.

Yeltsin spent his childhood in the town of Berezniki, Perm Region, where he also graduated from school (now School No. 1 named after A.S. Pushkin). According to Yeltsin's official biography and the media, he did well academically, was the head of the class, but had some criticisms for his behavior and was a brawler. However, an article by Yu. Borisyonok and V. Erlikhman states that Yeltsin "did not shine with good grades. After graduating from the seventh grade, Yeltsin spoke out against the class teacher, who beat the children and forced them to work in her house. For this, he was expelled from school with a "wolf ticket," but after contacting the city party committee, he managed to secure the opportunity to continue his studies at another school.

Yeltsin was missing two fingers and a phalanx of a third on his left hand. According to Yeltsin's version, he lost them as a result of the explosion of a grenade he was trying to open. This version was questioned by Sergei Kara-Murza and Yuri Mukhin. Because of his missing fingers, Yeltsin did not serve in the army.

According to his autobiography, which he filled out by hand on April 8, 1955, in 1949 he entered the Kirov Urals Polytechnic Institute, Department of Civil Engineering, and in 1955 he graduated as a civil engineer with a degree in industrial and civil construction. In his autobiography Yeltsin states that in 1952 he "missed a year of study because of illness. In "Confessions on a Set Subject," Yeltsin wrote that the topic of his diploma work was "The Television Tower." In fact, Yeltsin's thesis was on the construction of a bucket chain for unloading waste material from coal mines and, according to historian Timothy Colton, was "nothing remarkable.

In his student years he was seriously engaged in volleyball, played for the national team of the city, became the Master of Sports of the USSR. In 1952 he was the coach of the women's volleyball team of the Molotov region, which participated in zonal competitions for the championship of the RSFSR (the team took 6th place).

In 1955, sent by assignment to the "Uraltyazhtrubstroy" trust, where he mastered several construction specialties during a year, then worked in the construction of various objects as a foreman, site manager. In 1957, he became a foreman of the construction department of the trust. In 1961 he joined the CPSU. In 1963 appointed chief engineer of the Sverdlovsk house-building plant. Since 1966 - Director of Sverdlovsk House-Building Plant.

In 1963, at the 24th conference of the party organization of Kirov district of Sverdlovsk was unanimously elected delegate to the city conference of the CPSU. At the XXV District Conference he was elected a member of the Kirovsky District Committee of the CPSU and a delegate to the Sverdlovsk Regional Conference of the CPSU.

In the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU

In 1968, he was transferred to party work in the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU, where he headed the construction department. In 1975 he was elected Secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU, responsible for the industrial development of the region. Boris Yeltsin's predecessor as secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU, Ya.  P. Ryabov said in an interview:

It so happened that several of my friends had studied with Yeltsin. I decided to ask their opinion of him. They said that he was overbearing, ambitious, that he was willing to overstep even his own mother for the sake of his career. "What if he was given an assignment?"  - I ask. They said, "Any assignment from his superiors, he'll kill himself, but he'll do it.

In 1976, on the recommendation of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee he was elected first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee (the de facto leader of the Sverdlovsk region), held this position until 1985. By order of Yeltsin in Sverdlovsk was built twenty-three-story building, the tallest in the city of the CPSU Regional Committee, which received nicknames in the city "White House", "Tooth of Wisdom" and "Party Member". In the second half of the 1970s, he organized the construction of the R352 freeway connecting Sverdlovsk with the north of the region, as well as the relocation of residents from barracks to new houses. He organized execution of the Politburo's decision to demolish the Ipatyev House (the place where the royal family was shot in 1918), which was not carried out by his predecessor Ya.  P. Ryabov, obtained the Politburo's decision to build the subway in Sverdlovsk. He noticeably improved the food supply of the Sverdlovsk region, intensified the construction of poultry farms and farms. During Yeltsin's leadership in the region milk stamps were abolished. In 1980, he actively supported the initiative to create the MZhK and the construction of experimental settlements in the villages of Baltym and Patrushi. The subject of pride was the Baltymsky Cultural and Sports Complex, the building of which was recognized as "unparalleled in the practice of construction.

While working for the party in Sverdlovsk, Boris Yeltsin received the military rank of colonel in the reserve.

In the Supreme Soviet of the USSR

In 1978-1989.  - Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (member of the Council of the Union). From 1984 to 1988 he was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In addition, in 1981, at the 26th Congress of the CPSU he was elected a member of the CPSU Central Committee and was a member until his retirement from the party in 1990.

In 1985, after the election of Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, he was transferred to Moscow (on the recommendation of E. K. Ligachev), in April he became head of the department of construction of the CPSU Central Committee, and in June 1985 he was elected Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee for Construction.

At the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU

In December 1985 he was recommended by the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee for the position of the First Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU. Upon assuming this position he began a purge of personnel of the party and Soviet apparatus of the capital, releasing many senior officials of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU and the first secretaries of district party committees from their positions. Gained fame through personal inspections of stores and warehouses, the use of public transport. He organized food fairs in Moscow. Under Yeltsin a new General Plan of Moscow development was begun, a ban on the demolition of historical buildings was introduced, the City Day began to be celebrated.

At the 27th Congress of the CPSU in February 1986 he was elected a candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee and remained in that position until February 18, 1988.

In the fall of 1987 he began to publicly criticize the party leadership. On October 21, he spoke quite sharply at the Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee (he criticized the style of some Politburo members, in particular Yegor Ligachev, the slow pace of perestroika, among other things, he declared the emergence of the "personality cult" of Mikhail Gorbachev), and then asked to relieve him of his duties as candidate to the Politburo. He then faced counter-criticism, including from those who had previously supported him (e.g., Alexander Yakovlev, the "architect of perestroika"). In the end, he was forced to repent and admit his mistakes:

Except for some expressions, in general I agree with the assessment. That I let down the Central Committee and the Moscow City Organization by speaking today is a mistake.

The plenum passed a resolution to consider Yeltsin's speech "politically incorrect" and suggested that the MSC consider re-electing its first secretary.

On November 3, Yeltsin sent a letter to Gorbachev asking him to keep his position as first secretary of the Moscow City Committee.

On November 9, he was hospitalized due to a heart attack. According to some accounts (e.g., the testimony of M.S. Gorbachev, N.I. Ryzhkov, and V.I. Vorotnikov) - because of an attempt to commit suicide (or simulate a suicide attempt).

On November 11, at the Plenum of the Moscow City Committee he repented again, admitted his mistakes, but was dismissed from the post of First Secretary of the Moscow City Committee. He was not, however, completely demoted, but remained in the ranks of the nomenclature, although there were proposals to send him as ambassador to some African country.

On January 14, 1988 Yeltsin was appointed first deputy chairman of the State Construction Committee of the USSR - USSR Minister.

On February 18, the Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee decided to relieve him of his duties as a candidate member of the Politburo, but he remained a member of the Central Committee.

In the summer of 1988, he was elected as a delegate to the 19th All-Union Party Conference from the Karelian Republican Party organization. On July 1, Yeltsin addressed the party conference and once again proposed removing Ligachev from the Politburo, criticizing the privileges of the party elite, arguing that Brezhnev alone cannot be blamed for the "stagnation," but that the entire Politburo "as a collective body" is to blame. In conclusion, Yeltsin asked to cancel the decision of the October plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, which recognized his speech at the plenum as erroneous.

Election as People's Deputy of the USSR

On March 26, 1989, Yeltsin was elected People's Deputy of the USSR in the National Territorial District No. 1 (Moscow), receiving 91.53% of the vote of Muscovites, with a turnout of almost 90%. Yeltsin was opposed by Yevgeny Brakov, general director of ZIL. Due to his election, Yeltsin was relieved of his duties as Minister of the USSR (while retaining his position as First Deputy Chairman of the State Construction Committee of the USSR). During the elections at the Congress of Yeltsin failed to pass the Supreme Soviet, but the deputy A. Kazannik renounced his mandate in favor of Yeltsin (in October 1993, Yeltsin appointed him prosecutor-general of the Russian Federation).

From June 1989 to December 26, 1990, Boris Yeltsin was a member of the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet. He was elected Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Committee on Construction and Architecture and was a member of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. One of the leaders of the Interregional Deputy Group.

In 1989, Yeltsin became the hero of several scandalous incidents. In the summer, he was invited to the U.S. and allegedly spoke while drunk. The reprinting of V. Zucconi's article about this incident from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica in Pravda was perceived at home as a provocation by the party leadership against Yeltsin, who "dissented" and led to mass protests and the resignation of the paper's chief editor, V. Afanasyev. Yeltsin himself explained his behavior by a dose of sleeping pills he took in the morning, suffering from insomnia. In September, Yeltsin had a strange incident in the Moscow suburbs when he fell from a bridge. In addition, he had a car accident: on September 21, the Volga he was driving collided with a Zhiguli.

On March 4, 1990, Yeltsin was elected People's Deputy of the RSFSR from Sverdlovsk.

On April 25, 1990, during an unofficial visit to Spain, Yeltsin had an airplane accident, injured his spine and was operated on. A month after the accident, during the election of the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, there were hints in the press that the accident was organized by the KGB of the USSR. It was suggested that the numerous rumors that arose in connection with the accident influenced the outcome of the elections.

On May 29, 1990, Yeltsin was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (at the third attempt, with 535 votes against 467 for "Kremlin candidate" Vlasov).

Under Yeltsin's leadership, the Supreme Soviet passed a series of laws that influenced the further development of the country, including the Law on Property in the RSFSR.

On June 12, 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the RSFSR, which provided for the supremacy of Russian law over the union law. This greatly increased the political weight of the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, which previously played a secondary, dependent role. June 12 day in 1991, according to the decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation became a public holiday of the Russian Federation.

On July 12, at the 28th Congress of the CPSU, Yeltsin criticized the party and its leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and announced his withdrawal from the CPSU.

In August-October 1990, the "parade of sovereignty" of the Union republics was followed by a "parade of sovereignty" of autonomous entities and even some regions within the RSFSR. The declaration on the state sovereignty of the Karelian ASSR, the state sovereignty of the Komi ASSR, the Tatar ASSR, the Udmurt and Yakut-Sakha ASSR, the Chukchi Autonomous District were adopted, Adyghe ASSR (Adygeya ASSR), the Buryat ASSR, the Bashkir ASSR, the Kalmyk ASSR, the Mari ASSR, the Chuvash ASSR, the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, the Gorno-Altaisk ASSR (Gorno-Altaisk ASSR), the Irkutsk Region, etc.  д. In these and other documents of that period, the republics were proclaimed as bearers of sovereignty. However, as a rule, the question of full state independence and secession from the RSFSR was not raised; the relations with the federal center were supposed to be further settled by concluding agreements with it.

A number of media have attributed to Boris Yeltsin the phrase: "take as much sovereignty as you can swallow," which he allegedly uttered during a visit to Ufa in August 1990. The original phrase sounded differently: "We say to the Supreme Soviet, the government of Bashkiria: you take as much power as you can swallow.

In December 1990, USSR President M. S. Gorbachev proposed a draft of a new Union Treaty. On December 24, 1990 the IV Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR decided to consider necessary the preservation of the USSR as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics, in which human rights and freedoms will be fully ensured for all nationalities.

On February 19, 1991, Boris Yeltsin, in a televised speech after the events in Riga and Vilnius, during which the Soviet leadership resorted to military force, criticized these actions and for the first time demanded the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the transfer of power to the Federation Council, composed of the leaders of the Union republics. Two days later, at a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, the "letter of the six" (Deputy Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet S.  P. Goryacheva and B.  M. Isayev, the chairmen of both chambers V. B. Isakov and R. G. Abdulatipov and their deputies A. A. Veshnyakov and V. G. Syrovatko), who criticized Yeltsin's authoritarian style in directing the work of the Supreme Soviet. However, R. I. Khasbulatov (first deputy chairman) spoke actively in defense of Yeltsin, and deputies did not let this appeal go.

On March 17, the preservation and renewal of the USSR was supported by the majority of the population, excluding the population of the six republics (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, Moldavia, and Armenia), where the supreme authorities refused to hold a referendum. A working group (with the participation of the RSFSR), in the framework of the so-called Novogaryov process, drafted in the spring-summer of 1991 a project to conclude a new union as a soft, decentralized federation.

First Presidential Term

On February 7, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR adopted Decree No. 581-I "On Measures to Ensure a Referendum on the USSR and the RSFSR of March 17, 1991," which ordered an all-Union referendum on the preservation of the USSR and a referendum on the RSFSR, where the population would decide whether to introduce the RSFSR president.

On March 17, 1991, 71.34% of Russian voters responded affirmatively to the question about the preservation of the USSR; 69.85% of Russian voters supported the introduction of the post of president in Russia. On April 5, 1991, the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia scheduled presidential elections in the RSFSR for June 12, 1991. On April 24 of the same year, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, guided by the results of the referendum, passed laws on the President of the RSFSR and on presidential elections.

Boris Yeltsin won the election on June 12, 1991, with 57.30 percent of the vote. He took office on July 10, 1991, becoming the first popularly elected head of the Russian state.

Yeltsin's election as president was followed by the August coup, when a group of high-ranking Soviet officials proclaimed the establishment of the GKChP to prevent the signing of the Union Treaty, which had been scheduled for August 20, 1991, abolishing the USSR and forming the Union of Sovereign States. Yeltsin led the resistance to the GKChP, led by Soviet Vice President G. I. Yanayev, who declared himself acting president of the USSR. The coup attempt ended with the defeat of the GKChP on August 21, and led to a comprehensive discrediting of the Soviet government, the CPSU and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who was in the Crimea during the events of August 1991, and also heralded the collapse of the USSR in December 1991.

On October 28, 1991, at the 5th Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR, Boris Yeltsin announces the impending economic reforms. Presidential Decree No. 171 of November 6, 1991 "On the Reorganization of the Government of the RSFSR", signed by Boris Yeltsin, established that for the period of reforms the Government of the RSFSR was headed by the President of the RSFSR. Immediately after the collapse of the USSR, in January 1992, price liberalization was launched, followed by the privatization of former Soviet state enterprises.

Differences in views on the ways of socio-economic development and reforming the constitutional order of Russia contributed to the political crisis in the country (1992-1993), characterized by sharp confrontation between the president and the government, on the one hand, and the majority of members of the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People's Deputies, on the other.

On April 25, 1993, an all-Russian referendum was held in which Russian citizens were asked to answer four questions:

64.05% of voters participated in the referendum. The first and second questions were decided positively, as more than half of the citizens who participated in the referendum voted for them, while the third and fourth questions were decided negatively, as less than half of the citizens entitled to participate in the referendum voted for them (for the decision on the last two questions, the majority of votes of the total number of voters had to be obtained). The results of the referendum could not ease the political confrontation and the constitutional crisis.

The confrontation between the opposing parties culminated in the signing of Presidential Decree No. 1400 by Boris Yeltsin.  Yeltsin signed Presidential Decree 1400, which ordered the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People's Deputies to cease legislative activities, forcibly dispersed the Congress and Parliament in October 1993, and adopted a new constitution two months later, declaring Russia a presidential republic.

One of the key events of Boris Yeltsin's first presidential term was the war in Chechnya (1994-1996), which for several years had been outside the legal field of the Russian Federation after the collapse of the USSR. On 11 December 1994 Boris Yeltsin signed a Russian Presidential Decree No. 2166 'On measures to ensure law and order and public security in the territory of the Chechen Republic', according to which federal troops were to be sent into Chechnya. After the seizure of Grozny in early 1995, which was very difficult for the federal troops, the federal troops made efforts to establish control over the Chechen plain. However, later, due to the unpopularity of the Chechen campaign in Russia, the Russian leadership began working toward an early cessation of hostilities, which ended with the August 1996 Khasavyurt Agreement. After signing the agreements, Chechnya received de facto independence, and the political settlement of the issue was to be completed by December 31, 2001.

During 1995, Boris Yeltsin signed four presidential decrees providing for collateral auctions. Under the terms of these auctions, the Russian government would take credit from the winning commercial banks, pledging blocks of shares in state enterprises (the Russian Ministry of Finance had previously opened an account with each of the banks and deposited funds in an amount roughly equal to the amount of the credit. After a certain period of time, the government had to repay the loans; if it failed to repay, the state blocks of shares would become the property of the banks under the terms of the measures. The government did not repay the loans, and the blocks of shares passed into the ownership of the banks. As the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation found, as a result of the collateral auctions, the alienation of federal property was carried out at significantly understated prices, and the tender was actually a sham - in particular, the competition in the auctions was fictitious, and the banks were actually "lending" the government with the government's own money.

On December 17, 1995, elections to the State Duma of the second convocation were held, with the CPRF winning first place. Yeltsin publicly announced that he would take part in the next presidential election on February 15, 1996. Prior to that, on January 4, 1996, he told the head of the presidential administration, S. A. Filatov, that he must run for a second term in order to prevent the Communist forces from taking political "revenge" in the presidential election.

Second presidential term

Boris Yeltsin was elected to a second presidential term in the summer 1996 elections, which were held in two rounds, where Yeltsin's main rival was G. A. Zyuganov. Boris N. Yeltsin's second presidential term.  N. Yeltsin's second presidential term was marked by the economic crisis in Russia, which led to the default on August 17, 1998; the change of five compositions of the Russian government; an attempt to impeach the president by the KPRF faction and their allies in the State Duma in May 1999; the beginning of the second Chechen war.

On December 31, 1999, Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation as president of Russia. Acting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who had won an early presidential election in March 2000, was appointed acting president.

Public events

On January 6, 2000, when he was no longer president, he headed the Russian delegation during a visit to Bethlehem planned during his reign. On April 5, Mikhail Zurabov, head of the Russian Pension Fund, presented Boris Yeltsin with a pension certificate issued on March 31, 2000.

On May 7, 2000, Boris Yeltsin took part in the inauguration ceremony of his successor as president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

In October 2000, Boris Yeltsin's book "The Presidential Marathon" was published, narrating on his behalf the events that took place from the beginning of the election campaign in 1996 to the first months after his resignation from the presidency. A month later, he established the Foundation of the First President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin.  N. Yeltsin.

On June 12, 2001, he was awarded the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" of the first degree.

In 2003 he was present at the unveiling of a monument to himself on the territory of one of the Issyk-Kul boarding houses (Kyrgyzstan). His name is also given to the central peak of the Terskey Ala-Too ridge (before the renaming in 2002 - Oguz-Bashi Central), which is the third highest peak of the ridge and crowns the mountain gorge Kok-Zhaiyk (Glade of Flowers). After his retirement, Yeltsin visited Lake Issyk-Kul several times with his friend, the first Kyrgyz president Askar Akayev.

In September 2004, on the initiative of Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, Yeltsin's name was given to the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek).

On April 7-11, 2005, Boris Yeltsin was in Azerbaijan. During the visit, he met with President I. Aliyev and visited the grave of former president H. Aliyev. On September 7 of the same year, while on vacation in Sardinia, he broke his femur bone. He was brought to Moscow and operated. On September 17, 2005, he was discharged from the hospital.

On February 1, 2006 - according to some information, at the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin - Boris Yeltsin celebrated his 75th birthday in the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. On the same day he was awarded the Order of Saint Blessed Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy, First Class (Russian Orthodox Church) on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

On May 7, 2006, Boris Yeltsin was a guest at the Kremlin celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Presidential Regiment.

On August 22, 2006, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga presented Boris Yeltsin with the Order of Three Stars, First Class "for his recognition of Latvia's independence in 1991 and his contribution to the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States and the building of a democratic Russia. At the awarding ceremony, Boris Yeltsin said that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's resistance to democratic sentiments in the Baltics was "a grave mistake. The awarding coincided with the 15th anniversary of the dissolution of the GKChP. Vike-Freiberga stressed that Yeltsin was awarded for decisive actions during the putsch, which allowed Latvia to restore its independence. The Russian community in Latvia, in turn, made a statement that by agreeing to accept the order, Boris Yeltsin had "betrayed the Russian people of Latvia" and "solidified with the country's undemocratic national policy.

On December 2, 2006, he appeared before the public with his wife and granddaughter Maria at the Davis Cup final, where Russia defeated Argentina.

March 25-April 2, 2007, he went to Jordan to visit holy places. In Jordan, Boris rested at the Dead Sea, then visited Israel, the place on the Jordan River where, according to legend, Jesus Christ was baptized.

Opinions and assessments of his position in retirement

According to Mikhail Kasyanov, a book published in 2009 by the former prime minister, initially after his resignation Yeltsin took a keen interest in what was happening in the country, inviting government ministers to his dacha, asking how things were going; but soon Putin "politely asked" Kasyanov to arrange that the government members stop bothering Yeltsin, citing the fact that doctors do not recommend such meetings. According to Kasyanov, this was essentially an order: "no one should visit Yeltsin anymore.

According to Boris Nemtsov, while in retirement, Yeltsin was extremely irritated by the fact that under Putin, freedom of speech began to be curtailed and the institution of elections destroyed. He did not speak out about it publicly, but when he met with Nemtsov, he told him about it repeatedly.

In August 2020, President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with Ukrainian media that Yeltsin regretted choosing Vladimir Putin as his successor.

When asked about the return of the Soviet anthem in a modified version under Putin, Boris Yeltsin sadly replied, "red-faced. In retirement, Boris Nikolayevich did not like the policies pursued, according to Yeltsin's widow, but he tried not to criticize Putin, because from now on the new leader "means he is in charge.

Boris Yeltsin died at the Central Clinical Hospital at 3:45 p.m. Moscow time on April 23, 2007 as a result of cardiac arrest caused by progressive cardiovascular and then multiple organ failure, i.e. functional disorders of many internal organs caused by a disease of the cardiovascular system, Sergei Mironov, head of the Medical Center of the Russian Presidential Administration, told RIA Novosti. At the same time in the news TV program "Vesti" he reported another cause of the former president's death: "Yeltsin had a fairly pronounced catarrhal viral infection (cold), which was very hard on all organs and systems," Yeltsin was hospitalized 12 days before his death. However, according to cardiac surgeon Renat Akchurin, who performed the operation on the former president, Yeltsin's death "was not foreshadowed by anything. At the request of Boris Yeltsin's relatives, no autopsy was performed.

Б.  N. Yeltsin was given a funeral at Christ the Savior Cathedral, which was open all night from April 24 to 25 for all who wished to say goodbye to the former Russian president. "Someday history will give the deceased an impartial assessment," said Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow, who did not attend the funeral and burial. There is an opinion that the funeral service was not conducted entirely according to church canons - the funeral rite should include the words "servant of God," but Yeltsin was given a funeral as "the newly-departed first president of Russia, Boris Nikolayevich."

Yeltsin was buried on April 25 at Novodevichy Cemetery with military honors. The funeral was broadcast live by all state channels.

Attitudes toward Yeltsin in Russia

According to the Public Opinion Foundation, 41% of Russians take a negative view of Yeltsin's historical role and 40% give a positive view (in 2000, immediately after his resignation, this ratio was 67% to 18%).

According to the Levada Center, 67% of respondents in 2000 and 70% in 2006 gave a negative assessment of the results of his rule, while the positive views were 15% and 13%, respectively.

In 2006, Russian President V. Putin said: "You can evaluate the activities of the first president any way you want. But, undoubtedly, it was at the time when Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was leading Russia that the people of our country, the citizens of Russia, got the main thing for which all these transformations were carried out - freedom. This is a tremendous historical merit of Boris Nikolayevich... How each of us, including myself, would have acted under those conditions can only be guessed," and in 2011 he noted that: "Yeltsin believed with his heart in the ideals he stood for... Today, there are very different people gathered in this hall, but we all believe in Russia, we strive to build a modern, confident country, which is what Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin dreamed of."

In 2011, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted: "An unbiased attentive reader cannot fail to appreciate the breakthrough that was made in the 90s... Modern Russia should be grateful to Boris Yeltsin for the transformations he carried out.

In 2011, the head of the presidential administration S. Naryshkin said: "Over the years, the importance and power of Boris Nikolayevich as a political leader has only become clearer. The new Russia has inherited a difficult legacy. It was not only necessary to overcome the hardest problems, but also to create Russian statehood. The role of the first president was crucial: he shouldered the entire burden of responsibility. We owe much of our present-day achievements to the first Russian president.

In 2011, M. Shvydkoy, Special Representative of the President for International Cultural Cooperation, stated: "The importance of Boris Nikolayevich cannot be overestimated, the 1990s predetermined the 2000s, Boris Nikolayevich was commensurate with the great country that is called Russia".

In 2010, M. Urnov, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Political Science at the Higher School of Economics, stated: "Under Yeltsin, political and economic competition developed in the country, a free press and civil society were formed. People ceased to be afraid of the authorities and learned to tell them what they thought to their eyes. Of course, the transition from totalitarianism to democracy was not possible without difficulties and mistakes. It is stupid to blame Yeltsin for the breakup of the Soviet Union: the elites of all the republics, who had long dreamed of independence from Moscow, were interested in this breakup. The Belovezh agreements may have been reached too quickly, but the collapse of the USSR was inevitable. The parade of sovereignties, gubernatorial liberty - all this was also there, but it was not Yeltsin's fault ... By the time Yeltsin came to power, the economy was dying. The deficit of everything and everyone was growing, foreign exchange reserves were approaching zero, and oil prices were $8-12 per barrel. The country could not be saved from starvation without decisive measures... By the end of the 90s, thanks to privatization, world-class companies appeared in the country. In the 90s we did not have such monstrous corruption... Yeltsin was completely nonviolent, non-bloodthirsty. The oppositionists who took up arms in 1993 were kept in prison for a while, and then released... Undoubtedly, Yeltsin's rule will go down in the history of the country with a "plus" sign.

Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the CPRF Central Committee, stated in 2011: "Under Yeltsin there was no democracy at all. He will go down in historical memory as one of the most terrible destroyers and destroyers of all the social gains of a thousand-year-old state.

Former first secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU, a supporter of the GKChP Y. Prokofyev calls the time of Boris Yeltsin's presidency "Yeltsinism", characterizing it as "a political regime that initiated and 'guaranteed' such social and economic changes, which began to block the reproduction of life on the largest state territory in the world". "The main destroyer of spiritual and social values in the country was Yeltsin. It was his efforts that brought to power in Russia a disgusting in its essence community of thieves, Russophobes and degenerates.

People's deputy of the USSR (1989-1992), chairman of the Union of Journalists of the USSR (1990-1991) Ivan Laptev: Boris Yeltsin was never a democrat, liberal or anticommunist. Nor was he a conservative, a monarchist or a communist. He always belonged to a special party, whose membership was limited to one person - the party called "Yeltsin. For the sake of this party he could be anything. Here in strength of conviction and political will he had no equal. As long as the nomenklatura way, as long as the system promoted the well-being of this "party", he went this way, supported and protected this system. While the CPSU was a closed dispenser of real power, he was a staunch member, considering Lenin an ideal of a political leader<...>When the CPSU decided to deprive him of this power, he declared war on the CPSU and the system. He always had a very good sense of what he wanted to achieve, but hardly ever wondered: why? It was as if he felt a new strength if he felt even the slightest threat to his position - his leadership, and in this case, he could defeat anyone, taking special pleasure from such a struggle.

Personal qualities

Political scientists and the media characterized Yeltsin as a charismatic personality, noted the unusual and unpredictable behavior, eccentricity, ambition, persistence, cunning, vague and amorphous ideological views. Opponents argued that Yeltsin was characterized by cruelty, cowardice, low intellectual and cultural level.

According to Mikhail Zadornov's recollections, Yeltsin never swore and never addressed anyone as "you" from outsiders. However, this statement is disputed by Valentin Kuptsov, former secretary of the CPSU Central Committee.

Attitudes toward Yeltsin abroad

A number of Western politicians and the media have a very ambiguous assessment of Yeltsin's activities. Yeltsin is credited, in particular, with the final destruction of the USSR (opinion of the Financial Times), economic reforms, the fight against the Communist opposition. Yeltsin is also credited with the incompetence of his government, the creation of an "oligarch" class by selling off state assets for next to nothing, the war in Chechnya, the rise of corruption and anarchy, the decline in living standards and economy, and the transfer of power to Vladimir Putin, because according to some Western sources, his rule is "less democratic" and represents "a return to authoritarianism".

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton believed that Yeltsin "did a lot to change the world. Thanks to him, the world has changed for the better in many ways. Clinton praised Yeltsin's ability to make "certain compromises. According to Clinton, under Yeltsin, "in Russia, there was a real development of democratic pluralism with a free press and an active civil society. Clinton recalled that in 2000 he expressed his doubts about Putin to Yeltsin: Clinton was not sure that Putin "is as committed to the principles of democracy and is willing to stick to them as Yeltsin did.

The Wall Street Journal wrote in an editorial: "Yeltsin's worst enemy was himself. His drunken antics not only undermined his health, but were also symptomatic of the incompetence of the Kremlin authorities. In 1992, he briefly embraced the limited market reforms that had given capitalism a bad reputation in Russia. He created the "oligarchs" by applying a "loans-for-shares" scheme (effectively selling off the best assets to "his people" for pennies) and by conducting a botched privatization drive, which his advisers, who enriched themselves with it, pushed hard. He failed to strengthen political institutions and the rule of law. The Chechen war, which began in 1994, was a military and political fiasco. <...> Russia has never - neither before nor since - known such freedom as in the Yeltsin 1990s," Putin, according to the publication, eliminated the best achievements of Yeltsin.

The Washington Post editorial stated: "This man's contribution to history is ambiguous, but his steps in defense of freedom will not fade from human memory. <...> Often ill, often seemingly tipsy, he (Yeltsin) allowed corruption and anarchy to flourish rampantly in the state structures and beyond. Russians felt the shame of his silly escapades. <...> In the next seven years, Putin repealed most of the liberal reforms his predecessor had advocated.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl called Yeltsin "a great statesman" and "a true friend of the Germans. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Yeltsin "was a great personality in Russian and international politics, a courageous fighter for democracy and a true friend of Germany.

Journalist Mark Simpson wrote in The Guardian: "If Yeltsin, having successfully overthrown the Communist regime, had instead of alcoholic chaos and powerlessness erected a strong Russia on its ruins, which would have defended its own interests and been an influential force on the world stage, his reputation in the West would be very different and some of those who now glorify him would have come down on him. He would be hated almost as much as... Putin!"

As the British magazine The Economist wrote, "Even before he left office, most Russians across the country, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, felt nothing but contempt for their president - partly because of galloping inflation, unpaid wages, and the looting of the national wealth by oligarchs, but even more because of the humiliation they felt he had subjected the country to with his drunken clown antics.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, disagrees with the view that Yeltsin's rule was democratic. According to her, "Yeltsin's anti-democratic policies after August 1991 polarized, poisoned and impoverished this country and laid the foundation for what is happening there today, although the responsibility for this lies solely with the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin. He said that the actions of Yeltsin and a small group of like-minded people, "without consulting Parliament," were "neither legal nor democratic. The "shock therapy," carried out with the help of American economists, according to her, led to the fact that the population lost their savings, and about half of Russians were below the poverty line. Heuvel recalled the firing of tanks at the democratically elected parliament, when hundreds of people were killed and injured. According to her, U.S. administration officials said at the time that they "would have supported those actions of Yeltsin, even if they had been even more violent. The journalist harshly criticizes the war in Chechnya, the 1996 presidential election (which was accompanied, she says, by falsifications and manipulations, and financed by oligarchs who received bail auctions in return). As Hoevel summarized, Yeltsin's rule, in the opinion of millions of Russians, brought the country to the brink of death, not the path of democracy. Russia was experiencing the greatest industrial depression in the world in the twentieth century. As one prominent American Sovietologist Peter Reddue, co-authored with Dmitri Glinsky, wrote, "for the first time in modern world history, one of the leading industrialized nations with a highly educated society was eliminating the results of several decades of economic development." Hoevel thinks that during the reforms the American press mostly distorted the picture of the real situation in Russia.

In 2007, journalist Mark Simpson wrote in The Guardian: "An eternally drunken rascal who has driven most of his people into unimaginable poverty while fantastically enriching his clique. A president who robbed an entire generation by stealing their pensions, "let" the standard of living go into free fall, and cut the average life expectancy of Russian men by decades... A man who began his career as a populist by campaigning against the relatively modest corruption of party functionaries, later became head of the country in an era of widespread corruption and thuggery unparalleled in history. <...> He not only groveled before Western interests, but led the almost final destruction of his country as a political and military force on the world stage. He trampled Russia into the mud, so that we would not have to do it ourselves.

On the occasion of Yeltsin's death, The Times journalist Rod Liddle paid considerable attention in his article to what he saw as the former president's addiction to alcohol: "No one in Russian history has ever managed to save the state hundreds of liters of formaldehyde by reliably alcoholizing himself not just while he was alive, but also while in power.

An editorial in The Guardian on the occasion of Yeltsin's death noted: "But if Yeltsin considered himself the founding father of post-Communist Russia, he was no Thomas Jefferson. The meeting, where the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus worked on a plan to break up the Union, ended in a drunken quarrel. Russia's democratic dawn lasted only two years, until the new president ordered tanks to fire on the same parliament that helped him end Soviet rule. In the name of liberal democracy, blood began to be shed, which made some democrats cringe. Yeltsin rejected government price subsidies, taking them as dogma, and as a result the inflation rate jumped to 2000%. It was called "shock therapy," but there was too much shock and too little therapy. Millions of people found their savings vaporized overnight, while the president's relatives and inner circle amassed huge personal fortunes that they still own today. <...> Yeltsin's market reforms led to a greater decline in industrial production than Hitler's invasion in 1941...Yeltsin was more effective in destroying the USSR than in building Russian democracy.

In 2001, Chinese President Jiang Zemin called Yeltsin "an old friend of the Chinese people.

Boris Yeltsin was married, had two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Awards of Russia and the USSR:

Foreign awards:

Departmental awards:

Church Awards:


Other regalia:

Б.  Yeltsin is the author of four books (the last three were edited by journalist Valentin Yumashev, later head of the administration and Yeltsin's son-in-law):


  1. Boris Yeltsin
  2. Ельцин, Борис Николаевич
  3. ^ The office was titled President of the Russian SFSR from 10 July to 25 December 1991. On 12 December, the RSFSR ratified the Belovezh Accords, proclaiming its independence from the USSR; On 25 December, the country was renamed to Russian Federation, so had been the title of the highest state office.
  4. С принятием 25 декабря 1991 года Верховным Советом РСФСР закона о переименовании государства в Российскую Федерацию и внесением 21 апреля 1992 года Съездом народных депутатов РСФСР соответствующих изменений в Конституцию РСФСР, вступивших в силу 16 мая 1992 года, было установлено современное наименование должности — президент Российской Федерации
  5. В этом качестве был как спикером парламента, так и высшим должностным лицом РСФСР. Все предыдущие и последующие Председатели Верховного Совета РСФСР были лишь спикерами парламента.
  6. 22 сентября 1993 года, в ходе острого противостояния между президентом Ельциным и законодательной властью (Верховным Советом и Съездом народных депутатов), Верховный Совет, о роспуске которого Ельцин объявил своим указом, в ответ принял постановление о прекращении полномочий президента. Временно исполняющим обязанности президента был назначен вице-президент Александр Руцкой. Борис Ельцин, которого поддержало правительство и руководство силовых ведомств, отказался уступить власть. Двухнедельное противостояние между ветвями власти завершилось вооружёнными столкновениями, массовым кровопролитием в центре Москвы и разгромом парламента.
  7. Président de la République socialiste fédérative soviétique de Russie jusqu'au 21 avril 1992.
  8. O cargo de vice-presidente da Rússia foi criado em 1991 e extinto em 1993. Alexander Rutskoi foi o primeiro e único vice-presidente russo.
  9. Pronunciado «Barís Nicaláievitch Iélhtsin»
  10. Aslund, Anders (28 de janeiro de 2009). «Russia's Collapse» (em inglês). ISSN 0015-7120. Consultado em 22 de abril de 2021

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