Monday, April 23, 2007

Former Russian president Yeltsin dies at 76

The man who helped bring down the former soviet union died at the age of 76. Many will remember him as the the man who brought freedom to the east, or as the reformer of Russia economy, others will remeber his blunders with Chechenya and others will just remember him as the drunk man as depicted by the "Guignols de l'info".

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Boris Yeltsin, who clambered on to a tank to bury the Soviet Union, then led Russia falteringly through its first years of independence, died on Monday aged 76.

World leaders showered Yeltsin with tributes for bringing freedom and democracy to Russia after decades of totalitarian rule, and pushing through market reforms that though brutal have helped to turn Russia into a vibrant economy.[...]

"Today at 15:45 (1145 GMT) Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin died in the Central Clinical Hospital as a result of a deteriorating cardio-vascular problem," said a Kremlin spokeswoman. He had suffered heart problems for years.

Vladimir Putin, whom Yeltsin anointed as his heir before stepping down, ailing and out of touch, in the last hours of 1999, declared Wednesday a day of national mourning.

"A man has passed away thanks to whom a whole new epoch was born," said Putin. "A new democratic Russia was born, a free state open to the world. A state in which power truly belongs to the people."

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, whom Yeltsin effectively ousted, offered a qualified tribute.

"I express the very deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, on whose shoulders rest major events for the good of the country, and serious mistakes," Gorbachev said.[...]

Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton, who met Yeltsin more than 15 times as president, called him a friend and added:

"Fate gave him a tough time in which to govern, but history will be kind to him because he was courageous and steadfast on the big issues: peace, freedom, and progress."

Yeltsin had the distinction of being Russia's first democratically elected head of state, and the first Kremlin leader to step down voluntarily[...]
August 1991, a clique of hardliners tried to stage a coup to halt Gorbachev's perestroika reforms, holding Gorbachev captive. Yeltsin, in perhaps his finest moment, climbed onto a tank outside government headquarters to rally the crowd against the plotters.

Four months later, he sat down at a Soviet hunting lodge in a forest in Belarus to signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union. He and his fellow signatories rang then-U.S. President George Bush with the news, and only then told Gorbachev[...]



khanouff said...

Surtout la liberté aux femmes de l’est de vendre leur corps à l’ouest, la liberté de comptabiliser l’hiver ces premiers morts SDF à Moscou, comme toutes les capitales modernes quoi, la liberté enfin de faire profiter des nus pieds des richesses du pays et faire d’eux en des temps records des milliardaires sans aucun mérite …drôle de liberté…
A mon avis c’est ça le triste bilan de cet alcoolique véreux.

Swobodin said...

Russia finally got rid of one of the worst corrupt who made the country sink under the poverty, war, murder, theft and insecurity.
Few like him, especially Berezovsky and the neo-tsarist families who shared Russia's wealth.

Swobodin said...

Democrazy à la Yeltsine is just like Democrazy in Iraq, I would choose USSR or Saddam, in spite of my hate to those two regimes.
"Of two evils one must choose the lesser".

samsoum said...

I see, I am not the only to think that besides having a role in getting rid of the URSS, the man should not be mentionned by Historians :-)