On this day in 1931, Boris Yeltsin was born. He became first President of the post-Soviet Russia (1991-1999). In 1991, he rallied mass opposition to the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Yeltsin, a controversial figure in his own time, remains one today. As a result of the break-up of the USSR, Russia lost the Crimea to Ukraine. The following decade was marked by hyperinflation, high death rate, and personal tragedies of thousands of people left to survive on their own in the former Soviet republics. On the other hand, he brought Vladimir Putin to power. Unknown to the country, Putin turned out to be a strong politician and managed to reverse many negative trends. Also, Yeltsin helped Yekat build its subway. We shouldn't forget that!
How did our columnist, Mikhail Brodsky, survive the attempted coup in the Far East of Russia? Read "Tanks in the City"
What do you think about Yeltsin and his role in the Russian history?