Boris Yeltsin’s Tragic Failure

Born on February 1, eighty-five years ago, Boris Yeltsin could have revolutionized Russia. He failed to do so. He tried, but did not succeed. As Masha Gessen has argued, the main cause of this failure was Yeltsin’s renunciation to the trial of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin’s rise to power was the effect of Yeltsin’s acceptance of the silent pact between the “family” (his daughter and her husband) and the secret police (FSB). The initiator of this pact was the oligarch Boris Berezovsky. He abysmally miscalculated his authority and was easily eliminated from the sordid game he had concocted. Yeltsin’s tragedy was that, at the end of the day, he left behind an authoritarian kleptocratic regime which kills its opponents or sends them, like the Soviet one, to psychiatric institutions.

 

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