The Kremlin released word on Monday of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s death, apparently of heart failure. Yeltsin leaves behind a complex legacy. He was instrumental in Russia’s transformation from Soviet state to democracy, but, as Mikhail Gorbachev noted, Yeltsin also made some “serious errors.”
AP via My Way News:
Yeltsin was a contradictory figure, rocketing to popularity in the Communist era on pledges to fight corruption—but proving unable, or unwilling, to prevent the looting of state industry as it moved into private hands during his nine years as Russia’s first freely elected president.
Yeltsin steadfastly defended freedom of the press, but was a master at manipulating the media. His hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin, has proven far more popular even as he has tightened Kremlin control over both Russia’s industry and its press.
Yeltsin amassed as much power as possible in his office—then gave it all up in a dramatic New Year’s address at the end of 1999.