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Boris Yeltsin - History

Boris Yeltsin - History

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Boris Yeltsin


Russian Politician

Boris Yeltsin was educated as a civil engineer. He joined the Communist Party and rapidly became the party leader in his home region, Sverdlovsk. In 1985 Gorbachev appointed him to the Politburo, and he became party chief for Moscow.

Yeltsin criticized Gorbachev for the slow pace of reform and, in 1988, Gorbachev dismissed him from the political leadership.

A year later, Yeltsin was elected to the new Russian Congress, and in 1990, he became President of the Russian Federation. Yeltsin presided over the period of rapid change as the Russia replaced the Soviet Union and it experimented with democracy. During Yeltsin term the lives of the average Russian became more difficult as the social network that Russians had relied on was dismantled. Yelstisn ended his term as Presidency in 1999. He died from heart failure in 2007


Lambroza, Shlomo. Boris Yeltsin. (World Leaders Series). 1993. Rourke Pub. Group

Schecter, Kate. (The Chelsea House Library of Biography). Chelsea House Pub.

Morrison, John. Boris Yeltsin : From Bolshevik to Democrat . 1992. Dutton E P.

Ayer, Eleanor H. Boris Yeltsin : Man of the People. (People in Focus Series). Dillon Press Inc.

Solovyov, Vladimir/K. Boris Yeltsin : A Political Biography . Putnam Pub. Group.

Morrison, John. 1991. Dutton E. P.

Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) was a Soviet politician and the first democratically elected president of Russia. He is best known for short-circuiting the 1991 coup that briefly removed Mikhail Gorbachev from power.

Born in a rural village near the Ural Mountains, Yeltsin’s family were victims of Stalin’s brutal agricultural policies during the 1930s. Yeltsin was raised in near poverty but proved an excellent student and sportsman. He received a technical education, qualifying as an engineer before becoming a construction supervisor.

Yeltsin joined the Communist Party in 1961, a move that allowed him access to important government positions. By the mid-1970s, Yeltsin was a party boss in Sverdlovsk. In 1977 he oversaw the demolition of the Ipatiev House, the building where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed in 1918.

During the late 1970s, Yeltsin developed a working relationship and friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev. As Gorbachev ascended through the ranks of the Communist Party, so too did Yeltsin. In 1981, he became a member of the CPSU Central Committee five years later he was admitted into the Politburo.

Yeltsin was a skilled and determined political operator, prepared to do battle with entrenched elites in the Communist Party – but he was also erratic and unpredictable, to the extent that he was often accused of being drunk. Politically, Yeltsin was in favour of liberalisation and favoured reforms that went beyond Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika. His plainspokenness and his tough stance against corruption were also rare traits in a Soviet leader.

As party boss in Moscow, Yelstin oversaw investigations into a range of problems, from public transport to store queues. This hands-on approach made very popular with ordinary Russians – but it also put Yeltsin on a collision course with conservatives in the Communist Party. This, along with Yeltsin’s demands for extensive reforms, culminated in his expulsion from the Politburo (1988) and his sensational resignation from the Communist Party (1990).

In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin stood as a candidate for the presidency of the Russian republic. He was elected president, winning 57 per cent of the vote. In August, just a month after taking office, Yeltsin drew on his popularity to thwart an anti-Gorbachev coup attempted by communist hardliners. Climbing atop a tank outside the Soviet parliament building, Yeltsin appealed for the public to oppose the coup and for soldiers to abandon their support of it.

Yeltsin went on to serve eight years as Russian president. His presidency was a period of radical economic reforms, political confrontations and clashes with communists. Yeltsin’s time in office was marred by criticisms and failures, though he is remembered for leading the creation of a new, more democratic Russia.

Yeltsin went into retirement after his resignation in 1999, making only occasional public appearances or statements. He died of heart issues in April 2007 and was given a religious funeral, the first for a Russian leader since Tsar Alexander III in 1894.

Yeltsin found drunk in his underwear and hailing a cab for pizza

During his 1995 White House visit, President Boris Yeltsin was housed in the government’s guest quarters at the Blair House. Former President Bill Clinton recounts the story to historian Taylor Branch in a new book entitled, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President .

Clinton tells the tale: Yeltsin was mistaken for an intruder by the secret service agents outside his residence. The president was intoxicated — and was found outside the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue with nothing but his underwear on. Secret service agents reported to Clinton that Yeltsin was hailing a cab in. And Boris had the same goal many of us have when we are in the state: to get pizza.

Boris Yeltsin's Life and Career | Timeline

By John Gettings

February 1

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin is born to parents Nikolai and Klavdia in the village of Butka in the Sverdlovsk Region, an industrial center in the Ural Mountain region of Russia.

Marries Naina Iosifovna Girina. They have two daughters, Yelena (born in 1957) and Tatyana (1959).

Appointed first secretary of the Sverdlovsk District Central Committee, a position similar to governor in the United States. His performance earns him praise as an enthusiastic reformer.

The new general secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev, brings Yeltsin to Moscow as secretary of the Central Committee for Construction.


He is promoted to first secretary of the Moscow City Party Committee. It's a position with responsibilities similar to those of an American mayor and includes membership in the Politburo, the Soviet Union's de facto ruling body.

November 11

The Moscow City Party Committee meets, with Gorbachev in attendance, and strips Yeltsin of his post as first secretary. The committee was angered by comments Yeltsin made at an Oct. 21 meeting where he criticized Gorbachev's Perestroika for moving too slowly. He was removed from the Politburo and moved to a job running construction back in Sverdlovsk.

March 26

Yeltsin is surprisingly elected to the Soviet parliament. His political career is revived by his vocal campaign against corruption within the political elite.

June 12

He wins the Russian Federation's first popular presidential election.

August 18

His crowning achievement comes on this day as he stands defiantly atop an armored personnel carrier and challenges a hard-liner coup against Soviet President Gorbachev. He's hailed as a defender of democracy.


Tanks surround the parliament building once again, this time under Yeltsin's illegal orders, to force lawmakers to disband. More than 140 people die in the street fighting that ensues. Two months later a new constitution is approved, giving Yeltsin sweeping powers.

December 11

Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya to squash a separatist rebellion. The decision is a disaster for Yeltsin as the campaign would drag on for more than two years and lead to the deaths of thousands of Russian citizens.

July 3

Wins re-election for a second term. But not before a puzzling disappearance from public life in June. Officials admit months later that he suffered a heart attack.

November 5

Undergoes successful quintuple heart bypass surgery, performed by American heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey. In January he contracts pneumonia, Communists try to seize the opportunity to impeach him but his health improves and he regains the reigns of power.

March 23

Yeltsin fires the entire cabinet, including prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, and replaces him with little-known former Energy Minister Sergei Kiriyenko. Chernomyrdin is the first of four prime ministers Yeltsin will fire over the next 17 months.


The Russian economy collapses and the resulting financial crisis that would see the ruble lose 75 percent of its value over the next year sinks Yeltsin's popularity. He ousts Kiriyenko on Aug. 23 and re-nominates Chernomyrdin. The Duma rejects the nomination twice and Yeltsin fires back with a former KGB official, Yevgeny Primakov, who is confirmed in September.

May 12

Yeltsin fires Primakov, who was rapidly gaining popularity, and names Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin to replace him.

August 9

Yeltsin abruptly fires Stepashin and names Vladimir Putin, the head of the Federal Security Service and 15-year veteran of the KGB, the acting prime minister. He also designates Putin as successor to the presidency.

December 31

Yeltsin asks a national TV audience for their forgiveness and apologizes for his mistakes in a resignation speech that surprises the world's media and concludes his eight years as Russia's president. He announces that Putin will immediately assume the duties of the president until national elections, which have been moved up from June to March.

3. Major Contributions

During Yeltsin’s tenure as the first secretary of the CPSU in Sverdlovsk, he oversaw the building of a CPSU palace that came to be known as “White Tooth” by the occupants. He committed to the ideal of the Communist Party that in 1981 he was awarded the Order of Lenin. While serving as a politburo member, Yeltsin was considered a reformist and populists. He fired and reshuffled his staff on several occassions. He also fired corrupt officials who were giving the party a negative image. In August 1991, just two months after winning the presidential election, he was confronted with a possibility of a coup against Gorbachev. However, he successfully rallied the mass against the coup attracting praise worldwide. In December 1991 he led two other presidents (Ukraine and Belarus) in announcing the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He also proposed the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States in place of the Soviet Union. During his first term in office, he implemented several economic reforms including liberalization of foreign trade, dismantling socialism, and raising interest rates to tighten money and discourage borrowing. He also secured billions of US dollars from the International Monetary Fund to support the reforms that were ongoing at the time. However, most of the funds benefited the individuals and not country.

Boris Yeltsin's Historic Role

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, who passed away on April 23 at the age of 76, was a controversial ruler to whom the Russian people owe a debt of gratitude. U.S. leaders worked closely with Yeltsin to keep Russia on track during the hardest days of the post-communist collapse, to prevent the former Soviet Union from becoming a Yugoslavia-style bloodbath, and to keep over 20,000 nuclear weapons under control in an impoverished country.

Yeltsin was an unlikely revolutionary. Like his predecessor, Mikhail Gorbachev, and his handpicked successor, Vladimir Putin, Yeltsin was a transitional figure on the long road from Russia's communist empire to some destination still unknown.

The U.S. will remember Boris Yeltsin as someone who, despite his limitations, meant well and worked to bring his country back to the family of nations, to freedom and humanity, which have been so often lacking in Russia's tortured history.

A successful member of the Soviet ruling class, he did his utmost to bring down the communist system. In the process, he led the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, attempting to create, for the first time in Russia's 1,000-year history, a modern nation state. He almost succeeded.

Yeltsin, the son and grandson of peasants from the Ural Mountains who were punished by Stalin, was a loyal apparatchik in the big industrial city of Sverdlovsk, the heart of the Soviet military-industrial complex. He zealously surpassed construction quotas and led the effort to destroy the Ipatyev House, where Nicholas Romanov, the last czar, his family, and his entourage were held and brutally executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

But when promoted to Moscow under Michael Gorbachev to become the country's construction boss and later, Moscow city Communist Party secretary, Yeltsin turned into a populist and challenged the ruling Politburo. He was kicked out in 1988, only to return as an elected member of Supreme Soviet and as the first competitively elected chairman of the Russian Parliament. In 1991, he won Russia's presidential elections.

Yeltsin valiantly led the Parliament and the throng of citizens who stood against the Russian tanks of the August 1991 communist hardliner coup. As the coup failed, Yeltsin sidelined Gorbachev and managed the divorce of the Soviet Union member republics, which was finalized in December 1991. Shortly thereafter, on Christmas Day in 1991, the Soviet Union expired.

The new state that Yeltsin led, the Russian Federation, faced empty coffers, pillaged by communists. It had no working institutions and runaway inflation. Communists and their nationalist allies wanted revenge. The country was in turmoil.

By firing his leading economic reformer, Yegor Gaidar, in December 1992 and appointing former gas minister Victor Chernomyrdin as his Prime Minister, Yeltsin slowed the pace of reforms and allowed corruption to flourish. Unlike Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Baltic states, Russian reforms were piecemeal and lacked a serious legislative base.

Russia also lacked a constitution, and the anti-reform Supreme Soviet threatened to impeach Yeltsin as it sought to amass power. In the spring of 2003, Yeltsin took his political reform plan to a popular referendum, which he won, and later ordered the Supreme Soviet disbanded. He sent troops to prevent the legislature from gathering. The Supreme Soviet and its supporters attempted an armed insurrection. Yeltsin's power was in danger for the second time in two years.

Despite having put down the insurrection, Yeltsin failed to disband the Communist Party or purge the system of its supporters. Unlike Solidarity leaders in Poland, Vaclav Havel in the Czech Republic, and the Baltic anti-communists, Yeltsin was a part of the old system and did not and could not fill the government with anti-communists, who lacked any administrative or security experience.

Yeltsin failed to see through legal proceedings against the Communist Party and launched a war against separatist Chechnya, which would play a key role in Russia's slide back toward authoritarianism. He never managed to put together an effective economic reform package, and the brief recovery of 1996-1997 ended with the disastrous financial crisis of August 1998, which brought the hard-liner Yevgeny Primakov to the Prime Minister's office and set the reformers back even further.

Nevertheless, Yeltsin did not use power to suppress opposition parties, and he allowed unprecedented freedom of the media. After Primakov was fired, he appointed former Interior Minister Sergey Stepashin as Prime Minister, only to replace him with the loyal and tough head of the secret police, the Federal Security Service. The new prime minister, appointed in summer of 1999, was Vladimir Putin.

By then, Yeltsin's health had deteriorated. He had suffered two heart attacks, both connected to his political battles, the first in 1988, when he became the first man to oppose the Soviet Politburo and come out on top. The second happened during the touch-and-go presidential election campaign of 1996. In the fall of 1996, Yeltsin underwent a quintuple bypass. The media and acquaintances have reported serious problems with alcohol abuse.

Yeltsin often bristled at U.S. foreign policy assertiveness but never confronted it openly. This is why NATO enlargement and NATO involvement in Yugoslavia were relatively painless. But under Yeltsin, the truculent security elites launched broad military and nuclear cooperation with Iran, a major irritant in bilateral U.S.-Russian relations. Yeltsin failed to reform Russia's security and foreign policy.

Yeltsin left Russia weak but relatively free. The country had a diffuse power structure, which included the presidency, the legislative branch, elected regional governors, and outspoken media. However, unlike in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, the communist security services and police were left intact, leading to today's abuses.

Under Yeltsin, the middle class began to grow, and freedom of religion and movement were enshrined. Today, Russia is much wealthier, growing steadily at about 7 percent annually since 2000. It has a flat income tax of 13 percent and a corporate income tax of 24 percent. Foreign investment is flowing in at unprecedented rate, and capital flight is mostly ended.

Yeltsin, however, failed to secure his most precious gain-freedom-beyond his presidency. The constitution he rammed through in late 1993 granted unprecedented powers to the president. The post-Yeltsin centralization of power includes the appointment of governors, a pliant parliament, state control of all TV channels and most radio and print media, and the breaking of the oligarchs' political power.

Mass demonstrations which took place under Gorbachev and Yeltsin today are inconceivable recently, 9,000 heavily armed riot police broke up a 2,000-strong peaceful demonstration. While Yeltsin failed to leave behind the rule of law, his successors dismantled what was left.

If Russia evolves toward a model of Western democracy, Yeltsin will be remembered as its founding father. Like Gorbachev, he will be credited primarily as the destroyer of the horrendous Soviet legacy. If, however, Russia freezes in authoritarianism, Yeltsin's legacy there will remain that of a weak and erratic ruler.

Why should you and I care?

The reason I cared to write so much about Yeltsin and his reforms was that it seemed like there was a missing link in today’s news and agenda. It is trendy to demonise Vladimir Putin and expose his dictatorship. By no means am I a Putin supporter, however, I believe that it is imperative to understand how the domino of history fell to get to this point. According to Levada-center data they collected in 2017, 40% of Russians believe that they need strong authoritarian governance, and 58% regret the USSR collapse. Undoubtedly, Mr Boris Yeltsin and the way he handled the economic shock therapy, affected the way people comprehend the status quo it seemed like there was no therapy, only shock. He made citizens live through poverty, through stress, and they never got the chance to resist because they were assailed with propaganda.

Nevertheless, I cannot deny the statement that he was a reformer. There are so many little details, back and fourths that you could argue to prove one side or the other, but I believe that the leader lacked intention and motive which could have catalysed positive change in Russian federation.

NOTE: This text is not targeted to form your political opinion, it is purely to give a brief account of the history of Russia after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

How Russian Parliament tried to impeach President Yeltsin

As speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, endorses the inquiry for the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, we looked into the history of how Russia&rsquos first president, Boris Yeltsin, withstood three attempts to impeach him.

First two attempts in 1993

Boris Yeltsin had been elected President of the Russian Federation in 1991 - immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But as soon as March 1993, a political crisis that was ripe inside the country&rsquos government had reached its fruition. The Congress of People&rsquos Deputies, a relic political organ of the Soviet times, turned against the president and his politics, implying that Yeltsin and his economic reforms were leading the country to disaster. The impeachment procedure was commenced after Yeltsin&rsquos TV address to the Russian people, where he stated he was enabling a special regime of governance until the referendum on the question of confidence in the President and the Parliament took place (the referendum was to happen in April 1993).

What was meant by the &lsquospecial regime&rsquo isn&rsquot completely clear, but the ensuing events had rendered this question meaningless. The Congress of People&rsquos Deputies addressed the Constitutional Court of Russia, saying Yeltsin&rsquos decision was anti-constitutional, and the Court enabled the impeachment. Congress, however, didn&rsquot gather enough impeach votes: 617 out of 1033 (and they needed 689 votes).

The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

As the impeachment failed, Congress announced the Russian government referendum on confidence in President Boris Yeltsin. The majority of Russians expressed their confidence in the President, which gave him enough support to pull through a constitutional reform and introduce the decision to dissolve the Congress of People&rsquos Deputies.

In September 1993, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation (a permanent parliament, elected by the Congress of People's Deputies) declared Yeltsin&rsquos action of dissolving the Congress of People&rsquos Deputies unconstitutional and ruled out he was, in fact, performing a coup d&rsquoetat. The Supreme Soviet formally ended Boris Yeltsin's presidency on the grounds of him violating the constitution. This was considered the second impeachment.

But a military conflict between Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet ensued, and there were horrible human casualties. Eventually, the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People&rsquos Deputies, as organs of the obsolete Soviet political system, were dissolved. In December 1993, Russians voted in a referendum for the new Constitution.

The 1999 impeachment attempt

The National Bolshevik Party activists standing for Yeltsin's impeachment, Moscow, 1999

The State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

The third &ndash and most famous &ndash attempt to impeach President Boris Yeltsin was initiated by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) in 1998. The communists said Yeltsin had committed 5 major political crimes during his presidency, and they were condemning him for each of the 5 occasions.

The first stage of the impeachment procedure was the vote of the State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament), that held 450 deputies. The Duma members were to vote separately on each of the 5 instances.

However, not a single one of the charges gathered the 300 necessary votes for the impeachment procedure to continue:

1) The collapse of the Soviet Union. The Communists said the decision to dissolve the Union, endorsed and implemented by Yeltsin in 1991, had drastically reduced the economic, military and political power of Russia and other Soviet republics. 239 votes out of 450.

2) 1993 constitutional crisis. The Communists believed Yeltsin&rsquos 1993 actions (the actions that lead to the first and second attempts at Yeltsin&rsquos impeachment) were unconstitutional and effectively a coup d&rsquoetat. 263 votes out of 450.

3) The outbreak of war in Chechnya. CPRF claimed Yeltsin&rsquos order to start military action in Chechnya in December 1994 was a crime that led to multiple human casualties. 283 votes out of 450.

4) The weakening of the country's defense. CPRF said many of Boris Yeltsin&rsquos actions (like reducing the state&rsquos expenses on the defense industry, reducing the overall military budget, and so on) were aimed at destroying the country&rsquos military system. 241 votes out of 450.

5) The genocide of the Russian people. CPRF claimed it was Yeltsin who was responsible for the decrease of the Russian population from 1992 to 1998 and the overall poor state of the country. 238 votes out of 450.

In the end, none of the charges gathered enough votes for the impeachment to happen. However, by the end of 1999, it became clear that Yeltsin was planning to leave his post, and on December 31st, 1999, he resigned, surprising everyone by appointing Vladimir Putin as his successor.

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.


On June 12, 1991 Yeltsin was elected as the first President of the Russian Federation, received 45,552,041 votes, representing 57.30 percent of the number who took part in the vote, and well ahead of Nikolai Ryzhkov, who, despite the support of the federal authorities, received only 16.85%. Together with Boris Yeltsin was elected a vice-president, Alexander Rutskoi. After the elections, Boris Yeltsin began the struggle with the privileges of the range and the maintenance of Russia's sovereignty within the USSR.

These were the first in the history of Russian national presidential elections. On July 10, 1991 Boris Yeltsin brought an oath of allegiance to the people of Russia and the Russian Constitution and assumed the position of President of the Russian Federation. After taking the oath, he made a keynote speech, which began energetically and emotionally, understanding the solemnity of the time.

The first decree, which was signed by Yeltsin, was the decree "On urgent measures for the development of education in the Russian Federation." The document, prepared with the active participation of the Ministry of Education of the RSFSR, headed by ED Dnieper, outlined a number of measures to support, financially, the system of education, which were explicit declarative. Much of the declared in the decree have not been fulfilled, for example, promise to "send abroad each year for training, internships, training not less than 10 thousand students, post-graduate students, teachers and academic staff".

On July 20, 1991 Boris Yeltsin signed a decree No. 14 "On the termination of activity of organizational structures of political parties and mass social movements in state bodies, institutions and organizations of the Russian Federation", which has become one of the final chords policy of partization and dedeologization. Yeltsin began to negotiate the signing of a new union treaty with Mikhail Gorbachev and the leaders of other Soviet republics.

State Committee on the State of Emergency Edit

On August 19, 1991, after the announcement of the creation of the State Committee on the State of Emergency and the isolation of Gorbachev in the Crimea, Yeltsin led the resistance to the Emergency Committee and made the Russian House of Soviets ("The White House") as the center of resistance. On the first day of events Yeltsin, speaking from a tank outside the White House, called the actions of the State Emergency Committee a coup, then issued a number of decrees on non-recognition of the State Emergency Committee action. On August 23 Yeltsin signed a decree suspending the activities of the RSFSR, and on November 6, on the termination of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

After the failure of the Emergency Committee, and Gorbachev has returned to Moscow to negotiate a new Union Treaty are deadlocked, and Gorbachev finally began to lose control levers, which are gradually retreating to Yeltsin and heads of other union republics.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union Edit

In December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, Soviet President Gorbachev held a secret meeting with Ukrainian President, Leonid Kravchuk, and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus, Stanislav Shushkevich, which led to negotiations on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 8, 1991, the presidents of Ukraine, Russia and the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus signed the Belavezha Agreement on creation of the CIS, which states that "the USSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality ceased to exist". The agreement was signed despite the referendum on preserving the Soviet Union, which took place March 17, 1991.

On December 12, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet of Russia. The Russian parliament ratified the document by a large majority: 188 votes "for" with 6 votes "against", and 7 votes were "abstained". The legitimacy of the ratification caused doubts among some members of the Russian parliament, since according to the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the RSFSR in 1978 consideration of the documents are in the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress of People's Deputies, as it affects the character of the Republic as part of USSR and thus entailed changes in the Russian constitution. On December 21 the majority of the union republics joined to the Commonwealth after they signed the Alma-Ata Declarations and the Protocol to the Agreement on the establishment of the CIS.

Alexander Lukashenko believes that the most negative consequence of the collapse of the USSR was the formation of a unipolar world. According to Stanislav Shushkevich in 1996, Yeltsin said that he regretted signing the Bialowieza agreements. On December 24, the President of the Russian Federation informed the Secretary General of the United Nations that the membership of the Soviet Union replacing by the Russian Federation which continues the membership in all organs of the United Nations (including membership in the UN Security Council). Thus, Russia is considered an original member of the United Nations (since October 24, 1945), along with Ukraine (SSR) and Belarus (Byelorussian SSR).

On December 25, 1991, Boris Yeltsin, was full of presidential power in Russia in connection with the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the actual collapse of the USSR. Following the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin had transferred his residence from the Russia's White House to the Kremlin and he received the so-called nuclear suitcase.

In April 1992, 4th Congress of People's Deputies three times refused to ratify Belovezhskoe agreement and deleted from the text of the Russian Constitution mention of the constitution and laws of the USSR, which subsequently became one of the causes of the confrontation of the Congress of People's Deputies with President Yeltsin and later led to the dispersal of the Congress in October 1993. The USSR Constitution and laws of the USSR continued to be referred to in articles 4, 102 and 147 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation – Russian (RSFSR) in 1978 up to December 25, 1993, when in force adopted by a referendum the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which contained no mention of the Constitution and laws of the USSR.

In September 1992, a group of People's Deputies, headed by Sergei Baburin sent to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation a petition to examine the constitutionality of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR of December 12, 1991 "On ratification of the Agreement establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States".

Russian constitutional crisis Edit

On December 10, 1992, the day after the Congress of People's Deputies did not approve the candidacy of Yegor Gaidar as Prime Minister, Boris Yeltsin issued a sharp criticism of the Congress of People's Deputies and tried to disrupt their work, calling on his supporters to leave the meeting hall. A political crisis began. After the talks, Boris Yeltsin and Ruslan Khasbulatov, Valery Zorkin and multi-voting, the Congress of People's Deputies on December 12 adopted a resolution on the stabilization of the constitutional system and Viktor Chernomyrdin was appointed as Prime Minister.

After the eighth Congress of People's Deputies, which quashed the decision of the stabilization of the constitutional system and the decisions that undermine the independence of the government and the Central Bank, on March 20, 1993, Boris Yeltsin, delivered a televised address to the nation, he announced that it has signed a decree on the introduction of "special operation mode". The next day, the Supreme Council appealed to the Constitutional Court, calling Yeltsin's appeal "an attack on the constitutional foundations of the Russian state". The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, still not having signed the decree, and Yeltsin found the actions associated with the televised address, unconstitutional, and found that the reasons for his dismissal. The Supreme Council convened IX (Extraordinary) Congress of People's Deputies. However, as it turned out after a few days, in fact, it signed another decree contains no gross violations of the Constitution. On March 28, the Congress attempted to remove Yeltsin from his office as president. Speaking at a rally on Vasilyevsky Spusk, Yeltsin vowed not to implement the decision of the Congress if it will still be accepted. However, over the impeachment only 617 deputies has voted out of 1033, with the necessary 689 majority votes.

The next day, after failing impeachment Congress of People's Deputies appointed April 25, All-Russian referendum on four issues: the confidence to President Yeltsin, on the approval of its socio-economic policies of the early presidential elections and early elections of people's deputies. Boris Yeltsin called on his supporters to vote "yes four" themselves supporters were inclined to vote "yes-no-yes." According to the results of the referendum of confidence he received 58.7% of votes, while 53.0% voted in favor of the economic reforms. On the issue of early presidential elections and people's deputies "for" votes, respectively, 49.5% and 67.2% took part in the vote, however, legally significant decisions on these matters have been adopted (as, according to the laws in force, for this " for "we had to speak out more than half of all eligible voters). Contradictory results of the referendum were interpreted by Yeltsin and his entourage in their favor.

After the referendum, Yeltsin focused its efforts on the development and adoption of the new Constitution. On April 30 in the newspaper "Izvestia" was published on the presidential draft constitution on 18 May, it was announced the launch of the Constitutional Council, and on June 5 Constitutional Assembly gathered for the first meeting in Moscow. After the referendum, Yeltsin virtually ceased all business contacts with the leadership of the Supreme Council, although some continued to sign some time taken them laws, and has lost confidence in the Vice-President Alexander Rutskoi and freed him from all offices, and on September 1 he was suspended from office on suspicion of corruption.

Press Freedom in Russia Edit

After the fall of the Communist Party and the collapse of the USSR, in the initial period (1991–1993), The presidency of Boris Yeltsin, the level of freedom in the media has remained at the level of 1990–1991.

First Chechen War Edit

Officially, the conflict is defined as "measures to maintain constitutional order," the military action called "first Chechen war", less "Russian-Chechen" or "Russian-Caucasian war". The conflict and the events preceding it were characterized by a large number of casualties, the military and law enforcement agencies, noted the facts of ethnic cleansing of non-Chechen population in Chechnya.

Although certain military successes of the Russian Interior Ministry and the Russian Armed Forces, the outcome of this conflict was the withdrawal of Russian troops, the massive destruction and casualties, the de facto independence of Chechnya before the second Chechen war and a wave of terror that swept across Russia.

With the beginning of perestroika in the various republics of the Soviet Union, including in the Chechen-Ingush Republic stepped various nationalist movements. One of these organizations was the established in 1990 National Congress of the Chechen People (NCCP), aims to exit Chechnya from the Soviet Union and the creation of an independent Chechen state. It was headed by a former general of the Soviet Air Force, Dzhokhar Dudayev.

On June 8, 1991 at the II session of the NCCP, Dudayev proclaimed the independence of the Chechen Republic Nokhchi-cho. Thus, the country has developed a dual power.

During the "August Putsch" in Moscow, the leadership of the Chechen Republic supported the Emergency Committee. In response to the events from September 6, 1991 Dudayev declared the dissolution of the national government agencies, accusing Russia of "colonial" policy. On the same day Dudaev Guardsmen storm seized the building of the Supreme Council, the television station and Radio House. More than 40 deputies were beaten, and the chairman of the Grozny city council Vitali Kutsenko thrown out the window, as a result he died.

The Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov, then sent them a telegram: "I am pleased to have learned of the resignation of the Armed Forces of the Republic." After the collapse of the Soviet state, Dzhokhar Dudayev declared the final outlet of Chechnya from the Russian Federation.

On October 27, 1991 in the country under the control of separatists held presidential and parliamentary elections. President of the Republic became Dzhokhar Dudayev. These elections have been declared illegal by the Russian Federation's officials.

On November 7, 1991, Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree "On the state of emergency in the Chechen-Ingush Republic (1991)". The situation in the country has deteriorated – the supporters of separatists surrounded the building of the Interior Ministry and the KGB, military camps, blocked rail and air hub. In the end, the introduction of state of emergency was thwarted, the decree "On state of emergency in the Chechen-Ingush Republic (1991)" was canceled on November 11, three days after its signing, after a heated discussion at the session of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and Republic began the withdrawal of Russian military forces and units of the Interior Ministry finalized by the summer of 1992. Separatists start capturing and looting of military depots.

Dudayev's forces got a lot of weapons. In June 1992, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev ordered to transfer half of Dudayev in existence in the country of weapons and ammunition. According to him, it was a necessary step, since a significant part of the "transmission" of weapons have been seized, and take the rest there was no way due to the lack of soldiers and trains. Even then, when Dudayev stopped paying taxes to the Russian budget and prohibited employees from entering the Russian special services in the republic, the federal government is officially continued to transfer money to Dudayev. In 1993, the Kaliningrad region has been allocated 140 million rubles to 10.5 billion rubles to Chechnya.

Russian oil until 1994 continued to arrive in Chechnya. Dudayev did not pay for it, and resold abroad. Dudayev also got a lot of weapons: 2 rocket launchers ground troops, 42 tanks, 34 infantry fighting vehicles, 14 armored personnel carriers, 14 light armored tractor, 260 aircraft, 57 of thousands of small appliances and many other weapons.

On November 30, 1994 Boris Yeltsin decided to send troops to Chechnya and signed a secret decree № 2137 "On measures to restore constitutional law and order in the Chechen Republic," and the Chechen conflict began.

On December 11, 1994 on the basis of Yeltsin's decree "On measures to curb the activities of illegal armed groups on the territory of the Chechen Republic and in the zone of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict" began sending troops to Chechnya. Many ill-considered actions have led to heavy casualties among both military and civilian populations: tens of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were injured. It often happens that during a military operation, or shortly before it came from Moscow ordered the rebound. This allowed the Chechen rebels to regroup. The first storm of Grozny was ill-conceived and led to heavy casualties: dead and missing over 1,500 people, 100 were captured Russian soldiers.

In June 1995, during the seizure of militias under the leadership of Shamil Basayev, hospitals and maternity hospital in Budennovsk, Yeltsin was in Canada, and decided not to stop the trip, providing an opportunity to Chernomyrdin to resolve the situation and negotiate with the militants, he returned only after all events, dismissed the heads of a number of law enforcement agencies and the Governor of the Stavropol Territory. In August 1996, Chechen rebels drove the Federal troops from Grozny. After that Yeltsin signed the Khasavyurt agreements, which many regarded as treacherous.

Russian presidential election, 1996 Edit

The Presidential elections were held in Russia on June 16, 1996, with a second round on July 3. The result was a victory for the incumbent President Boris Yeltsin, who ran as an independent candidate. Yeltsin defeated the Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov in the run-off, receiving 54.4% of the vote. His inauguration ceremony took place on August 9. There have been claims that the election was fraudulent, favoring Yeltsin.

After the elections, Yeltsin was not seen in public due to his ill health for some time and did not appear before the voters. He appeared in public only at the inauguration ceremony on August 9 that took place in a highly abbreviated procedure because of Yeltsin's poor state of health.

On November 5, 1996 Yeltsin underwent surgery coronary artery bypass surgery of the heart, during which Viktor Chernomyrdin has performed the duties of President. Boris Yeltsin did not return to work until the beginning of 1997.

In 1997, Boris Yeltsin signed a decree on the ruble denomination, held talks in Moscow with Aslan Maskhadov and signed an agreement on the basic principles of peace and the relationship with the Chechen Republic. In March 1998, the Government announced the resignation of Chernomyrdin, and on the third attempt, under threat of dissolution of the State Duma, held candidacy Sergei Kirienko. After the economic crisis of August 1998 when, two days after Yeltsin's emphatic statement on television that the devaluation of the ruble would not be devalued and the ruble was devalued by 4 times, he sacked Kiriyenko government and offered to return Chernomyrdin. August 21, 1998 at a meeting of the State Duma of the majority of MPs (248 out of 450) have called Yeltsin to resign voluntarily, in his support were only 32 deputies. In September 1998, with the consent of the State Duma Boris Yeltsin appointed Yevgeny Primakov to the post of prime minister.

In May 1999, the State Duma tried unsuccessfully to raise the issue of impeachment of Yeltsin from office (five charges formulated by the initiators of the impeachment, mainly related to Yeltsin's actions during the first term). Before the vote to impeach Yeltsin dismissed Primakov government, and then with the consent of the State Duma appointed Sergei Stepashin, Chairman of the Government, but in August dismissed and submitting for approval of the candidacy of Vladimir Putin, a little-known at the time, and declared him his successor. After the aggravation of the situation in Chechnya, the attack on Dagestan, apartment bombings in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk Boris Yeltsin at the suggestion of Vladimir Putin has decided to conduct a series of Chechen counter-terrorist operations. Putin's popularity has increased, and at the end of 1999, Yeltsin decided to resign, leaving Putin as acting president.

On December 31, 1999 at 12 am Moscow time (which was repeated on the main channels for a few minutes before midnight, before the televised New Year) Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation as President of the Russian Federation: "Dear friends! My dear! Today is the last time I address you with New Year's greetings. But that's not all. Today, the last time I address you as the President of Russia. I made the decision. Slowly and painfully pondered over it. Today, the last day of the outgoing century, I am resigning."

Yeltsin said that he was leaving not for health reasons, but on the totality of the problems, and apologized to the citizens of Russia.

Acting President was appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who immediately after the statement of Boris Yeltsin about his own resignation sent a New Year message to the citizens of Russia. Vladimir Putin on the same day signed a decree guaranteeing Yeltsin protection from prosecution, as well as significant financial benefits to him and his family.

Boris Yeltsin: Interesting Facts about the First Russian President

1. Born to a Peasant Family

Perhaps the most unpopular fact about Boris Yeltsin is that he was a member of a low-income family. His father, mother, and siblings lived in Butka village. Nikolai Yeltsin and Klavdiya Starygina (his parents) were married since 1928.

Nikolai had a habit of beating up both the wife and children. As such, Boris became closer to his mother than the father. The 1932-33 famine made his life even worse as he had to survive with little to no food throughout his childhood.

2. Studied Civil Engineering

In 1949, Boris Yeltsin joined Ural Polytechnic Institute. He went on to train as an industrial and civil engineer, a career path that required intense knowledge on mathematics, soil science, materials, and physics, an interesting fact about Boris Yeltsin. Along with this course, he also had to study one foreign language for which he chose German.

Life was tough at the time, but fortunately, tuition was free. He was also provided financial support to accommodate him throughout this period. After classes, he worked casual jobs like unloading railway trucks to supplement his financial status.

3. Construction Career

Immediately after completing his studies in 1955, Boris joined the Lower Iset Construction Directorate as a trainee. A few months later, he had already built his reputation and was promoted through the ranks. By 1957, Yeltsin was a superintendent, and three years later, he was the head engineer of one of the company’s sections.

Throughout his construction career, which lasted until 1985, Boris Yeltsin was a popular figure at the company. As such, he constantly rose through the ranks in 1975 he was the secretary of the committee that headed the region’s industrial development.

4. He was not initially a politician

Many a time when we read through the histories of most politicians, we find that their passion in the field began when they were young. However, Boris never showed such characteristics in school and even at his workplace. In fact, while at Ural Polytechnic Institute, he avoided any involvement with political movements that were quite rampant at the time, an interesting fact about Boris Yeltsin.

5. He was regarded as a rebel

He became the first person ever to resign from the committee of Gorbachev’s party. The main reason for his resignation was the belief that the party was too moderate in such reforms. As such, he was branded as a rebel and gained anti-establishment popularity. He was elected to chair the Russian Supreme Soviet in 1990 as he went on to build his political career.

6. The most remarkable comeback

After falling off with the then ruling party and its leaders, he seemed to be at the edge of his political career. However, he built his popularity by being the most renowned advocate for democracy in the country at the time. He used this to his advantage and attracted more Soviet voters to his side.

With the introduction of competitive elections, Boris Yeltsin ran for a seat in the new parliament. In March 1989, he won a position in the U.S.S.R Congress of People’s Deputies. This success was just the beginning of what was to come later in his political journey.

7. The First Popularly Elected Russian President

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation was formed and became a country in 1991. The Russian Federation was a democratic republic and was guided by its constitution that became more effective after 1993. Ever since, there have been four presidents, and the first of those was Boris Yeltsin, an important fact about Boris Yeltsin.

Boris took office on June 12 th , 1991, with a popularity vote of 57%. It was obvious that everyone had high expectations and believed that he would deliver. Unfortunately, things did not work out as expected, and his popularity was tarnished more on this later in the article.

8. Ambitious economic reforms

Whenever you mention the phrase “shock therapy,” the first name that comes into mind is Boris Yeltsin. The phrase usually refers to the sudden change of the country’s economic structures with the hope of improvements.

Boris Yeltsin ended price controls and privatized most companies that were initially owned by the state. As such, the resulting atmosphere was a market-oriented economy. However, the downside was the hyperinflation of prices and a wider gap between the rich and poor.

9. He was at the heart of the Chechnya deaths

Another significant part of Yeltsin’s era was the role he played in the invasion of Chechnya – former part of the Soviet Union. President Yeltsin feared that the secession of Chechnya would trigger a series of independence movements within the Russian Republic. He was also hoping to recover the valuable oil resources buried in the region.

As such, he ordered the Russian troops to invade the area, and it led to one of the biggest death tolls in the country. Thousands of Russian troops lost their lives due to the fierce resistance they faced in Grozny. The Chechen civilians also fell victims, with many of them dying throughout the two-year battle.

10. Resigned as president

Another quite unusual occurrence in Yeltsin’s political career was his resignation as Russia’s president, not a well-known fact about Boris Yeltsin. He came to this decision after facing enormous pressure from those around him. He had also become quite an unpopular figure with the civilians. Boris Yeltsin chose Vladimir Putin (who was a Prime Minister) as his successor.

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