Boris Yeltsin was a head scratcher to me. I never really understood him. On one hand, he seemed to lead the democratic forces is Russia. On the other hand, he was responsible for the crackdown which crushed the coup attempt in 1991 (text changed thanks to more reading on my part).


From WaPo:

Boris Yeltsin was once asked to name his greatest goal as president. He answered that more than anything, he wanted tranquility for Russia.

Ultimately, it eluded him. But the burly Siberian who was Russia’s first freely elected leader did more than anyone to raze the rotting communist superstructure of the former Soviet Union and build from its ruins the framework of a newly democratic and capitalist country.

Yeltsin died Monday at 76, a Kremlin official announced. The Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified medical source as saying that he died of heart failure. (more…)