Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin
Борис Николаевич Ельцин-1 (cropped).jpg
1st President of Russia
In office
1 July[a] 1991 – 31 December 1999
Prime MinisterIvan Silayev
Oleg Lobov (Acting)
Yegor Gaidar (Acting)
Viktor Chernomyrdin
Sergey Kiriyenko
Yevgeny Primakov
Sergei Stepashin
Vladimir Putin
Vice PresidentAlexander Rutskoy (1991–93)
Preceded byOffice established
(as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR)
Succeeded byVladimir Putin
Head of Government of Russia as President of the Russian Federation
In office
6 November 1991 – 15 May 1992
Preceded byOleg Lobov (Acting)
(Chairman of the Council of Ministers — Government of the Russian SFSR)
Succeeded byYegor Gaidar (Acting)
(Prime Minister of the Russian Federation)
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR
In office
29 May 1990 – 10 July 1991
Preceded byVitaly Vorotnikov
Succeeded byRuslan Khasbulatov
First Secretary of the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party
In office
23 December 1985 – 11 November 1987
LeaderMikhail Gorbachev
(Party General Secretary)
Preceded byViktor Grishin
Succeeded byLev Zaykov
Personal details
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin

(1931-02-01)1 February 1931
Butka, Ural Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died23 April 2007(2007-04-23) (aged 76)
Moscow, Russia
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery
Political partyIndependent (after 1990)
Other political
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1961–1990)
Naina Yeltsina (m. 1956)
Children2, including Tatyana Yumasheva
ResidenceMoscow Kremlin
Alma materUral State Technical University

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: Бори́с Никола́евич Е́льцин, IPA: [bɐˈrʲis nʲɪkɐˈlaɪvʲɪtɕ ˈjelʲtsɨn] (About this soundlisten); 1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007) was a Soviet and Russian politician and the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999. Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. During the late 1980s, Yeltsin had been a candidate member of the Politburo, and in late 1987 tendered a letter of resignation in protest. No one had resigned from the Politburo before. This act branded Yeltsin as a rebel and led to his rise in popularity as an anti-establishment figure.

On 29 May 1990, he was elected the chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet. On 12 June 1991 he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). Upon the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991, the RSFSR became the sovereign state of the Russian Federation, and Yeltsin remained in office as president. He was reelected in the 1996 election, in which critics widely claimed pervasive corruption; in the second round he defeated Gennady Zyuganov from the revived Communist Party by a margin of 13.7%. However, Yeltsin never recovered his early popularity after a series of economic and political crises in Russia in the 1990s.

Yeltsin transformed Russia's socialist economy into a capitalist market economy, implementing economic shock therapy, market exchange rate of the ruble, nationwide privatization and lifting of price controls. Yeltsin proposed a new Russian constitution which was popularly approved at the 1993 constitutional referendum. However, due to the sudden total economic shift, a majority of the national property and wealth fell into the hands of a small number of oligarchs.[1] Rather than creating new enterprises, Yeltsin's policies led to international monopolies hijacking the former Soviet markets, arbitraging the huge difference between old domestic prices for Russian commodities and the prices prevailing on the world market.[2] In the foreign policy Yeltsin offered cooperative and conciliatory relations, particularly with the Group of Seven, CIS and OSCE, as well as adherence to arms control agreements, such as START II.[3]

Much of the Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, and as a result of persistent low oil and commodity prices during the 1990s, Russia suffered inflation and economic collapse. Within a few years of his presidency, many of Yeltsin's initial supporters had started to criticize his leadership, and Vice President Alexander Rutskoy even denounced the reforms as "economic genocide".[4] Ongoing confrontations with the Supreme Soviet climaxed in the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis in which Yeltsin ordered the unconstitutional dissolution of the Supreme Soviet parliament, which as a result attempted to remove him from office. In October 1993, troops loyal to Yeltsin stopped an armed uprising outside of the parliament building, leading to a number of deaths.[5] On 31 December 1999, under enormous internal pressure, Yeltsin announced his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Yeltsin left office widely unpopular with the Russian population.[6]

Yeltsin kept a low profile after his resignation, though he did occasionally publicly criticise his successor. Yeltsin died of congestive heart failure on 23 April 2007.

Early life and education

Yeltsin (second from left) with childhood friends

Boris Yeltsin was born in the village of Butka, Talitsky District, Sverdlovsk, USSR, on 1 February 1931.[7] In 1932, after the state took away the entire harvest from the recently collectivised Butka peasants, the Yeltsin family moved as far away as they could, to Kazan, more than 1,100 kilometres from Butka, where Boris' father, Nikolai, found work on a building site. Growing up in rural Sverdlovsk, he studied at the Ural State Technical University (now Urals Polytechnic Institute), and began his career in the construction industry.[8] In 1934, Nikolai Yeltsin was convicted of anti-Soviet agitation and sentenced to hard labour in a gulag for three years.[9]

Following his release in 1936 after serving two years, Nikolai took his family to live in Berezniki in Perm Krai, where his brother Ivan, a blacksmith, had been exiled the previous year for failing to deliver his grain quota.[10] Nikolai remained unemployed for a period of time and then worked again in construction. His mother, Klavdiya Vasilyevna Yeltsina, worked as a seamstress. Boris studied at Pushkin High School in Berezniki. He was fond of sports (in particular skiing, gymnastics, volleyball, track & field, boxing and wrestling) despite losing the thumb and index finger of his left hand when he and some friends furtively entered a Red Army supply depot, stole several grenades, and tried to disassemble them.[11]

In 1949, he was admitted to the Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk, majoring in construction, and he graduated in 1955. The subject of his degree paper was "Construction of a Mine Shaft".[12] From 1955-57 he worked as a foreman with the building trust Uraltyazhtrubstroy. From 1957-63, he worked in Sverdlovsk, and was promoted from construction site superintendent to chief of the Construction Directorate with the Yuzhgorstroy Trust. In 1963, he became chief engineer, and in 1965, head of the Sverdlovsk House-Building Combine, responsible for sewerage and technical plumbing. He joined the ranks of the CPSU nomenklatura in 1968 when he was appointed head of construction with the Sverdlovsk Regional Party Committee. In 1975, he became secretary of the regional committee in charge of the region's industrial development. In 1976, the Politburo of the CPSU promoted him to the post of the First Secretary of the CPSU Committee of Sverdlovsk Oblast (effectively he became the head of one of the most important industrial regions in the USSR); he remained in this position until 1985.[citation needed]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Boris Jeltsin
العربية: بوريس يلتسن
aragonés: Boris Yeltsin
asturianu: Borís Yeltsin
Aymar aru: Boris Yeltsin
azərbaycanca: Boris Yeltsin
Bân-lâm-gú: Boris Yeltsin
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Барыс Ельцын
Bikol Central: Boris Yeltsin
български: Борис Елцин
bosanski: Boris Jeljcin
brezhoneg: Boris Yeltsin
čeština: Boris Jelcin
Cymraeg: Boris Yeltsin
davvisámegiella: Boris Jeltsin
español: Borís Yeltsin
Esperanto: Boris Jelcin
euskara: Boris Jeltsin
français: Boris Eltsine
Gaeilge: Boris Yeltsin
galego: Boris Eltsin
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Boris Yeltsin
한국어: 보리스 옐친
հայերեն: Բորիս Ելցին
hrvatski: Boris Jeljcin
Bahasa Indonesia: Boris Yeltsin
íslenska: Boris Jeltsín
Basa Jawa: Boris Yeltsin
ქართული: ბორის ელცინი
Kiswahili: Boris Yeltsin
Кыргызча: Борис Ельцин
latviešu: Boriss Jeļcins
lietuvių: Borisas Jelcinas
македонски: Борис Елцин
Malagasy: Boris Yeltsin
მარგალური: ბორის ელცინი
مازِرونی: بوریس یلتسین
Bahasa Melayu: Boris Yeltsin
Baso Minangkabau: Boris Yeltsin
Nederlands: Boris Jeltsin
नेपाल भाषा: बोरिस येल्सिन
norsk nynorsk: Boris Jeltsin
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Boris Yeltsin
پنجابی: بورس یلسن
polski: Borys Jelcyn
português: Boris Iéltsin
română: Boris Elțîn
Runa Simi: Boris Yeltsin
sicilianu: Boris Eltsin
Simple English: Boris Yeltsin
slovenščina: Boris Jelcin
ślůnski: Boris Jelcyn
српски / srpski: Борис Јељцин
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Boris Jeljcin
svenska: Boris Jeltsin
татарча/tatarça: Борис Ельцин
Türkçe: Boris Yeltsin
vepsän kel’: Jel'cin Boris
Winaray: Boris Yeltsin
Yorùbá: Boris Yeltsin
粵語: 葉利欽
žemaitėška: Borisos Jelcins