Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Boris Yeltsin: The Imperfect Democrat

Russian democracy leader, Boris Yeltsin, will soon be laid to rest. On one hand he was a bold yet very imperfect politician. He brought democracy to his nation including freedom of speech and religion, and would stand up to major foes with great self confidence, yet seemed to be plagued with many weaknesses at the same time. The economy was a real disaster under Yeltsin where the conforts of the familiar Communist, although very spartan in available goods or luxury, was replaced with uncertainty and poverty for many Russians. The economy is certainly stronger under Putin now, but his commitment to democrastic ideals are far weaker than those of Yeltsin.

Yeltsin will be best remembered as a deeply flawed leader, a real mix of success and failures both. Yet both the Russian people and world community owe him a great deal of respect. He was really in way over head in difficulties and decision making, and his purported use of alcohol didn't help either, yet he gave his very best. And what he did was indeed remarkable. Perhaps not as trully great man. But a remarkable one.


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