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First President of Russia Boris Yeltsin died suddenly in Moscow yesterday
24.04.2007 01:08
First President of Russia Boris Yeltsin died suddenly in Moscow yesterday

Boris Yeltsin, the first president of Russian Federation, has died at the age of 76, reportedly of heart failure.
      Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, son of Siberian peasants, began his career building machines and ended up reshaping a nation. Yeltsin was not born to money or influence. He was born to hunger, on February 1, 1931, in the village of Butka, in Russia's Sverdlovsk Oblast.
      But Boris Yeltsin's ambition helped him survive that harsh decade as well as World War II. His charisma and working-class background won him a place at the Urals Polytechnic Institute's engineering faculty. After graduation, Yeltsin quickly rose from construction foreman at a local machine-building plant to chief engineer of the Yuzhgorstroi.
      Yeltsin left Russia with a very mixed legacy. The larger than life leader brought Russia independence. He offered bravery and presence of mind, inspiring the nation at defining moments. He unleashed economic reforms.
      But Yeltsin, like Gorbachev before him, succumbed with old age to the habits of a party apparatchik, insulating himself from the outside world with a coterie of advisers while his associates grabbed chunks of Russia for their own personal profit, leading the country to the edge of bankruptcy.
      On December 31, 1999, Yeltsin stunned the nation by announcing his immediate resignation during a televised New Year's address. The mantle of leadership was passed on to Yeltsin's hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin. Since that time Boris Yeltsin led the life of almost ordinary retired person.
      Source:Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036 via


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