Boris Yeltsin

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Boris Yeltsin

"We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone.

Freedom is like that. It's like air.

When you have it you don't notice." Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich, president of Russia, elected shortly before the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. Yeltsin, who was elected to a second term 1996, is a central figure in the transition away from communism in the former USSR and has dominated Russian politics in the last decade.

Early Life

In 1930, Ignaty Yeltsin, a well-off peasant of Butka village was declared "kulak". His mill and other valuables were seized by the state. Rumors have it that Ignaty either fled the village, or was sent to internal northern exile. 1931, Ignaty's grandson, Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, was born in Butka. Soon afterwards Boris's family moved to the city of Kazan, where his father, Nikola, worked at a construction site of a machine-building factory. On May 23, 1934, Nikola Yeltsin was convicted of anti-socialist agitation. He served three years in Stalin' infamous labor camps of GULAG. After his release, Nikolai Yeltsin remained unemployed for awhile, then worked in construction, and Boris's mother Klavdiya Vasilyevna Yeltsina was a seamstress.

In his youth Boris blew off two fingers trying to disarm a hand grenade (he was most likely playing with it not disarming it). Boris graduated from Pushkin High School in Berezniki where his parents lived from the late 1930's to the early 1970's. After graduation, Boris went to Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk. While in college, Boris played pro volleyball for Sverdlovsk in the USSR first division. In 1955 he graduated with a major in construction. In 1955 he got his first job, he worked for Uraltiazhtrubstroy. Boris mastered twelve construction skills (stonemason, carpenter, etc.) and became foreman. In 1956 Boris married Naina Ioifovna Grina, a student he knew in college. They have two daughter, Yelena and Tatiana, Born in 1957 and 1959. Yeltsin's engineering career advanced rapidly, he held jobs as chief engineer. In 1961, Boris joined the Communist party, by 1963 he became chief of a housing construction integrated plant, where he had thousands of people under his command.

Yeltsin the Communist

Boris Yeltsin's career in the Communist party administrative part began in 1969, when he became Chief of t...

... middle of paper ... are the poverty and crime levels of Russia that have grown exponentially.

Boris Yeltsin did as much as any individual to bring about the demise of the USSR. The jury is still out on his contribution to the establishment of a post-Soviet order in Russia. Much will depend on whether his economic policies bear fruit and whether the political institutions he has shaped acquire solidity and more effective checks and balances then they presently contain.


1.Microsoft Encarta 1994, published by Microsoft Multimedia 1994

2.Websters concise encyclopedia, published by Softscore inc. 1996

3.Confesions on the Assigned topics, by Boris Yeltsin, originally published by Russian books inc. 1990, re-published by Barron's international 1993, translated by Thomas Jenkins

4.Notes of the President, by. Boris Yeltsin, published by Baron's international 1992

5.Boris Yeltsin, by Vladimir Solovyov & Yelena Klepikova, published by London books 1995

6.Boris Yeltsin, by David Sheldon, published by Arrow 1996

7. Time Magazine, on microfilm Los Angeles county public libraries 1991-1999

8. New York Times, on microfilm Los Angeles county public libraries 1991-1999
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