Boris Yeltsin 1931-2007


He was probably the foreign leader with the greatest impact on my childhood. I remember when the Soviet Union collapsed, and how things changed.

Most kids don’t hear stories of Solidarity as children (especially not as bedtime stories), but my brother and I were raised knowing that half of our heritage was being oppressed. So when the USSR ceased to exist, my family was ecstatic. Yeltsin may not have been everything everyone hoped he would be, but he was instrumental in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

And he had a Russian Orthodox state funeral. Peace be upon him.

“I ask to forgive me for not fulfilling the hopes of those people who believed that we would be able to jump from the gray, stagnating, totalitarian past into a bright, rich and civilized future in one go,” Yeltsin said.

“I myself believed this,” he continued.

“But it could not be done in one fell swoop…. In saying farewell, I wish to say to each of you the following: Be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness and peace.”  -Boris Yeltsin, 31 December 1999, on his resignation from the presidency.


One Response to “Boris Yeltsin 1931-2007”

  1. May Boris repose in peace.

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