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Boris Yeltsin

It was something of a shock to hear that Yeltsin died today. Josh Marshall said:

[I]t’s hard for me to see where he won’t be one of those figures whose positive moments, even if brief and episodic, were profound enough in their importance to outweigh the longer periods of lassitude, corruption and drift.

I think that sums it up pretty well. I have no way to judge his overall contribution, I don’t know whether he tried to set Russia on a good path, or whether he is the one responsible for putting the gasngsters and oligarchs on the path to power…but I can never forget the coup in 1991, I can never forget him standing up against the military. Whatever came after, my opinion of Yeltsin was formed on those actions, and whatever came after was always seen through the filter of that day.

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