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Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#32 - JRL 2007-96 - JRL Home
Subject: On Yeltsin
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007
From: "Andrei Liakhov" <andrei.liakhov@nortonrose.com>

I normally refrain from judging people. However, President Yeltsin was in many respects larger than life always seeking to adapt life to him, rather than adapting him to life.

Yes, it's unlikely that the majority of the Russian people will remember him with warmth and gratitude but it is also true that he never betrayed (despite October 1993) the idea of personal freedom, which Russian people more often than not did not know how to use. The turmoil of his Presidency is very much a testament to what Russian people were after the collapse of the USSR - confused, free, naïve, optimistic and determined to prosper. His tragedy was the tragedy of the Russian people unable to distinguish between a real freedom and anarchy.

Every nation deserves a ruler worthy of the nation. It is likely that Russians had to live through the 90s' anarchy after 70 years of Gulag to understand and appreciate what a true freedom is.