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. Last Updated: 08/28/2014

Boris Yeltsin

Government

Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin (Борис Николаевич Ельцин) was born on Feb. 1, 1931, in the village of Butka, in the Sverdlovsk region. (Sverdlovsk reverted to its pre-revolutionary name Yekaterinburg in 1991.)

Education: Construction, Kirov Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk, 1955.

1955-1957: Foreman for the Uraltyazhtrubstroi building trust

1957-1963: Worked his way up from construction site superintendent to chief of the Construction Directorate of the Yuzhgorstroi Trust

1961: Joined the Communist Party. He remained a Party member until 1990.

1963-1965: Chief engineer, then head of the Sverdlovsk House Construction Combine

1968: Head of construction for the Sverdlovsk Regional Party Committee

1976-1985: First secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Party Committee. Sverdlovsk was an important industrial region.

1981: Elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party

1985-1987: Secretary for construction issues for the Central Committee. Politburo member. Moscow Party chief, a position that was roughly equivalent to "mayor." In 1987, Yeltsin publicly criticized the pace of perestroika reforms. He subsequently resigned from the Politburo and was demoted within the Moscow city administration.

March 1989: Elected to the Congress of People’s Deputies representing Moscow

March 1990: Elected to the People's Congress of the Soviet Union from Sverdlovsk as part of the Democratic Russia bloc. In May, he was elected chairman of the Supreme Soviet, a position he held until July 1991.

July 12, 1990: Left the Communist Party

June 12, 1991: Elected president of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic with 57.3 percent of the votes, defeating Mikhail Gorbachev's preferred candidate, Nikolai Ryzhkov. As president, Yeltsin pursued rapid privatization of the economy, a policy known as "shock therapy" that was strongly favored by his close adviser, Yegor Gaidar.

Aug. 19-21, 1991: Led a successful effort to repel the coup again Gorbachev by Communist Party hardliners

Nov. 6, 1991: Issued a decree banning the Communist Party throughout the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic

Dec. 8, 1991: Signed the Belavezha Accords with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and Belarussian leader Stanislav Shushkevich, officially dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the voluntary Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. On Dec. 24, the Russian Federation took the Soviet Union's seat in the United Nations. The next day, President Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

September 1993: Disbanded the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies, prompting a constitutional crisis that culminated in the dramatic seizure of the White House by troops loyal to Yeltsin

December 1993: Passed a new constitution that gave more power to the president

December 1994: Ordered an assault on Chechnya to restore Kremlin authority in the breakaway republic. The First Chechen War lasted until 1996.

1996: Re-elected president in a highly-contested vote, winning 35 percent of votes in the first round and 53 percent in the second round

1998: Economic crisis. Russia defaults on debts. Ruble collapses.

May 15, 1999: Survived one of several impeachment attempts by democratic and communist State Duma deputies. The charges against him included signing the Belavezha Accords and invading Chechnya.

Aug. 9, 1999: Appointed Vladimir Putin prime minister and announced his wish that Putin succeed him

Aug. 26, 1999: Sent federal troops back to Chechnya, initiating the Second Chechen War

Dec. 31, 1999: Resigned the presidency in a surprise, televised address to the nation. Vladimir Putin took over as acting president.

April 23, 2007: Died at the age of 76

Yeltsin was buried in the Novodevichye Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Naina Iosifovna Yeltsina, and their two daughters Yelena and Tatyana.
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