Das Vidanya, Boris Yeltsin

Our comrades at Pravda give us this chronology of the career of Boris Yeltsin, and the Grey Lady gives us this far longer narrative, in light of Yeltsin’s death, at 76.
Hard to sum up Mr. Yeltsin (other than to note an uncanny resemblance to pro wresting’s Bobby “the Brain” Heenan). Had Yeltsin and Gorbachev been different men, the transition from Soviet Union to successor states could have been far more chaotic and troubling than it was, particularly given all of those nuclear weapons.
Perhaps (like its last mayor believed to be the case with New York City), Russia is simply ungovernable except by autocratic means, which might help explain why Yeltsin, despite introducing reforms such as a constitutional democracy (pursuant to which he himself voluntarily gave up power), a relatively free press and a proto-open economy, was wildly unpopular, and even those things for which he was rightly vilified (such as the war he started in Iraq Chechnya) stuck more to him than to his far more popular successor Vladimir Putin.
I don’t know. Yeltsin gets that “mixed legacy” tag that at least one miserable failure will some day only dream of.
And there you have it. R.I.P., Mr. Yeltsin.