Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 23, 2007

Yeltsin Obit Non-Phrases

What the MSM obits on Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin will not say:

  • He illegally dissolved the country's legislature.
  • He called up tanks to shell the Russian White House, the elected Parliament, blasting out his opponents.
  • His economic shock therapy let the Russian GDP fall by 50%.
  • He ordered the military invasion of Chechnya.
  • His privatization scheme defrauded the people and made some of his friends billionaires.
  • He appointed his relatives to key government positions.
  • He was a chronic drunk.
  • He left the job with a 2% approval rating.

Please add in the comments ...

Posted by b on April 23, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

Comments

He and the presidents of Belarus and Ukraine hatched the plot to break up the Soviet Union while they were on a three day drinking binge.

Russia really needs to deal with its alcahol and corruption problems.

Posted by: Gradient | Apr 23, 2007 12:16:51 PM | 1

a) dumb as a duck
b) thick as two bricks
c) couldn' tell history from a hole in the ground
d) created almost out of nothing - one of the strongest mafias in europe
e)running blackops operation in the tradition of the u s (bombing of moscow apartments
f)drunker than a judge in alabama
g)corrupter than capone in sausillito
h)opened up aspects of the russian soul that are better left covered

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 23, 2007 12:39:52 PM | 2

Privatization of state property in 1993 was a very significant event. Officially, privatization was announced as fair distribution of state property among the citizens. In actuality, ordinary citizens obtained nearly worthless vouchers (one voucher was worth one bottle of vodka), whereas the people at the key positions in the governing structures gained enormous amounts of wealth. In many cases these were former communists who were in the best position because of their connections to the government. Privatization was advertised as part of the struggle against the forces that wanted to restore communism in the country.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Apr 23, 2007 12:42:54 PM | 3

In July 1996, Yeltsin was re-elected as president with financial support from influential business oligarchs who owed their wealth to their connections with Yeltsin's administration. According to General Korzhakov and others, Roman Abramovich was the major finance manager of Yeltsin's family. It is also alleged[citation needed] that Yeltsin provided Abramovich with protection from prosecution for various criminal activities ranging from stealing diesel fuel to illegally acquiring Sibneft at a staged contest. Despite only gaining 35% of the first round vote in the 1996 elections, Yeltsin successfully defeated his communist rival Gennady Zyuganov in the runoff election. Later that year, Yeltsin underwent heart bypass surgery and remained in the hospital for months.

During Yeltsin's presidency, he received US$ 40 billion in funds from the IMF and other international lending organizations which were supposed to support him politically and help Russia's economy. However, his opponents allege that most of these funds were stolen by people from Yeltsin's circle and placed in foreign banks.


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Apr 23, 2007 12:46:05 PM | 4

criminally though - he gave the possibility of thousands of journalists dumber than yeltsin - to speak loftily of the way this most (t)roubled & comprimised alcaholic - 'brought democracy'

tho he cannot be held responsible for the imbecility of journalism today - that reagan/thatcher/yeltsin/blair configuration created cretins so stupid it is impossible to read a word without either vomiting or laughing or both

sadly, yeltsin was never brendan behans 'laughing boy' - but a buffoonish baboon babbling words so weird- what the clowns might call cowboy capitalism

we will see the reaction of the russian people

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 23, 2007 1:09:37 PM | 5

Shame about the shelling, but collapsing totalitarian regimes are like that. Here we're going to need a Yeltsin and some tanks for him to stand on pretty soon.

Posted by: julius n' ethel | Apr 23, 2007 2:21:44 PM | 6

Shame about the shelling, but collapsing totalitarian regimes are like that. Here we're going to need a Yeltsin and some tanks for him to stand on pretty soon.

Posted by: julius n' ethel | Apr 23, 2007 2:22:55 PM | 7

They'll mourn him in Israel, London and Manhattan. Charlie Rose will broadcast a round table obit discussion, attended for sure by Tom Friedman, among others.

The Russians will barely notice, xcept the usual suspects.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Apr 23, 2007 3:41:49 PM | 8

j&e,

I agree. Whatever one can say about Boris, I cannot imagine anyone who could have done a much better or different job of presiding over the demise of the Russian economy: it was already reeling on the rails to hell, Yeltsin was just a hapless engineer who could at best blow the whistle and cause the train to lurch occasionally

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 23, 2007 3:47:01 PM | 9

And of course, the Wall Street Journal will write nostalgic editorials about the Yeltsin good old days, when Harvard and Wall Street "experts" rode shotgun, and when whole resource sectors could be had for kopecks on the dollar, if that, coupled with bitter words about that awful, undemocratic, Vladimir Putin, he of the cursed name, who put that nice Khodorovsky kid in the hoosegow, for what, mere billions, and chased Boris Berezovsky, that babe in arms, outta the country.

It is to weep.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Apr 23, 2007 4:04:15 PM | 10

chris al jazeera in all its delicacy says -"there were rumours of a problem with liquor"

that's like saying of dr mengele - that there were rumours of a problem with medecine

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 23, 2007 6:10:06 PM | 11

a meritless man who unfortunately wandered into the world arena from a novel by gogol - grinding down the people of russia further in the process

the russians must be singing that old blues refrain, "lord oh lord how long, how long"

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Apr 23, 2007 7:53:20 PM | 12

Quote:
a meritless man who unfortunately wandered into the world arena from a novel by gogol - grinding down the people of russia further in the process
---
Great said!

Where did Bush wondered into the world arena from?

Posted by: vbo | Apr 23, 2007 9:55:33 PM | 13

vbo,

the next generation of Russian politicians will be the likes of Bush and Al Gore - sons of the new aristocracy, the scions of politicians, plutocrats and millionaires. I cringe to think of what they are going to do with Russia.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 24, 2007 4:32:57 AM | 14

Ah, they don’t make ‘em like they used to...

A friend of mine was tasked with helping to coordinate a photo op when Boris Yeltsin visited Washington State in 1994. The plan was to have dinner with an average Washington family (it was important to his domestic media for some reason) and then pick an apple from a tree in the family's yard (which was very important to the WA Apple Commission for obvious reasons).

Yeltsin was drunk on his ass when he arrived for the media event. He scared the hell out of the family. He told crude jokes in front of the kids demanding that the translator translate everything. He also very aggressively hit on the wife.

Finally, they completed dinner and headed into the backyard to pick the apple. Since it was spring, my friend had to tie the apples to the tree. Between his drunkenness and the quality work my friend had done in attaching the apples, Yeltsin had a hard time picking one. After a couple of unsuccessful tugs, he fell to the ground and threw up. They had to carry him back to the limo.

http://tinyurl.com/vxsz

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Apr 24, 2007 12:51:21 PM | 15

If regret were gold, Russia would be the richest nation in the world.

Posted by: Loveandlight | Apr 24, 2007 12:52:28 PM | 16

Read this piece and try to not throw up ...
Foreign leaders look back at Yeltsin's legacy

Moscow, April 24 (RIA Novosti) World leaders have expressed their condolences over the death of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, calling him a courageous fighter for democracy who championed reforms in Russia and promoted rapprochement between East and West.

Yeltsin, 76, Russia's first ever democratically elected leader (1991-99), died Monday afternoon at a Moscow hospital as a result of heart failure.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Yeltsin 'will be remembered for the critical role he played in advancing political and economic reforms in Russia, as well as in fostering rapprochement between East and West'.

President George W. Bush said Yeltsin was a 'historic figure who served his country during a period of momentous change'.

'He played a key role as the Soviet Union dissolved, helped lay the foundations of freedom in Russia and became the first democratically elected leader in that country's history,' the US president said. 'We offer our sincerest condolences to the Yeltsin family and to the Russian people.'

British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed sadness at Yeltsin's death.

'He was a remarkable man who saw the need for democratic and economic reform and in defending it played a vital role at a crucial time in Russia's history,' Blair said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described Yeltsin as a 'courageous fighter for democracy'.

'Boris Yeltsin was a great personality in both Russian and international politics, a courageous fighter for democracy and freedom and a true friend of Germany,' Merkel said.

French President Jacques Chirac said Yeltsin was a personal friend who strived to develop relations between France and Russia 'in the spirit of dialogue and trust'.

'Yeltsin put all of his energy, all of his generosity, all his desire into the transformation of Russia in order to construct a modern, democratic state and re-establish human rights and freedom and rebuild the economy,' Chirac wrote in a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The European Union and the NATO alliance praised Yeltsin as a leader who helped breach the Cold War divide by opening up Russia to the rest of Europe.


Posted by: b | Apr 24, 2007 3:17:19 PM | 17

I thought r'giap's thoughts were a little harsh. Then I read Matt Taibbi's obit.

That was Boris Yeltsin's Russia. It was a place where pigs got fat and everyone else sucked eggs. Yeltsin wasn't a "reformer" any more than he was a human being. He was born in a Russia where the mean ones got the house with the mill and the wood floors and the losers worked themselves to death in pits and outhouses. He left behind exactly the same country.

Posted by: Rowan | Apr 25, 2007 1:04:41 PM | 18

Thanks Rowan - a great piece - recommended!

Posted by: b | Apr 25, 2007 1:45:09 PM | 19

somewhere was praising him as a "giant of history", very obviously with feet o' clay as Mr. Taibibi points out

Posted by: | Apr 25, 2007 3:28:58 PM | 20

me above

Posted by: jcairo | Apr 25, 2007 3:35:59 PM | 21

I'm struck by the mirror image of Taibibi's reflection on the Yeltsin regime on view now in the USA :


He read the writing on the wall and he threw his weight behind a "revolution" that turned out to be a brilliant ploy hatched by a canny group of generals and KGB types to privatize Soviet assets into the hands of the country's leaders, while simultaneously cutting the state free of its dreary obligations toward the rank-and-file Russian people.

Isn't that reflected in the Bush regime?

He read the writing on the wall and he threw his weight behind a "revolution" that turned out to be a brilliant ploy hatched by a canny group of Cons and Neocons to privatize Federal assets into their own hands and the hands of their cronies, while simultaneously cutting the state free of its dreary obligations toward the rank-and-file American people.

And the role of the msm vis a vis both regimes

What Americans missed during Yeltsin's presidency -- and they missed it because American reporters defiantly refused to report the truth of the matter -- was that under Boris Yeltsin the Russian state itself became little more than a cash factory for gangland interests. This was corruption on the larger scale, a corruption of the essence of the state, corruption at the core. Some of the schemes hatched by Yeltsin's government were so astonishing and audacious in scope that they almost defy description.

Doesn't that fit the present American regime to a tee?

What Americans missed during Bush's presidency -- and they missed it because American reporters defiantly refused to report the truth of the matter -- was that under George XLIII the American state itself became little more than a cash factory for gangland interests. This was corruption on the larger scale, a corruption of the essence of the state, corruption at the core. Some of the schemes hatched by Bush's government were so astonishing and audacious in scope that they almost defy description.

Greed. Simple, straightforward, old-fashioned, unbridled reigns supreme.

Accompanied by an utter ruthlessness, completely unconcerned by the havoc left in their wake at every turn of the screw.

Posted by: John Francis Lee | Apr 25, 2007 11:20:33 PM | 22

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