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Sat Feb 26, 2022, 11:56 PM

Boris Yeltsin was by far the best leader that Russia has ever had

That might not be saying much, but can anyone argue that (without going back centuries)?

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Reply Boris Yeltsin was by far the best leader that Russia has ever had (Original post)
Polybius Feb 2022 OP
rso Feb 2022 #1
Igel Feb 2022 #17
cos dem Feb 2022 #2
regnaD kciN Feb 2022 #6
xmas74 Feb 2022 #9
CottonBear Feb 2022 #16
Igel Feb 2022 #18
Thomas Hurt Feb 2022 #3
haele Feb 2022 #4
Quixote1818 Feb 2022 #5
IngridsLittleAngel Feb 2022 #8
brush Feb 2022 #15
jmowreader Feb 2022 #19
JanMichael Feb 2022 #7
Carlitos Brigante Feb 2022 #10
DemocratSinceBirth Feb 2022 #11
Carlitos Brigante Feb 2022 #12
DemocratSinceBirth Feb 2022 #13
nilram Feb 2022 #14

Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sat Feb 26, 2022, 11:59 PM

1. Yeltsin

Very true. In spite of being an alcoholic and quite corrupt, he accepted the diminished role of a post Soviet Russia and was not hostile to the West.

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Response to rso (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:54 AM

17. Yeltsin presided over a period of unprecedented corruption and criminality.

However, by the end of his term both had subsided and the economy was improving.

Recession was ending, growth was improving, all leading indicators were good, and present indicators were good.

Putin won next election.

The economy *continued* on its course (with Putin taking credit, since most of the time as you come out of recession it takes a while or lagging indicators like employment to catch up--that's why they're called "lagging".

However, corruption indices took an immediate about face. Criminality did not (that is, things like murders, kidnappings, etc.)

Had problems with Eltsyn.

Disliked Putin pre-election.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:02 AM

2. IDK, I aways thought highly of Gorbachev.

He seemed to be able to see where the future was headed, and was willing to embrace change.

Pootie-boy isn't fit to lick the soles of either of these guys, though.

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Response to cos dem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:36 AM

6. Gorbachev was the best for me...

…unfortunately, “doing the right thing” for him meant eventually ceding power, which is unlikely to be impressive to those who believe in “great man” history.

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Response to cos dem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:49 AM

9. I heard Gorbachev speak at Westminster

In Fulton,MO. It was definitely an experience.

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Response to xmas74 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:53 AM

16. I heard Gorbachev speak at UGA in Athens, GA. nt

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Response to cos dem (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 02:01 AM

18. Gorbachev wanted to preserve the USSR.

Wanted to curb corruption and such, but liked the idea of keeping the band together under one dictatorship. But a smiling, friendly, dictatorship.

Problem was given glasnost', the dictatorship's non-smiley nature was visible.

And given khozraschet, the dictatorship's inability to balance the books was an issue.

Visited the USSR under Gorbie. The food stores I visited had a nice selection of a single brand of lard and something in cans. (What? Dunno. No labels.) By the time I visited the stores it was late morning, and who expects more than lard in a grocery store after 11 am?

Oh. Wait. Every American. And Czech in 1993, for that matter.

My mother and I argued for years about the USSR and socialism. After the trip to the USSR, she was quiet. The SWP newpaper stopped arriving. Never again did she say how much better the socialist republic was. In fact, the only thing she said was that women had it so much worse there, in practice ... whatever the PR may be.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:06 AM

3. The Russians love to be governed by Monarchs and dictators, it is true.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:30 AM

4. Gorbachev. He wanted to bring Russia into a Nordic style capitalist country.

He was also trying to get rid of the corruption and Mafia that Andropov allowed to flourish to pay for their Afghan war.
But, there was a concerted push to Westernize quickly without phasing out the Stasi, party members, and KGB - and getting rid of the Mobs first, so Yeltsin was stuck with Stasi advising him politically and the Mobsters splitting up Russian assets and resources behind his back.
That's how Putin rose to power.
Gorbachev became hated by the old Soviet party, they thought he was going to be another Andropov, a neutral figurehead leader. Instead, he was more of a Trotskyist who saw the failures of the Party as it was and wanted to have a social democracy that would be closer to the original communist ideals but also be successful in the real world.
Instead, once the Soviet union broke up, no one was willing to take the time to ease the country from paranoid isolationism into a stable modern democracy. They wanted to be Western Capitalist county immediately without deconstructing the old Soviet culture.

Yeltsin did his best, but he didn't know the shear volume of the various cliques and Party apparatus actually under the bureaucracy and state he had been fighting against. Nor did the average Russian. That's always been the problem with populist leadership, good or bad.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:32 AM

5. He sounds like the Bernie Sanders of Russia. LOL That would have been awesome

if his version had won out.

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Response to haele (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:49 AM

8. I'll second that.. Gorbachev...

Though, we could've done worse than Yeltsin - like, say, Putin. But I think if Gorbachev had had the chance to make his vision a reality, we would be viewing Russia as friends, and, Putin never happens - forget the carnage of the last few days.

Meanwhile, we're watching Putin trying to beat Stalin for being the worst leader Russia/USSR has ever seen.

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Response to haele (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:49 AM

15. Weren't the Stasi in East Germany, not USSR/Russia?

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Response to haele (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 03:15 AM

19. Umm...

The Stasi was the East German secret police. The Soviets were scared shitless of the Stasi - Markus Wolf was a completely ruthless, amoral bastard and he expected nothing less from his people.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:38 AM

7. Basically an alcoholic thug that ended up in a leadership position

So maybe I doubt it though

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 12:55 AM

10. The guy who presided over the looting of his own country and brought in

a young former KGB agent? Who he then helped climb the political ladder all the way to the presidency? That guy? I'll stick with Gorbachev.

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Response to Carlitos Brigante (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:00 AM

11. Yeltsin was streaming too about the disollution of the Russian empire.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:27 AM

12. But my guy could party! I'll give him that.... No but seriously. To me,

personally he seemed like a sad figure. I was barely out of my teens when I became aware of him. Seeing him sloshed like that in public just had this, not to repeat myself but I'll repeat myself, sad. And to be fair, he was tasked to manage a cluster fuck of epic proportions, left behind by the Soviet mess.

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Response to Carlitos Brigante (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:37 AM

13. He lost some digits when a landmine exploded.

They said he was at his party and he used those digits in a dip.

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Response to Polybius (Original post)

Sun Feb 27, 2022, 01:43 AM

14. When he resigned, he appointed Putin, who was prime minister, as president.

Putin then ordered that some corruption investigations of Yeltsin be discontinued. Yeltsin got rid of a couple other prime ministers before he found Putin. So, yeah, my vote would go to Gorbachev.

Mentioned in this episode of This American Life, which has other interesting stories about Russian politicos and sources of information. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/763/the-other-mr-president



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