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Book Review: “Midnight Diaries” by Boris Yeltsin

November 26th, 2000 | Posted in New York Times, Articles | No Comments
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Reviewied by Michael Specter

By the last days of the last millennium, there was very little left that Boris Yeltsin could do to astonish the people of Russia. He had embraced more than a half-dozen prime ministers and scores of senior aides during his decade of power — only to toss them one by one from the Kremlin bell tower. In 1991, when he stood on the top of a tank to stare down a coup, his impulsiveness was heroic. Two years later, when he shelled a mutinous parliament into submission, it still seemed understandable. Read more »

Comment: Yeltsin Strikes Again

August 23rd, 1999 | Posted in The New Yorker, Articles | No Comments
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There was a run of bad news out of Russia last week: cholera appeared in Siberia, and officials there could only close the borders and pray; energy workers in the far east, desperate for wages that nobody intends to pay them, have entered the second week of a hunger strike; a plague of locusts laid eggs over millions of acres of central Russia's finest farmlands; and, in an eerie echo of the country's most recent sustained catastrophe, a thousand of the most successful Islamic guerrillas in the world stormed across the Chechen border into Dagestan, declared a holy war, and are battling the Russian Army for control of the province. Read more »