Posted by Peter Lawler
Yeltsin was a very flawed leader and, when it counted, a very heroic man.
I would suggest that as a man, not as a leader, he was flawed. As a leader he did the best what he could do with what he had and still remain within the new democratic principles he established and tried to uphold.
I have a very different understanding of Yeltsin now than I had 10 years ago. The chaos of the moment and the disorder of the radical change made many conservatives to see what he was doing destabilizing Russia and paving the way for the revival of the national-bolsheviks.. but that is because the West did not really help. In fact the IMF and other IOs actually hurt Yeltsin and when perhaps when the US and the EU should have done a Marshall Plan, that may have brought us much more good will now when we need it most when fighting our current wars.
I think historically in regard to Russia the policy of the 90s towards it, was very similar to the policies of the French towards Germany in the 20s. And we fear that now we are not echoing the same echo today.
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