29 May-Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation serving from 1991 to 1999. During his first term as President he made a stopover at Shannon Airport on September 30th 1994. At the time he was returning to Moscow following a visit to the US. He was due to hold talks with An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. However the meeting had to be cancelled because the Russian President failed to emerge from his jet. It was reported that he was sleeping and was not wakened on medical advice.

Boris Yeltsin was born in Sverdlovsk [now Yekaterinburg], Russia on the border between Europe and Asia on February 1st 1931. Having studied at the Ural Polytechnic Institute he majored in construction and worked in the building industry. He became active in politics, eventually being appointed mayor of Moscow by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. However he was critical of Gorbachev and the slow pace of reform and was forced to resign in 1987. He continued to campaign for reform and was elected President of the Russian Federation in June 1991.

In power Yeltsin rapidly introduced the reforms which Gorbachev had initiated. In the event, during the change from communism to capitalism, some people became very wealthy but many Russians experienced poverty. The fall in the standard of living led to a fall in popularity for Yeltsin but he was re-elected as President in July 1996. He served until December 31st 1999 when he resigned and named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president.

Boris Yeltsin was elected the chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet in the year 1990 On This Day.

Boris Yeltsin

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