6 Main Russian Leaders Essay Research Paper

6 Main Russian Leaders Essay, Research Paper Vladimir Ilych Lenin Vladimir Ilych Lenin was born in 1870 and died in January 1924 at the age of 52. Lenin was in power from 1917 to 1924 to be proceeded by Josef Stalin.

6 Main Russian Leaders Essay, Research Paper

Vladimir Ilych Lenin


Vladimir Ilych Lenin was born in 1870 and died in January 1924 at the age of 52. Lenin

was in power from 1917 to 1924 to be proceeded by Josef Stalin.


Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks. Him and the Bolsheviks were opposed of W.W.I.

Lenin believed that it was a war of the rich. He believed that it would only cause

hardships for the peasants and workers. The Germans allowed Lenin and the Bolsheviks

to cross through German borders into Russia. Lenin’s partner was Leon Trotsky. Lenin

opposed the provisional government. Lenin and the Bolsheviks wanted to nationalize

banks, industry, land and wanted to hold free elections, he also guaranteed an end to the

war over the provisional government. Because of these promises the Bolsheviks and

Lenin gained strong support from soviets. In October, 1917, Lenin ordered the Bolsheviks

to take over the government. His attempt was successful, and on November 7th, 1917, the

Bolsheviks were now the government in Moscow. Lenin and the Bolsheviks had two

main goals:



In 1918, Lenin signed a peace treaty with Germany. Russia was forced to give up the

Baltic states (Finland, Poland, Ukraine), which became their own independent countries.

Lenin later nationalized all mines, factories and other businesses in Russia. Lenin

promised the peasants the right to own land, then Lenin decided to turn all land into state

property. This allowed poorer peasants to continue to farm the land they held. Lenin

needed the peasants support. ALL large farms and estates became state property. The

Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist party after the Civil War. The

Communists had little money, and peasants refused to give their crops to the government,

causing a severe food shortage. Lenin finally forced the peasants to hand over food, many

peasants hid their crops. There was a crop failure in 1921. In 1921, Lenin introduced the

New Economic Policy (NEP). This policy combined state ownership and control of free

enterprise. Lenin allowed farmers to own small tracts of land, and sell their crops to the

open market and to keep the profits. The government returned 3800 nationalized

companies to their former owners, this helped to allow the Soviet government to become

solidly established. Lenin Believed that the industrial process would surpass western

capitalist economies. He believed that the superiority of the communist system would be

proven if this happened. This only happened in certain areas. for example, iron ore, coal,

natural gas, crude oil, and the army were good, but when it came to consumer goods they

were listed as N/A as well as with standard of living.


Lenin was a communist and a revolutionary leader in Russian history. He was very

intelligent, this is proven by him making promises to people if he were to get into office.

Some of Lenin’s policies are still in place in Russia. Lenin believed in equality. Lenin was

after betterment of life and change.


If it weren’t for Lenin, Czars would still rule Russia. Peasants would be slaves, and the

rich would still be ruling over the slaves. Communism would not have been implemented

in Russian government if it weren’t for Lenin. Lenin started the ideas of nationalization.

Without Lenin Russia would not be as well off as it is now.

Joseph Stalin


Joseph Stalin was born in 1853, and in 1953, Stalin died after thirty-one years of power.

He assumed power over the Soviet Union in 1922 as Lenin’s successor till the day he died

in 1953.


Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili is Stalin’s real name. He was born in the Russian State

of Georgia. In 1899, just as Stalin was about to graduate from a Theological Seminary, he

dropped out and joined a movement that was opposed to the Russian monarchy. While

working as an accountant, Stalin spread Marxist propaganda. In 1902, Stalin was arrested

for organizing a large worker’s demonstration. A year later, he was sentenced to Siberia.

In 1904, he was back in Georgia. Stalin was drawn to the Bolsheviks, lead by Lenin,

instead of the Mensheviks. In 1908, Stalin was arrested again, for his illegal underground

activities. He escaped, and was recaptured many times between 1908 and 1917 (1917 was

the begining of the Russian Revolution). Around 1912, Stalin took on the name of Joseph

Stalin, meaning man of steel. Lenin added him to the Bolshevik Party body in 1912.

Stalin was again arrested and sent to Siberia in 1913. He was released after the overthrow

of the Russian monarchy. After the Russian Civil War, Stalin was appointed a member of

the Communist Party’s highest decision making board. Stalin supervised the military

attacks on the counterrevolutionists during the Civil War. When Russia went to war

against Poland, Stalin’s decisions ended in disaster, and led to a long conflict with Leon

Trotsky, the Commissar of War. In 1918, Stalin moved to Moscow, as well as the

government. In 1923, he was elected the title of general secretary for the Communist

Party. Stalin’s rude behavior created a conflict with the sick Lenin. Stalin joined up with

Nikolay Bukhrain and Aleksey Rykov, in a new uprise against Stalin’s former partners.

Trotsky joined them in 1926. In 1928, after Stalin had defeated his former partners, he

turned against his new partners. In 1930, Stalin had established himself as the leader of

the USSR. Stalin eliminated the New Economic Policy (NEP), that was set up by Lenin

as he believed that it would no longer work. Economic gorwth declined, and the peasants

did not produce enough food. Instead of adding incentives to the peasants, Stalin decided

to turn the farms into state-owned collective farms. In 1928, Stalin set forward a five year

plan of industrialization. Stalin believed that the USSR has to industrialize fast in order to

defend itself from foreign enigmas. Industrialization was achieved, but millions of

peasants died, and Soviet agriculture came very close to collapsing. Stalin worried about

conspiracies about him, especially after the “suicide” of his second wife in 1932. In

August of 1939 Stalin decided upon an alliance with Nazi Germany, the “Secret

Protocols” of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact


In achieving his goals, Stalin had no concern for human life if it stood in the way of

progress. Adolf Hitler was his only rival when it came to mass murder. Historians believe

that as many as twelve million people died from standing in the war of Stalin’s ambitions.

Millions died from starvation and overworking even though they had no political beliefs



Stalin had brought the government of Lenin and his revolutionary Bolsheviks back to the

dictatorship. After his death, reformers led by Nikita Khrushchev argued for major

innovations. This started the “de-Stalinization” period of Soviet history.

Nikita Khruschev


Nikita Khrushchev was Born in Kalinovka, A Kursk Province on April 17th 1894. In

September 1953 he replaced Malenkov as the leader of the USSR. His power streak

ended on the day he died, September 11, 1971.


Unlike Lenin and most of the other Soviet leaders Khrushchev was the son of a miner and

his grandfather was a serf. After a receiving an education in his small village, he began

work as a pipe fitter at the age of fifteen in place called Donetsk. Because he worked in a

factory,, he was not drafted into the Czarist army during World War I. In 1918 he became

a member of the Bolshevik party and served in the Red Army during the Civil War. In the

1920s he began a rapid rise in the party ranks as a full time party worker, and by 1933 he

had become the second secretary of the Moscow Regional Committee. During the early

1930s Khrushchev kept his position with the Moscow party and began to be recognized

on the national scene. In 1934, at the Seventeenth Party Congress, he became a full

member of the Central Committee of the Party. He was a firm supporter of Stalin, and

participated in decisions. By 1939, he had become a full member of the Politburo.

During the war, Khrushchev was a lieutenant general. He was the political adviser to

Marshal Andrei Yeromenko during the defense of Stalingrad (Volgograd). In 1949 Stalin

called him back to Moscow, where he took back his old job as head of the Moscow city

party and was appointed secretary of the Central Committee. Khrushchev became

involved in agricultural decisions and proposed a new scheme for the creation of

agrogorods (in English,”farming towns”). Within six months of Stalin’s death in 1953

and with the execution of the deputy Prime Minister and KGB chief, Lavrentii Beriia,

Khrushchev was in a power struggle with Georgii Malenkov, Stalin’s heir. Khrushchev

gained the advantage due to his control of the party machinery. Then in September 1953

he became first secretary replacing Malenkov. On the night of February 24th, 1956,

during the 20th Party Congress in Moscow, Khrushchev delivered his historic, “Secret

Speech” about the excesses of Stalin’s one-man rule, attacking the late Soviet ruler’s

“intolerance, his brutality, aswell as his abuse of power” and blaming it on his personality,

that Stalin had forged. The result of Khrushev’s speech, led to the release of thousands of

political prisoners and the “rehabilitation” of many thousands more who had vanished

without a trace. The de- Stalinization movement also had uprisings in the communist

countries of Eastern Europe. Poland revolted against its government in October 1956, and

Hungary followed shortly afterward. Faced with revolution, Khrushchev flew to Warsaw

on October 19th, 1956 and came up with a compromise with the Polish leader Wladyslaw

Gomulka’s, which allowed the Polish people a great deal of freedom. But Khrushchev’s

decided to crush the Hungarian Revolution by force, largely because of the Hungarian

Premier Imre Nagy’s decision to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. In June of 1957

Khrushchev almost lost his position, and, although a vote with the politicians actually

went against him, he managed to reverse this by appealing to everyone who was a

member of the Central Committee. In retaliation, he secured the permanent disgrace of

Malenkov, Vyacheslav Molotov, and others, who were labeled members of the anti-

Khruschevs group. His attempt, in 1962, to place Soviet medium-range nuclear missiles

in Cuba, led to a tense confrontation in October of that year, yet he also helped to

negotiate the 1963, “Test Ban Treaty.”


Khrushchev was a great man who in a political crisis never even thought about using his

beliefs to help out with the problem. He climbed very far in his life because he had a

great mind and was very set in his ways. Khrushchev was very clever. If someone or

something got in his way, he would be sure to eliminate it. If something had to be done,

he would be sure to take care of it. No problem seemed to big for him to solve.

Khruschev was a revolutionary leader. Without him, the USSR and Brezhnev would not

have been the same.


Khrushchev was a great political leader who had learned his Marxism on the job, but he

never hesitated to adapt his beliefs to the political emergencies of the moment. His

experience on the international scene confirmed him as a man with a peaceful coexistence

with the non-Communist world. Whatever one says about his personal life, his bad

nature, his vulgarity and his policy shifts, he was a man of his people. His son Sergei

pronounced a short eulogy at his father’s funeral: “There were those who loved him, there

were those who hated him, but there were few who would pass him by without looking in

his direction.

Leonid Ilych Brezhnev


Leonid Ilych Brezhnev was born on December 19th 1906 in Kamenskoye (now it is called

Dneprodzerzhinsk) in the Ukraine. He was a statesman who seized the leadership of the

Soviet Communist Party from Nikita Khrushchev in 1964, and remained the USSR’s

leader until his death on Nov. 10, l982.


While Brezhnev was in office, the Soviet Union gave a large amount of military support

to the Northern part of Vietnam in the Vietnam War and to the Arab nations in the Arab-

Israeli problems. He sent the Soviet army to Czechoslovakia in 1968 to get rid of the

government led by Alexander Dubcek. Then he sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979 to

keep its pro-Soviet ideology government in power. Brezhnev was against, and acted

against religious and political opposition in the Soviet Union. Brezhnev and the Unites

States of America, reached many deals on reducing their nuclear weapon stocks. His

belief was that he should be able to intervene in the affairs of countries that agreed on the

Warsaw Pact. In these countries, there was a believed threat to the communist party as a

whole, which became known as, “Brezhnev doctrine”. In 1923 he joined a communist

group. His political career was officially launched when he joined the Communist party in

1931. He graduated from Dneprodzerzhinsk Metallurgical Institute in 1935. Then he

worked as an engineer and director of a technical school. He also held a bunch of small

political jobs. By 1939 he had earned himself the name of secretary of the regional party

committee of Dnepropetrovsk. As a political commissioner in the Soviet Army during

World War II, Brezhnev rose to the rank of major general. After the war, he became

known as the leader of the Central Committee of the Moldavian Communist party.

Brezhnev was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in 1950, and he became

a member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist party in 1952.

Under Nikita Khrushchev, whose assistant he became, Brezhnev took over the “virgin

lands” project to develop Kazakhstan into an agriculturally rich area. By 1960, as

chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, he became titular head of the Soviet

state. Shortly after being named Kruschev’s assistant, he joined the group that was

attempting to force Khrushchev out of the leadership powers of the USSR on Oct. 15,

1964. Then he succeeded Khrushchev as head of the communist party’s Central

Committee. After a period of joint leadership with Aleksei Kosygin and Nikolai

Podgorny, Brezhnev became the Soviet Union’s general secretary in 1966. In May 1976

Brezhnev became a marshal of the Soviet Union (other than Stalin, he was the only

Communist party chairman also to hold the highest Soviet military rank possible). A year

later he became chairman of the Supreme Soviet, the first leader to head both the

Presidium and the Communist party. In 1979 Brezhnev received the “Lenin prize” for

literature (he was later stripped of the honor). He died in Moscow and gave up his

leadership duties on Nov. 10, l982.


Brezhnev was a man that didn’t like to be knowledgeable in just one subject area. He was

an independent leader with all the skills that were needed to be a great leader. After

graduating, and working for a while, one of the most influential men in Soviet history

political career took off. As Brezhnev received more and more duties, he seemed to want

to take on even more tasks. Brezhnev ruled the USSR for a long time, an was replaced by

Mikhail Gorbachev, shortly after his death.


Brezhnev was a great leader of a bureaucracy which had grown tired of extremely tough

leaders. By the late ’60s and early ’70s the economic and political infrastructure and set up

of the Soviet Union’s government had become extremely complex. It was impossible to

rule the entire country on the decisions of one single ruler. As well, another problem that

was constantly occurring was the fact that the government had still not set up enough

government offices around the USSR to know if the decisions being made were the best

ones for the public. Brezhnev never wanted to become a dictator. He was a very wise

man. He transferred more power to the Party and the rest of the government instead of

carrying every decision on his shoulders. He allowed amounts of public input (to a certain

degree). Brezhnev banished most feelings of favoritism and extra power to the wealthiest.

He was a true leader for the people, and did leave out the best interests for the people in

his decisions.

Mikhail Gorbachev


In March of 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev was named to lead the USSR. On December 25 of

1991, Gorbachev 6 days before the break up of the USSR, Gorbachev retired.


Mikhail worked at his family’s collective farm from the age of 13 (1944)and in 1946 he

was promoted to assistant of a harvester operator in a tractor station. In 1950 Gorbachev

finished his schooling and then he entered law at Moscow’s Lomonosov State University.

As a, one of his friends was Zdenek Mlynarc, who much later became theleader of the

Czechlosovakia communist party in 1968. He joined the Junior Communist League and

joined the real Russian Communist party in 1952. In 1955 through 1956, he was deputy

chief of the propaganda and agitation division of the Stavropol committee. In 1956

through 1958 he was first secretary of the Stavropol and in 1958 he became second

secretary of the Stavropol. In 1960he became the first secretary of the Stavropol. In

November 1961 Gorbachev was a delegate of the CPSU congress, at which Nikita

Khrushchev disclosed to the public Stalin’s crimes. In March 1962 Gorbachev became

secretary of the Stavropol CPSU territorial committee in the state farms department. In

1970 Gorbachev was elected to the USSR Supreme Soviet. From 1979 to 1984

Gorbachev was on the Commission on legislative proposals of the Soviet Union. In 1984

he was the foreign affairs minister until 1985. In 1971 the CPSU elected Gorbachev a

member of the Central Committee. At a Central Committee meeting in October of 1978

Mikhail Gorbachev was elected into an agricultural job, and then Gorbachev moved to

Moscow. In 1980 Gorbachev became a full time member of the Communist party’s

Politburo. Gorbachev wanted power of the Communist Party after Brezhnev’s death in

1982. Soon, the Politburo there began to emerge as a group of politicians, who’s ideals

and decisions were much, much more reform based. Gorbachev had a reform based mind.

In December of 1984, at a meeting of the Central Committee members, Gorbachev

compiled a report on the “Living Creativity of the People,” in the report he discussed the

need to overcome to develop an economic self governed areas, the need to support

innovative initiatives.”This report, that was later published, became the principals of the

perestroika. After the death of Chernenko on March 11, 1985(Chernenko was the leader

after Brezhnev died for a few short years), Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of

the Communist Party. During the very first months that Gorbachev was in power, he

began a series of personnel changes of the Central Committee, sending politicians away

on a pension, mostly those who worked under Brezhnev. While speaking in Leningrad in

May of 1985, Gorbachev openly disclosed for the first time in history of the USSR, the

slowdown of economic growth, the lack of mechanical engineering, and the great need to

raise the living standards of the Soviet people. This speech that was delivered by

Gorbachev was published by newspapers around the world, yet it took four days to

release it on television due to the lack of modern technology. In June, Gorbachev

presented his slogan for the speeding up of scientific and technological progress. The

word “acceleration” in became the term to describe the changes that had began in the

economy and politics. In May of 1985, the Central Committee issued its decision, and the

government passed decisions that started the anti-alcohol campaign, which, among other

things, leading to a flourishing underground market/black market activity. In May of

1985, during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the victory over fascism,

Gorbachev, for the first time in nearly twenty years, mentioned Joseph Stalin in a positive

way, which caused an ovation from the crowd. Gorbachev delivered a report in which he

called for greater independence for enterprises, curtailments of the states restrictions, a

democratic change in society, and increasing the people’s political activity as well as

political power. From June 1986 the policy was named “Perestroika.” The looseness of

censorship in the media became known as “Glasnost.” This abolished state censorship. In

December 1986 Gorbachev ordered for a man named Andrei Sakharov to be released

from his political exile and allowed him to take part in international anti-war meetings in

Moscow. Sakharov was the creator the hydrogen bomb. In January of 1987, Gorbachev

pointed out the need for democracy In October of 1987 Gorbachev delivered a report in

which for the first time he openly spoke about the criminal disturbances and problems of

Stalinism. Boris Yeltsin, demanded a much more aggressive approach to perestroika.

Gorbachev passed a law condemning the publication as a “manifesto of anti-perestroikian

forces.” In June of 1988, members wished to speed up the process, and add more ideas to

Gorbachev’s political decision making. The result of this was the start of political reform

of the Soviet system, the resolution on Glasnost, which contributed to progress towards

freedom of speech which was not in progress until then. In October of 1988, Gorbachev

cut personnel in the party and restructured it. In 1985, Gorbachev carried out large, drastic

changes in the USSR’s foreign policy. Gorbachev unveiled his plan to have a world with

out nuclear weapons by the year 2000, while unveiling this policy. During his visit to

India, he signed the New Delhi Declaration as a first step to free the world of nuclear

weapons. Gorbachev had many meetings with US president Ronald Reagan, discussing

about ridding the world of some of its nuclear and weapons. In the year 1988, Gorbachev

published his book, “Perestroika and New Thinking for Our Country and the Whole

World.” In late 1989, during a meeting with the new US President George Bush,

Gorbachev said for the first time that the USSR was finally able to not have to regard the

USA as its military advisors and aid. Gorbachev decided against constructing a change in

the political map of Europe. The USSR’s first parliamentary elections with other

candidates in the running for the same position, took place in the spring of 1989. The

Communist Party ceased to be the only agent in Soviet politics, but it could still, sift away

many candidates to its disliking. Gorbachev was re-elected as the people’s leader of the

USSR. Gorbachev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Deputies

from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia worked together to stop the monopoly of the

Communist Party, and wished to get sovereignty, and their countries recognized.

Gorbachev recognized the need for people to need to vote in their leader. Some republics

later declared their independence. Gorbachev responded by passing documents describing

separatist decisions as illegal, which did not stop the process of separation. In October of

1990, Gorbachev implemented “Guidelines for Stabilizing the National Economy and

Transition to a Market Economy,” Gorbachev, was then warned of a possible upcoming

dictatorship. The attempt by Red Army troops to dispose of lawful authorities in

Lithuania “at the request” of a self-appointed Committee of National Salvation hurt

Gorbachev’s authority. Despite the demands from both sides, Gorbachev did not provide a

clear evaluation of those events. Gorbachev banned a manifestation by Yeltsin as well as

his supporters, at the request of his opponents “to help security,” introduced additional

army units into the city. In the spring of 1991, close to the time of the break up of the

USSR, Gorbachev had to negotiate with a miners movement, who demanded his

resignation and a change in the economic policy. In April of 1991, Gorbachev signed a

contract with Yeltsin and the leaders of nine other republics on joint approval of the

development a new Union Treaty. In June 1991, after much criticism, Gorbachev stated

he was submitting his resignation from the leadership of the USSR. The majority of

politicians voted to remove the resignation request from the agenda as posing a threat to

the party’s existence. On August 19, 1991, the closest associates of the USSR President

attempted an overthrow of Gorbachev. The day before they demanded that Gorbachev

impose a state of emergency on the country or turn power temporarily over to Vice

President Genially Yanayev. Refusing to step down, Gorbachev spent three days in

isolation, with no telephone or possibility to leave the compound. Gorbachev returned to

Moscow on August 21st. On August 22, Gorbachev resigned leader of the Communist

Party, the reason was he was receiving new information about the degree of involvement

by party bodies in the attempted overthrow.


In 1985, nobody had any understanding of Mikhail Gorbachev. He was not like any of his

predecessors— he wanted to change the system, rather than improve it. Gorbachev was

the single motivating force for reform in the Soviet Union. Notably, Gorbachev did not

resort to shows of military power to enforce the Warsaw Pact, or to preserve the Soviet

Union, unlike Stalin. Brutal suppression of Warsaw Pact countries and Soviet states by

Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev had generated extreme distrust and fear of the Soviet

leaders. This left some work for Gorbachev to improve relations.


Mikhail Gorbachev was very different from his Communist brethren. More than just

being younger and more energetic than his comrades, he thought differently than they did:

“he was a rare idealist in a sea of guardians,”RL. Gorbachev was the sole man who

contributed the most to the USSR, immediately before its breakup.

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin


Boris Yeltsin was elected right before the break up of the USSR, in 1991. Yeltsin, was

later re-elected into office in 1996. Yeltsin is still in power of Russia.


In 1930, Ignaty Yeltsin, Boris’ grandfather, a peasant who lived conformably in a Butka

village, in the Sverdlovsk region, was declared a kulak. His dwelling, his mill, and his

other valuable possessions, were confiscated. On February 1, 1931, Ignaty’s grandson,

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, was born in Butka. Soon afterwards, the Yeltsins moved to

the city of Kazan, where his father, Nikolai, worked at a construction site. On May 23,

1934, Nikolai Yeltsin was convicted of anti-Soviet crimes. He served 3 years in Stalin’s

GULAGS. When Boris was young, he blew off two of his fingers on his left hand while

“playing” with a live grenade! Yeltsin graduated from Pushkin High School. After

graduation, Boris went to the Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk. In 1955, he

graduated from Ural Polytechnic Institute, majoring in construction, like his grandfather.

In 1961, Yeltsin joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. March of 1989 became

the major stepping stone in Yeltsin’s career. Yeltsin came out ontop, in the first multi-

candidate election for a position. He therefore received a seat in the Supreme Soviet,

where he held the title of Chair of the Committee of Construction. Yeltsin became the co-

chair of a committee that delt with human rights. Yeltsin was elected speaker of the

Supreme Soviet in May of 1990. By then, Yeltsin was well-known as a harsh criticism of

Mikhail Gorbachev. In Yeltsin’s opinion, Gorbachev had to speed up the pace of reforms

in the USSR. In July of 1990, Yeltsin quit the Communist Party. In August, Yeltsin and

Gorbachev signed a document, according to which a new economic program had to be

created. The program became known as “500 days”. Gorbachev withdrew his support of

their program in Autumn, 1990, and it was never used. The breakdown of the 500 days

plan to a market economy went as follows; Days 1-100, major cuts for-KGB, foreign aid,

defense private farms allowed some state owned shops sold. Days 100-250, more price

controls ended. Days 250-400, all price controls ended ? of state factories owned

privately. Days 400-500, most state factories and farms privately owned all retail trade

private most planning ministries closed free movement of people can purchase foreign

currency Yeltsin called for resignation of Gorbachev in February of 1991. In the first

democratic presidential elections in Russia, in 1991, Yeltsin earned a surplus of 57% of

the vote to defeat Nikolai Ryzhkov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and three other candidates.

President of the USSR Gorbachev attended the inauguration ceremony and congratulated

the newly elected President Yeltsin. On December 1, 1991, the Ukraine held a

referendum, and its citizens voted for independence from the Soviet Union. A week later,

presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed a treaty on creation of the

Commonwealth of Independent States. Yeltsin was against Communists who lived

conformably, while the rest of the population was struggling to purchase basic goods.

Yeltsin closed many “special” food stores and hospitals for Communist Party members.


Yeltsins leadership style was not always the best. Yeltsin was a leader with the people in

mind. While he was president many bad things occurred. Economic reforms conducted by

the government of President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin had serious

negative consequences. Crime increased beyond all expectations, organized crime

became a serious obstacle on the way of economic recovery. The GDP fell rapidly,

unemployment had risen several times. The standard of living for most Russian citizens

plummeted, and one third of the population lived below the poverty line set at

approximately $60 per month. The education, health care, science, police and military

industry got hit the hardest by the bust in the Russian economy. Yeltsin criticized, and

was fully against people on the Communist Party who engaged in the stealing of state

property, black market activists, and those who accepted bribes, he fired many

communists like these. Yeltsin was not afraid to be a critic.


A great Russian politician, Yeltsin was an engineer and minor Communist Party, who

won the Russian presidency by popular vote in 1989. Eager to speed up reforms, he

opposed the policies of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, yet was instrumental in

shutting down a coup against Gorbachev in 1991. After the Soviet Union collapsed,

Yeltsin remained in power, and despite political setbacks and at least two heart attacks,

(no one knows for sure how many more heart attacks Yeltsin has suffered, as he has been

hospitalized many times, but no one the than advisors and family truly knows why),

Yeltsin was reelected to office in 1996.