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A comparison between the presidencies of boris yeltsin and vladimir putin in post soviet russia

And yet, on the surface, the two men could not be more different. Just over six months later, Putin became Russia's second postcommunist president following Yeltsin's surprise retirement.

Kingmakers At the time, the former KGB colonel turned president was widely expected to dutifully carry out the policies crafted by Yeltsin's close circle of Kremlin kingmakers. But seven years into his presidency, it is clear that Putin has proved them wrong.

A comparison between the presidencies of boris yeltsin and vladimir putin in post soviet russia

Yevgeny Volk, who heads the Moscow office of the Heritage Foundation think tank, says Putin has rolled back many of the democratic reforms introduced by his patron. Of course, he remained to a large extent a man of his era, with many contradictions," Volk says. Putin, considering his former activities, his background, could not have appreciated Yeltsin's rule, with its rights for mass media, for oligarchs, for civil organizations.

Presidency of Boris Yeltsin

In contrast to Yeltsin's boisterous, sometimes vodka-induced appearances, Putin appears sober, athletic, and self-controlled. Where Yeltsin could be spontaneous, even impulsive, Putin seems calculating. Read Yeltsin's obituary While Yeltsin reduced the army and ensured independence for former Soviet states, Putin has boosted military spending and has sought to extend Moscow's control in the post-Soviet space.

At home, Putin has dismantled the federalism championed by his predecessor by bolstering central control.

List of Presidents of Russia

The two leaders, however, share similarities, including a readiness to use force. Yeltsin crushed opposition to his reforms in 1993 by sending in tanks to attack the parliament, where his opponents were gathered.

Both leaders oversaw brutal military campaigns against separatists in Chechnya. Putin appears sober, athletic, and self-controlled.

Nonetheless, some policy watchers have said choosing Putin as his heir was Yeltsin's biggest mistake. Vladimir Lysenko, a deputy minister for national and regional policy under Yeltsin, shares this view. Boris Nikolayevich, of course, made a colossal mistake by bringing the current head of state to power," Lysenko says. Private Criticism Of Putin Yeltsin has only rarely openly criticized Putin -- in 2000, when Putin reinstated the old Soviet anthem, and in 2004, when Putin scrapped the popular election of regional governors.

Georgy Satarov, a senior Yeltsin aide between 1994 and 1996, says Yeltsin was much more critical in private. He understood all this and assessed it negatively," Satarov says.

Yeltsin vs. Putinism

Paying their last respects TASS "He was upset to an even greater extent by Beslan and the changes that started taking place after Beslan, such as Putin's abolition of the gubernatorial elections, etc. He understood all this and assessed it negatively, I can say this with certainty.

By the time the Kremlin announced his death on April 23, Yeltsin already seemed to belong to a past era. Yeltsin, who died from heart failure, is being mourned with less pomp than might be expected for post-Soviet Russia's first president.

Russia: Yeltsin & Putin -- A Portrait In Contrasts

President Vladimir Putin's statement came some four hours after the announcement of Yeltsin's death. Political analyst Volk says this is no accident. Currently his body is lying in state. A timeline of the multifaceted life of Russia's first president.