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BORIS YELTSIN

Boris Yeltsin (1931-) became disillusioned in the late 1980s by the slowness of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms. He campaigned for the USSR's speedy transformation into a more liberal country with a capitalist-style economy. He was elected to the newly created national legislature in 1989, and to the Russian parliament in 1990. He succeeded Mikhail Gorbachev as leader of the USSR in 1991. Earlier that year he had resisted a coup by hardline Communists. A few days later he and Gorbachev banned the Communist party, bringing an end to Communist rule in the Soviet Union. Yeltsin became first elected president of the Russian Federation. He suppressed another rebellion in 1993, after violent clashes. In December 1993 a referendum on the constitution strengthened Yeltsin's powers.



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