28 January, 2021

Travails Of The New Tsar

Neither President Yeltsin nor the Russian economy are in good health. Then, there's Chechnya.

Travails Of The New Tsar

BRILLIANT sun shone over Moscow on August 9. As the Spass-kaya (Saviour) Tower clock at the Kremlin chimed noon, Boris Yeltsin walked into the Congress Hall—packed with 3,000 dignitaries from Russia and ex-USSR republics—to be formally inaugurated as President for a second term. Outside, the city was relaxed, freshened up by paint and the absence of garbage dumps along highways, all removed to fit the festive atmosphere.

The event was historic for more than one reason. This was the first time Russia's top office was taken by a person elected by general suffrage. While Yeltsin had been already popularly elected as head of state in 1991, Russia at that time was not fully independent, but a republic within the USSR.

To mark the event, Inauguration Commission members had even searched the archives for details of traditional coronation rituals of Russian tsars which could have been useful. After the brief introductory word by Central Electoral Commission chief Nikolay Ryabov, a pale, frail-looking Yeltsin appeared on a stage...



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