As the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed, a tiny minority took their chance and established a dictatorship of money and greed. Its first leader was Boris Yeltsin who proofed in 1993 that he was a true capitalist dictator. Yeltsin disbanded the Supreme Soviet and started a political crisis which ended with the storming of the parliamentary building by Russian forces, who were loyal to the president. With the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation dissolved, Boris Yeltsin created a presidential dictatorship that remains in power until this day!
Boris Yeltsin was a member of the CPSU since 1961. Like most communist party bureaucrats he only cared about his own interests. Yeltsin was a growing star in the party, joining the Stalinist elite of the USSR by 1968. Being part of the Stalinist elite gave him more benefits then ordinary workers and party members. He was allowed to shop in special stores with western products, he could own a luxurious car and live in a nice house. It was Boris Yeltsin who was ordered to destroy the Ipatiev House, the villa in which the Romanov’s were murdered. He also helped building a palace for the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union and made a name for himself inside the Stalinist bureaucracy!
For his loyalty and uncritical support of the party, he was awarded the Order of Lenin. By 1981 he became a member of the party’s Central Committee. Boris Yeltsin made his way from a simple party member around 1961, to a Central Committee member in 1981. His rise to power lasted 20 years. Now he was able to influence major decisions made in the Soviet-Union. When Michael Gorbachev was elected general secretary, he gave Boris Yeltsin a seat in the party’s Politburo. However he could not vote since he was only a none-voting member. Soon he became boss of the party in Moscow and a full supporter of Gorbachev’s reforms!
In Moscow he turned out to be populist and took the trolleybus instead of a limousine. This was welcomed by many who hated the wealthy party bureaucrats. As party leader in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin controlled the politics of the capital. Since true power laid with the communist party and not the soviets, Yeltsin was the political leader of Moscow. Unlike other CPSU leaders, Yeltsin’s populism was loved because he also attacked and fired corrupt party officials. After more then 70 years living under the nose of corrupt bureaucrats, many people in Moscow welcomed Boris Yeltsin’s harsh stand on corruption!
In 1987 he wanted to leave the politburo of the CPSU, because the reforms were too slow. Many party bureaucrats were in shock because no member had ever dared to leave the politburo. When the Central Committee came together, Boris Yeltsin attacked Micheal Gorbachev, which stunned many. Beside the fact that nobody had ever quit the Politburo, no one in the party had ever had the audacity to address a leader of the party in such a manner in front of the Central Committee since Leon Trotsky attacked Joseph Stalin in the 1920’s. Yeltsin stood alone as the supporters of Gorbachev attacked him. On 9 November, 1987, Yeltsin tried to kill himself and was rushed to hospital bleeding from self inflicted cuts to his chest. Gorbachev ordered the injured Yeltsin from his hospital bed to the Moscow Central Committee, two days later where he was ritually denounced by the party faithful in what was reminiscent of a Stalinist show trial before he was fired from the post of First Secretary of the Moscow CPSU. Yeltsin said he would never forgive Gorbachev for this ‘immoral and inhuman’ treatment!
Boris Yeltsin returned to politics in 1989 as a member of the new Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union. He was elected with 92% from the Moscow population who were still in favour of him, because Yeltsin stood against corrupt CPSU officials. A year later he left the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union and became a member of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian SFSR. In July 1990, Boris Yeltsin left the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union after 29 years of membership. He no longer needed the CPSU as worldwide stalinism collapsed. Thanks to his popularity among the Moscow population, he was elected president of the RSFSR in June 1991!
In August 1991, the hard-liners of the CPSU tried a coup against Gorbachev. In Moscow, Boris Yeltsin rallied the people in defence of the Soviet president and soon the last Stalinist attempt to keep the CPSU in power collapsed. Now it was time for Boris Yeltsin to strike back at the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union. By presidential degree he banned the activities of the CPSU and ended the life of the mightiest communist party in the world. With the collapse of the USSR in December 1991, the new Russian Federation was created. Yeltsin took the old czarist flag as state flag, but kept the Soviet emblem of the RSFSR until a new emblem was created!
Millions of Russians were now suddenly living in new nations. In the former Baltic Soviet republics most Russians were hated and intimidated by the new nationalist governments. Also in Georgia, Russians were targeted by nationalists who after years of Russian domination were finally able to get ”revenge”. Boris Yeltsin also faced the rise of Islamic extremism as his capitalist revolution would bring 40% of all Russians into poverty. The man who was loved by millions in 1990, would soon destroy the lives of the same millions who loved him!
Just days after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin resolved to embark on a program of radical economic reform. Unlike Gorbachev’s reforms which sought to expand democracy in the Soviet system, the new regime embarked to completely dismantle the planned economy and fully restore capitalism, converting the world’s largest planned economy into a free-market one. During early discussions of this transition, Yeltsin’s advisers debated issues of speed and sequencing, with an apparent division between those favouring a rapid approach and those favouring a gradual or slower approach!
After the debates, the rapid approach was chosen. Boris Yeltsin took the Washington Consensus as his main ideological guidelines. This is also called ”Shock Therapy” refers to the sudden release of price and currency controls, withdrawal of state subsidies, and immediate trade liberalization within a country, usually also including large-scale privatization of previously public-owned assets. It all started in January 1992, when the government started with the capitalist counter-revolution. Russians were not able to deal with the demands of the new market dictatorship. Also the new capitalist economy destroyed the last social security systems left over from the Soviet-Union. Elderly people lost most of their pensions, leaving them with no money to pay for food, house renting and basic needs. Workers lost their jobs as many former state enterprises, could not survive under market demands!
The Russian Federation lost 50% of their gross domestic product by 1993 and poverty was rising very fast. But Boris Yeltsin did not cared, he was in a power struggle with the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation. The president and the parliament were fighting since 1991. Yeltsin wanted to reform the constitution and this was opposed by the elected representatives. After more conflicts the president left the parliament and the representatives choose to remove him from power. So Boris Yeltsin simply dissolved the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation. But according to the constitution he had no power to do something like that. The first constitution said that Russia was a parliamentary democracy and not a presidential state!
The Russian Constitutional Crisis began on 21 September 1993. Western nations and the Russian Army supported the president, while many Russians supported the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies. In the parliament the representatives locked themselves in and refused to come out. It was then that Boris Yeltsin showed his true colours and ordered the Russian Army to attack the parliament and shoot at all demonstrators in the capital. After two weeks the siege was over, the parliament of Russia was burning ending the short period of Russian bourgeois democracy. According to the president and the Russian Army 187 people died, but the supporters of the Supreme Soviet claimed the 2.000 people were killed!
Boris Yeltsin then banned newspapers and political movements that supported the former Supreme Soviet and Congress of People’s Deputies. In 1993 many Russians believed the lies of Boris Yeltsin, only a minority were supportive of the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies. But this changed after Boris Yeltsin left office in 1999. Today many Russians hate Boris Yeltsin for dissolving the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People’s Deputies. A new constitution was created by the president, which gave him the powers he needed to rule as dictator. It is this constitution that also allows Vladimir Putin to play czar of Russia!
On 30 November 1993, the Russian Federation presented its new coat of arms. The Soviet emblem ( which was in use since 1920 ) was replaced by the two-headed eagle and the mounted figure slaying the dragon. The emblem of the old Russian Empire was reintroduced by Yeltsin. With a new parliament and new symbols, the Russian Federation returned to the capitalist road it left in 1917. Boris Yeltsin’s popularity was close to zero by the year 1999. In a surprise move he left the office of president and made his prime minister leader of Russia. This prime minister was a former KGB officer called; Vladimir Putin. In his final speech Yeltsin said: “I want to beg forgiveness for your dreams that never came true. And also I would like to beg forgiveness not to have justified your hopes.” But by then most Russians grew to hate the man who brought poverty and capitalist barbarism to Russia!
Today the Russian Federation is a presidential dictatorship. Dictator Vladimir Putin is ruler for almost 14 years. Although he left the presidency between 2008 and 2012, he was always the true ruler of Russia. Putin knows how to manipulate the system and his supporters play on his charisma and Russian nationalism. But in reality most Russians suffer under the state-capitalist dictatorship that Yeltsin has created. The power of the state was restored by Putin after 1999, but not the social security of the former Soviet-Union, leaving many elderly in poor houses with a very low income. Racism and homophobia are also on the rise, as the Russian Orthodox Church is able to get feminists jailed for dancing in a church!
Boris Yeltsin lived for another 8 years before dying on 23 April 2007. He was the first democratically elected president of Russia. Loved by the people of Moscow, but in the end hated by most Russians. He was a capitalist leader, who brought poverty and capitalist exploitation.
Yeltsin wanted a democracy as long as it served him. Because when the representatives of Russia choose to oppose him, he ordered the army to shoot at the parliamentary building. With this act, Boris Yeltsin created the presidential dictatorship that we know is Russia today!