Boris Yeltsin, 1931-2007


Former Russian president Boris Yeltsin is dead.

Kremlin spokesman Alexander Smirnov confirmed Yeltsin's death, but gave no cause or further information. The Interfax news agency cited an unidentified medical source as saying he had died of heart failure. Although Yeltsin pushed Russia to embrace democracy and a market economy, many of its citizens will remember him mostly for presiding over the country's steep decline.

In 1993, Cathy Young filed a report for Reason on Yeltin's early, tumultuous days leading a post-Soviet Russia. Virginia Postrel toured the "Wild East of Russian capitalism" in 1996. More of Reason on Yeltsin is here.