Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Twenty Years Ago On New Years Eve Vladimir Putin Became Russia's Acting President

Marc Bennetts, Politico: Putin’s Russia, 20 years on

The president’s hold over the country has been absolute — and it’s not over.

MOSCOW — Boris Yeltsin had a reputation for the sensational and the unpredictable, from ordering tanks to shell a rebellious Russian parliament to drunkenly hunting for pizza in Washington in his underwear. But he saved arguably his biggest surprise for last.

Twenty years ago this New Year’s Eve, with six months to go until the end of his final term, an ailing Yeltsin addressed Russia in a special noontime broadcast. “I am leaving. I have done all I could,” he said, his words slurred by ill health and alcohol abuse. “A new generation is coming. They can do more, and better.”

Later that night, as the Kremlin clock ticked down the final minutes of the 1990s, a dour-faced representative of that “new generation” appeared before the nation as Russia’s acting president.

“Like you, I intended this evening to listen to the New Year greetings of President Boris Yeltsin,” said Vladimir Putin, the former state security service chief who had been named prime minister just four months earlier. “But things turned out otherwise.”

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WNU Editor: Twenty years ago this New Year’s Eve an ailing Yeltsin addressed Russia in a special noontime broadcast and said the following .... “I am leaving. I have done all I could”. “A new generation is coming. They can do more, and better.” Twenty years later I can say the same about President Putin right now. He is done all that he can. There is a new generation that is coming. And they can do more, and better. His priority is to prepare Russia for this change until he leaves office in 2024, and like Yeltsin he could do so on his terms.

More News On Russian President Putin

Putin weighs future options as he marks 20 years in power -- AP
Is Vladimir Putin plotting to rule forever after two decades in power? Russia's longest serving leader since Stalin decides how to stay in charge even after term as president ends in 2024 -- Daily Mail
By The Numbers: 20 Years Of Putin's Russia -- RFEL
Vladimir Putin put Russia back on the world map – but his job is as yet unfinished -- Mary Dejevsky, The National
20 years of Putin: From political unknown to dominant force -- Al Jazeera
Putin Predictions of Yore: What the Pundits Thought 20 Years Ago -- Moscow Times
20 Years of Vladimir Putin: Kremlin Releases Never-Before-Seen Photos With Russian President -- Sputnik

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