Yeltsin Led Russia in a Rough Transformation Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the man once hailed as Russia's bold political reformer, has died at 76. For nine years, Yeltsin served as Russia's first freely elected president, engineering the end of the Soviet Union and a turn to democracy and a market economy. But Yeltsin's support also eroded.
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'All Things Considered' Report on Yeltsin's Death

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Yeltsin Led Russia in a Rough Transformation

Yeltsin Led Russia in a Rough Transformation

'All Things Considered' Report on Yeltsin's Death

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9783120/9773940" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the man once hailed as Russia's bold political reformer, has died at 76. For nine years, Yeltsin served as Russia's first freely elected president, engineering the end of the Soviet Union and a turn to democracy and a market economy.

But during his tenure, Russia also saw its economy decline sharply, and Yeltsin's support eroded, both because of his public actions and his personal behavior.