Yeltsin Resigns NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from Moscow on President Boris Yeltsin's sudden resignation announcement today. Russians were making last-minute preparations for the New Year when Yeltsin went on television to say he was turning power over to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Presidential elections are expected at the end of March. Analysts see the resignation as a shrewd move that will boost the electoral chances of Putin, Yeltsin's designated successor. Today, Putin signed a decree granting Yeltsin immunity from prosecution -- an important point since Yeltsin and his family have been the target of allegations of corruption.