Born: 1 February 1931
Birthplace: Sverdlovsk, Ukraine
Best Known As: The first post-Gorbachev president of Russia
The Energizer Bunny of Russian politics, Boris Yeltsin was an engineer and minor Communist Party official of the U.S.S.R. before winning the Russian presidency by popular vote in 1989. Eager to speed up reforms, he opposed the policies of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, yet was instrumental in defeating a coup against Gorbachev in 1991. After the Soviet Union collapsed, Yeltsin remained in power, and despite political setbacks, rumors of heavy drinking and at least two heart attacks, was reelected to office in 1996. He retired abruptly on 31 December 1999, saying he had decided that "Russia must enter the new millennium with new politicians." His replacement was Vladimir Putin.
As a boy, Yeltsin blew off two fingers of his left hand while playing with a live grenade.
Category: Metal Horse - Keng Wu