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Biography of Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin was born in 1931 in Sverdlovsk. His father was Nikolai Yeltsin, who worked in construction and was later convicted of anti-Soviet agitation, and his mother was Klavdiya Yeltsina, who worked a seamstress. Boris graduated from Pushkin High School in Beoezniki, Molotor and then graduated from college at the Ural Polytechnic Institute in 1955, where he majored in construction. He was a successful student and even played volleyball for Sverdlovsk in the USSR first division. In 1956 he married Naina Girina, who he met at college, and they had two daughters named Yelena and Tatiana.
In the 1960s, he held jobs in construction, and in 1963, he became the chief of a housing construction integrated plant. He joined the Communist Party in 1961, becoming first secretary of the Sverdlovsk region in 1976 and a member of the central committee in 1981. In 1985, Boris was appointed by Mikhail Gorbachev the chief of a party organization in Moscow, and in 1986, he was inducted into the party s ruling Politburo. In October 1997, however, he was ousted from his Moscow post after criticizing Gorbachev for his actions in Lithuania and for the slow pace of the economy.
In 1991, Boris became president of the independent Russian republic and was one of the first popularly elected leaders in the country s history. As president, he supported major economic reforms and moved to end state control of the economy and privatize most enterprises. In 1993, he dissolved parliament and won approval of his new constitution, which guaranteed private property, a free press, and human rights. In foreign affairs, Boris greatly improved relations with the West and signed the START II nuclear disarmament treatment with the United States. In May 1999, he amazingly survived an impeachment attempt brought about by Communist opposition. Yet on December 31, 1999, the long-ailing Yeltsin unpredictably announced hisresignation and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin succeeded him. Boris Yeltsin played an important role in the Soviet s collapse and will forever remain a vital piece of Russia s history.