Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin passed away today as the result of an undisclosed cause. He was 76.
...but there was also this:
However, in his drive to institute econimic reforms and privitization of industry within Russia, he caused economic chaos that led directly to the rise of kleptocratic oligarchs served by a resurgent Russian mob and spurred deep resentment within the Russian military as they saw themselves inceasingly marinalized at home and outstripped in capabilities abroad. Championed in the West as a "protector of democracy," he undertook military operations against Chechen separatists (before they became infiltrated by Islamists) and used the military under "Special Powers" adopted in 1993 to disband the Supreme Soviet and by October, literally blasted his opponents out of the parliamentary building.
History has yet to render a final verdict on Yeltsin and his role in moving Russia towards a more open, democratic society. Indeed, recent trends seem to indicate a retrenchment by the forces of central authority. How far the penduluum swings remains to be seen. Nevertheless, for all his flaws and failings, Yeltsin had a demonstrable, permanent effect on Russia and her people. The beneficial effects of that impact, remain to be determined.