Yeltsin’s Legacy: Raimondo vs. Boaz

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Two libertarians, two almost completely different takes on the recently deceased Boris Yeltsin. Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com writes in The Legacy of Boris Yeltsin: Corruption, crony capitalism, and Russia’s near-demise:

The legacy of Boris Yeltsin, who presided over what Paul Klebnikov described as “one of the most corrupt regimes in history,” is, quite literally, the death agony of the Russian nation…

Yeltsin’s clique, which included his daughter, was known as “the Family” — not as in “family values,” or the Partridge Family, but as in the Russian equivalent of The Sopranos. The rule of the commissars had been succeeded by the reign of the gangsters, criminal elements who seized control of the national economy and engineered a complete takeover of the state apparatus, not for any ideological motive or ostensibly “patriotic” purpose, but simply to enrich themselves.

David Boaz scores at least one strong point in Yeltsin’s favor in Yeltsin the Hero:

Yeltsin effectively dissolved the Soviet Union, leaving 15 newly independent states in the vast expanse that was once the USSR… Not many political leaders happily let their subjects go. What other political leader ever gave up control over 14 countries? But by doing so, he avoided years of bloodshed.

11:45 am on April 25, 2007