Why did Yeltsin suddenly give way to Putin in 1999
On the last day of 1999, then Russian President Yeltsin suddenly announced two things to the world: one was that he decided to resign from the presidency, and the other was that he appointed Putin to replace him. It now appears that this was a rare wise decision in Yeltsin’s life, but at the time it was a move that shocked the world.
It is well known that the collapse of the Soviet Union and successfully ascended to the throne of the Russian president, he also had a very dangerous experience in the process: in the coup d’etat of August 19th on the eve of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Soviet Vice President Yanayev sent troops to surround Yeltsin’s place.
The White House (the White House here refers to the office of the Russian Federation government, not the White House in the United States).
The situation was that Yanayev on the street confronted Yeltsin in the building. At this time, Yeltsin had no soldiers, no tanks or chariots in his hands, but he gained the support of Moscow citizens, so he walked out of the building and climbed up a tank to give a speech to the soldiers and citizens surrounding the street.
It was this speech that gave Yeltsin the initiative and established his future position in the Russian political arena. This is undoubtedly the pinnacle moment in Yeltsin’s life, but on the other hand it is also an extremely dangerous moment. Yeltsin’s struggles before he came to power are not without hardship, and it can even be said that he took great risks.
So how can Yeltsin give up the power that Yeltsin has taken great risks easily?
In fact, Yeltsin did have a strong desire for power: after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia was faced with a major issue of political reform.
In the process, the then parliament tried to limit the power of Yeltsin as president. On June 5, 1993, Yeltsin convened a constitutional conference, trying to bypass the parliament and forcibly pass the draft of a new constitution on the establishment of a presidential system in Russia.
This move was resisted by the parliament.
On October 3, 1993, after the conflict intensified, Yeltsin sent tanks and armored vehicles to surround the White House: sometimes things were so dramatic-Yeltsin was besieged in the White House by Yanaev, and now he besieged lawmakers in the White House.
What is different from the confrontation back then is that this time the two parties had a bloody conflict. You know that Yeltsin got to the top by disguising himself as a liberal democrat and attacking the rigid and conservative system of the Soviet Union.
But what he has done now makes people realize that Yeltsin is actually an arbitrary figure with a strong desire for power. So why would such a person obsessed with power take the initiative to give way to Putin?
It is important to know that Yeltsin is not only in power at this time, but the two-year term has not yet expired, which means that Yeltsin’s abdication at this time is a real “rapid retreat.”
Yeltsin’s choice to retreat with a strong desire for power at this time can be understood to a certain extent as forced by the objective situation.
What kind of objective situation forced Yeltsin to give up his hard-won power?
There are mainly four aspects of unsatisfactory: unsatisfactory national economic situation, unsatisfactory national political situation, unsatisfactory national diplomatic environment, and unsatisfactory personal physical condition.
Russia in Yeltsin’s era lost its status as a superpower in the Soviet era. For this reason, Yeltsin promised to return a rich, powerful, and democratic Russia. However, the reality has disappointed the Russians.
As the largest republic of the former Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has inherited the rich legacy of the Soviet Union while also inheriting the problems left by the Soviet Union.
A large number of half-dead companies plus 1 trillion rubles in domestic debt and 120 billion US dollars in foreign debt have made Russia lead by President Yeltsin.
They have trouble sleeping and eating, because they know that one of the reasons for the disintegration of the Soviet Union is that they were abandoned by the people who have been unable to improve their lives.
If the new Russian government cannot solve the economic difficulties faced by the people, it is very likely that they will be caught by the people again. Abandoned.
Yeltsin himself knew very little about the economy, so he could only rely on his staff who knew a little about economics.
It was against this background that Gaidar, who was only 35 years old, was promoted to the prime minister by Yeltsin, and one of Gaidar’s main tasks as prime minister was to lead Russia’s economic transformation.
Inspired by the shock therapy of the American economist Jeffrey Sachs, Gaidar formulated a radical economic reform plan for Russia.
At the beginning of 1992, the Russian version of shock therapy reform led by Gydar was rolled out in Russia, which almost completely followed the model of Saxophone shock therapy.
On January 2, 1992, the first and most important step of shock therapy was to liberalize prices and begin its formal implementation: Russia removed 80% of wholesale prices and 90% of retail prices nationwide.
In the Soviet era, due to the one-sided development of heavy industry, bread, milk, eggs, pork, vodka and other daily necessities were relatively scarce, so that the Soviets usually had to queue for several hours to buy the goods they needed.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s lack of supplies was not immediately relieved. As the saying goes, “things are rare and expensive”: It is said that the price of various materials will be very high when materials are scarce, but the Soviet era has always suppressed the rise in prices through administrative means.
Within one month after the Yeltsin government liberalized prices, the retail prices of Russian goods increased 3.5 times, and the ex-factory prices increased 5 times.
In the Soviet era, due to the one-sided development of heavy industry, bread, milk, eggs, pork, vodka and other daily necessities were relatively scarce, so that the Soviets usually had to queue for several hours to buy the goods they needed. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s lack of supplies was not immediately relieved.
As the saying goes, “things are rare and expensive”: It is said that the price of various materials will be very high when materials are scarce, but the Soviet era has always suppressed the rise in prices through administrative means.
Within one month after the Yeltsin government liberalized prices, the retail prices of Russian goods increased 3.5 times, and the ex-factory prices increased 5 times.
Due to Russia’s relative issues in agriculture and light industry, the quality of daily necessities produced in Russia is far behind that of Western developed countries.
With the advancement of market liberalization, a large-scale influx of better-quality Western products into Russia, Russian national enterprises have been hit hard.
At the same time, restrictions on income growth have been lifted: the salary of public officials has increased by 90%, the pension for retirees has been increased to 900 rubles a month, and family subsidies and unemployment benefits have also risen.
The price liberalization is not without benefits: the long shopping queues are gone, the shelves are full of goods, and the Russians who are used to the long queues by ticket supply seem to see the benefits of reform.
But it didn’t take long for prices to soar like a kite with a broken line: the prices of consumer goods in April 1992 rose 65 times compared to December 1991.
The government originally wanted to stabilize prices through state-owned stores. Unexpectedly, black market vendors and state-operated store employees would resell the goods at once to make huge profits.
So far, market order became chaotic. Due to the premature liberalization of fuel and raw material prices, the production costs of enterprises have risen sharply. By June, the wholesale price of industrial products increased by 14 times.
Such high prices have daunted buyers. The consumer market continues to be sluggish, and weak demand has restrained supply. Compression of production, market supply and demand has entered an endless loop.
Faced with such a critical situation, shock therapy has taken the second move: fiscal reform and large-scale privatization are carried out simultaneously.
In terms of fiscal reforms, fiscal and monetary “double tightening” policies and price reforms were introduced almost simultaneously. However, this time the Yeltsin government miscalculated again: due to the heavy tax burden, enterprise production shrank further, the number of unemployed people increased sharply, the government had to increase relief subsidies and direct investment, and the fiscal deficit rose instead of falling.
The tightening of credit has caused a serious shortage of corporate liquidity, mutual default among enterprises, and increasingly serious triangle debts. The government was forced to loosen money, and in 1992 an additional currency of 18 trillion rubles was issued, which was 20 times the amount issued in 1991.
The increase in currency further led to a decline in the value of the ruble and a rise in prices, and household deposits began to shrink significantly. It was during this period that many Russian families lost their savings for half a lifetime.
At the same time, the shrinking of corporate production made layoffs a common way for companies to get rid of the crisis. Means, for a time the unemployment population in Russia surged. Due to the shrinkage of previous savings and the loss of their source of livelihood after unemployment, more and more Russian families are in a difficult life.
At this time, Prime Minister Gaidar, who is leading the Russian economy, believes that the reason why the first two steps of shock therapy reform failed to achieve results is that the state-owned enterprises inherited from the Soviet era are not the main body of marketization.
Under this analysis, the prescription he prescribed for the Russian economy is to accelerate the privatization process. For this reason, the government once used the method of giving away state-owned enterprises inherited from the Soviet era as a free gift. The first business English word learned by most Russians in the 1990s was: securities.
At that time, 1/3 of the total value of Russia’s state-owned property was about 1.5 trillion rubles, and the population at that time was also 150 million. In the Soviet era, state-owned property belonged to all citizens, but was actually controlled and operated by the government.
Now, in order to accelerate the privatization process, Russia distributes state-owned assets theoretically owned by all citizens to every Russian citizen free of charge.
At that time, every Russian citizen received a privatized securities worth 10,000 rubles, which he could freely purchase shares.
The official issuance of such securities began on October 1, 1992, marking the official start of the process of privatization of the Russian economy. It stands to reason that every Russian citizen should be happy to have 10,000 rubles in his hands out of thin air.
However, due to the failure of the Russian currency reform mentioned above, the 10,000 rubles can actually only buy a pair of leather shoes.
In the process of privatization in Russia, a large number of state-owned enterprises fell into the hands of the privileged class and the upstarts. What they care most about is not the long-term development of the enterprise, but the transfer of profits as soon as possible.
The employees neither receive dividends nor have the right to participate in decision-making.
Because the boss simply does not want to run the company for a long time, but transfers the shares to realise, and the employees cannot get profits from the operation of the enterprise, therefore, in this situation, no one from the boss to the employees intervenes in the production and operation, and the benefits of the enterprise are deteriorating.
December 1992, the Gydar government was dissolved. The dissolution of the Gaidar government also marked the failure of Russian shock therapy.
The failure of shock therapy reduced Russia’s GDP by almost half. The world’s second-largest GDP in the Soviet era was only 1/10 of that of the United States and was surpassed by Japan, Germany, Britain, and France.
At the same time, Russia’s economic structure has undergone major changes.
At the same time, foreign investment is unwilling to enter Russia, and the total foreign investment absorbed by Russia is only 11.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Russia’s expenditure on science and technology development has been reduced across the board, investment is insufficient, and innovation has not been emphasized enough.
As a result, Russia has fewer and fewer products with price and quality competitiveness in the international market, especially in the civilian science and technology product market by foreign competitors.
Russia Products still account for less than 1%. In the Soviet era, the proud military industry also had to abandon its martial arts due to lack of sufficient research and development funds: a total of nine aircraft carriers were built in the Soviet era, but Russia ultimately only retained the “Kuznetsov”. Ship.
The living standards of Russian families facing the double blow of shrinking savings and unemployment have plummeted: By the year 2000, Russians had less than 10% of American money income, and their health status and average life expectancy were also on a downward trend.
According to the general analysis of the international economics community at that time: If Russia’s GDP maintains an annual growth rate of 8%, it will take 15 years to make its per capita GDP production reach the level of a moderately developed country such as Portugal or Spain.
In fact, in addition to the direct economic losses, the failure of shock therapy has a profound impact on Russia’s entire economic system and even the social system much longer than its implementation.
It can even be said that Russia today has not completely emerged from the shadow of shock therapy. Among the remaining problems caused by shock therapy, the most significant is the spread of the shadow economy phenomenon
the so-called shadow economy can be divided into three parts: one is the gray economy
this refers to economic activities that conform to legal norms in form. However, during its operation, there is the production of products and services that are not included in the official statistics in order to avoid taxation and supervision; the second is the brown economy-which refers to the false reporting, embezzlement, theft, speculation and speculation related to the acquisition and transfer of “dark money” Various forms of fraud; the third is the black economy-this refers to various types of economic crimes strictly prohibited by law.
In the early days of Russia’s privatization reform, it was once believed that the proliferation of the shadow economy was caused by the inherent flaws in the Soviet system.
With the improvement of liberalization and privatization during the transition to a market economy, these flaws can be eliminated.
However, the fact is that the shadow economy has been further inflated during the shock treatment process: the shadow economy’s share of Russia’s GDP has increased by 45 times in the first four years of the Russian reforms, and it even appeared at one point when it came to almost any Russian company.
It is hard to say that I have never engaged in illegal activities. By the time Yeltsin left office in 1999, the Russian economy was almost completely manipulated by the seven oligarchs, and even Putin’s coming to power had solicited their opinions in advance.
This shows that the economic situation in the Yeltsin era was not ideal.
What about the political situation in the country in the Yeltsin era? In fact, we have already mentioned that the oligarchy’s intervention in national politics.
In addition, the game between President Yeltsin and the parliament also caused political chaos in Russia at that time. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has become a typical capitalist country, so Russia needs to reform its political system according to the Western model.
However, the political systems of Western countries are not exactly the same. So which one should Russia learn from? Yeltsin advocated studying a presidential system with more concentrated power, while the parliament advocated studying the parliamentary republic system.
On June 5, 1993, Yeltsin convened a constitutional convention. The Speaker of the Russian Duma (Parliament) Hasbluff has long been dissatisfied with Yeltsin’s shock therapy, so he took the opportunity to propose a parliamentary republic that aims to limit the power of the president.
On October 3, 1993, Yeltsin sent tanks and armored vehicles to surround the White House, which triggered a 10-hour standoff between government forces and the people who supported the parliament.
In the process, government forces also opened fire on people supporting the parliament, resulting in 187 deaths and 437 injuries. The game between Yeltsin and the parliament soon encountered another big problem: Russia’s autonomous republic of Chechnya declared independence.
In December 1994, the Russian army broke into Chechnya in three routes. However, what Yeltsin did not expect was that the casualties of the Russian army in the Chechen War even exceeded the Afghan War in the Soviet era.
In the first Chechen War, the Russian army paid the price of 3,826 deaths, 17,892 wounded, and 1,906 missing. In addition, the First Chechen War also caused more than 100,000 civilian deaths, and a large number of local facilities were severely damaged.
After paying such a heavy price, even though Chechnya remained in the Russian Federation in name, it actually gained an unofficial independent status.
It can be said that Russia withdrew from Chechnya under the ridiculous eyes of the world, which made the Russian power a great power Self-esteem has suffered a serious setback.
During Yeltsin’s era, Russia not only had an unsatisfactory domestic political situation, but also had an extremely unsatisfactory diplomatic situation.
NATO and the European Union, as political and military organizations and economic organizations respectively, are gradually squeezing Russia’s traditional strategic space and market scope in Eastern Europe: After the Kosovo War in 1999, Russia has been completely squeezed out of its original power circle in Eastern Europe.
In the same year, the three former Warsaw Pact members of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic were accepted as new members of NATO. Since then, the eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union has gradually approached Russia’s doorstep.
It can be said that the economic, Chechen, and diplomatic issues of the Yeltsin era have made Russians dissatisfied.
It is not just ordinary people who are dissatisfied. In fact, a considerable number of people in the Russian government and parliament have been trying to impeach Yeltsin on a series of issues such as the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the shelling of the White House, the Chechen War, and the weakening of national defense.
After all, Yeltsin is a politician. Even though he is keen on power, he himself does not want to lead the Russians to achieve some results? However, the cruel facts made Yeltsin finally have to admit that he had failed in Russia’s economic reforms, national defense development, and foreign policy.
The development of the matter so far means that Russia has reached the point where it must be transformed. However, this is a difficult task for the elderly Yeltsin.
Yeltsin is famous for his alcoholism: he even got drunk on a plane during a visit abroad. After the plane landed, Yeltsin wanted to get out of the cabin, but his chief guard desperately stopped him and said, “Unless you kill me today, I will never allow you to get out of the plane door, because if you go out today, the face of the Russian nation I lost everything.”
At that time, the Americans even exclaimed: “The world’s largest nuclear arsenal is actually in the hands of a drunk. What a crazy thing!” Yeltsin’s body was getting worse and worse under the erosion of alcohol.
After being elected president in 1996, Yeltsin’s health went from bad to worse. Later, a heart attack almost made him unable to perform his duties as president.
Yeltsin had been hospitalized for pneumonia, bronchitis, colds, gastric ulcers and other symptoms successively, so that the Russians made up a joke at that time: Yeltsin went to register, except for the obstetrics and gynecology department. Obviously, such a physical quality is unable to complete the arduous historical task of leading Russia’s transformation.
At this time, Russia needs a vigorous and vigorous leader to carry out drastic reforms.
Therefore, Yeltsin’s giving way to Putin is a historical trend and a choice that conforms to the times.
But speaking of the fact that Russia’s national development requires a vigorous and promising leader, it is one thing, but whether Yeltsin is in his position is willing to give up his position is another.
Yeltsin, who is the president under the Russian political system, has great power: in fact, Putin’s appointment as president was achieved only on the premise of being nominated by Yeltsin.
So what if Yeltsin, who is in power, insists on going his own way? In fact, Yeltsin was not unselfish in giving up his position: we mentioned earlier that there were powerful oligarchs in Russia during Yeltsin’s era, and some members of the Yeltsin family also rely on Yeltsin’s power and these oligarchs to make money. transaction. Yeltsin’s grandson-in-law Jeripaska once became the richest man in Russia and ranked in the top ten in the world wealth rankings.
Of course, he himself would not admit that his source of wealth was related to Yeltsin, but I am afraid no one would believe this. After Putin came to power, Jeripaska was protested by the workers because he owed their wages.
Putin personally rushed to the scene to arrange for him to pay his wages. Such a rich man will owe his workers’ wages. This shows that his character is very problematic.
Who knows if he used his power to get involved in illegal industries in Yeltsin’s time? Although it is an unclear topic whether Yeltsin’s family is involved in illegal industries, there has never been such a rumor.
When Yeltsin was in power, it could be said that he was able to ascend to heaven alone, but Yeltsin could not live forever.
So Yeltsin had to consider the future fate of his family.
A considerable number of people in Russian politics are actually dissatisfied with Yeltsin.
When Yeltsin is in power, these people dare not challenge him. But if Yeltsin is absent one day, there is no guarantee that they will not liquidate the Yeltsin family.
For Yeltsin, the best choice is to choose a successor he likes while he is still in power, and entrust the fate of Russia and his family to this person.
Yeltsin chose to take the initiative to give way: Yu Gong wanted a young leader to lead Russia to complete the transformation work he was unable to implement, and Yu private hoped that the new leader would take care of his family.
It can be said that Yeltsin’s choice to give way is a wise move to adapt to the situation.
The remaining question is why he chose to give way to Putin? It is said that Putin attracted Yeltsin’s attention from a camping trip: Yeltsin took a group of high-ranking Russian government officials to camp in the suburbs. Who knew that a wild boar rushed out of the woods.
For a while, everyone was in a mess. Only Putin was calm and shot to death.
Wild boar. You can just listen to this incident as a story, because it has never been confirmed by the Russian state media.
It is hard to say when Yeltsin started paying attention to Putin. We can only assume that Putin’s perseverance and courage attracted Yeltsin’s attention at that time.
Despite this, Yeltsin still felt it necessary to check Putin: Putin was appointed by Yeltsin as prime minister of the federal government in March 1999, and the first thing he did after taking office was to quell the armed rebellion of the Chechen separatists.
Russia in the Yeltsin era had to face the economic downturn and social unrest caused by the failure of shock therapy, and also tolerate the clamor of separatist forces in Chechnya.
Yeltsin, who was unable to solve these problems, often blamed his prime minister, so Russia in the Yeltsin era The prime minister of Russia is replaced almost as frequently as a temporary worker. Before Putin, Yeltsin had replaced six prime ministers. It can be said that how to solve the Chechen issue is a major test after Putin took office.
Once he fails the exam, Putin will be removed from office within two months, just like the previous prime ministers appointed by Yeltsin. At this time, after experiencing the nightmare-like torture of the first Chechen War, almost all Russian officers and soldiers had a psychological shadow on Chechnya.
However, Putin himself clearly had a clear mind-he said at the time: “We must persist in fighting terrorists. In the end, even if they escape to the toilet, we will drown them in the toilet.”
Putin asked Yeltsin for full command of the Chechen war, and Yeltsin gave it to him almost immediately without hesitation. On September 16, 100,000 Russian troops entered Chechnya under the deployment and command of the new Prime Minister Putin, which opened the prelude to the Second Chechen War.
Putin fully summed up the experience and lessons of the Russian army in the first Chechen War. Therefore, the Russian army has shown different qualities and efficiency from the first Chechen War from the beginning.
Putin formulated a clear strategic plan: In the first phase of the war, the Russian army rushed to Dagestan, eliminated illegal militants there, and then blocked the border; in the second phase, it entered Chechnya and occupied its capital, Grozny; in the third phase, the exile was cleaned up. Rogue in the Caucasus mountains.
At the same time, this march no longer focused on the frontal and desperate ground forces, but emphasized the use of air superiority to accurately strike ground targets, thereby minimizing casualties. The first two stages of the Second Chechen War were basically developing in the direction Putin expected.
However, the third stage of the plan is relatively difficult. Those separatist forces that have been broken up are often broken into pieces and enter the mountainous areas to harass the Russian army in the form of guerrilla warfare.
Because these people are familiar with the local terrain, they can always hide themselves and wait for an opportunity to launch an attack on the Russian army.
Even if the Russian army is more powerful, it still feels like cannons hit mosquitoes in this asymmetrical war, just like the US army was trapped in Vietnam and the Soviet army was trapped in Afghanistan. But Putin understands the truth that “fortresses are often broken from within”: the Chechen armed forces are not monolithic inside, and this provides Putin with opportunities.
The hard-line forces headed by Basayev thought that fighting with Russia would enable Chechnya to become independent. However, the development of the war was just the opposite of what they expected, so forces against Basayev gradually began to form within Chechnya.
Today’s Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s father Ahmed Kadyrov is just such a typical example. The Kadyrov family is the largest religious family in Chechnya: Ahmed Kadyrov was the religious leader of Chechnya at that time, and at the same time he also controlled a private armed force that only obeyed his orders. When the Russian army attacked Gujermes, the second largest city in Chechnya, Kadyrov asked the locals not to resist.
At the same time, he also called on the people to support the Russian army so that Gujermes could be resolved peacefully.
Putin was of course aware of Kadyrov’s role in this war, so a secret battle aimed at winning important local figures in Chechnya to cooperate with the frontal battlefield began orderly. Putin is a KGB agent, and he is familiar with this kind of hidden battle.
However, many details about this front have not been declassified, so we cannot know more details. Obviously Putin’s performance in the Chechen War satisfied Yeltsin.
Facts have proved that Putin can indeed afford the historical mission of leading Russia’s transformation. Of course, Yeltsin still has another worry about the future fate of the Yeltsin family.
I believe that he must communicate with Putin either explicitly or implicitly on this point, and Putin must also have a promise to Yeltsin. Yeltsin suddenly announced his resignation on the evening of December 31, 1999, and Putin became acting president in accordance with the provisions of the Russian Constitution.
Putin, who has become the acting president of Russia on New Year’s Day in 2000, took his wife to the Chechen frontline to work on the army in order to boost the morale of the Russian soldiers.
On February 4, 2000, the Russian army planted the Russian flag on the government building in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. On March 20, Putin personally flew the Su-27 fighter jets through the Chechen theater to boost the morale of the Russian soldiers.
Strictly speaking, Putin at this time is not yet the official Russian president. Putin at this time is Russia’s acting president.
Under the Russian political system, although the president has the right to nominate the next president, the next president must go through a general election to formally take office.
Since Putin’s outstanding performance in the Chechen War has actually made him an idol of Russia, the result of the general election at this time can be said to be doomed.
On March 26, 2000, Putin won the general election without any surprise, thus becoming the rightful Russian president. Putin signed an “pardon order” almost immediately after he took office, and the pardoned object was Yeltsin and his family. That is to say, no matter what the members of the Yeltsin family have done before, as long as they have not been under Putin’s rule. If you are involved in illegal industries, you will not be held accountable.
Of course, the guy mentioned above who continued to owe workers’ wages during Putin’s era was cleaned up, but this cleanup is just to make him pay back wages.
After all, Putin is still unable to make heavy hands on members of the Yeltsin family. On the issue of the fate of the Yeltsin family, Putin kept his promise with Yeltsin.
Of course, in addition to his private commitment to Yeltsin, Putin also shoulders the historical mission of Russia’s national transformation: after Putin came to power, he reversed the economic decline of the Yeltsin era and cracked down on the oligarchs.
Stabilizing the situation in Chechnya, and attacking the Western countries headed by the United States in diplomacy
Facts have proved that Yeltsin’s choice of Putin was a completely correct decision.