20 Years After Russia’s Rebirth

Twenty years ago, Russia’s former Soviet Union began its final collapse.  Since then, Russia has seemed to float in some abyss between really coming into its own and the former powers that bound them.

Thanks to Boris Yeltsin after the collapse of the Union, the country had its first taste of true democracy.  However, Yeltsin soon gave way to his drinking and his almost irrelevant wars in the Caucasus; he was no longer seen as the prominent leader he once was.  Soon, the nouveau riche gathered power and soon enough, Putin, a member of the KGB ranks, took over.

A recent opinion columnist on Yahoo has asked the question, “Why has more not occurred?”  It’s a good question.  With its rich heritage and beautiful landscape, free from the binds of the Union and the old monarchy, why has more not… happened?

Gregory Satarov, a former Yeltsin aide, puts it best, “”We saw the old train was taking us in the wrong direction,” he says, “but we thought all we had to do was change the conductor and we would have comfortable seats and good food. Democracy would take us where we wanted to go, not our own effort. Sometimes you have to get off and push.”

Danielle Petersen

Dp499240@sju.edu

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