teisipäev, aprill 24, 2007
It's a funny thing. Most of us the West liked Yeltsin because he seemed approachable and semi-normal. He could go to Katyn and unflinchingly apologize for Soviet war crimes. He knew the Stalinist state because his father had been arrested for sabotaging it. He didn't want to see military action in eastern Europe because he had already lived through one and one was enough.
On the flipside, there are all those actions that are easy to criticize, and apparently many in Russia are not as enthusiastic about burying Boris as we were about burying that decent, just decent, fellow Gerald Ford last year.
But above all, he was smart to recognize and correct Stalin's mistake of occupying the Baltics in 1940 and to withdraw the Russian army from countries that didn't and still do not pose any threat to Russia. He may have been a bumbling drunk, but, in terms of the Baltics, he didn't let nationalist pride get in the way of making the right decisions that have been ultimately beneficial for Russia.