Boris Yeltsin Essay example

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Boris Yeltsin

Hannah Sindelar

Western Civilization 2

Boris Yeltsin is known for being the first freely elected President of Russia, along with many other things. (The Biography Channel 2013) He had a very large impact not only on Russia, but on the world. He was born in the village of Bukta, Russia on February 1, 1931. His father worked in the construction industry and his mother worked as a seamstress. In 1932 after the state took away the harvest from the peasants of Bukta, he and his family moved as far away from Bukta as they could. They moved to a Kazan, which was about 700 miles from Bukta. His father, Nikolai Yeltsin worked there on a construction site. But in 1934, Nikolai was convicted of anti-Soviet agitation and was sentenced to hard labor in a gulag for three years. (Encyclopedia Britannica 2013) In 1936, after only serving two years instead of three, Nikolai moved his family again. He took them to live in Berezniki in Perm Krai. He remained unemployed for a period of time before he was able to continue working in construction. Boris attended Pushkin High School in Berezniki in Perm Krai. He was very fond of sports like skiing, gymnastics, volleyball, track, boxing, and wrestling. But when he was in seventh grade, he and some of his friends snuck into a Red Army supply depot and stole several grenades. While attempting to dissemble one, it unexpectedly went off, and Boris lost his thumb and index finger on his left hand. This made it a little more difficult to enjoy playing sports. (Encyclopedia Britannica 2013) Yeltsin studied at the Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk, Russia in 1949. (The History Channel 2013) This school was a sixteen hour train ride from his home, but he went there because there were no technical schools around him. The students at his school got by on about 280 rubles a month, which was the price of a pair of men’s shoes. So for extra pocket money, Yeltsin unloaded rail cars and did other menial jobs, and also took paid internships in the summers. (Colton 2008) He graduated with 48 other students in the spring of 1955 with a degree in construction, following in his father’s footsteps. He was originally meant to graduate in 1953; but in 1951, tonsillitis and rheumatic fever caused Yeltsin to drop out for a year. After graduating, he began working for construction businesses in Sverdlovsk. In 1956, his college sweetheart, Naina Girina, was reunited with him. They were married in a civil ceremony on September 6, 1956, celebrating with 150 of their friends. Oddly enough, Yeltsin did not buy Naina a real wedding ring until their fortieth wedding anniversary in 1996. She wore his grandfather’s copper wedding band until then. In 1957, the couple joined the Soviet baby boom with the birth of their daughter Yelena, and had another daughter, Tatyana, in 1960. (Colton 2008) Their family started out in a small space of a dormitory. Later on they moved to a single room of a two room apartment owned by the plant that Yeltsin was currently working for. And in 1958, they moved to a two room apartment of their own, with the bathtub in the kitchen, and a very small ice box shared with the neighbor. He was, however, not the father of the year. “I must honestly admit I do not remember the details- when they took their baby steps, when they started to talk, or the rare moments when I tried to help raise them- since I worked almost without a break and we would meet only on Sunday afternoons”, Yeltsin explained in writings about their childhood. But his wife fortunately understood that in time like that, work was a man’s first priority. (Colton 2008) In March of 1960, he applied for and was granted a probationary membership in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On March 17, 1961, he was made a full member with the card number 03823301. His wife also entered the party, but not until 1972 when she was forty years old. She served as a secretary for the party bureau in her firm