What Yeltsin's assault on the legislature can teach us about American democracy

11 Jan 2021

(National Post) In October 1993, a weak and desperate president ordered a frontal assault on his legislature. Then Russia’s great democratic hero, Boris Yeltsin had become convinced that the country’s parliament — a holdover from the Soviet period — had become an insurmountable impediment to his agenda. It was a one-sided battle.

When the dust from the tank-fire settled, some 147 people had lost their lives, with Yeltsin taking clear control and using his power to institute major constitutional changes. Successful in the short term, this move eroded public trust and planted the seeds for Russia’s eventual backsliding into authoritarianism in the longer term. [...]

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