Media Mirror, 24.04.07

Newspapers in Russia dedicate stories and pictures to Boris Yeltsin, the First Russian President who died Monday, the man who always induced strong feelings in those he met, loved by many, hated by some, and ignored by no one.

Rossyiskaya Gazeta newspaper publishes the text of President Putin’s televised tribute to the former President along with the last ever newspaper interview taken by a journalist of the newspaper who took it about a year ago.

The front page headline above reads: The Man Who Was a Whole Epoch.

Vremya Novostei daily continues the topic, also with a front page story titled “Yeltsin is no more”. Tatiana Malkina writes that the ex-President was a man with whom it was very hard to work, but it was also very interesting to be around him.

“Many called him ”the Tsar“. That he was. Unpredictable, fearless, always high above the whole world,” she writes.

According to Malkina, “it was hard to be in the same room with him if you were not his relative or personal friend.”

“It was hard to love him, and it was hard not to be impressed by him,” claims she.

Speaking of Yeltsin’s role in the destiny of his people, the article continues:

“Boris Yeltsin will go down in history as a man who voluntarily made the freedom choice for the whole nation. This was the hardest path that could be offered to the citizens of this country, and also something that they could not have survived without.”

Izvestia paper, in the article titled “Yeltsin has left”, says the First President was a man who had made a few mistakes that were unavoidable for him as the First President and who, unlike his many predecessors, had the courage to admit to these mistakes in front of his people. More importantly, it was during his term that we in Russia started understanding the sense of democracy.

The paper continues that Yeltsin was a Soviet bureaucrat by experience, but he turned out to be a fiercely freedom-loving person.

That is true. After leaving politics he decided to be free of it entirely and dedicated all his time to his family. We hardly ever heard his name mentioned by the media in the past few years.

Today, for the last time, he is in the centre of news programs. Tomorrow he will be part of history.