Myths and Reality
Lilia Shevtsova
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Lilia Shevtsova

“Captures as no other book. . . the complex and contradictory character of Russian
politics. . . brings to Western readers a uniquely Russian ‘inside the Ring Road’
perspective of Kremlin politics.”
—Grigory Yavlinsky, head of Russia’s Yabloko Party
“. . . remarkable clarity and objectivity. . . indispensable insights”
—Jack M. Matlock, Jr., former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union

“. . . a compelling and provocative account of Russian politics from the collapse of
the Soviet Union in 1991 to the collapse of the ruble in 1998”
—Michael Mandelbaum, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced
International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

C ontemporary Russia is a country of paradoxes. The post-communist transi-
tion has been more painful and protracted than expected, yet the discon-
tent that has become a constant factor in Russian life has not led to social
or political uprisings.
An even more telling example of the country’s paradoxical nature is Boris
Yeltsin himself, president of Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Regarded by many in the West as a democratic reformer who helped bring down
the communist system, Yeltsin in office has often behaved like a demagogue con-
cerned more with his political survival than with the rule of law. Written off many
times as politically dead, Yeltsin has surprised domestic and foreign observers
with sudden comebacks that shake up the Russian government and the political
landscape—most recently in the economic crisis of the summer and fall of 1998.
Yeltsin’s Russia: Myths and Reality is the most current and comprehensive
account of the achievements—and failures—of Boris Yeltsin’s Russia. Combining
keen political analysis with the unique perspective of a native observer,
Shevtsova’s book also offers a valuable assessment of the forces that will shape
the post-Yeltsin era.

Lilia Shevtsova is a senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment’s Russian and
Eurasian Program, dividing her time between the Endowment’s Washington
offices and its Carnegie Moscow Center. She is one of Russia’s best known and
most respected political analysts and writers and is a frequent commentator for
both Russian and Western media.
ISBN 0-87003-127-9

9 780870 031274