Boris Yeltsin

Boris Yeltsin - Portrait of a chaos merchant.

March 23, 1993 – What To Do About Yeltsin – Kremlin Intrigues – Power Grabs – Fun and Games.

Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin – Portrait of a chaos merchant.

March 23, 1993 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

March 23, 1993 – All eyes were on Moscow this March 23rd. The culprit in the drama and intrigues at the Kremlin was none other than Boris Yeltsin, whose assertion of a “special period of Presidential Rule” violated the constitution but did not cite Yeltsin with an impeachable offense. That set off a firestorm among the opposition according to Ruslan Khasbulatov, who loudly claimed Yeltsin was attempting a coup. Yeltsin had announced in a televised address to the nation on 20 March 1993, that he was going to assume certain “special powers” in order to implement his program of reforms. In response, the hastily called 9th Congress of People’s Deputies attempted to remove Yeltsin from presidency through impeachment on 26 March 1993. Yeltsin’s opponents gathered more than 600 votes for impeachment, but fell 72 votes short of the required two-thirds majority. And so the drama continued.

Meanwhile, The White House was continuing its support of Yeltsin, making clear it was supporting the process of continued democratic reform in Russia, rather than just for Yeltsin himself. It was the message Secretary of State Warren Christopher was sending to Russia’s Foreign Minister and the message President Clinton would be giving at the first formal news conference of his administration later on this day. The timing of the news conference was no coincidence, as it would be taking place at mid-evening in Moscow, right around dinner time. Yeltsin had been asking for a very public declaration of support from the U.S. and President Clinton, and he would be getting exactly that.

However, according to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Clinton should not be hugging Boris Yeltsin too tightly because the outcome was unpredictable and Kissinger felt Yeltsin could not win without support of the Army. And he couldn’t get that without promising a more nationalistic direction at least towards the other republics of the former Soviet Union and it was doubtful the U.S. could go along with that.

Time to wait and see – wait and see.

All that, and much-much more for this March 23, 1993 as presented by the CBS World News Roundup.

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