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May 15

The Life and Times of Boris Yeltsin and U.S.-Russian Relations

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, who passed away on April 23 at the age of 76, was a controversial ruler to whom the Russian people owe a debt of gratitude.  A successful member of the Soviet ruling class, he did his utmost to bring down the communist system.  In the process, he led the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, attempting to create - for the first time in Russia's 1,000-year history - a modern nation state.  He almost succeeded.  The United States will remember Boris Yeltsin as someone who, despite his limitations, meant well and worked to bring his country back to the family of nations, to freedom and humanity, which have been so often lacking in Russia's tortured past.


Donald N. Jensen is Director of Communications at RFE/RL in Washington DC, where he oversees that international news organization's media relations.  He writes extensively on Russian politics and foreign policy.  He joined RFE/RL after a two-year assignment in Moscow as Deputy Chief of the U.S. Embassy's Political/Internal Section.  Dr. Jensen also served as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.  He is an Adjunct Professor of Comparative Politics at George Washington University.


Martin Sieff is Senior News Analyst for United Press International.  He earned the first two of his three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting covering the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1990.  Mr. Sieff covered Boris Yeltsin extensively throughout his career from 1986 to when he resigned as President.

More About the Speakers

Don Jensen, Ph.D.
Director of Communications,
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Martin Sieff, Ph.D.
Senior News Analyst,
United Presss International

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow,
Russian and Eurasian Studies and
International Energy Security,
Douglas and Sarah Allison
Center for Foreign Policy Studies,
The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

Baker Spring Baker Spring

F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy Read More