You know, reading all the remembrances of the newly deceased Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, I was most struck by this line by Robert Farley: “I’m not sure what else we could have expected.” Well, I personally think it’s quite clear what we should have expected, and it’s what we got in every other country in the Warsaw Pact: capitalism and liberal democracy. Poland got it. Czechoslovakia got it. Hungary got it. Even the Baltic states got it, and they weren’t even independent during the Cold War. But Boris Yeltsin wasn’t Lech Walesa, or Vaclav Havel. He was a corrupt, inept alcoholic, and should be remembered as the leader during Russia’s Weimar era, the all-too-brief interregnum between one tyranny and the next. And just as the Weimar Republic paved the way for Hitler, so Yeltsin paved the way for Putin. Indeed, he even proclaimed that he wished Putin to be his successor. Yeltsin at best allowed and at worst actively helped dictatorship take root in Russia. His legacy should be accordingly negative.