O.C. PLATFORM : Yeltsin Beat Odds


He’s already the No. 1 man. Boris Yeltsin has overcome enormous odds, including the opposition of Mikhail S. Gorbachev every step of the way. Even before the coup, he was the recognized leader of the genuine democratic reformers throughout the Soviet empire, and that includes not only Russia but also the other republics.

At our meeting (in Moscow), at the outset of our conversation, he delved right into substance. He’s anything but (a bumpkin). He cuts an impressive figure, not only physically but in terms of demeanor and bearing. And as Yeltsin has shown on more than one occasion in the past, he’s capable of a temporary pragmatic alliance with Gorbachev or anyone else, but, unlike other pragmatists, Yeltsin holds true to his principles. He is now unmistakably a committed anti-Communist. That gulf between him and Gorbachev will never be bridged because Gorbachev refuses to renounce communism.