29- ALFRED B. EVANS, JR. (Fresno, CA, USA) YEL'TSIN AND RUSSIAN NATIONALISM Boris Yel'tsin will be remembered as an important figure in the history of the Russian people, in part because he has exerted a crucial influence on the development of Russian nationalism. Yel'tsin has been among those who have referred to the "thousand-year history of the Russian people," though that conception contains as much myth as truth. Even today, the Russian people have not yet entirely come to see themselves as a nation, and therefore have not yet fully developed a sense of nationhood; thus they do not yet completely constitute a nation in the sense that the idea of a nation is under- stood in scholarly writings on that subject around the world today. Yet Yel'tsin took advantage of the forces that had been working toward the coa- lescence of Russian nationhood in recent years when he seized on the oppor- tunity to use those forces to enhance his power as the President of an inde- pendent Russia. In doing so, he helped to direct the expression of Russian nationalism into channels which diverted it from potentially harsh conflicts with the aspirations of other nationalities of
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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