Boris Yeltsin: Russia's Maverick

As the people vote on the Union's future, Gorbachev and Yeltsin war over the remains of the empire

They came by the tens of thousands, some bearing posters depicting the jubilant face of Boris Yeltsin, others holding placards demanding the removal of Mikhail Gorbachev. By noon on a chilly Sunday, more than 200,000 people filled the vastness of Manezh Square outside the crenellated walls of the Kremlin. As a speaker shouted out resolutions, the crowd voted overwhelmingly for authorities to stop persecuting Yeltsin, leader of the Russian republic, and for Gorbachev to resign as Soviet President. Addressing the throng, Moscow Mayor Gavril Popov asked, "Do we trust the leadership of the country?" The crowd roared back, "No!"

The demonstration,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!