And with Clinton due in Moscow at the start of September, the U.S. makes a perfect target for that redirected wrath. "With all the currency woes, it's not a bad time to accuse the West of trying to weaken Russia from without," says Quinn-Judge. "It's his way of softening up Clinton before the summit."
MOSCOW: What's Boris Yeltsin so mad about? TIME Moscow Bureau Chief Paul Quinn-Judge says the Russian president's tirade over U.S. missile strikes is equal parts bluster, envy and a little dog-wagging of his own. "On one level, he feels personally slighted about being out of the loop on the attack," says Quinn-Judge. "But like Clinton, Yeltsin has a domestic scandal of his own to contend with: his devaluation of the ruble. With the parliament calling for his resignation, a little burst of nationalist fury does not go amiss."