Russian Main page Russia at the polls World Front page
BBC News Online
Russian Elections 1999
The elections are as much a contest between personalities, and the power blocs they control, as a conventional electoral race between parties. Click the names on the right for an at-a-glance guide to the key figures and political groupings.
FATHERLAND-ALL-RUSSIA
UNITY
UNION OF RIGHT-WING FORCES
YABLOKO
OUR HOME IS RUSSIA
THE COMMUNIST PARTY
Boris YELTSIN
Yury LUZHKOV
Yevgeny PRIMAKOV
Vladimir PUTIN
Grigory YAVLINSKY
Gennady ZYUGANOV
Aleksander LEBED
Vladimir
ZHIRINOVSKY

Boris Yeltsin



Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin's failing health has forced him to loosen his hold on the reins of power. Once a workaholic, he gave up day-to-day running of the country in October 1998 and now lives at his country residence, visiting the Kremlin only for a few hours at a time.

He was first elected Russian president in 1991, and won a second term in 1996 after suffering a heart attack at the end of an exhausting campaign. Following a quintuple heart bypass operation later that year, his behaviour and public statements became increasingly unpredictable.

Despite the 68-year-old president's impending retirement, he and his team are nonetheless keen to make sure that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who comes from the Yeltsin family's inner circle, will win the presidency in June 2000 elections. They are delighted with the results of the December parliamentary election, which have guaranteed that loyalists are well represented in the new legislature.