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Jeltsin 31.12.1999 Ельцин

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Dear Russian people, There isn't much time left until this most magic date in our history: the beginning of the year 2000. New century, new millennium. We've thought on this date many times. We pondered in our childhood, then in adulthood, how things would be in the year 2000; both for our mother, and for our children. It seemed so far away once, this unusual New Year. Now the day has come. Dear friends! My dear people! Today is the last time which I will greet you on the New Year. But, that's not all. Today is the last time that I will appeal to you, as President of Russia. I have made a decision. I've thought long and hard over it. Today, on the last day of the century, I am leaving. I have heard it said many times, "Yeltsin will hold on to power by any means necessary; he will not give it up to anyone. " That is a lie. It's different than that. I have always said, that I would not depart from the Constitution a single step; that parliamentary elections should take place within a constitutional time frame. And so it happened, just as I wanted: presidential elections are to be held on time in June of 2000. It is very important for Russia. We are creating an important precedent: a civilized, voluntary transfer of power; power from one President of Russia to another: the newly elected. However, I have made a different decision. I'm leaving. I'm leaving early. I have realized that I need to do it. Russia must enter the new millennium with new policies, with new faces, and with strong, smart, energetic new people. And those of us who have been in power for many years, we must go. Seeing the hope and faith that people voted with in the parliamentary elections for a new generation of politicians, I realized: I have achieved the main goal in my life. Russia will never return to the past. Russia will now always move forward. And I should not interfere with this, the natural course of history. Another half-year holding on to power, when the country has a strong man, worthy of being president and with whom practically every Russian today places hopes on for the future? Why should I hinder him? Why wait another six months? No, it's not for me! It's just not in my nature. Today, on this extremely important day for me, I want to say words which are a little more personal than what I'm saying generally. I want to ask your forgiveness. That is, for the fact that many of our dreams have not yet come true. Because what seemed so simple, was in fact painfully difficult. I ask forgiveness for that which has not justified the hopes of those who believed that we, in one fell swoop, with one jerk, with one sign, would be able to jump from the gray, stagnant, totalitarian past to a bright, rich, civilized future. I myself believed in this. It seemed like we'd pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and overcome everything. It didn't happen all at once. In some ways I was too naive. In places problems were too complex. We pushed forward through mistakes and failures. Many people at this difficult time experienced a shock. But, I want you to know: I've never said this, but today, it is important for me to tell you this. The pain of each of you responded with pain in me, in my heart. Many sleepless nights of agonizing experiences: "what should be done, so that people, at least by a little, can live a life which is easier and better?" I had no task which was more important. I'm leaving. I have done everything I could have done. I was replaced by a new generation, a generation which can do more and do better. In accordance with the Constitution, on the occasion of my retirement, I have signed a decree to transfer the duties of the office of the president to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In three months, he will be the new head of state. And after three months, in accordance with the Constitution, there will be presidential elections. I've always been confident in the amazing wisdom of Russian citizens. So do not doubt whatever choice you make at the end of March of 2000. In parting, I want to say to each of you: be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness and peace of mind. Happy New Year! To the new century, my dear people!

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 54 seconds
Country: Russia
Language: Russian
Views: 276
Posted by: kallekn on Dec 31, 2009

Новогоднее обращение Бориса Ельцина 31.12.1999: «Я ухожу.»

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