Founding Presidents of Soviet Successor States: A Comparative Study

TITLE: Founding Presidents of Soviet Successor States: A Comparative Study
SOURCE: Demokratizatsiya 12 no1 133-45 Wint 2004

As the Soviet Union completed its collapse in 1991, in founding
presidents of Soviet successor staes found themselves, sometimes
unexpectedly, leading independent countries. Except for Boris Yeltsin, and
perhaps Nursultan Nazarbayev, these leaders are not well known. Yet, the
fact that they were in positions of authority at a time of great change
meant that they had the potential to greatly influence the political and
economic development of their countries and leave a lasting imprint on their
respective countries. This makes studying their backgrounds, who they were
and where they came from, important.
The leaders covered in this study are: Askar Akaev(FN1) (Kyrgyzstan),
Zviad Gamsakhurdia(FN2) (Georgia), Anatolijs Gorbunovs(FN3) (Latvia), Islam
Karimov(FN4) (Uzbekistan), Leonid Kravchuk(FN5) (Ukraine), Vytautas
Landsbergis(FN6) (Lithuania), Ayaz Mutalibov(FN7) (Azerbaijan), Rakhmon
Nabiyev(FN8) (Tajikistan), Nursultan Nazarbayev(FN9) (Kazakhstan),
Saparmurad Niyazov(FN10) (Turkmenistan), Arnold Rüütel(FN11) (Estonia),
Stanislau Shushkevich(FN12) (Belarus), Mircea Snegur(FN13) (Moldova), Levon
Ter-Petrossian(FN14) (Armenia), and Boris Yeltsin(FN15) (Russia). These
individuals will be referred to collectively as the “founding presidents”
despite the fact that officially some held an office other than president.
Even those who were elected chairperson of a governing council, as was the
case in Belarus and the Baltic states, filled a role similar to that of a
president and were sometimes referred to as “de facto presidents.” This was
seen most clearly when Yeltsin, Kravchuk, and Shushkevich met to form the
Commonwealth of Independent States. Despite the fact that Shushkevich
technically was not the president of Belarus, reports were that the “three
presidents” met and effectively engineered the final end of the Soviet
Most of the founding presidents came to their positions through a
two-step process. First, they were elected to an executive office by their
country’s parliament. Second, they ran in and won a popular election. The
only ones who did not take this second step were Shushkevich and the three
Baltic leaders–Gorbunovs, Landsbergis, and Rüütel. Not only was the manner
in which most of the fifteen came into office similar, but so was the timing
(table 1). The first step, election by parliament, took place in 1990. There
wer eonly three exceptions to this. Gorbunovs was the veteran of the group,
first having been elected chairman of the Latvian Supreme Soviet in 1988.
The two latecomers were Nabiyev and Shushkevich. Both came into office in
September 1991 after their predecessors were kicked out for their behavior
during the coup attempt the previous month.
Most of the popular elections took place in 1991. Of the eleven popular
elections that were held, ten occurred in 1991–eight between September and
December 1991. Actually, Niyazov was the first to arrange a popular election
in October 1990, only a month after being elected by Turkmenistan’s
parliament. It was Gamsakhurdia and Yeltsin who were elected earlier in
1991. Many of these elections, particularly those after August 1991, were
scheduled very quickly and often lacked democratic qualities. Akaev,
Nazarbayev, Niyazov, and Snegur all ran unopposed, and most of the rest
faced only token opposition.
Research on political leadership in Soviet successor states generally
can be placed in one of three categories, based on its primary focus. The
first category focuses on elites–the widest swath of political leadership.
The second involves the presidency, where the main concern is the office
instead of the individual occupying the office. The third category of focus
is on the leaders themselves. This study derives something from each

Both Olga Kryshtanovskaya and Stephan White(FN16) and David Lane and
Cameron Ross(FN17) studied the Russian elite under President Yeltsin. Lane
and Ross did so as part of a larger project that traced the development of
the political elite from the late Soviet period, using the Brezhnev era as a
starting point, to the post-Soviet period in Russia. Both pairs of
researchers were interested in the extent that the Russian elite had its
roots in the old Soviet elite. Both studied political and governmental
leaders, regional administrators, and business leaders. Kryshtanovskaya and
White examined the background of 3,610 individuals, and Lane and Ross
studied approximately 800. In addition to studying similar individuals, the
two teams considered many of the same variables: age, gender, ethnicity,
educational background, and, most important, occupational background and
career path. Additionally, Lane and Ross used attitudinal surveys to study
the distribution of opinions within different sectors of the Russian elite.
Despite these similarities, they reached different conclusions.
Kryshtanovskaya and White argued that the Russian elite has its roots in the
Soviet elite, while Lane and Ross stated:

Our study refutes the view that the Soviet elite has been reconstituted
in a new form. We conclude that, though a significant minority of persons
holding middle positions in the former Soviet elite has been promoted to
particular segments of the new political elite, the previous Soviet ruling
elite has been largely destroyed.(FN18)

This disagreement stems not from how the two pairs saw the Russian
elite, but rather how they conceptualized the old Soviet elite. Lane and
Ross took issue with Kryshtanovskaya and White and others who define the
Soviet elite as having been the Soviet nomenklatura. Lane and Ross argued
that the nomenklatura was too large and too varied to be considered an
elite. Instead they likened it to a “political class.” Beyond this
disagreement, both teams isolated the important factors to focus on when
studying someone’s background.

Research on presidential offices has tended to focus on either the power
of the presidency or the nature of the political systems in which the
presidents operate. Work in this area has been more explicitly comparative
than work in either of the other two areas. Christian Lucky and James
McGregor separately compared the presidencies of a number of Eastern
European and former Soviet states in terms of the constitutional powers
given to the office. Lucky compared the presidencies of Albania, Bulgaria,
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania,
Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine by examining the requirements of the office,
the manner of election, and whether the office contains twenty-seven
separate powers.(FN19) The list of countries studied by McGregor is very
similar, although Ukraine is absent, replaced by Croatia, Macedonia, and
Yugoslavia. Similar to Lucky, McGregor examined powers of appointment and
fifteen political powers. Additionally, McGregor ranked the presidencies in
terms of constitutional powers based on two scoring mechanisms.(FN20)
The broader question about post-Soviet institutional arrangements has
been largely a debate over the attributes of parliamentarianism,
presidentialism, and semi-presidentialism. Raymond Taras’s chapter in
Postcommunist Presidents is both a prime example of this type of work and
also a review of the debate, both in regards to the former Soviet Union and
a broader international context.(FN21) Even case studies that focus on a
single country are tied into this larger debate.(FN22)
Gerald M. Easter combined these first two categories. He argued that the
path a country followed with regards to constitutional arrangements was
influenced largely by the manner in which old regime elites weathered the
breakdown of the Soviet system.(FN23) Easter classified countries as having
a consolidated, dispersed, or reformed elite. In countries labeled
“consolidates” (the countries of central Asia and Azerbaijan), the old elite
suffered little fragmentation and maintained its dominance after
independence. Without exception, these countries ended up with presidential
systems. The cases of “dispersed old regime elites” (the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia) were
where the old elites crumbled. In the absence of any residual advantage due
to their former positions, old regime elites had to compete for political
power on equal footing with other political actors. In these cases, with the
exception of Lithuania and Poland, parliamentarianism was the norm. Finally,
there were countries with a reformed old elite. This was signified by cases
where the old elite split and part of it was able to maintain a share of
power by reforming itself. In most of these cases (Armenia, Belarus,
Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine), the result was a
presidential system. However, there were cases of parliamentary (Albania and
Bulgaria) and mixed (Moldova and Mongolia) systems.
One of the things that sets work in this category apart is the extent to
which it is directly comparative. Lucky, McGregor, and Easter all
systematically study and compare at least a dozen countries. Lucky and
McGregor do this in a descriptive fashion, whereas Easter does it to show
the relationship between elite cohesion and the form of government adopted.
As previously noted, the work on institutional arrangements, even when
focused on a single country, has a comparative focus to it.

Scholarly research focusing on individual leaders, the people occupying
the offices, generally has taken the form of book-length biographies and
autobiographies and edited volumes. Not surprising, most of the attention
here has been directed towards Yeltsin. In addition to numerous biographies,
written by both Russian and western authors,(FN24) his autobiography,
Against the Grain,(FN25) also has been published. It appears that the only
other autobiographies commonly available are Landsbergis’s Lithuania,
Independent Again(FN26) and Nazarbayev’s My Life, My Time, and the
Future.(FN27) There also have been biographies on Akaev(FN28) and
Karimov(FN29) published, but they are not widely available. The
autobiographies are, almost by definition, noncomparative and the
biographies all have a single subject.
The two most prominent edited volums are Post Communist
Presidents,(FN30) edited by Ray Taras, and Patterns in Post-Soviet
Leadership,(FN31) edited by Timothy Colton and Robert Tucker. Both have
introductory chapters followed by profiles of individual leaders. Post
Soviet Presidents profiles Yeltsin, Kravchuk, and Nazarbayev as well as Lech
Walesa of Poland, Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, and Arpad Goncz of
Hungary. The examples of Yeltsin, Kravchuk, Landsbergis, Nazarbayev, and
Karimov are covered in Patterns in Post-Soviet Leadership. It should be
noted that some of the chapters in the Colton and Tucker volume focus on the
broader ruling elite, in either Russia or the countries of “Transcaucasia,”
and would fit in the first category of this classification scheme. The
chapters that profile a particular leader were written mostly by country
specialists. In fact, Martha Brill Olcott wrote the chapter on Nazarbayev in
both volumes. This reliance on country specialists, while having many
advantages, has kept comparison to a minimum.
As previously noted, this article draws on aspects of the work in all
three of the categories just discussed. It shares a focus on the individual
with the third category. A comparative focus has been adopted from the work
on presidential offices. The backgrounds of the fifteen leaders were studied
together, using variables derived from the work on elites. In other words,
the subject matter of the third category was studied using variables from
the second and the method of the first.
The choice of variables for this project was influenced by both
Kryshtanovskaya and White, and Lane and Ross. The variables used to compare
the founding presidents are age, social origins, educational background,
membership in the Communist Party, and career path. Some of the variables
used in the elite studies were not used here, due to a lack of variability
among the individuals studied. All are male and belong to the titular
nationality of their country, therefore gender and ethnicity were not
considered in any depth. For many of these variables, a norm was established
as a majority of the founding presidents were quite similar. Combining these
variables makes it possible to describe the typical founding president and
to indicate the extent to which each leader resembles this typical image.

When their countries became independent, the founding presidents ranged
in age from forty-six (Ter-Petrossian) to sixty-three (Rüütel).(FN32)
Through the work of Mostafa Rejai and Kay Phillips, it is possible to
compare the founding presidents, in terms of age, to other categories of
leaders. In their study of revolutionary leaders, Rejai and Phillips found
that more than 60 percent of the revolutionary leaders they studied came to
power before the age of forty-four.(FN33) By comparison only 36 percent were
between the ages of forty-five and sixty-four. Unlike revolutions seen in
other places, the collapse of the Soviet Union did not bring a new
generation of leaders to power. The fact that all fifteen founding
presidents fell within the forty-five to sixty-four age range shows that, in
terms of age, the founding presidents of the Soviet successor states were
similar to the presidents of the United States. In a study of American
presidents that paralleled their work on revolutionaries, Rejai, Phillips,
and Mason found that almost 90 percent were within the forty-five- to
sixty-four-year-old age range when they entered office.(FN34) The relatively
advanced age of the founding presidents, compared to revolutionary leaders,
reflects the fact that most of them had achieved some level of prominence
during the Gorbachev era.

The founding presidents can be seen largely as Soviet success stories.
Most came from rather humble beginnings, usually born in villages of their
home republic. The exceptions to this were Gamsakhurdia, Karimov,
Landsbergis. Mutalibov, Shushkevich, and Ter-Petrossian. Ter-Petrossian
actually was born in Syria, but his family moved to Armenia soon after this
birth. Landsbergis was born in Kaunas, which was the Lithuanian capital
during the interwar years. Gamsakhurdia, Mutalibov, and Shushkevich were all
born in republican capitals–Tbiliski, Baku, and Minsk respectively.
Samarkand, where Karimov was born, was not the capital of Uzbekistan, but it
was still one of the major cities of central Asia and had a great deal of
In terms of social origins, most came from a peasant background,
reflecting their rural births. The exceptions to this norm are similar to
those noted above. Gamsakhurdia, Shushkevich, and Ter-Petrossian were all
born into the intelligentsia. Membership in this class can be both positive
and negative. The fact that Gamsakhurdia’s father was a renowned Georgian
author probably offered a measure of protection as Gamsakhurdia began to
engage in dissident activities. On the other hand, Shushkevich’s father was
a poet who was sent away to a prison camp where he died. It was necessary
for Shushkevich to denounce his father to be allowed to attend
college.(FN35) In his official biography, Karimov’s father is described as
an office worker.(FN36) It is worth noting that Karimov’s parents both died
when he was very young, and he grew up in an orphanage, as did Niyazov.
Finally, both of Mutalibov’s parents and Landisbergis’s mother were medical
doctors. Landsbergis’s father was an architect.

Because of their humble beginnings, it was their access to higher
education that made the founding presidents into Soviet success stories. Due
to the progress made during the Soviet era, these men had opportunities that
their fathers did not. Not only did all have college degrees, but most had
advanced degrees. Seven (Akaev, Gamsakhurdia, Landsbergis, Nazarbayev,
Rüütel, Shushkevich, and Ter-Petrossian) have doctorates. It should be noted
that in the cases of Gamsakhurdia, Nazarbayev, and Rüütel they did not
obtain their degrees until the 1990s, when they were already politically
Reflecting the Soviet norm, and perhaps their humble beginnings, most
obtained degrees in practical areas of study–agriculture, engineering, and
science. The exceptions to this were Gamsakhurdia (literature), Landsbergis
(music), and Ter-Petrossian (history). Even Shushkevich, the son of a poet,
studied physics, and Mutalibov, whose parents were both doctors, went to the
Azizbekov Institute for Petroleum and Chemistry in Azerbaijan.
In some ways Kravchuk falls between these two categories. His degree was
in political economics. This was by no means impractical, particularly in
the Soviet Union with its emphasis on ideology. At the same time, this was
different than a degree in engineering or agriculture. This put Kravchuk on
a slightly different career path. He still worked in the governing
structures, but almost exclusively for the party, and he oversaw ideology
instead of construction or agriculture.
For many, higher education brought the chance to live outside their home
areas. Of the fifteen founding fathers, seven studied outside of their home
republic–two in Moscow (Gorbunovs and Kravchuk) and three in Leningrad
(Akaev, Niyazov, and Ter-Petrossian). Of the two who did not study in
Russia, Nazarbayev studied in Ukraine. This meant he still went to the
Slavic area of the Soviet Union for his education. The only one who studied
away from home in a non-Slavic area was Nabiyev, who studied agriculture in
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Leaving their home area to study was
most common in central Asia where four of the five did so. The only one who
did not was Karimov, who also studied in Tashkent. This points to Tashkent
as a possible alternative to going to the Slavic area to receive an
This is one of the few areas where Gamsakhurdia, Landsbergis, and
Ter-Petrossian did not share a similar background. While Ter-Petrossian
studied at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Leningrad, neither
Gamsakhurdia nor Landsbergis spent a significant portion of their academic
or professional lives outside of their home republic.
Of the fifteen founding presidents, twelve were long-standing party
members. Of these, only Akaev joined the party relatively late in life. It
was not until 1981, when he was in his early 40s, that he joined the party.
The three who never joined the party were Gamsakhurdia, Landsbergis, and
Ter-Petrossian. Of the factors that set these three apart, this might be the
most telling. Not being a member of the party reflects a conscious decision
to reject the Soviet system. Of those who were party members, most
maintained their membership until after the failed coup attempt. Only
Gorbunovs, Snegur, and Yeltsin renounced their party membership before
August 1991. Yeltsin did so most dramatically, announcing his resignation in
front of the party leadership at the twenty-eighth Party Congress on July
12, 1990.(FN37) The rest lung onto their membership until giving it up was a
necessity. In some cases, the party was a given a new name while its
leadership and organization remained intact.

There were two career paths taken to reach the presidency. The first,
and less utilized, was academia. Akaev, Landsbergis, Shushkevich,
Gamsakhurdia, and Ter-Petrossian followed this path. The first three were
professors, and the final two worked as researchers. Altough all five spent
their prepresidential careers in academia, there is a distinction to be made
within this group. Gamsakhurdia, Landsbergis, and Ter-Petrossian were
oppositional figures; Gamsakhurdia and Ter-Petrossian could even be called
dissidents, as both spent time in prison on charges stemming from political
activities. The success of these three came at the expense of the Communist
Party, and even at the expense of the Soviet Union.
Although Shushkevich and Akaev were critical of the Soviet regime,
particularly over Chernobyl in the case of Shushkevich, they can be seen as
compromise candidates. Neither would have been the first choice of the
Communist Party, but both were acceptable choices. Their victory was not a
defeat for the party as a whole. It is worth noting that Akaev was active in
the Kirghiz Communist Party. He served on a party committee overseeing
science and education and also served as first vice president and then
president of the republic’s Academy of Science. While this was not a
position within the party, it was an appointment that would have needed
party approval. First and foremost, Akaev was an academic, but he also had a
political background.
The more common path to the presidency was through the official channels
of government and the party. Although the party and the government were
supposed to be separate institutions, in an operational sense it is
virtually impossible to distinguish between the two. Most of the founding
presidents, while they were working their way up through the ranks, bounced
back and forth between the two institutions. For example, Snegur worked in
the Moldavian Ministry of Agriculture, a government job, and then served as
the Secretary of Agriculture for the Moldavian Communist Party. Of those
that rose through the party and government path, Karimov is unique in
spending much of his career, up until 1986, working exclusively for the
government. Since government jobs were less prestigious than party jobs, the
fact that he never held a party post until 1986 can be taken as a sign that
his career was not progressing very rapidly.(FN38)
On the other hand, Gorbunovs, Kravchuk, and Yeltsin spent the bulk of
their careers working for the party. Kravchuk is further unique in that his
specialty was ideology. A background in construction or agriculture was much
more common.
Those that worked their way up through the party hierarchy were, by and
large, “Gorbachev’s men.” This meant that their careers accelerated under
Gorbachev’s leadership. In 1986, Karimov was the party leader in the Kaska
Darya oblast’ and Mutalibov was working on the auditing committee. By 1990,
both were serving as first secretary in their republics. Yeltsin was
promoted from a position of leadership in Sverdlosk to a position of
leadership in Moscow. Gorbachev promoted the careers of the founding
presidents in two ways. First, he cleared a path for them by removing
entrenched figures from power. Once these positions were open, Gorbachev
undoubtedly had a hand in selecting the new occupants. The fact that they
rose under Gorbachev meant they were acceptable to him. The glaring
exception to this was Nabiyev, who became the leader of the Tajik Party in
1982, and then was forced out by Gorbachev in 1985. Nabiyev was able to
stage a comeback after Gorbachev’s man, Kakhar Makhkamov, was forced from
office for supporting the coup.

Each of these variables provide useful information on the founding
presidents, but they are even more useful when considered together. From
these variables a portrait of the “typical” first president of a Soviet
successor state emerges. He was from a humble social background, raised
either in a village or an orphanage. He received a college education,
specializing in a technical field such as physics, engineering,
construction, or agriculture. He joined the Communist Party, and spent most
of his prepresidential career working for either the party or the
government. He was a person of prominence who rose to a position of
influence under Gorbachev. He was in a position to benefit from the Soviet
Union’s collapse.
Each of these statements describes at least ten of the fifteen first
presidents. Of the fifteen, eight fit this profile in every way (table 2).
An additional three deviate from this profile only on a single
variable–Akaev because of his academic career path, Mutalibov because of
his parents being doctors, and Kravchuk because of his academic focus on
political economics. (As noted earlier, someone could argue that a focus on
political economics is just as practical as majoring in engineering or
At the same time, these variables draw attention to three individuals
who deviated from the established norm in every way. Gamsakhurdia,
Landsbergis, and Ter-Petrossian all were from more privileged backgrounds,
majored in purely academic subjects, never joined the Communist Party, and
worked in academia. Post-Soviet first presidents essentially came in two
varieties. There was the dominant group and its antithesis. Only one person,
Shushkevich, can be said to fall between the two groups. He had the
technical education and party membership of the dominant group, but shared
the more privileged beginnings and academic backgrounds with the
“antithetical first presidents.”
The most prominent first presidents (Yeltsin and Kravchuk) and longest
lasting (Akaev, Karimov, Nazarbayev, and Niyazov) are from the dominant
group. This has helped create the popular perception that all of the initial
post-Soviet leaders were party careerists who turned against the party once
it was safe to do so in their own interest. They did not leave the party
until it was in the final stage of its collapse and then appropriated many
of its resources. One of the most useful things about studying the first
presidents collectively in this manner is that it calls attention to the
fact that not all of the people who came to power with the disintegration of
the Soviet Union were of the Yeltsin-Nazarbayev mold. There was a second
type of first president. The unlikely journey to power that they each took
is part of the story of the Soviet Union’s end that should not be
David C. Brooker is a visiting assistant professor in the politics and
government department at the University of Hartford in West Hartford,
TABLE 1. Date of Elections.

Presidents Election by Parliament Popular Election
Akaev October 1990 October 1991
Gamsakhurdia October 1990 May 1991
Gorbunovs October 1990 —
Karimov May 1990 December 1991
Kravchuk July 1990 December 1991
Landsbergis March 1990 —
Mutalibov May 1990 September 1991
Nabiyev September 1991 November 1991
Nazarbayev April 1990 December 1991
Niyazov January 1990 October 1990
Rüütel March 1990 —
Shushkevich September 1991 —
Snegur September 1990 December 1991
Ter-Petrossian August 1990 October 1991
Yeltsin May 1990 June 1991

TABLE 2. Comparision of Founding Presidents of Soviet Successor States.

in the
Humble social Technical Communist
Presidents origins education Party career path
Akaev X X X
Gorbunovs X X X X
Karimov X X X X
Kravchuk X X X
Mutalibov X X X
Nabiyev X X X X
Nazarbayev X X X X
Niyazo X X X X
Rüütel X X X X
Shushkevich X X
Snegur X X X X
Yeltsin X X X X

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no. 4 (1992): 16-17; “His Excellency, First President of the Republic of
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; Galina
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; “Latvia,” in
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Multimedia Center for the Humanities (Lithuania),
; Esther B.
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New York Times, September 4, 1991, A16; Galina Kovalskaya, “Now That
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Asia and the World, ed. Michael Mandelbaum (New York: Council of Foreign
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International, no. 4 (1993): 14; Martha Brill Olcott, “Nursultan Nazarbaev
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CO: Westview Press, 1995), 169-75; and Who’s Who in Russia and the
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Atomic Scientists 50, no. 1, (January/February 1994): 44-47; Murad Esenov,
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1998),; Yael Kahana,
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Publications Limited, 1999), 1318-19; “Presidential Ballot: The Five
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; and “Ruutel Falls Short of
Estonia Target,” Financial Times (London), September 21, 1992, 6.
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1992): 7; Kathleen Mihalisko, “Stanislau Shushkevich and the ‘Republic of
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Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
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following sources: Staff of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in
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the Soviet Union and Successor States–A Compendium of Reports, 1991-1992
(Washington, DC: Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1992),
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Vladimir Yemelyanenko, “Mircea Snegur,” Moscow News Weekly, no. 21 (1992):
14. Biographical information on Levon Ter-Petrossian was obtained from the
following sources: “Levon Ter-Petrossian,” Web page of ARMINCO Global
Communications, ; Gevork
Nazaryan, “Levon Ter-Petrossian: The First President of Armenia,” Web page
of the Armenian Enlightenment Chronicle,
; Staff of
the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, “Report on the
Presidential Election in Armenia: October 16, 1991” in Presidential
Elections and Independence Referendums in the Baltic States, the Soviet
Union and Successor States–A Compendium of Reports, 1991-1992 (Washington,
DC: Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, 1992), 78; Staff of
the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, “Report on Armenia’s
Presidential Election: March 16 and 30, 1998,”
; and Suny, 145-46.
15. Biographical information on boris Yeltsin was obtained from the
following sources: Timothy J. Colton, “Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s All-Thumbs
Democrat” in Patterns in Post-Soviet Leadership, ed. Timothy J. Colton and
Robert C. Tucker (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995), 50-54; Stephen White,
“Russia: Presidential Leadership Under Yeltsin,” in Postcommunist
Presidents, ed. Ray Taras (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997),
47-55; and Boris Yeltsin, Against the Grain (New York: Summit Books, 1990).
16. Olga Kryshtanovskaya and Stephen White, “From Soviet Nomenklatura to
Russian Elite,” Europe-Asia Studies 48 (1996): 711-33.
17. David Lane and Cameron Ross, The Transition from Communism to Capitalism
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999).
18. Ibid., 149.
19. Christain Lucky, “Table of Presidential Powers in Eastern Europe,” East
European Constitutional Review (Fall 1993/Winter 1994): 81-94.
20. James McGregor, “The Presidency in East Central Europe,” RFE/RL Research
Report 3, no. 2 (January 14, 1994): 23-31.
21. Raymond Taras, “Separating Powers: Keeping Presidents in Check,” in
Postcommunist Presidents, ed. Ray Taras (Cambridge: ambridge University
Press, 1997), 38-66.
22. Eugene Huskey, “Democracy and Institutional Design in Russia,”
Demokratizatsiya (Fall 1996): 453-73; and Kataryna Wolczuk, “Presidentalism
in Ukraine: A Mid-Term Review of the Second Presidency,” Democratization
(Fall 1997): 152-77.
23. Gerald M. Easter, “Preference for Presdentialism: Postcommunist Regime
Change in Russia and the NIS,” World Politics (January 1997): 184-211.
24. John Morrison, Boris Yeltsin: From Bolshevik to Democrat (New York:
Dutton, 1991); and Vladimir Solovyov and Elena Klepikova, Boris Yeltsin: A
Political Biography (New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, 1992).
25. Yeltsin.
26. Landsbergis.
27. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Nursultan Nazarbayev: My Life, My Time and the
Future (Northampton: Pilkington, 1998).
28. Koychaev and Glosky.
29. Leonid Levitin and Donald Carlisle, Islam Karimov, Prezident novogo
Uzbekistana (Tashkent: Izd-vo Uzbekiston, 1999).
30. Raymond Taras, Postcommunist Presidents (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1997).
31. Timothy J. Colton and Robert C. Tucker, Patterns in Post-Soviet
Leadership (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995).
32. Sources differ on the year Nabiyev was born. Some list his date of birth
as October 5, 1930, others have it as October 5, 1931.
33. Mostafa Rejai and Kay Phillips, Loyalists and Revolutionaries: Political
Leaders Compared (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1988), 23.
34. Mostafa Rejai, Kay Phillips, and Warren Mason, Demythologizing an Elite:
American Presidents in Empirical, Comparative and Historical Perspective
(Westport, CT: Praeger, 1993), 34-35.
35. Mihalisko, 28.
36. “Biography of the President.”
37. See Solovyov and Klepikova, 206-207 for a description of the event.
38. Carlisle, 196.