Yeltsin stared down the die-hard Communists and put Russia on a new path. I don't know if it will survive but the sheer toughness of the man, both his physical ability to take punishment from hard drinking and hard living, or to stare down tanks is mind-boggling.
The Great and Good in the West love Gorbachev. The Russian Nationalists love Putin. But if there is ever going to be a real constitutional government in Russia, Yeltsin is the man to look to. I hope St. Peter buys the man a drink.