Ruslan Khasbulatov, former speaker of the Russian parliament, has died.  He was 80 years old

Russian news agencies reported that Ruslan Khasbulatov, the former speaker of the Russian parliament, has died at the age of 80. He was one of the key figures during the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 that ended with tanks bombing parliament.

Born in Grozny, Chechnya, Khasbulatov was a researcher for years until he was elected Speaker of Parliament in October 1991. He also kept this job after the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the year. Initially, he was an ally of the then President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, but both politicians soon found themselves in conflict, the background of which was a dispute over efficiencies and government economic reforms causing a sharp drop in living standards.

In late September 1993, Yeltsin announced the dissolution of Parliament. In response, the latter declared the procedure invalid and appointed its acting president.

Ruslan KhasbulatovFrederic Lingeni/Gamma Ravo via Getty Images

On October 4, 1993, after bloody clashes between supporters and opponents of Yeltsin in Moscow, Russian forces bombed the building of the White House and the Russian Parliament, set fire to the upper floors, and then captured it.

Soon, Yeltsin set about consolidating his power with a series of decrees, which strengthened the presidential form of government. Although Khasbulatov and his close associates were arrested and accused of organizing mass riots, the new parliament granted them an amnesty in February 1994.

Khasbulatov returned to academia and taught economics in Moscow.

Main image source: Frederic Lingeni/Gamma Ravo via Getty Images

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