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Russians pay hommage to Boris Yeltsin

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Russians pay hommage to Boris Yeltsin

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Russians have been paying their final respects to former President Boris Yeltsin who is lying in state in Moscow. Hundreds queued up outside the Christ the Saviour Cathedral – a gold-domed church which was destroyed under Stalin and later rebuilt during Yeltsin’s time in power. He died of heart failure on Monday at the age of 76.

The first-ever popularly elected leader of Russia, Yeltsin will be given a state funeral on Wednesday, before being laid to rest at Moscow’s famous Novodevichye cemetery – a break from the past when Kremlin leaders were traditionally buried on Red Square.

Tributes to Yeltsin praised him for taking on and defeating the Soviet establishment but also noted his shortcomings during his eight years as president – economic turmoil, a disastrous war against rebels in Chechnya and his drink-fuelled gaffes. President Putin has declared Wednesday a day of national mourning.