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#2 - JRL 2007: Boris Yeltsin Special Issue - JRL Home
Yeltsin to be buried next to Gen. Lebed and Gorbachev's wife

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin, who died at the age of 76 of heart failure Monday, will be buried next to his prominent army general and the wife of his political adversary, Mikhail Gorbachev.

A cemetery official said Yeltsin would be laid to rest Wednesday at the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow near Alexander Lebed, a prominent army general, who died in a controversial helicopter crash in 2002 when he was governor of a Siberian Region. Lebed ran against Yeltsin in the 1996 presidential elections but was appointed head of the National Security Council and endorsed the president's candidacy in the runoff.

Another famous personality buried nearby is Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of Yeltsin's old rival and predecessor Mikhail Gorbachev. She died in 1999 of leukemia.

Mourners will be able to bid farewell to the former Russian president, who has been both praised as a champion of democratic reforms and criticized for condemning millions of people to poverty, in the Church of Christ the Savior in central Moscow from Tuesday afternoon till after midday Wednesday, the Kremlin press service said.

The day of the funeral, April 25, has been declared a day of national mourning for Russia's president who ran the country through the turbulent 1990s - from 1991 to 1999.

A Russian diplomatic source has said former U.S. presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush senior, are expected to attend the funeral. But the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has refused to confirm the information.