April 26, 2007


Even in death, Yeltsin shuns Soviet ways: The former president is buried with Orthodox rites, a first since czarist times for a Russian head of state. (David Holley, April 26, 2007, LA Times)

Former President Boris N. Yeltsin, putting an end to Soviet practices in death as he did in life, was buried Wednesday with Russian Orthodox rites. The service marked the first time in more than a century that Russia bid a religious farewell to a deceased head of state. [...]

At the graveside, Yeltsin's widow, Naina, stroked and kissed his forehead and face, then blessed him with the sign of the cross. The coffin was then closed, and an artillery salute was fired as it was lowered into the grave.

"The fate of Boris Nikolayevich reflects the entire dramatic history of the 20th century," Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II, who was unable to attend because of medical treatment, said in a statement read out at the cathedral service. "At the turn of the 1980s and the early 1990s, he became a witness and a participant in a historic turnaround in the life of Russia. At that time the will of our people for freedom became manifest. Boris Nikolayevich sensed that will and helped for it to be carried out."

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 26, 2007 7:44 AM
Comments for this post are closed.