Former Soviet leader dies in Moscow

17:23, September 24, 2010      

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Former Vice President of the Soviet Union, Gennady Yanayev, died in a Moscow hospital early Friday at the age of 73.

Yanayev had been suffering from a "serious and long-lasting illness," reported the Interfax news agency, citing a medial source.

Yanayev briefly declared himself as acting Soviet president in August 1991 during a failed coup attempt.

On Aug. 19, 1991, eight senior leaders including Yanayev announced the formation of a state emergency committee to take power in saving the Soviet Union from collapse. The committee was dissolved three days later.

Yanayev was then jailed on charges of treason and conspiracy to usurp power, but released in February 1994 by amnesty.

According to Interfax, leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov had extended his condolences over the death of Yanayev, saying the integrity of the Soviet Union could have been retained if the committee members had acted with more resolution.

Source: Xinhua


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