25 April 2007


I paid my respects to Yeltsin yesterday evening at Christ the Savior Cathedral. I arrived at 7:30 pm and only had to wait about 30 minutes to enter. By the time my host parents went around 10:00 pm, the waiting time had increased to two hours.

The funeral and burial, an all day affair, has been on TV all afternoon. A while ago the cortege passed our apartment on the way to the cemetery. The first picture is of the hearse. The second is a limousine flying the Belarusian flag; I assume it was carrying Lukashenko.

The most touching image of the day was Naina Yeltsina, his wife, gently caressing his hair and kissing his face before saying goodbye at the cemetery. It was a powerful reminder that he was, first of all, a human being. A human being who was called upon to do superhuman things for his country. While mistakes were made, we can only imagine how a weaker individual would have carried his burden...

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