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Kleintje Pils say the performance will be a 'signal'

Russian PM makes mystery visit to Yeltsin

IN A further sign of disarray in the Kremlin, the Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, yesterday stood up the head of the International Monetary Fund and flew off instead to the Black Sea for an 'important and difficult' meeting with Russia's holidaying President, Boris Yeltsin.

Turkey reopens Bosporus after last Sunday's catastrophic collision

Scores of ships wait off Istanbul to cross through the Bosporus yesterday, after the straits had been reopened. Priority was given to passenger vessels and small ships. The fire on the oil tanker Nassia, in which at least 29 seamen died, was finally put out early yesterday. But oil slicks up to 25 miles long are being seen on the Black Sea's shores, and bad weather is hampering containment efforts.

Yeltsin foes join forces

RUSSIA'S resurgent Communists and other leading opponents of President Boris Yeltsin yesterday announced a new alliance of 'citizen-patriots' to bury what an emotional manifesto condemned as ruinous reform, while Alexander Rutskoi, the former vice-president, called for a revival of the Soviet Union.

Bosporus stays closed

The oil-fouled Bosporus was closed for a third day yesterday, even after a burning tanker was towed into the Black Sea, Reuter reports from Istanbul. The death toll from Sunday's collision between the tanker and a freighter rose to 19, with 10 seamen missing.

Letter: Greeks are right to remember

MICHAEL Fathers does not inform us whether it is the Greek day of mourning for the fate of the Pontic Greeks who used to live on the shores of the Black Sea that he finds an example of 'highly strung chauvinism' or the day chosen, the national day of Turkey? Perhaps the distinction should have been made (Flat Earth, 27 February).

Crimea contemplates long road back to Russia: Ukraine is less and less capable of fighting the lure of Moscow, writes Andrew Higgins in Yalta

ALONG the waterfront, down a steep hill from the neat, white palace where Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt admired the Black Sea and split the Second World War spoils, squats a rusty metal kiosk with an Orthodox cross on the roof and shelves of angry tracts trumpeting conflicts to come.

Prickly nationalists squeeze Crimea's new leader: Victorious Yuri Meshkov is already toning down his secessionist rhetoric

BY 4am the scale of the triumph became clear, and they celebrated with sparkling wine. 'Crimean champagne, the best in the Soviet Union.' By 6am they were on to Crimean brandy. And, by the time the voters who provided the cause for such celebration awoke, the chairman of the Crimean Afghan Veterans' Union and friends were goggle-eyed, wobbly, but satisfied with their vigil at the 'Pentagon', the parliament building where the results of Sunday's poll in Crimea were announced.

Tennis: Sampras staggered by shots of Kafelnikov: World No 1 survives an extended encounter with the blond from the Black Sea while Leconte wilts in the heat

SINCE we are constantly being reminded that there are too few big names in the game, it might be advisable to start contorting the tongue around Yevgeny Kafelnikov. This tall, blond competitor from the Black Sea resort of Sochi came within two points of eliminating Pete Sampras, the world No 1, in the second round of the Australian Open on a day of drama at Flinders Park.

Russia: Rise and rise of the wild man who would be tsar: Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose ultra-nationalists won the largest number of votes, has set his eye on President Yeltsin's job

VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY was yesterday catapulted from a grubby back-street block, with a broken lift and a heavy-metal shop selling plastic skulls, to a lectern before 50 television cameras in a luxury Moscow hotel. He assured South African whites they could find refuge in Russia; his own people they would see Slav faces on television and the world that it had nothing to fear.

Rebels close in on Shevardnadze

TBILISI - The Georgian leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, suffered another serious military setback yesterday. Rebels supporting his rival, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, captured the key town of Samtredia and forced troops to flee.

Georgia warns of bread riots

(First Edition)

Georgians flee from wars that no one understands

THE SMELL of defeat hangs heavy in the Kutaisi town bus, packed with displaced Georgians and crude bundles of their possessions: stale food and drab clothes unwashed after weeks of war and days of trekking through the cold, cruel mountains of the northern Caucasus.

Troops massed

Georgia massed its troops to stop new advances by armed supporters of the ousted president Zviad Gamsakhurdia a day after they seized three western towns, Reuter reports from Tbilisi.

Turks put squeeze on Bosporus: Hugh Pope finds that old power games lie behind a new warning

CITING fears of an environmental catastrophe, Turkey has said it cannot tolerate growing oil tanker traffic through one of the world's busiest international waterways, the straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Out of Georgia: Sun, sea and sex keep Lenin dream alive and well

SOCHI - Visitors emerging from 'Riviera Park', the delightfully optimistic name given to a patch of weeds and concrete, confront an unnerving apparition. There, on the other side of the road, is Satan. At least it looks like him. It is in fact a large red and orange stone mosaic of Lenin, his skeletal head tongued by flame, beady eyes flickering with fire. Nor was the artist kind in the choice of clothing: an ugly red tie and a black coat with a thick, upturned collar. Hardly beach wear. Perhaps it was to remind holidaymakers that the hard, icy struggle rages on even as they stroll about in T-shirts.
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