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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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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape