News Boris Berezovsky was found dead at home last year

Moscow is trying to seize assets in Serbia allegedly belonging to the late Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, in an apparent attempt to claim some of what may be left of the fortune of Vladimir Putin’s once bitter foe.

Yeltsin's sacked PM enters race for the Kremlin

BORIS YELTSIN yesterday carefully declined to give unqualified backing to Viktor Chernomyrdin as his successor, reviving the possibility that - wildly ambitious though this may seem - he still harbours ambitions of remaining in the Kremlin into the 21st century.

Boris hits the bottle as Russia United face anonymity in the internatio nal league

"IT'S disgusting. It's revolting. He's brought the club into total disrepute." "I've supported the side for thirty years, but I've never felt this ashamed." "He should resign straightaway. Sooner, if possible." Just three reactions from shell-shocked supporters of Russia United, the club which started off the season so well and has now wandered dangerously close to the anonymity zone in the international league, writes Rene McGrit, our football specialist. And the action which sparked off this torrent of protest? The shock decision by chairman Boris Yeltsin to sack the entire board of Russia United yesterday, and all the players as well, and to fill all the functions himself.

Letter: Foreign Office blunders

NOBODY should blame Robin Cook for his real or alleged blunders in Israel. Ministers act mostly on the advice of their officials.

Yeltsin returns to the sick list

ON THE advice of his doctors - and also, it seems, a world-famous cellist - President Boris Yeltsin has cancelled his engagements for the week to recover from his third bout of illness in a year, writes Phil Reeves.

In The News: Boris Yeltsin - Immortal - for the time being at least

"YELTSIN is like a cat, he has nine lives," a Russian equities trader commented yesterday when the markets dipped on the news that once again the 67-year-old Kremlin leader was ill. The stock exchange is sensitive to such matters. National television was less excited, leading its news bulletins with the latest on the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Norway. The man in the street shrugged his shoulders, sure that the President would soon be back.

St Petersburg burial for Tsar

THE Russian government recommended yesterday that the remains of Russia's last Tsar, Nicholas II, and his family should finally be buried on 17 July in the church of St Peter-Paul in St Petersburg, the last resting place of their imperial ancestors, writes Helen Womack in Moscow.

Robotic Yeltsin raises fears he is losing the plot

TECHNICALLY, he did not put a foot wrong. He acknowledged Russia's economic and social problems, hailed its slender victories, and charted a glorious, so far elusive, path to growth. There was a swipe at the US over Iraq, and a jab at his parliament over the budget.

St Petersburg beats Moscow in fight for tsar's bones

Years of ecclesiastical debate, secular wrangling and general soul-searching about the fate of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family drew towards a close yesterday after a Russian government commission recommended that they should be buried in St Petersburg, the former imperial capital.

Yeltsin confirms decision to relinquish reins of power

He has said it, and contradicted it, before. But the announcement by Boris Yeltsin that he does not intend to run for a third term is his strongest denial to date, and suggests that the ageing president may now recognise that his time in the Kremlin is limited.

Yeltsin bolsters security

President Boris Yeltsin has expanded the powers of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, by bringing Russia's border guards under its control. Under the new arrangement, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, will now have a broader mandate in dealing with issues involving counter-intelligence and domestic security issues.

Russia: Cunning patriarch propels Christianity to heart of state

Russia is celebrating Christmas Day today, led by Alexei 11, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. In the last decade Alexei has seen his church restored to a powerful, even ruthless, force. As Phil Reeves reports, the patriarch is now one of the country's most influential and ambiguous figures.

Briefing for '98: Chubais to keep reforms coming

Anatoli Chubais: under fire

Yeltsin back at sanitarium after day at the office

President Boris Yeltsin left a sanitarium yesterday where he has been recovering from a bad cold and went back to work at the Kremlin. After sending New Year's greetings to foreign leaders, signing several decrees and issuing recommendations to parliament, Mr Yeltsin then returned to the Barvikha sanitarium west of Moscow, and is expected to stay there for another day or two while continuing to visit his office.

Weather: Where it's always the wrong kind of snow

Countries with really cold winters usually have the right kind of attitude to the wrong kind of snow. We all develop survival strategies to cope with severe cold, but even in Russia plans may be inadequate.

Is Boris bonkers?

The Russian President reverted to type last week - and Moscow is seething with rumours about the state of his health
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