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Gennady Burbulis, top Yeltsin aide and civil servant, dies aged 76

MOSCOW – Gennady Burbulis, a senior adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin who helped prepare and sign the 1991 pact that led to the formal collapse of the Soviet Union, has died. He was 76.

As foreign minister and first deputy chairman of the government from 1991 to 1992, Burbulis was instrumental in steering the new post-Soviet Russian state.

Along with Yeltsin, he was a signatory of Russia to the agreement reached on December 8, 1991 with the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus to dissolve the Soviet Union. The pact was signed in the Belovezha forest in present-day Belarus.

Burbulis is the third key player in the agreement to pass away in recent weeks. Former President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk and former President of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich both died in May.

Hopes for peaceful coexistence between the three former Soviet republics have been dashed since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began in February. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address at the time that the collapse of the Soviet Union was due to “historic, strategic mistakes” by the communist leaders.

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Burbulis died in Baku, where he had flown to attend a conference.

“He wasn’t sick, he felt great and he just took the IX. Global Baku Forum, which discussed the topic ‘Threat to the global world order,'” its press secretary Andrey Markov told Interfax news agency.

Burbulis was born on August 4, 1945 in Pervouralsk. He assisted Yeltsin in his rise to leadership of Soviet Russia in 1990 and then independent Russia in 1991 as its first president.

From 1993 to 1999, Burbulis was a deputy and later deputy governor of the Novgorod region.

“Another key figure in the European transformation has left us. Burbulis was influential like few others in breaking with the Soviet past and trying to build a new and democratic Russia,” Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt tweeted on Sunday.

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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/06/19/gennady-burbulis-top-yeltsin-aide-and-official-dies-at-76/ Gennady Burbulis, top Yeltsin aide and civil servant, dies aged 76

Sarah Y. Kim

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