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Fourth echelon

Former Russian Prime Minister Primakov dies at 85

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MOSCOW, June 26 (UPI) -- Evgeny Primakov, Soviet and Russian statesman, and Prime Minister during Boris Yeltsin's presidency, died Friday in Moscow. He was 85.

"He was a statesman, a scientist, a politician and left an enormous legacy," Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said.

Primakov began his career as a journalist, writing as a Middle East correspondent for the Russian newspaper Pravda, and later was the head of the Soviet Academy of Sciences' Institute for Oriental Studies and the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations.

In the Russian government, he served as parliament member, special envoy to Iraq, First Deputy Chairman of the intelligence agency KGB, director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, foreign minister and days after Russia defaulted on $40 billion of debt and devalued the ruble in 1998, Prime Minister Primakov's government introduced tax reforms to defuse the situation.


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