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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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High-Profile Yeltsin Has One Eye on the Polls

On Wednesday, President Boris Yeltsin pressed the case for a political settlement to the Bosnia crisis at a meeting with Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Later the same day he discussed the budget with Finance Minister Vladimir Panskov. The previous day was largely taken up by talks with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, centering on the peace negotiations in Chechnya and December's parliamentary elections. The president also found time to give his second interview in a week to Russian Public Television. Over the last few days, as Yeltsin began his convalescence from heart trouble in a sanatorium outside Moscow, the flood of information provided to the general public about his activities has far exceeded the flow on any normal working day. This new Kremlin openness is seen by some analysts as evidence that Yeltsin, whose popularity ratings have been falling steadily in recent polls, is keen to raise his profile ahead of next year's presidential election.

Faberge Rarities and New Finds Unveiled at Kremlin Museum

In its first major exhibition in seven years, the Kremlin on Wednesday displayed its new riches -- 370 recently acquired art treasures including a rare Faberge dandelion and 400-year-old coins excavated from beneath its own concrete. ""We're seeing such a renewal of interest in our national heritage that we decided it was time to show our riches,"" said Natalia Kovalenko, one of the exhibit's organizers. These primarily Russian and Western European works, put on view for the first time in Russia, are only a fraction of the more than 5,000 pieces acquired since 1988 by the Moscow Kremlin Museum. The silver and gold Faberge dandelion, standing about 20 centimeters high in a crystal vase, was made during the final years of the famous St. Petersburg jewelry house's existence. Delicate strands of silver form the flower's fluff, tipped by tiny diamonds.

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