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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Astrologer Gives Top Events for New Year

While the rest of the world spends 1998 fighting the Antichrist, Russia's year will be dominated by top-level political resignations and failing presidential health, the country's foremost astrologer predicted Tuesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and other Cabinet members may fall from power and President Boris Yeltsin will have a major health crisis, warned Pavel Globa at a news conference.

Globa is a household name in Russia and the author of 30 books on how the constellations ostensibly affect peoples' lives.

Skeptics might say Globa's scenario is already a day-to-day likelihood in Russia, with Yeltsin's already fragile health and tendency to cashier his ministers. Globa also predicts that there will be calamities like floods, fires and plane crashes -- not exactly going out on a limb, either.

Undaunted, Globa insists that next year is make it or break it time for Yeltsin. "If Yeltsin outlives 1998, he will go on to be the next president as well," he said, alluding to the next presidential elections, set for 2000. "Everything depends on the actions his doctors take in March and April."

Though eclipses will herald flood and fire in Russia, the country will escape dangers affecting other parts of the world resulting from ominous permutations of the devil's numerical calling card.

"One can't help noticing that 666 multiplied by three is 1998," said the astrologer. "The forces of the Antichrist won't show themselves in Russia, but we can expect to see the appearance in the summer and fall of some terrible Satanic sects that will claim many victims in the United States, Europe and China."

Globa, who advises celebrities and State Duma deputies and has his own daily television show, asserts that astrology is scientific and mathematical. While largely based on the stable movements of stars and planets, he says much influence is exerted by phenomena such as eclipses and the passing of meteorites and comets.

For this reason he confidently predicts more aviation accidents until the Hale Bopp comet leaves our solar system Jan. 10. Other impending calamities include deaths in space.

On the bright side, Globa assured that the redenomination of the ruble will be as smooth as the government has promised. In the first years of the next century Russia will "barely withstand collapse" after a crisis in the federation's southern regions. As of 2003 Russia's fortunes will take a turn for the better, said Globa, predicting that the country will rise back to great power status in 2011.

Yeltsin's successor will be a tall, fair-haired man of about 40 yet to appear on the scene, said the astrologer. On the other hand, if either First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais' or Boris Nemtsov's hair goes white, "it could be one of them."