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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Summit of success for Yeltsin
Lake Issyk-Kul
Boris Yeltsin was holidaying in the area
Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin is getting his own mountain.

Mount Yeltsin is in the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan, near a holiday spot popular with the communist elite in Soviet times.

Soviet cosmonauts were also sent there for rehabilitation after space flights.

The governor of Issyk-Kul region decided on the name after Mr Yeltsin visited its huge lake earlier this month.

He wanted "to thank him for his contribution to building democracy on the post-Soviet space", Kyrgyz and Russian media reported.

Map showing area
The governor said a group of climbers would soon mount the 3,500-metre (11,550-foot) peak and plant Russian and Kyrgyz flags at its summit.

The name won little praise from climbers, who come from around the world to scale the mountains in the area.

"It's not up to governors to decide what climbers will call the peaks that they scale with their lives at risk," said Levon Alibegashvili, chairman of Kyrgyzstan's Mountain Climbing Federation.

Another summit with a famous moniker not far away is Lenin Peak, which was only renamed four years after the death of the first Soviet leader.

But others have lost their mountains.

Stalin Peak in Tajikistan was rechristened Communism Peak and has since been renamed Ismail Samani Peak.

See also:

07 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
20 Jan 98 | Asia-Pacific
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