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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Boris Yeltsin: A life in pictures

Boris Yeltsin in 1993

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin - the man credited with bringing down the Soviet Union - has died aged 76.

Candidate for Moscow seat in upcoming parliamentary elections, Boris Yeltsin addresses some 500 delegates of the ZIL car factory 21 March 1989 in Moscow

In 1988, two years after being transferred to a top job in Moscow, he quit the Soviet politburo. Soon afterwards, he shocked communists as he was elected to parliament.

Yeltsin outside the parliament building during a failed coup attempt

In August 1991, a failed coup by hardliners served him well as he proceeded to discredit the Soviet system.

Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991

And he did not stop the offensive - and a meteoric rise to national leadership - even though the target was none other than his former benefactor, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin clenching a fist during the funeral of three young men killed during the coup attempt of mid-August in 1991.

The strong man of Russian politics knew exactly what he wanted next: he banned the Communist Party and by the end of the year the Soviet Union had broken apart.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin taking the oath of the presidency at the Supreme Soviet in Moscow.

So the first elected leader of Russia as a Soviet republic became president of a newly-independent successor state to the USSR.

Boris Yeltsin with US President Bill Clinton at the G7 summit in 1997

Soon, Russia's Boris Yeltsin emerged onto the world stage as a new player, though one who caused some Russians embarrassment.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (R) in Rostov, dancing with musicians during a rock performance as part of his pre-election campaign in 1996

During his energetic campaigning for re-election in 1996, he suffered a heart attack, leading to a quintuple heart bypass operation.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin announcing his resignation in 1999.  He hands powers over to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Erratic behaviour - some say a result of too much drink - led to a drop in popularity. He resigned in 1999 after presiding over a second military intervention in Chechnya.

Boris Yeltsin at a Volleyball match 2002

Largely out of sight since then, he is nonetheless remembered fondly by some Russians - as others accuse him of undermining Russian prestige.

Boris Yeltsin's legacy

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