Soviet 1991 coup leader Gennady Yanayev dies at 73: reports

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Former Soviet leader Gennady Yanayev, who led the abortive 1991 coup against then president Mikhail Gorbachev, died Friday aged 73 following an illness, a former Soviet politician said.

"I offer all my condolences to his loved ones," Ruslan Khasbulatov, one-time speaker of the Russian parliament, told the Echo of Moscow radio.

"Yanayev died after a long and painful illness. He was admitted the night before to a Moscow hospital," a source at the hospital was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Coup leader Yanayev served as a Soviet vice president from 1990-1991 before proclaiming himself acting president of the USSR. He was jailed after the two-day failed coup but granted amnesty in 1994.

© 2010 AFP

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