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    Russians to pay final respects to Chernomyrdin

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    Russians will be able to pay their final respects to Viktor Chernomyrdin on Thursday afternoon before the former prime minister is laid to rest on Friday.

    Russians will be able to pay their final respects to Viktor Chernomyrdin on Thursday afternoon before the former prime minister is laid to rest on Friday.

    Chernomyrdin, who died early on Wednesday at the age of 72, will lie in state in a government reception house on Sparrow Hills. The hall will be open to the public from 16:00 Moscow time on Thursday until 08:00 Friday.

    Russia's longest-serving prime minister will be buried in the elite Novodevichy Cemetery on Friday.

    President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to attend the funeral service at the Assumption Church in Novodevichy Monastery.

    The president praised Chernomyrdin in a Kremlin address on Wednesday and ordered a state commission to organize the funeral and to provide a live broadcast of the ceremony.

    "He was a symbol of the new Russia; together with our new country he made many different decisions, sometimes painful, and served his Motherland his entire life," Medvedev said. "He was a warm-hearted man of great charm and simplicity, open to all. We will remember him."

    After serving as prime minister under President Boris Yeltsin from 1992-1998, Chernomyrdin was appointed Russian ambassador to Ukraine in 2001, a post he held until 2009, when he was named the president's special envoy for economic cooperation with CIS countries.

    MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti)

     

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