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Primakov, ex-PM 'who turned around Russia,' dies aged 85

Yevgeny Primakov served as Russia's Prime Minister under president Boris Yeltsin in 1998-1999Russia’s former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov, famed for turning around his US-bound plane over the Atlantic upon learning of NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999, has died aged 85, the Kremlin said on Friday. A former prime minister, foreign minister and intelligence chief, he forcefully stood up for Russia’s interests, opposed NATO’s eastward expansion and locked horns with Washington during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. Along with Mikhail Gorbachev, Primakov was considered one of the last of the Soviet-era political titans, and his mid-flight turnaround is seen as a watershed moment in Russia’s foreign policy after Moscow’s rapprochement with Washington following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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