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MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Russia has paid last respects to its veteran politician Yevgeny Primakov, whose versatile and expansive career as a journalist, scholar of the Orient, diplomat, intelligence officer, and high-rank statesman spanned six decades.
A personality who enjoyed broad international respect, Primakov died in Moscow on Saturday, June 26, at the age of 85.
The final public farewell ceremony took place in the Hall of the Columns, an 18th century mansion for public assemblies located in downtown Moscow in a stone’s throw from the Kremlin.
President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the chief of the Kremlin Administration staff, Sergey Ivanov, the speakers of both houses of parliament, Sergey Naryshkin and Valentina Matviyenko, members of the cabinet, parliament deputies and senators, public activists, journalists, researchers, and arts professionals came to pay last respects to Primakov.
"He was a center of gravity for many people, a person whom they communicated with, took advice from and entrusted information on their actions and plans to," Putin said, adding that this could be said in full measure about himself, too.
Yevgeny Primakov had a capability for global thinking and he did it openly and courageously, Putin said.
"His life philosophy, ideas, outlooks, and predictions have been reflects in his research papers and philosophic works that he wrote for us and the future generations of people," he said. "Yevgeny Maksimovich (the second word being Primakov’s patronymic, a mandatory element in official communications in Russian — TASS) thought about Russia’s destiny. He lived and worked for the sake of its development and blossoming."
"His departing is a big grief for all of us and for the entire country and we’ll do everything in our power to maintain his professional, creative and humanitarian heritage," Putin said.
Primakov’s grandson Yevgeny Sandro, a journalist, asked the attending public to bid final farewell to his grandfather with applause.
"In spite of all of my grief, I’d like to ask you to applaud him," he said. Members of the public fulfilled his request.
Later on, Primakov was taken to famous Novodevichy convent where the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill I, who had known him personally for many years, led a funeral service.
Primakov’s final resting place is the Novodevichy memorial cemetery where Muscovites have been burying outstanding politicians, statesmen, public personalities, scientists, national heroes, writers, and arts professionals since the end of the 19th century.