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Yeltsin Attends College Reunion

June 30, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) _ Boris Yeltsin feasted on cherries and sausages with fellow classmates at a college reunion Friday, after the building had been scoured by explosives experts and sniffer dogs checking a bomb threat.

No explosives were found after the anonymous caller said a bomb had been placed in the Urals Polytechnical Institute in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russian news reports said.

Yeltsin, who resigned in December as Russia’s first president, limits public appearances because of ill health. He joined other white-haired graduates of the institute’s Class of 1955 in a college cafeteria for Friday’s reunion, part of a three-day trip to his former stomping grounds.

``We were like students again,″ his wife, Naina, said on Russia’s NTV television. ``We even forgot about our age, and we’re all up there in age.″ Naina Yeltsin also graduated from Urals Polytechnical.

Security was tight around the modest building, where Yeltsin greeted a few hundred onlookers and chatted with this year’s graduates.

Yeltsin was a popular Communist Party boss in Yekaterinburg, then called Sverdlovsk, in the 1970s and 1980s. He was born in the tiny village of Butka in the Sverdlovsk region. Yeltsin also was to visit his parents’ graves.

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