MOSCOW : Once in a Millennium

Boris N. Yeltsin, the radical populist who swept to victory in the Russian Federation's presidential election last month, will be inaugurated in the Kremlin on Wednesday, the first popularly elected leader in the thousand years of Russian history.

So momentous is the occasion, as well as unprecedented, that Russian officials have been in a month-long quandary over the form of the ceremony, the content of the oath and the symbolism that will restore to Russia some of the national pride it surrendered when it became the Soviet Union.

Yeltsin is expected in an inaugural address to lay out his plans for an entity which comprises three-quarters of the Soviet Union's territory, contains half its 290 million people and much of its industrial power, mineral wealth and economic potential.

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