Boris Yeltsin dies at 76

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin has died at the age of 76. No word yet on the circumstances around his death.
AP-Obit-Yeltsin (Tops)

World leaders are remembering former Russian President Boris Yeltsin as a courageous fighter for democracy.

A spokesman for the State Department said Yeltsin "led Russia through a period of historic transformation." Defense Secretary Robert Gates said no American will forget how Yeltsin climbed on top of a tank to stand up against a coup trying to restore a dictatorial regime in Russia.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair calls Yeltsin a "remarkable man who saw the need for democratic and economic reform" in Russia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Yeltsin a "true friend" of Germany, saying his role in developing relations between Russia and German "will not be forgotten."

Yeltsin died today at 76. A Kremlin spokesman gave no cause, but media reports say he succumbed to heart failure.