Russia Rings in 2000

Moscow can claim the world's longest New Year Party

(Everything2000) Russia can lay claims to the world's longest New Year's Eve celebration as the country spans 11 time zones. Parades and family celebrations marked the moment at midnight when the year 2000 officially began.

Early in the day Russians paraded through snowy streets and munched on caviar. The party was festive the mood upbeat as thousands of people watched fireworks over the main harbor in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. The streets were quiet by midnight; most of the revelers were home spending the evening with family. New Year's is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia, and is traditionally a family affair.

As Russia's first time zones entered the year 2000 no big Y2K computer problems were detected. This is good news, because there was some concern that the country hasn't done all it could have to make their computers Y2K compliant.

While the talk was plenty on the year 2000, Boris Yeltsin dominated the holiday conversation after his surprise resignation. The news stunned Russians, but the parties proceeded as planned.

Yeltsin transferred his powers to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today in a nationally televised address to the country. Putin is a moderate former KGB officer who is Russia's most popular politician, and he is planning to run for president.

Yeltsin also granted his annual New Year's address to Putin who then gave his first speech to the nation as acting president. The speech was televised and took place at the stroke of midnight.

Source: Associated Press

DATE: 12/31/99

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