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Alexander Bovin, journalist

MOSCOW -- Alexander Bovin, a former ambassador to Israel and a prominent journalist, has died. He was 73.

Mr. Bovin died at his home late Tuesdsay or early Wednesday, his colleagues at the Izvestia newspaper said yesterday. The cause of death was not known.

He was a well-known Soviet foreign affairs commentator during the Cold War era. In addition to his political writings for Izvestia, he anchored a popular weekly television program, "International Panorama," and hosted a current affairs radio program on Radio Russia.

His reports were known for their fairness and accessibility, and he won over his audience with his warm humor.

In 1991, the year of the Soviet collapse, Mr. Bovin was appointed Moscow's ambassador to Israel and he contributed to the warming of relations after decades of enmity.

Mr. Bovin had received some of the Soviet Union's prominent honors, including the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Interfax news agency said.

He is survived by his wife and daughter, Izvestia said.

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