Former colleagues remember ‘intelligent, playful, constantly curious’ news assistant and friend

Ruben Sergeyev, a longtime consultant and friend to Guardian correspondents in Moscow from the Gorbachev era through to the Putin years, has died of Covid-19 at the age of 65.

He died on Wednesday after being admitted to hospital in Moscow. Sergeyev worked from 1988 until 2014 as a news assistant, fixer, and all-round explainer of Russia during a time of rapid change. He helped a succession of bureau chiefs including Jonathan Steele, David Hearst, James Meek and Miriam Elder.

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