Boris Yeltsin’s doctors, who now admit that what was first described as a cold is in fact double pneumonia, said yesterday that the Russian president’s condition was slightly improved. But chief Kremlin doctor Sergei Mironov said it was too early to say the crisis had passed and that Yeltsin should remain in the hospital for several more days; after that, he should rest for three weeks. Yeltsin is therefore unlikely to be back at work before next month. (Interfax, January 11; ORT, January 12)
Aleksandr Lebed, whom Yeltsin sacked as national security adviser in October for pursuing his own presidential ambitions during Yeltsin’s last illness, called on Yeltsin to resign on health grounds. Speaking on Russian television, Lebed predicted that presidential elections would be held soon and that he would win them. (NTV, January 10; ORT, January 12) It is unusual to see Lebed on television, since he has been the object of a virtual media blackout since Yeltsin dismissed him from the Kremlin.
War of Words Escalates Over Russian Missile Deal with Cyprus.