Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 233

Russian president Boris Yeltsin yesterday made his first appearance since being advised by his doctors five days ago to retire to a sanitarium with an "acute viral infection." Yeltsin was shown on Russian Television voting in the elections for the Moscow City Duma. Yeltsin, who was filmed inside the sanitarium, appeared pale and unsteady. "I’m a bit weak, on the whole I don’t feel too good," he admitted. Yeltsin walked unaided, however, and insisted for the cameras that all he has is the flu and that he remains in full control of the government. This week’s official meetings have been canceled. The walk in the fresh air that his doctors had promised was also canceled when temperatures in Moscow plunged to minus 20 degrees Centigrade. (ORT, AP, December 14)

Voting for local legislatures took place in several regions of Russia yesterday. Frosty weather led to low initial turnouts, but the required minimum 25 percent turnout was achieved in Moscow and the results are expected early this week. The vote for the Moscow Duma has taken on extra significance since it is being seen as an indirect referendum on the performance of Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov and his chances as a presidential candidate.

Zhirinovsky Calls for Authoritarian Rule.