Yeltsin Recuperating Through January

Doctors said Friday that President Boris Yeltsin will be out of action recovering from pneumonia at least through the end of January, adding to speculation that his health is significantly worse than the Kremlin has acknowledged.

Yeltsin, 65, who has been president in name only since he was re-elected last July, was portrayed by his doctors as a stubborn patient who, fearing the damage to his image, refused to be hospitalized when he was first diagnosed on Monday. At the time, the Kremlin said Yeltsin was suffering merely from a cold.

He is now said to be suffering from viral pneumonia, which his doctors insist is unrelated to his previous heart condition and the quintuple coronary bypass surgery he underwent in November.

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