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The BBC's Orla Guerlin
"Boris Yeltsin has been the sick leader of an ailing country"
 real 28k

The BBC's Tony Smith reports
"He's expected to stay in hospital for at least a week"
 real 28k

The BBC's correspondent Paul Anderson reports:
"A spokesman for the president says there's no cause for alarm"
 real 28k

Monday, 29 November, 1999, 20:54 GMT
Yeltsin rushed to hospital
Yeltsin's health has long been in the spotlight

Russian President Boris Yeltsin has been taken to hospital with suspected pneumonia, just days after receiving treatment for bronchitis.

The Kremlin said the 68-year-old president was taken to the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow on Monday for examination and treatment.

Doctors say he will probably remain there for about a week.

Mr Yeltsin had been resting at his country residence outside Moscow after being diagnosed last Thursday with bronchitis.

The latest hospital visit renewed doubts about the president's capacity to govern ahead of parliamentary elections in three weeks' time.

Deteriorating health

Doctors had said his condition was not serious and that he needed to rest, but he apparently deteriorated on Monday.

Mr Yeltsin has been hospitalised several times in the last few years, usually for respiratory illnesses.

History of ailments
June 1996: Heart attack
Nov 1996: Quintuple heart bypass
Jan 1997: 'Double' pneumonia
Oct 1998: Unstable blood pressure
Jan 1999: Bleeding ulcer
Nov 1999: Viral infection
He underwent multiple bypass surgery in November 1996 and has also suffered from a bleeding ulcer.

The president, who rarely manages a full week of work in his Kremlin office, was hospitalised briefly last month with flu and a fever.

Seen in public

Earlier on Monday, Mr Yeltsin held discussions with his Chief of Staff Alexander Voloshin.

Russia's NTV television showed footage of the talks, but did not include the president's voice.

It was the first time the public has seen pictures of Mr Yeltsin since he fell ill last week.

As a result of the illness, the Kremlin has postponed a state visit by the president of Belarus on Friday. The two countries were scheduled to sign a union treaty.

But Mr Yeltsin's illness is unlikely to have any impact on the war in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, which has largely been run by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin, who has been handling day-to-day affairs in the president's absence, has recently won his strong endorsement - being nominated as Mr Yeltsin's favoured successor for presidential elections next summer.

Under the constitution, he would take over power temporarily pending new elections if the president became incapacitated.

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See also:
09 Oct 99 |  Russia crisis
Yeltsin's health record
30 Sep 99 |  Europe
The uncertain world of Boris Yeltsin
17 Sep 99 |  Europe
Russia's leaders: The race for the Kremlin
26 Nov 99 |  Europe
Analysis: What's behind Yeltsin's illness?

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