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World - Europe

Report: Yeltsin feels better, ulcer stable

CNN's Jill Dougherty reports on the health of Russian President Boris Yeltsin
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January 19, 1999
Web posted at: 4:41 a.m. EDT (0441 GMT)

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin was feeling better on Tuesday and his doctors said the condition of the bleeding stomach ulcer that put him in the hospital on Sunday was stable, Russian news agencies reported.

"He feels significantly better than on the day he was taken to the hospital," Interfax quoted one unidentified medical source as saying.

Itar-Tass and Interfax quoted medical sources as saying the 67-year-old leader's doctors were meeting at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital on Tuesday morning to discuss further treatment.

Yeltsin's chief-of-staff, Nikolai Bordyuzha, told Itar-Tass that the doctors were allowing the president no visitors other than his family and had confined him strictly to bed. The agency said Yeltsin was already working on documents which he had requested on Monday afternoon.

Itar-Tass said the president would undergo a new gastroscopic examination on Wednesday. Gastroscopy involves passing a fiber optic probe down the throat and into the stomach to view the ulcer and surrounding area. It can also involve taking specimens of tissue for examination.

On Monday, Yeltsin's physicians said he was likely to be out of action for at least three weeks. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said Yeltsin's condition was not serious enough to warrant him handing over any powers during his medical treatment.

Although the president's absence may make little difference to the battered economy, many of Russia's leading political figures have called for early elections because of Yeltsin's chronic health problems.

Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the main opposition Communist Party and a presidential contender, on Monday demanded that Yeltsin turn his powers over to Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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