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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Footage Quells Death Rumors


President Boris Yeltsin was shown meeting his chief of staff, Anatoly Chubais, in film televised on Russian evening news broadcasts Thursday.

In some 20 seconds of edited footage, Yeltsin smiled, took a seat with relative fluidity, and gestured with both arms during an exchange with Chubais that seemed to be related to the state of the economy.

The Kremlin press service said poor tax collection and wage arrears were on the agenda.

The footage will quench any lingering concerns over a sudden deterioration in Yeltsin's health, after rumors of his death were circulated on world financial markets Wednesday. Yeltsin is also expected to address the nation by radio Friday.

Exterior shots showed the autumnal woods around the Barvikha sanatorium near Moscow, where Yeltsin moved to after leaving the hospital last weekend to continue preparations for a heart bypass operation due in the next two months.

American cardiologist Michael DeBakey, who examined Yeltsin last month and is expected to return to Moscow for the operation, said the president is doing very well.

"I know he is okay," DeBakey had said from Houston on Wednesday, adding he holds regular consultations with a team of doctors attending the president at Barvikha.

DeBakey will soon be visited by Renat Akchurin, the Russian heart surgeon who is tipped to perform the operation.

Akchurin will come to the Bailor Medical College to familiarize himself "with the latest technological developments" in the field of heart surgery, and will return to Moscow with a small team of Houston doctors and some of their equipment, Izvestia reported.

A statement released after Thursday's meeting with Chubais said Yeltsin had ordered government officials to declare their income for 1996.