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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Postpones Television Address

The Kremlin issued another upbeat report on President Boris Yeltsin's convalescence from a multiple bypass operation Friday but admitted that a scheduled presidential address to the nation had been delayed.


Spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky told a briefing that Yeltsin's range of movement around his hospital suite had increased and the regular evening medical bulletin reported that the Russian president in "quite satisfactory" condition on the 11th day following his heart surgery.


But after predicting Tuesday that Yeltsin would be healthy enough to appear on television in just a few days, Yastrzhembsky backtracked at Friday's briefing, announcing that the address would not be recorded this week and giving no indication when it would.


Yastrzhembsky was forced into damage-control mode to explain the delay, saying the president's continued silence was the result of his aides' slow progress on an effective speech. "You understand, the president's image-makers want his first address since recovery to make a full, lasting impact," Yastrzhembsky said.


Yastrzhembsky said doctors are advising the president to stretch out his recovery time and gave no date for when Yeltsin will be discharged from the hospital.


"The doctors favor progress in small steps," the spokesman said. "No meetings have been scheduled for the president in the near future."


Chief Kremlin doctor Sergei Mironov said Thursday Yeltsin was due to stay in the Central Clinical Hospital for another week; he reported Yeltsin to be moving around for six hours a day, working while seated in an armchair for about three hours and eating much better than he had been able to before.


The Kremlin reported Tuesday that Yeltsin spoke to his close friend German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for seven minutes and to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, but no other official contacts have been reported since then.


On Friday, Yeltsin issued congratulations to the Meditsinskaya Gazeta, or Medical Newspaper, on the occasion of its first anniversary, Itar-Tass reported, quoting the Kremlin press service.


"While in the hospital, I have discovered that my second birthday, as that is what I call the operation performed on me by our excellent doctors, coincides with the birthday of the Medical Newspaper," the Kremlin quoting Yeltsin as saying.


Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin "has still not formulated an opinion" on allegations against Chief of Staff Anatoly Chubais in a Moskovsky Komsomolets article Friday nor on Chernomyrdin's decision to cancel a trip to Ukraine in order to sign final agreements on the division of the Black Sea Fleet.


Meanwhile, the Kremlin spokesman poured cold water on suggestions that Yeltsin's younger daughter Tatyana Dyachenko,who played a highly active role in her father's re-election campaign, will run for governor of Tula.


Earlier this week, Dyachenko -- by many accounts the president's closest confidante -- was asked if she would participate in the election race by an organization called the Tula Chapter of the Association for Conversion and Women.


"Tatyana Dyachenko found out about the invitation from media reports," Yastrzhembsky said. "While she accepts such an invitation with gratitude and a certain degree of humor, of course she has never had and never will have any plans of such a nature."


Tula, the same region where on Friday former presidential bodyguard Alexander Korzhakov was registered as a candidate in the race for a seat in the State Duma, is known as the domain of Alexander Lebed, the former security chief who is now an unemployed private citizen, but who is rumored to be eyeing the governor's seat for himself.