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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aide Denies Yeltsin Needs Heart Surgery

Boris Yeltsin's spokesman condemned the latest report that the president is seriously ill, insisting Monday he works long days even though he's undergoing daily medical tests at home outside Moscow.


Yeltsin's handshake, according to Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, is "firm and hard," and there is no truth to the U.S. magazine report that the president is so ill he needs heart surgery abroad.


Time magazine says the Kremlin is considering sending Yeltsin abroad for double-bypass surgery. The magazine said it had obtained a Kremlin medical advisory detailing the seriousness of Yeltsin's condition. The Kremlin denied the existence of such a report.


Time's report Sunday said V.S. Dubrovin, head of the doctors monitoring the president's health, reported that Yeltsin's cardiac ischemia -- constriction of the heart caused by blocked arteries -- had worsened during the election campaign following a "crisis situation" in mid-June.


The Kremlin press service contended that no such person works on the team that examines the president.


"According to a source close to the president's security service," Time reported, a "relapse occurred partly because Yeltsin gave up his prescribed medication and went on a drinking binge that may have affected his heart as well as the left side of his brain."


Yeltsin's health has been a serious concern for months, especially in the runup to his July re-election when he disappeared from public view for days.


The 65-year-old leader's low profile continues; Yastrzhembsky said Monday that Yeltsin had decided against making a speech marking the five-year anniversary of the failed Soviet coup this week. Instead, a message from the president will be read by a representative.