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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Takes Working Vacation

President Boris Yeltsin started a summer holiday Monday but will remain in charge of affairs of state, his spokesman told Russian news agencies.

"The head of state's holiday has only just begun," Sergei Yastrzhembsky was quoted as saying by Interfax. He did not say how long the president would stay on holiday.

Yeltsin would be working on papers and might meet certain officials. But Yastrzhembsky added: "We must give Boris Yeltsin a chance to rest and recover his health after the elections."

Yeltsin has been taking things easy for some time. Aides say the 65-year-old leader, who had two heart attacks last year, needs to rest after his exhausting re-election campaign.

They have denied rumors that Yeltsin, seen in public only once in the last two months, is ill and insist he is in full control of policy despite occasional apparent differences in approach to, among other things, the Chechen conflict.

Spokesmen said Yeltsin took a two-day trip to Russia's northwestern Valdai lakeland last week to check out a holiday home. But he appears to have decided to at least start his holiday near Moscow. News agencies said the president was at a Kremlin residence called Rus, 90 kilometers northeast of the capital.

He may wish to be close to his wife, Naina, who was said Monday to have undergone "a planned operation" on her left kidney and be in satisfactory condition in a Moscow hospital.

Itar-Tass quoted the Kremlin press service as saying the operation took place Saturday and that she would be released from the hospital in a few days.

Doctor Sergei Mironov told Itar-Tass Naina was "in permanent contact" with her husband and two daughters, Yelena and Tatyana. Interfax said Yeltsin had telephoned his wife several times.

Yastrzhembsky did not rule out Yeltsin spending some time outside Moscow. But he insisted the president would remain in charge of affairs of state.