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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Returns Home

Boris Yeltsin received a visit from his successor on Monday, and Russian television showed the first pictures of the former Russian president since a six-week hospital stay that sparked rumours he was near death.

Yeltsin left a Moscow hospital on Sunday, after being confined with an acute viral infection and pneumonia since the end of January.

His prolonged hospital stay had sparked speculation that his health had seriously declined, and last week aides even took the step of denying he had died.

Monday's pictures, aired without sound, showed Yeltsin seated in a sweater, speaking while his wife Naina laughed. Yeltsin's protocol chief and top aide Vladimir Shevchenko was also present.

A Kremlin spokesman said President Vladimir Putin had visited Yeltsin's house on Monday morning, but did not say what the two men had discussed. Putin was not shown in the television pictures.

Shevchenko later told Interfax that Yeltsin had taken a stroll outdoors near the house after a half-hour conversation with Putin.

Yeltsin, who steered Russia's transition to capitalism during nine years as Kremlin leader, has a record of health problems that often sidelined him during the later years of his presidency.

His latest illness produced none of the political tremors that similar incidents did while he was president, but the silver-haired patriarch remains an important, controversial symbolic figure in the Russian political realm.

The former president was seeking "to throw off the burden of the hospital and reacclimatise himself," Interfax quoted Shevchenko as saying. He added that Yeltsin was no longer undergoing special medical procedures, but was taking "medicine and vitamins".