Mr Yeltsin did little to assuage anxiety with an odd message. 'I can say that no explosions are expected in the country, so I am flying off without any concern,' he was quoted as saying before leaving for two weeks in Sochi. The timing is curious; the Russian resort is cold now and shunned by all but the most hardy holidaymaker.
Mr Yeltsin, 63, has a long history of retiring from view for extended periods but has absented himself even more often this year. Illnesses ascribed to him by Russian media and political enemies range from cancers, including a brain tumour, to chronic alcoholism. None has been proved.Reuse content