Aides reassured the press on Friday when the 67-year-old Kremlin leader, who spends much of his time "working on documents" at his country residence, failed to keep his appointment in town. Yesterday they admitted a gastroscopy operation - in which optical fibres explore the stomach - had revealed he had a bleeding ulcer. He was "stable" they said.
German Basner, a Russian doctor outside the Yeltsin team, speculated that the President might have given himself an ulcer by taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks. Mr Yeltsin underwent a quintuple heart by-pass operation in 1996. His heart has not bothered him since, but he has had several bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia.Reuse content