Hospital treatment for Raisa

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW (Reuter) - Raisa Gorbachev, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president, needs treatment for blood pressure, a spokesman for the Gorbachev Foundation said yesterday.

'Raisa Maximovna has been treated in hospital since the end of December. At the moment she is home because of a break in the (treatment) course, but soon she will be taken to hospital again,' said the think-tank's spokesman, Alexander Likhotal.

'The doctors say that there is no direct threat (to her life), but the illness will necessitate lengthy treatment.' Mrs Gorbachev has kept a low profile since the coup attempt in August 1991 by Communist hardliners which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and her husband's resignation.

She said after the abortive coup that she suffered from 'an acute bout of hypertension accompanied by a speech disorder'. Russian journalists who accompanied the couple when they returned to Moscow after three days of captivity said Mrs Gorbachev could not move her left hand.