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In sickness and in health: How the Russian president has fared in power

October 1991: President Yeltsin ordered to take two weeks' rest after aides said he had suffered minor heart problems.

January 1992: Yeltsin fails to meet Japan's foreign minister. Tokyo news agencies quote aides saying the President has a heart condition, but he reappears 24 hours later in good spirits.

February 1992: Yeltsin tells French television: "I have never had any heart trouble. Every day I have a cold shower - I am in very good shape."

April 1992: The President misses a meeting with then US Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady. Yeltsin said he was working; the media said he was drunk.

May 1992: Itar-Tass news agency says: "On the whole, the President's health is good", adding that doctors recommended he use an exercise bicycle.

March 1993: A dishevelled Yeltsin gives a halting speech that scandalises parliament. An opposition deputy says: "The President was dead drunk. He's a sick man."

April 1993: Yeltsin says: "I have only two problems - tiredness and lack of sleep. There are no other health problems."

September 1993: A bad back prompts Yeltsin to invite to Moscow a Spanish surgeon who operated on him in Spain in 1990 for spinal problems caused when an airliner crash-landed.

March 1994: Two former Russian diplomats say the President has cirrhosis of the liver. Aides deny it.

August 1994: Yeltsin, visiting Berlin to mark the departure of Russian troops from Germany, appears unsteady after a champagne lunch and gives an impromptu performance, energetically conducting a police marching band.

September 1994: The President fails to leave his plane to meet the waiting Irish Prime Minister during a stopover at Shannon airport. Aides said he had a slight indisposition due to the pressures of a meeting with President Bill Clinton. Leaving the plane in Moscow, Mr Yeltsin said: "I overslept."

December 1994: Yeltsin has a minor operation on his nose.

April 1995: A spokesman says the President suffers from high blood pressure which can cause sporadic muscle weakness.

July 1995: Yeltsin goes into hospital for two weeks, followed by a fortnight in a sanatorium, with an ischaemic heart condition - a blood supply problem.

October 1995: In hospital again. Doctors say it is the ischaemic heart condition. He moves to the sanatorium a month later and leaves on New Year's Eve.

February 1996: Yeltsin launches a vigorous re-election campaign. But he has lost his voice and speaks with a croak. He campaigns non-stop and shows no signs of health or drinking problems.

16 June 1996: First round of presidential elections. Afterwards, Yeltsin in effect stops campaigning and cancels three trips.

28 June 1996: Yeltsin misses a Kremlin meeting with farmers. Aides blame a sore throat and say he is doing paperwork at his country residence.

4 July 1996: Yeltsin returns to Kremlin and his press spokesman says he is in "fine working form".