Yeltsin meeting with Gore fails to dispel health fears
Wednesday 17 July 1996
"I think he is relaxing and getting some needed rest, but to me he looks good. On every score, President Yeltsin was actively engaged and seemed in very good shape to me," Mr Gore said after the meeting.
Despite these reassurances, there was no explanation of the extraordinary incident on Monday when, at the last minute, Mr Yeltsin postponed his meeting with Mr Gore for a day on the grounds that he had decided to take a holiday. Mr Yeltsin had two mild heart attacks last year, but his aides attributed his absence from public view after 26 June to nothing more than a cold and a need for rest after a lengthy and hard-fought election campaign.
Some European leaders remain unconvinced that all is normal in Moscow. President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland said: "The fact that today it is not very clear who is in charge in the Kremlin is a problem, but one must express hope that President Yeltsin's problems are temporary and he will be the one to take matters into his hands."
Mr Yeltsin's retreat from the public gaze coincided with the breakdown of a truce in Chechnya and a new Russian military onslaught against separatist rebels. However, to judge from an official Russian account of Mr Yeltsin's talks with Mr Gore, it seems improbable that Russian forces were capitalising on the President's poor health to act without his authority.
His press spokesman, Sergei Medvedev, said Mr Yeltsin had told Mr Gore that negotiations with the rebels formed the main direction of his policy, but that Russia still needed to protect itself against "bandit" formations. Russia's Interior Minister, Colonel Anatoly Kulikov, later blamed the rebels for two trolleybus bomb attacks in Moscow last week which wounded 33 people. He said it was too soon to talk of pulling out Russian forces by 1 September, as agreed in Mr Yeltsin's pre-election truce with Chechen commanders.
n Stary Atagi, Russia (Reuter) - The brother of the Chechen separatist leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev said yesterday that he and his family, including his mother, narrowly escaped death when Russian helicopters fired rockets into their home.
Residents said the house of Suleiman Yandarbiyev, 37, the guerrilla leader's younger brother, was one of five in the southern Chechen village of Stary Atagi hit by guided missiles on Monday evening. No one was killed.
"This is state terrorism," Suleiman Yandarbiyev said. "When a trolleybus gets blown up in Moscow, it's a tragedy for Russia. When they bomb villages and kill civilians in Chechnya, it's the fight against terrorism. They just treat us like animals."
Suleiman Yandarbiyev said he was sure that the attack had been deliberate, with him and his family as targets, although he insisted that there were no armed guerrillas in Stary Atagi.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...