MOSCOW _ President Boris Yeltsin checked out of the hospital Monday after a two-night stay for treatment of the flu and returned to his country house to recuperate, Kremlin officials said.
``Naturally, some residual medical symptoms are left, but the state of his health has significantly improved,″ said Igor Shabdurasulov, first deputy head of the presidential administration.
Yeltsin was taken to the Central Clinical Hospital on Saturday, suffering from a high fever and the flu. Shortly after he was admitted, his temperature began to decline, presidential press spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said.
By Monday, doctors felt he was well enough to return to his house on the outskirts of Moscow to recuperate.
Russian television showed a smiling Yeltsin chatting with Yakushkin upon leaving the hospital Monday. The president, moving slowly but looking healthy, waved to cameras and then got into his limousine unaided.
Health Minister Yuri Shevchenko said Yeltsin was suffering from nothing worse than a common cold, and his latest hospital stay was not caused by heart problems.
Shabdurasulov said Yeltsin became vulnerable to colds after his quintuple bypass operation in 1996.
With Yeltsin’s history of health problems, the latest trip to the hospital once again led to questions about his ability to stay in office. The illness comes at a time when Russian forces have launched a major military campaign against breakaway Chechnya in southern Russia.
Yeltsin, 68, has been hospitalized for an ulcer, pneumonia, bronchitis and heart trouble during his second term. Still, he insists he is capable of running Russia and says he won’t step down before his term runs out next summer.
Even when healthy, Yeltsin rarely spends more than a few days a week in the Kremlin, and usually returns to his home outside Moscow by early afternoon.
He has had little to say about the conflict in Chechnya or the financial scandals swirling around his administration.