THE PERILS OF CATCHING COLD

IF YELTSIN'S ILLNESS IS MORE SEVERE THAN THE KREMLIN ADMITS, RUSSIA'S LONG-TERM HEALTH WILL BE UNCERTAIN

Boris Yeltsin just has a cold, says the Kremlin. (Colds are dangerous in Russia. Leonid Brezhnev had a "cold" and it turned out he was gravely ill, addicted to sedatives and barely functional; Konstantin Chernenko had a "cold" and vanished behind Kremlin walls; Yuri Andropov had a "cold" and was dead in weeks.) Well, maybe flu. (Last time Yeltsin admitted to "flu" it was really pneumonia, and he was out of action for two months.) But there's no cause for alarm, officials claimed last week: the President will keep working while he is resting for 10 or 12 days in the...

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