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Yeltsin may be looking over his shoulder from his hospital bed. If he were unable to perform his duties as president, rising political star and number two man Viktor Chernomyrdin would take his place, Kohan notes. "It's interesting that Chernomyrdin's press secretary was the first one to announce that Yeltsin was fine and the prime minister would not be taking over for him. The whole thing has a bit of "the lady doth protest too much" quality."