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"Soviet medicine has not made much progress over the years," says TIME's Yuri Zarakhovich in Moscow. "But it has honed to perfection the art of keeping a famous person alive." The evidence arrived Tuesday as Boris Yeltsin, looking healthier than he has in weeks, told a TV camera crew in his hospital room that he was still in charge of Russia. "I'm in full control of the rudder of the big Russian ship," said the smiling, red-cheeked president. "I'm keeping my finger on the pulse." He then assured reporters that the December 17 parliamentary elections were still on track. Yeltsin has said he will announce after the parliamentary elections whether he will run in the presidential elections in June, a decision Zarakhovich says the president has already made: "There is no question that he will run."