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Russia: Yeltsin Appeals For National Unity On 'Revolution Day'

Moscow, 7 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin appealed for national unity from his hospital room today as Russia marked Revolution Day, the 79th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.

In a statement issued by the Kremlin press office, Yeltsin told Russians "we are one nation. We have one fate, one future. And we are all from the same past."

Yeltsin also said he is back in charge and thanked his doctors and all those who had supported him as he went through his multiple bypass heart operation two days ago.

As thousands of people marked the anniversary with demonstrations in Moscow and across the country, Yeltsin congratulated the nation on the public holiday.

In a decree issued earlier today, Yeltsin had renamed the holiday the "Day of Accord and Reconciliation."

Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said the idea of accord and reconciliation is central to the president's second term. He said Yeltsin's decree is aimed at closing a turbulent chapter in Russian history marked by revolutions, war and communist dictatorship.

In his later statement, Yeltsin reminded the country that the revolution was a time when hopes had turned into a tragedy that claimed the lives of millions.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin says Yeltsin may be transferred from the Moscow Cardiological Center to the Kremlin Hospital as soon as tomorrow.

Chernomyrdin, who talked to Itar-Tass today at Domodedovo airport in Moscow, quoted the opinion of the doctors treating Yeltsin after he underwent a bypass operation two days ago. He referred to a telephone conversation he had on his way to the airport with Renat Akchurin. The Moscow heart surgeon led the team of specialists who performed the multiple heart bypass operation.

Chernomyrdin said that during the conversation Akchurin had told him that Yeltsin's condition is "a bit better than the norm" after such kind of surgery.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin's doctors today recommended he remain at Moscow Cardiological Clinic for another day.

Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin has been pressing to move from the Moscow Cardiological Center to the nearby Kremlin hospital "for psychological reasons." The Kremlin hospital -- called Central Clinical Hospital -- has presidential offices and a homier atmosphere for Yeltsin, who has undergone part of his preparation for surgery there.