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Russia: Advisor: Yeltsin Fatigued but Sharp

Moscow, August 2 (RFE/RL) -- A top aide to Russian President Boris Yeltsin says the president is suffering from "colossal fatigue," but is intellectually sharper then ever. Georgy Satarov, in an interview published today by the Russian daily "Segodnya," says Yeltsin is in "very good mental shape," but needs time to recover from an exhausting presidential campaign.

Yeltsin abruptly left the Kremlin last month for the government rest home of Barvikha, outside Moscow, fueling concerns about his health. The 65-year-old Yeltsin was hospitalized twice last year with heart problems.

Satarov said Yeltsin's tiredness had "nothing to do with a serious illness, like heart disease or something like that." Satarov said Yeltsin "does not feel as well as he did in May." But the aide went on to say "if Yeltsin had something serious, he would be in hospital under strict medical observation," and not in Barvikha.

Yeltsin has continued to hold meetings and has signed several decrees since he left the Kremlin, but occasional TV footage showed him looking stiff and tired. This week, the head of the president's administration, Anatoly Chubais, said he had advised Yeltsin to take a real vacation after inaugurtion ceremonies August 9.