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Gorbachev leaves hospital, no engagements for a week: Interfax
December 2, 2001

Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev was due to leave the hospital, after six days of treatment for exhaustion, but would not attend any official functions for another week, Interfax news agency quoted his entourage as saying.

"Everything's fine. Mr Gorbachev is just very tired and has to rest for a week without taking part in any engagements," a member of the 70-year-old former president's entourage told Interfax.

He said Gorbachev had undergone "preventative" medical tests.

Gorbachev, who resigned as president of the defunct Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, was elected head of a newly-created social democratic party last week.

Since the death of his wife Raisa from leukaemia two years ago he has maintained a busy work schedule, involving himself in domestic politics and environmental issues.

He has denied harbouring ambitions to become president of Russia.

But he remains highly sought after by journalists as the country approaches the tenth anniversary of the Soviet Union's demise on December 8, an event for which he is blamed by many Russians.

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