Former Russian President recovering from unfortunate fall

Former President Boris Yeltsin was sitting up in his hospital bed Friday, a day after undergoing successful hip surgery, Russian news agencies reported.

Yeltsin, 74, fell Wednesday while vacationing on the Italian island of Sardinia and returned to Moscow after initial treatment in an Italian hospital. Doctors operated on his hip on Thursday and said the surgery was successful.

"He is getting better, he's already sitting up in bed," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Valery Zolotov, the chief doctor of the elite presidential hospital complex, as saying. "His condition is stable."

Zolotov said Thursday that Yeltsin would spend another day in intensive care and then be transferred to a regular ward.

“I believe we will make him walk (Friday), and during the next week he will be able to move independently,” he said.

Zolotov and other doctors at the clinic could not be reached independently for comment. The lack of mobility during recovery can produce a host of complications, including possible blood clots, infections and pneumonia.

Yeltsin, Russia's first elected president after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, has kept a low profile since resigning Dec. 31, 1999.

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