Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has made his first public appearance since being hospitalized nearly a month ago with what was speculated to be a heart attack, shrugging off rumors and touting his good health.
"I haven't been in the hospital for 20 years," Zyuganov said at the Communist Party Central Committee plenum on Saturday in comments televised by Channel One. "When the doctor heard about what happened, he was surprised, despite the fact that I work 15 to 17 hours a day."
Zyuganov was hospitalized June 5 while visiting a resort town in the North Caucasus' Stavropol region.
Tabloids reported that the longtime Communist leader had suffered a heart attack, but official Communist Party statements said that he had checked in for "acute knee pain" and that his heart checkup at the capital's Chazov Cardiology Clinic was planned in advance as a precautionary measure.
Zyuganov was discharged from the clinic and spent time relaxing at a sanatorium outside of Moscow before the plenum meeting, where he spoke against Russia's plans to join the World Trade Organization.