Welcome Back, Mr. Yeltsin

Details, details. President Boris Yeltsin, recovered from heart surgery, had to start signing things even before his welcome return to the Kremlin Dec. 23. One was a decree approving new passports to replace the Soviet model still in use by Russian travelers. Suddenly we recall Mr. Yeltsin as a lower-level pol, orating his big-shouldered way through admiring crowds who didn't know he was the wave of the future.

Now, in words if not demeanor, the old fight seems in him as he gets back to work, promising pay for unpaid workers, military reform, and peace attempts in Chechnya. NATO relations and recent local elections are among other demands on his attention. On the good-news side, his comeback halts the distraction of politicians unsubtly campaigning to take his place.

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