RUSSIA: Personal Opinion

Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov, pudgy, cagey head of the Russian Communist Party's Agitprop (Agitation & Propaganda) Committee, is generally regarded as the heir-apparent to Dictator Stalin's job. He became next in line when a bullet removed the original runner-up, Stalin's "Dear Friend" Sergei Mironovich Kirov. The idea that Heir-Apparent Zhdanov can have a personal opinion about anything not shared by the Kremlin would make even dour Comrade Stalin laugh.

Last week readers of Pravda were treated to this joke in a front-page spread of Comrade Zhdanov's "personal opinion" that the Anglo-Soviet pact negotiations are deadlocked, that France and Britain are deliberately dragging...

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