SOVIET UNION: Abrupt Change of Command

The leaders of the Soviet Union —Leonid Brezhnev, Nikolai Podgorny, Aleksei Kosygin—were downcast as they stood by the flower-covered bier in Moscow's imposing Trade Union House. While a string orchestra played funeral dirges, thousands of workers, soldiers and bureaucrats filed past the medal-bedecked dais for a last look at the jut-jawed countenance of Marshal Andrei Antonovich Grechko, Soviet Defense Minister and architect of the Kremlin's modern-day military might.

Grechko had died suddenly and unexpectedly at 72 in Moscow of an apparent heart attack. After lying in state for 24 hours, he was interred in the Kremlin wall, the burial spot...

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