SOVIET UNION: Unhitching Podgorny from the Troika

The first announcement that the President of the Soviet Union had been stripped of power was not even the lead item on Radio Moscow's 5 p.m. newscast. After a droning, ten-minute report last week on a speech by Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev came a terse sentence: "At a plenary meeting of the Central Committee Nikolai Podgorny was relieved of his duties as a member of the Politburo." Next morning Pravda buried the news in the 26th paragraph of a 29-paragraph story on the meeting. Kremlinologists expect that Podgorny, 74, will be formally...

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