SOVIET UNION: Brezhnev Redux

"How nice to see you again," said British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to Soviet Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev, when they met in the Kremlin last week. "Have you been resting?" Brezhnev brushed off the loaded question with a wave of the hand. "I'll explain about that later." As if to dispel reports that he had been stricken with pneumonia and a variety of other respiratory ailments, the Soviet leader nonchalantly lit a cigarette. "One of my faults," he conceded.

Thus were seven weeks of rumors dissipated in a puff of smoke. Since Brezhnev vanished from public view on Dec. 24,...

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