The Quiet Siberian

The best of good soldiers, he shows patience and a vast memory

One reason Westerners have had such difficulty analyzing and describing Konstantin Chernenko is that the Kremlin's penchant for secrecy as well as the lack of a real electoral process tends to cloak the private lives of Soviet rulers in multiple shadows. Yuri Andropov was dead before the world knew he had a living wife; she suddenly appeared at his funeral. Another reason for the difficulty is that by the time a new man achieves leadership, the Soviet mythmakers have been long at work. Last week, for instance,...

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