Soviet Union: Lion in Winter

Rumors of Brezhnev's decline

For years, the precarious state of Leonid Brezhnev's health has been a source of worldwide concern. The Soviet President has at various times been reported to be suffering from heart disease, emphysema, leukemia and cancer of the jaw. In public, he has sometimes appeared to be weak and unsteady, occasionally even on his deathbed. At other times, he has seemed relatively fit, meeting foreign dignitaries, delivering long speeches and even traveling to Western Europe.

Once again the alarms rang out. Returning from a four-day trip to the Central Asian...

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