Soviet Union: Fighting Words

Brezhnev attacks the U.S.

He looked pale and weak as he stood at the lectern, but Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, 75, was obviously still very much in charge. Standing behind him were senior members of the ruling Politburo, including Konstantin Chernenko, 71, and Yuri Andropov, 68, the two favorites in the battle to succeed him, and Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov. In the audience were several hundred defense ministry officials and military officers who had flown in from all over the country and even from fleets at sea. Although Brezhnev's speech was frequently slurred,...

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