Soviet Union: The Case of the Missing Man

Andropov's absence hints at a leadership crisis

Monolithic, centralized, impregnable and, above all, unshakably secure in its sense of direction and control. That is the image that the Soviet leadership has long tried to project to friends and foes alike. But suddenly last week, on the most grandiose of Soviet annual public occasions, there was a gaping hole at the center of Moscow's bureaucratic fa├žade. The image that lingered in Red Square was that of a superpower afflicted by a leader ship crisis of unknown dimensions, and of new prospects of uncertainty...

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