Soviet Union: Leonid Lives!

A 27-day vanishing act ends

Since March 25, when Leonid Brezhnev first vanished from public view, wave upon wave of rumors has swept through the Soviet Union that the 75-year-old President had suffered a stroke. Ignoring the official explanation—that Brezhnev had merely gone away on vacation—Muscovites swapped reports that he was dying or indeed already dead. Some Western press accounts fueled the speculation. So it was with great anticipation that Soviet citizens waited by their television sets last week to learn whether the Soviet leader would turn up as scheduled at the festivities marking the 112th anniversary of the...

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