The Soviets: A Top Cop Takes the Helm

Yuri Andropov becomes the first KGB boss to run the country

Yuri Andropov becomes the first KGB boss to run the country

Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, 68, is said to be a witty conversationalist, a bibliophile, a connoisseur of modern art—a kind of "closet liberal." He also happens to be the former boss of the world's most powerful, and possibly most feared, police organization.

Andropov's elevation to General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union marks the first time that a former head of the KGB has occupied the highest post in the land. His rise sent a chill of...

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