Soviet Union Old Guard Out

Ryzhkov replaces Tikhonov

The announcement from the Soviet news agency TASS was deferential in tone. Nikolai Tikhonov, it said late last week, had resigned as Premier of the U.S.S.R. In a letter to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, TASS reported, the 80-year-old Politburo member, who has held the premiership since 1980, declared that his health had "considerably deteriorated lately" and his doctors suggested retirement. Named to replace Tikhonov was Nikolai Ryzhkov, 56, a rapidly rising star who was appointed to the ruling Politburo only last April. He is its second-youngest member after Gorbachev, who is 54.

Less surprising than the content of the message was...

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