Soviet Union: The Soviet Leadership after the Death of President Leonid Brezhnev
1 January 1982
A file containing documents relating to the Soviet leadership following the death of the long-serving leader, Leonid Brezhnev. Subjects covered in the file include analysis of speeches by Brezhnev's successor, Yurii Andropov; suggestions of new directions in Soviet foreign and economic policies; prospects for an improvement in Franco-Soviet relations; and a series of changes amongst the Soviet leadership. Other subjects discussed in the file include the failure to select a new president, which detracted from the image of a smooth transition; the view that the prominent role enjoyed by Konstantin Chernenko could constrain Andropov's power; the views of the dissident historian Roy Medvedev on the situation; and evidence of rumours and misinformation surrounding Brezhnev's death and the succession. Documents in the file include reports by the British ambassador in Moscow, Iain Sutherland, and the Irish ambassador in Moscow, Padraig Murphy, on Andropov's rise to power and leadership.
france corruption international relations ireland italy soviet union political ideology domestic politics speeches deaths communist party of the soviet union economic policies misinformation soviet foreign policy Leonid Brezhnev Soviet politics French-Soviet relations Soviet Committee for State Security (K.G.B.) Italian press Yurii Andropov Soviet government Julian Bullard Irish-Soviet relations Roy Medvedev Iain Sutherland Konstantin Chernenko Paul Holmer Death of Leonid Brezhnev Rezső Bányász Edgar Faure