The Soviet Union was plunged into mourning during the weekend of December 22 and 23 as the nation paid tribute to Defence Minister Marshal Dimitri Ustinov, who died in Moscow on December 21 after a prolonged illness.
DECEMBER 22: (TSS):
1. GV Ustinov lying-in-state, in Lenin Mausoleum, medals on display (2 shots) 0.07
2. GV Politburo members entering to pay respects 0.14
3. SV Honour guard, members of deceased's family, filing past (MUSIC FROM Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, 2nd movement) Funeral March (3 shots) 0.37
4. SV Politburo members: Konstantin Chernenko (on right), Tikbonov, Gerbachov, Gromyko (on left) 0.41
5. SV Other Politburo officials (5 shots) 1.02
6. SV Chernenko embracing Ustinov family members (2 shots) 1.15
7. GV Lying-in-state, people filing past body 1.22
DECEMBER 23: (TSS): (EUROVISION):
8. SV People queueing outside building for filing past 1.26
9. TV Ustinov lying-in-state as military parade past (2 shots) 1.44
10. SV Military officers at attention (2 shots) 1.50
11. SV Sergei Sokolov, new defence minister, on visit to Jordan, across tarmac, seated at photo call for journalists (2 shots) 2.02
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Background: MOSCOW, USSR.
The Soviet Union was plunged into mourning during the weekend of December 22 and 23 as the nation paid tribute to Defence Minister Marshal Dimitri Ustinov, who died in Moscow on December 21 after a prolonged illness. The body of Ustinov, 76, was placed on a catafalque in the capital's Lenin Mausoleum, his many military decorations displayed beneath the bier. An honour guard surrounded the catafalque, and the entire Politburo -- the Soviet Union's highest-ranking body -- attended the lying-in-state. Members of Ustinov's family were greeted and embraced by Soviet President Konstantin Chernenko, and later the thousands of Soviet citizens who had queued outside the edifice in Moscow's bitter winter filed past in silent homage to the man who had held the nation's most powerful military post sine 1976. Ustinov's passing means that only Andrei Gromyko, the world's longest-serving foreign minister, and Planning Commission chief Nikolai Baibakov survive from the revolutionary team which surrounded Joseph Stalin during the Second World War. Ustinov's career began to make an impact during the war, providing logistical anti-tank defences around Moscow as well as the material which was eventually employed to drive the Nazis back. He covered the Yalta Conference at Stalin's side, and continued a steady rise during the next decades, culminating with the post of defence minister. Ustinov's successor, Sergei Sokolov, 73, has been seen in the West on several occasions, including an important visit to Amman, Jordan, in 1977. Observers have indicated that Sokolov at 73 years of age, must be considered an interim appointment.
Source: TSS/REUTERS LIBRARY