Changes in the Soviet government following the retirement of rime Minister Alexei Kosygin have continued with the announcement that one of his longest serving deputies has been replaced.
GV USSR President Leonid Brezhnev speaking at rostrum and people listening (4 shots)
GV New Prime Minister, Nikolai Tikhonov, at rostrum and speaks to audience (3 shots)
GV Mr. Brezhnev and other officials listen
SV Mr. Tikhonov speaking
GV Mr. Tikhonov leaving rostrum and audience applauds (2 shots)
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Background: Changes in the Soviet government following the retirement of rime Minister Alexei Kosygin have continued with the announcement that one of his longest serving deputies has been replaced. Tass News Agency reported on Saturday (25 October) that Mikhail Lesechko, 71, a deputy Prime Minister since 1962, had been released from his duties to retire on pension.
SYNOPSIS: Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev told the Supreme Soviet on Thursday (23 October) that Mr. Kosygin, 76, had asked to resign because of his deteriorating health. In a unanimous vote the 1,500 Deputies replaced him with his first deputy, Nikolai Tikhonov, a close associate of Mr. Brezhnev.
Mr. Tikhonov, a 75-year-old Ukranian has been a Deputy Prime Minister since 1965. He was promoted to First Deputy to Mr. Kosygin when the Prime Minister suffered a heart attack in 1976. But when Mr. Kosygin suffered another heart attack in October 1979, Mr. Tikhonov effectively took over as Chairman of the council of Ministers and overlord of the Soviet economy.
Mr. Tikhonov, only one year younger than his predecessor, has had close links with Soviet President Brezhnev since the 1930's. His promotion, along with other recent changes in the government, has been seen as a strengthening of Mr. Brezhnev's authority in the Kremlin. But observers say that at the age of 75, Mr. Tikhonov is seen as a caretaker head of government, unlikely to champion any new approaches or reforms.