Mr. Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist party's Central Committee was celebrating?
Mr. Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist party's Central Committee was celebrating his 70th birthday on Sunday (19 December). Leaders of other Communist countries arrived in Moscow for the occasion
SYNOPSIS: The ceremony took place in the "Yekaterinsky Hall" in the Kremlin.
Mr. Brezhnev was awarded a second gold star of Hero of the Soviet Union, another order of Lenin and the right to bear personal arms with the state emblem. President Nikolai Podgorny handed the awards to Mr. Brezhnev. Earlier leaders of all russia's allies also presented Mr. Brezhnev with their highest national honours.
They all came for the festivities--Edward Gierek of Poland, Frich Honecker of East Germany, Gustav Husak of Czechoslovakia, Janos Kadar of Hungary, Nicolae Ceausescu of Rumania, Todar Zhivkov of Bulgaria, Yumjaagiyn Tsedenbal of Mongolia and Raul Castro of Cuba. Chinese leaders refrained from sending any message of congratulations. At the end of October Peking rejected a message from Mr. Brezhnev congratulating Mr. Hua Kuo-feng on his appointment as the party Chairman. Birthday tributes printed in Pravda, the main Communist party newspaper showed that also the French communist leader Georges Marchais refrained from congratulating Mr. Brezhnev personally.
A message of greetings form the top Soviet Communist party and government bodies declared that all the country's successes during Mr. Brezhnev's 12 years as party leader had been linked with his activities. One message, from Soviet Usbek party chiefs, said the Kremlin leader "incarnated the precious qualities of Lenin."