REVIEW OF SOVIET INTERNAL AFFAIRS FEBRUARY-MARCH 1981 (SR 81-10044X)

Created: 4/1/1981

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Review ofS&^ei fflteraal Affairs1

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAMAS SANITIZED

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Reilewof Soriet internal Affairs

h Party Congresslear mand-ic for continuing Ihc conscrv'ttivc policies associated with Brezhnev's leadership over lhci failed to prepareuccession, rejuvenate parly insiitutions, or take measures lo revive the tagging economy. Indeed. Brezhnev may have been disappointed over ihe lack of .upjxxi lhc congress gaverograms he hat advocated for comingrips with ihcconiinuiny decline in Soviet economic performance. The goals oflan, endorsed by the congress, inply lhal Ihc regime has tilde hope of changing thc pattern of decline.

trirw It offeriel II II baled on Irrfo^natioet end unalflil ava-lable through SI March /Ml. The comrihaiioni are uitcooedtnaled. reprtientintthr eiewi of lhc analyst! named at ihe end ed'each lectionmat he oddrenedhe Chief.

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Renew of Soviet Infernal Affairs February-March mi.

L Domestic Policies The? Leadership: Slash Prevail*

h CPSU Congresseiebraticn of Brezhnev's continuation in oi hue. rather than thc prologueuccessor regime. By embellishing Ihc Brezhnev cull, exhibiting ihe General Secretary's determinationerform his official duties despite his variable physical condition, and projecting thc imageolitburo unified under his leadership, the. congress boosted Brezhnev's prestige loan alllime itigh.

The congress speechesommon theme of thc indispensabilily of Leonid Mich's "contribution" to lhc fovicl parly, state, and people.Brezhnev experienced initial difficulty in delivering his lengthy report to thc congress, his overall performance demonstrated his ability lo continue performing his official duties, if onlyeduced level.

Thc congress produced no changes in the composition of ihc Politburo orthe increasing decrepitude of several Politburo(Pclshe isearshe failing healih of others (Ustinov is said to havend the advancement ol some leaders (such as First Deputy Premier ArkhipovJ lo positions lhat warrant promotion to the Politburo, Thc two leaders best pieced lo succeed Brezhnev as GeneralKirilcnko and Konstantinfrom the congress with no significant change in their protocol rankings, with the latterotch below the former. Brezhnev, having surrounded himself wiih old cronies who constitute no ihreai to his position, apparently is content to perpetuate ihcs quo

ACl Change in ihe Central Commiiiee

Continuity alsocharactcrim ihc ne* Central Commiiiee "elected" by lhc congress. Thc overall retention rale among those still living who were elected lo6 Ccnl'al Commiiiee equaled lhc record retention rate set byH Parly Congressonsequence, ihe average ageentral Committee member today is higher lhan for any newly elected Central Committee in Soviet hisio'y

Thc few changes lhat did take place on lhc Central Committee genet ally benefited groups closely associated wiihfamily, personal assistants, Central Commiiiee functionaries, and KGB offici-ils. Both Brezhnev's son and son-in-law became Central Committee candidates. More important, several members of his personal siaff won promotions, bringing to four ihe number of his assislants who sil either as candidate or

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full members. Of Brezhnev's predecessors, only Stalinersonal aide honored by election lo Ihc Ceniral Commiiiee.

At ihe same time, ihe congress promoted most Central Commiiieeheads lo membership on thc Central Committee. Previously, whereas most government ministers were Central Commiiiee members,ew of their counterparts in the party enjoyed this distinction. Thc upgrading of lhc department heads will presumably increase their authority in dealing with the government ministries. Finally, several deputy chairmen ofreserve of Brezhnevelevated lo Central Committee membership.

Impliaioni/or the Succtnion

The failure of the Brezhnev regime to undertake significant reforms or lo begin (he process of generational renewal increases the potential forshocks lo thc political structure when ihe transfer of power finally occurs. The absenceounger man well positioned and qualified to succeed Brezhnev makes it more likelyower struggle will accompany Brezhnev's demise. The advanced age of the senior leadership and of Ihc Ceniral Committee probably willuccessor regime to replace numerous high officialshort period of time. In addition, because of Ihe continued "stabilityension is probably building between the lov cr level officiils who have limited opportunities for advancement and ihc entrenched higher level officials who have profited from (he current re* gime's personnel policies

Meanwhile, Ihe stagnation ol the economy is heightening competition for scarce resources among economic sectors and regions. At the congress, regionit leaders lobbied vigorously for increased investment in various local economic projects. Such lobbying will intensify as contenders for lhcbegin lo compete for lhc support of regional parly cadres.

The leadership's neglect of consumer grievances will probably make il difficultuccessor regime io prevent an increase in sporacic Mfikc activityduring thc comingen as thc Polish disorders threaten to cause repercussions in ihe western republics of Ihc Sovietnational grievances reinforce dissatisfaction wiih living conditions- -thc congress failed to take action designed io discourage labor unrest. While touting thc importance of Soviet trade ur.ions, speakers at the congress did not endorse an expanded role for ihcm. By raising thc subject of revising1 piny program, presumably in order to scale down its ambitious projection of rapid improvement in lhc standard of living. Brezhnev may have inadvertcnilv drawn ihe public's attention io lhc parly's failure lo fulfill Khrushchev's promises.

1.

Implications for US-Soviet Relations

Squabbling over investment priorilics at thc congress suggests thc possibilityivision of opinion over how best to deal with economic stringencies that could have an impact on leadership attitudes toward US-Soviet trade relations. Some officials who spoke at theas Academy of Sciences President Alcksandrov and Minister of thc Electronics Industryto favor an autarkic approach, particularly with regard to thc importation of foreign technology. Nonetheless several Soviet officials who reportedlyxpansion of trade with the United States were elected to thc new Central Committee. Thc elevation to thc Central Committeeumber of Brezhnev's foreign policy advisers who have specialized in American affairs also suggests lhat ihc leadership remains attuned to thc complexities of thc US-Soviet relationship.

Since lhcumber of rumors and reports have indicatedpersonnel changes in the Soviet foreign policy establishment maythc offing. Nikolay Patolicl.cv. longtime Minister of Foreign Trade,soon because olossible successor is his deputy,whorris opposed to expansion of

US-Soviet trade. According to another rumor. First Deputy ForeignViktor Maltscv may replace Paiolichcv. Mallsev. who has spent mostareerarly apparatchik ratheroreign policy specialist, apparently lias tics lo Kirilcnko. This suggests he probably is disposed to favor thc taclic of developing coopcraiion with European powers rather than with the United Stales

Thc rciircmcnt or transfer of Ambassador lo lhc United Stales Dobrynin" also has been rumored. Probably none ofn most likely io succeed him. should he depart, enjoy as much access to thc lop Sovici leadership as this veteran Americanologist has developed over the years

II. Military Affairs For th: Soviet military, representation in thc ruling bodies of the

Communist Party seems lo bcatter of prestige and probab'y material perquisites. Selection appears to bc basedequirement to provide central representation for broad "constituencies" of Communist Parly members in thc armed forces, such as thc military services and Ihc imporian. ileld commands. When lhc officers leave these posis they arc usually dropped from lhc ruling bodies. Thco'd. now inactive Marshals of the Soviet Union, such as Chuykov. Bagramyan. and Batitskiy. are execp-Itons to this policy

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Ath Party Congress (he military select ions Tor full and canaldnlc (nonvoting) membership in the Central Committee and for the Central Auditing Commission generally follow ed previous practice. Again, however, thc selections proved to be not completely predictable or satisfactorily explainable by outsiders. Thc inactive Marshals were given what must bc considered honorary membership. The Defense Minister and all but two of his deputies were named asexpecied.as were thc principal regionalIhe Warsaw Pact commander (whoirstMinister ofaytscvvanovskiyovorov, Salmanov, and Trct'yak (Ihe Farhc naming of A. I. Gribkov, the Warsaw Pact Chief of Staff. lo full membership upset what could have been an cast-west regional balance of representation and was* mild surprise. No previous Warsaw Pact Chief of Staff ha* ever been given full Central Committeeis selection may have been in anticipation of tome increase in his military responsibilities.

There were also some minor surprises among lhcilitary officers made candidate members of ihe Central Commiiiee V. M.eputy Minister of Defense who servedeputy Minister of thc Radio Induslry untilas given candidate membership although none of his predecessors who have held portfolios dealing with defense technology have ever been so honored. Thc invasion of Afghanistan and ihc events in Iran appearave increased thc military significance and probably thc military population of thc Turkestan Military District These factors may have led la Ihe elevation of Yu. P. Maksimov. thc military district commander, to candidate status Thc selection of M. I. Druzhinin. last identified as political officer of the Fir East Military District, was also unexpected Druzhinin may (Mt his improved political status lo increasedexample, il is possible he is now political officer for General Govorov. who rcporlcdly commands Soviet forces in lhc Far EasT

Finally, there is ihe uncertain political status of A. M. Mayorov. currently lhc senior Soviet military officer in Afghanistan. Mayorov wj$ selectedandidate member alhh Parly Congresses whilethe Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia1 and thc Baltic

Military Districte was noi selected for cither of the higher parly organst it possible that his failuree selected has something Io

do with lhc fact thai lhc Soviets have not seen fit lo publicize Mayorov*s

presence in Afghanistan or his current military position. In Afghanistan.

Mayorov is functioning as chief of thc military advisory group as well as

'itu- Ptt Ck-cfiofS omember ol Ike Centralihn

ponjiionl IWSdl.inrJS M. Shiemmko.f"lus held ihcpoMfincc Shtcmcntoidcilh in lv'6

senior officer in (lie country. There has been some indication ffiat Mayorov may alsoirst deputy chicfof the Ground Forces. Neither of these positions would normally merit high parly status.

III. Economic AfTairs President Brezhnev's address to the congress indicates thai, despite the

economy's poor showing in recenl years. Ihe leadership remains unwilling lo risk even minor changes in thc basic economic structure. Thc plan fulfillmeni dataeleased just before the congress opened, must have been especially embarrassing as overall growth was less than half Ihe targeted rale. Brezhnev, however, offered no major policy initiatives or reforms to revive Ihe economy. For the most oart. his speech repeated lhc general policies set forth in thc decrees of9 on planning and management, which involve tinkering al the margin of. rather lhan major changes in. Ihc system. The one relatively newa major agro-industrialreceived only lukewarm support

Thc main guidelines oflh Ftve.Vear, adopted at the congress, also seem to be rooted in the past.ell-trodden path, thc guidelines place Ihc greatest emphasis on the development of heavy induslry. energy, and agriculture. Brezhnev's address contained muchon the need to boost living standards, but the plan goals indicate that few new resources are to be devoted lo ihis task. Gains in consumption will be sacrificed for investment in future capacity and continued modernization of military forces. Whatever anxiety the leadership feels about theplight ofthe possible spread of ihe "Polishis not vet enough toignificant reallocation of resources in their favor.

Overall, ihe new plan goalsNP growth rateercent per year. substantially above that achieved. To meet this ambitious target. Soviet leaders are again counting on major gains in productivity. Indeed.ercent of thc growth in industry and all the growth in agricullurc areome from more efficient use ol icsourccs. Previous campaigns to rail* productivity have failed badly, however, and Moscow's current agenda (or lack of one) offers little hope for changing tbh pattern

Agriculture: Hoping/or the Beit

lan calls for farm output lo increase an averageercent per year. Although almosl halfof ihis increase wouldecovery from thc decline sufferedhe goal seems ito ambitious. In particular, the target for grain produciion. calling for an average annual increase ofercent, is almosl certainly too high. This increase is lontirely from higher yields, and lhc Soviets appear incapable of either

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obtaining thc necessary inputs or of mailing efficient use ofey do obtain. In particular, il is unlikely lhal ihey can increase fertilizerand distribution ti much as required because ofcs in cortstruct-ine andnew Western-equipped fcrtiliier planis

Industry: Ttmporiit Mid Modernize

The problems facing Soviet planners inh Five-Year Plan arcevident in tbe Uriels for industry. Although the overall planned grcrwthertrni is lower than for any previous plan period, industry would have to perform considerably better than it did duringh Five-Yearto reach this .oil

Reflecting the leadership's continued emphasis on heavy industry,principal source of investment goods, defenseand consumerscheduled to increase at an impressive raleercent annually. Moscow, however, will first have io overcome serious problems in the steel industry, where output, especially of high-quality products, hes lagged badly in recent years. Thc unusual absencearge! for crude steel product ion in thc plan directives suggests that Sovietem selves arc unsure of this secior

Swift Energy Production: Substitulinn Cat for Oil Energy prcducl;ons planned to growercentercent annually, comparedercent achieved duringh Five-Year Flan. Slower increases in oil production arc to be offsetharp increase in gas output, which is to account for rnorc lhan half of Ihe growth in total energy output. Wc believe ihai even the low end of thc target tinge will not be achieved, largely because oil output is lik-Jy to decline and the goal for gas production is too ambitious

0 Boxtcore

Thc difficulty of ihr tasks facing Soviei planners i; relcctcd in the recently-released plan fulfillment datahich showed overall GNPercent. Although the0 performance >as atirib-utable. in part, lo last year's wcathci-related harvest failure. Ihc severity and wide-ranging nature of the slowdown reflect more fundamental problems.

Industry's pcrforniai.ee was especially bad. as production was bar< ly able lo move ahead of the9 performance.ercent increase posted in

a, one of Ihc lowest since World War II and involved shortfalls in the

production of such important industiial materials as steel, oil. coal, and

construction materials

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Tlie .vie brrchl area In ibe Soviet economy was foreign trade, where Moscow was ableake advantage of (he rise in lhe world price of oil lo increase hard currency imports (primarily grain) and stillurrent account surplus of overillion. Even this picture could change, however, a* Soviet oil exports to the West arco decline by the. Moscow is already culling back exports of crude oil and oil products to Western Europe. Most recently. Soviet officials told thc Italians toeduction in deliveries of0 barrels per dayf crude. This follows requests made of ihe French to acceptess oil. Our analysis of the Soviet domestic oil balance1 indicates that oil shipments lo hard currency Western customers will drophis year.

To replace oil revenues, the Soviets are pushing ahead with the proposed Siberia-to-Western Europe natural gas pipeline, thc largest Easl-West trade project ever negotiated. Thc project entailsrunklinc from thcg gasficld in West Siberia to West Germanyt would involve thc export of gas to six European countries and could more than double the proportion of Soviet gas in total West European gas consumption from aboutercent toercent. Although thc project could be used for political leverage. West European governments seeuse of Soviet gas as an acceptable risk

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