REVIEW OF SOVIET INTERNAL AFFAIRS

Created: 5/1/1977

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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Central Intelligence:

REVIEW OF SOVIET INTERNAL AFFAIRS

Domestic Politics

I 'The USSR's new draft constitution, published on Junesignificant victory for Generalwho had been the only leader publiclythe project. The draft embodies stepsby Brezhnev to enhance the leverage of theapparatusby expanding the powers of thothe Supreme Soviet at the expense of the Counciland by tightening central authority overregional interests. The abrupt removal ofPodgorny from the Politburo on Mayt aplenum strongly suggests that Brezhnev willchairmanship of the Presidium concurrently with hispost, quite possibly as early as next week'sthe Supreme Soviet. Additional shifts in thebe oxpectod in the next few months as Brezhnev trieshis power at the expense of other seniorchief ideologue M. A. Suslov, who ismember of the Politburo in terms of : i !

Brezhnev's constitution, the USSR's first6 and the subject of intense internal debate since the, features several significont changes in institutional relations. In elaborating on relations between the central authorities and the republics, tho new constitution places

This i'tviou is baaed on analysis and researchby CIA's Directorate ofuestions relating to any part ofand euaoeftione for, making it mora useful nayso ted to ffice of Regional andAnalysis, fj""

heavy emphasis on integration and control fron Moscow. At the. sane time tho powers of the new Supreme Soviet leadership nrc to bo beefed up. The document allows Supreme Soviet deputies to address inquiries to govornment organizations or officials* which will assist Brezhnev in monitoring the activities of the Council of Ministers. The apparentof the people's control committees to the aegis of the Supreme Soviet Presidium will also give Brezhnev--assuming he takes over Presidium leadership--new tools to use in his ongoing struggle to force ministerial compliance with party Instructions. This strengthening of the Supreme Soviet at the expense of Premier Kosygin's Council of Ministers enhances the credibility of new rumors that Kosygin may retire by this fall.

The Clash With'

ccording rezhnev reiterated

last year the need for constitutional reform that vouldcentralise power in Moscow, but encounteredPodgorny. As the highest ranking Ukrainian in thePodgorny may have been under pressure fromofficials to represent their interests indebates. Suslovwarned Podgorny not toa tost of strength with Brezhnev on this issue andthat he no longer had the confidence of the I":

odgorny, who has become increasingly conservative onof issues over the years and has carefully keptfrom Brezhnev on key policy matters, persisted;challenged the general secretary on the subjectreform and lost. i ' '

1 eThere is evidence of increasing strain betweenPodgorny in the weeks before Podgorny's fall. Forshortly before Podgorny's trip to Africa intold several Soviet officials that "we

are sending anotner Idi Amin to Idi Amin-land. And Idialways Idi Amin, playing the fool." In addition,Podgornyighly unusual argument during thetalks in Moscow oneek before Accordinginterrupted

Brezhnev's remarks to the Finns, drew Brezhnev's attentiondocument, and insisted that he state what it contained. man then arguod in whispered tones and Brezhnevangry. -

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heso incidents support'the Assumptionlashhowdowr took placeolitburo meeting onho day befori the Central Committee plenum formally removed Podgorny fron the loadership. The Soviet president has since been treated as if he no longer exists; his picture can no longer be purchased, his name no longer appears in print. Podgomy failed to appeareeting of the Presidium on Maynd he was absent fron the ceremonies for Bulgarian party-state leader Zhivkov on

Podgomy's removal from the presidency of the Supreme Soviet is thus likely when it meets next week. Tho clearest indication that Brezhnev will eventually assume the position of, chief of state is the new constitution's provision for a First Deputy Chairman to the Presidium to assist with those protocol duties that would be an additional strain on the party leader. Last week, in fact, Zhivkov referred into Brezhnev as the "first party and state leader of thend both Pravda and Izvcstia printed his remarks without eIteration. Zhivkovimilar fomula in greeting Brezhnev ath birthday celebration last December. (Every Soviet bloc state except Poland and Hungary has placed the party-state roins in ono pair of hands.)

Although there is no evidence that differences over foreign policyajor part in Podgorny's removal, the Politburo meeting on tho eve of his ouster presumablyoport from Foreign Minister Gromyko on his talks in Geneva with Secretary Vance. Podgorny, who has hadabout detente, nay have objected to the very modest conciliatory Soviet gestures made in Geneva so soon after the acrimonious exchanges between Gromyko and Vance in Moscow Just two months earlier.

oviet 'Central Committee employeeeveral days ago that Podgorny had claimed in the past that too many concessions were being made to the West,to the US, citing SALT as an example. It isthat Podgorny, for example, was publicly somewhat

. unenthusiastic about the Vladivostok summittressing the limited nature of detente andemurrer on the question of tho future prospects ofwith the capitalist world. In introducing these cautionary notes, he contended that "it would be intolerably nearsightod to fail to take into account" the various nega-tivo aspects of the international situation, which seemed

be-evidonce of internal;In their election-

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caring spoochos for tho Supremo Soviet that yoar, then Politburo members Podgorny and Shelepin wero more cautious In-their support of detente than oither Brozhnov or

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Other Personnel Movesf, -

'.'In addition to dispatching one of the moreof, the Politburo as well asewin thoh anniversary year",moves have apparently enhanced Brezhnev'sformer Brezhnev assistant,usakov, has beencentral committee secretary- responsible foreplacing Konstantln Katushev. vulner-

able boCairtBTOi

Several days after the plenum, the USSR: also announced that Yevgeny Tyazhelnikov would become head of the central committee's propagandaost that had been vacant0 in what appoared torezhnev-sponsored personnel change. Tyazhelnikov has been lavish in his praise of Brezhnev for the past several years, particularly at lasth party congress. Tyazhel-nikov's promotion suggestsajor logjam on personnel selections has been broken and that more announcements will be mado in the near term.

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j The failure to remove Defense; Minister Ustinov from tho secretariat meanwhileignificant,anomaly suggestive of continuing leadership differences over how much authority to give his successor as party supervisor of defense industry, Ya. P. Ryabov. Ustinov continues to hold full-time party and government posts, which is not customary in the USSR, and has managed to survive plenums in October and May, when key personnel shifts were made. It is possible that Brezhnov has sought Ustinov's retention in the Socrotariat for support on SALT matterseriod of sensitive negotiations with the':j !j A

Tho Anti-US Offonsivo -A

V i] l i i

In the Wake of .Podgorny's,ouster, the Sovlots have taken to the propaganda offensive in their relations with the US, presumably to counter the notion that the sackingardliner will mako the Kremlin easier to deal with.

Onryestin corricd tho nost detailed personaloi President Carter yot to ippenr in the Soviet press. Tho Soviets had hitherto been restrained inthe President by.name. The articletrongly-worded attack on Presidential adviser Brzezinski, which concentrated on tho issue of human rights. The Soviet press also suddenly renewed its attack on Radio Froe Europe and Radio Liberty in the same period.

This public criticism of US policy across-the-board is presumably partontinuing Soviet campaign to seize the diplomatic offensive prior to the Bolgrade mooting onut Moscow at tho same time is trying to create the impression that current leadership politicking should not be confused with domestic weakness. The politicking goes on, however, and such key Politburo members as Foreign Minister Gromyko appear preoccupied with internal matters. Only two days after Podgorny lost his seat on the Politburo, Moscow suddenly asked the Egyptians to hold this week's talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmi inrevious Soviet commitment to meetMm* Europe.

New Appointments To Come

A more definitive tost of Brezhnev's power will come during the next few months: first, in seeing whether or not he does take over the presidency; second, inuccessor to Kosygin if he should retire; and third, in filling the new position of first deputy chairmen of the Suprome Soviet Presidium after the constitution is adopted in October. If any of these positions should go to either Party secretary A. P. Kirilenko or.Ukrainian first secretary Shcherbitsky, then Brezhnevajorost for Leningrad party boss G. V. Romanov, however, would bo moreeather in Suslov's cap. Selection of more neutral figures such as Moscow party leader V. V. Grishin or RSFSR Premier M. S. Solomentsev wouldtand-off for Brezhnev.

Tho fact that Suslov Isroblem for Brezhnev is reflected in the draft constitution text, which takes several bows in the interosts of tho senior party secretary. The first three "tasks" identified for the current stage of the

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USSR's development are placed In tho field of ideology, i j< i( Suslov's bailiwick. Also important symbolically is tho

fictriof foreign policy section, theo peaceful coexlstenco ranked behind support for nationaliberation struggles, anothor point congenial to the> party's old nan.

; Economic Affairs

ecord grain crop last year and excellent prospocts for this yoar's winter grain, the USSR continues to suffer from its worst food shortagesecade. The industrial sector, meanwhile, may be headingecond consecutive yoar of sluggish growth.

The USSR's winter grain crop, which normally accounts forercent of total production, mayecordillion tons this year. Winter grains were sown last fall on the largest area8 and winter losses will be below normal. esult of last year's record cTop and this year's favorable outlook, tha Soviets have made no new grain purchasos since last December.

tfhile current grain prospects are good, Soviet consumers are still plagued by serious meat shortages stemming from the5 grain harvest. Industrial meat output in March-April jumpedercent above6 March-April levol, but the customary lag between output and improved retail supplies has meant continuing shortages. The leadership in has launched sn extensive campaign to boost meat;n the private sector which producedercent of last year's moat supplies.

meat shortages, in the post that

The Soviets have reason to be sensitive to prolonged

in the USSR have commented provincial cities may have

led to three bombings in Moscow inalso alleged that Brezhnev's decision to

travel to fula in January tooro-city award was dosigned to address local grievances. Brezhnev's speech in Tula contained an unusual reference to consumer problems.

In;the industrial sphere, last year's growth was tho slowest slnco World War II and, during the first quarter, Soviet industryhole grew byercent over the same period last yoar. Growth in production of fuels and electric power reached an all-time lowercent.

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stool production dropped by ono percent, and tho growth rnto fori civilian machinerytar porforraer--felleven-year lownd sank even lower during the first quarter of this year.! i

1 ! Contributing to industry's difficulties areWhich have beenin several tbm ofsince last summer. 'I

ine mignt nave auricuity in meetingou targets for oil production. Oil allocations to the Ministry of Nonferrous Metals will be cut by seven percent during the third, and fourth quarters of this year and other ministries maylsuffer similar" reductions. Deliveries of oil products to the USSR's! marketing organization in Belgium have been reduced significantly since! the beginning

Recipientsonthly Roview

iij^DepuiV; Assistant1 toithe Presidont for;National- Security Affairs

ColonelWilliam' Odom ! I ^

ilitary ^Assistant to Dr. Zbigniew. j-

National'Security Council StaffY I.

Dr. Victor Uigoff ' i; ii Director, Policy Analysis

National Security Council Staff:

: jOld Executive Office Building j

Mr..William Hyland SSR/Europe

:National Security Council Staff

Old Executive Office Building

Dr. Roger Molander

National Security Council Staff

Old Executive Office Building j

Mr. Anthony Lake

Director, Policy Planning Room

Department of State !

The Honorable Arthur Hartraan

'Assistant Secretary of State, Europe-Room

epartment of.i

Mr. John Armitage! v Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Europe

j Department,tate Mr1

Mr. Mark "i

: , Director, Office of Soviet Union Affairs

Mr. Marshall Shulman

j Special Adviser to the Secretory of State. Department of State i. {

Assistant;to the Vice President for National SecurityVice

.;f Old Executive Office Building

Mr. Waiter: "

'U- Principal Deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense {IS*}

VW:(RbomS, The Pentagon i

..Deportment of .Defense j

i'Mrii .Robert formats if;, s . conomic;fi'favtyf* fe

National. Security Council

; *'Executive Office Building .

'Mrj' Robert Gates

Dr. Brio zinski's Office

fl*$vThei White. Housed " -1

SUBJECT: Review of Soviet Internal Affairs

CONCUR:

Deputy Director for Intelligence

iff;

Original document.

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