Leningradskaya Pravda from 13th February 1984.
Day 2 of Lying in State. Front page articles are entitled ‘Moscow bids Yu. V. Andropov farewell’, ‘Sorrow of Soviet People’ and ‘Always in the national memory’. There is a photograph of some factory workers looking less than delighted. The caption reads ‘During a mourning meeting at the ‘Red Vybourg’ (factory):
The declaration next to the masthead reads as follows:
‘Deep sorrow is lodged in the hearts of the Soviet people, of all progressive humanity at the passing of Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov. At mourning meetings, working people of the country are bidding farewell to the prominent functionary of the Leninist Party and Soviet State, paying deep respect to the memory of the fiery patriot of the socialist motherland and tireless warrior for peace and communism.’
Concerning the death, lying in state and funeral of Andropov: We have 5 issues of Leningradskaya Pravda covering the period 11-15th February 1984. Click on the links below to find the copy you wish:
- 11/02/84 – Official death announcement, medical conclusions published
- 12/02/84 – Lying in state in Moscow
- 13/02/84 – More lying in state
- 14/02/84 – Chernenko appointed to succeed, further articles about Andropov
- 15/02/84 – Funeral of Andropov
Life and Death
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR
Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union
Chairman of the Committee for State Security (KGB)
Ambassador of the USSR to Hungary
Andropov is seen as a ‘hard-line’ Soviet leader in the West, although this perception may be more connected with his CV than his actions, particularly as General Secretary.
In 1982, Stalin’s surviving protégé, M. A. Suslov, died aged 80 in office as the Second Secretary of the Party. Andropov took the vacant position, perhaps because he had been working closely with Suslov in investigating the excesses of Brezhnev’s errant children. He rose to the highest post after the death of Brezhnev and embarked on a program of reform and re-establishment of Party discipline. Corruption was a target, as was the wastage of state funds.
Andropov was a modest, Leninist bureaucrat. He was not interested in personal enrichment. His ability to make positive changes was severely limited by his ill health and the refractory nature of the Politburo senior figures. Although he had chosen M. S. Gorbachev as his young and reformist successor, the ‘old guard’ had one final victory and on Andropov’s death the 73 year-old K. U. Chernenko took power.