Khrushchev Ousted From Top Posts; Brezhnev Gets Chief Party Position And Kosygin Is Named New Premier
Moscow Is Quiet
Pravda Says Change Won't Bring Return of Harsh Policies
Krushchev Is Ousted From Top Posts and Replaced by Brezhnev and Kosygin
Rift with Peking Believed Factor
New Leaders May Suspend Showdown Conference of Communist Parties
By HENRY TANNER
Special to The New York Times
Moscow, Friday, Oct. 16--Premier Khrushchev has been deprived of political power in the Soviet Union.
He was replaced by Leonid I. Brezhnev, 57 years old, as First Secretary
of the Communist party and
by Aleksei N. Kosygin, 60, as Premier.
Mr. Khrushchev, who is 70, even lost his seat in the Presidium of the Central
Committee of the
party, the third most important position he held in the leadership.
This indicated that he had fallen into disgrace.
[Dispatches did not mention if Mr. Khrushchev had been removed from the
itself. Under normal procedure such action would come at a meeting of the Soviet Communist party
Adzhubei Reported Ousted
The changes were announced by Tass, the Soviet press agency a few minutes after midnight.
The Tass statement did not contain a single word of praise for the ousted leader.
Unofficial but reliable sources later reported that Aleksei I. Adzhubei,
son-in-law, had been deposed as chief editor of the Government newspaper Izvestia.
Mr. Khrushchev's whereabouts was not known. Nor was it known whether he
was at liberty or
under surveillance. Western diplomats assumed, however, that the changeover had been made
Diplomats Voice Assurance
Moscow's streets were quiet. There were no signs of movement by either
the army or police. Some
of the smaller Western embassies, which had been without a police guard for the last several months,
reported yesterday that the policemen were back in front of the gates.
Western diplomats said they did not expect the new leaders to change basic
Soviet policy toward
Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Kosygin can be expected to continue Mr.
Khrushchev's policy of "peaceful coexistence" with the United States, the
The Soviet Communist party newspaper Pravda indicated today that the party
would continue to carry out policies of de-Stalinization and economic
improvements under its new leadership.
The paper printed the same bare announcement that had been carried in the
English-language version of Tass. There were one-column pictures of Mr.
Kosygin and Mr. Brezhnev but no comment.
Pravda printed the following statement:
"The Communist party of the Soviet Union firmly and positively translates
reality the Leninist general line worked out at the 20th and 22d congresses of
This could be construed as an assurance that there would be no return to
Stalin's dictatorial policies.
Informed sources expressed the conviction that it was the Chinese-Soviet
conflict that had led to Mr. Khrushchev's fall.
Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Kosygin can be expected to put an end to the drive
toward a showdown with the Chinese Communists, which has been the
foremost trait of the last few months of the Khrushchev regime, the sources
December Meeting in Doubt
The sources said the new leadership might well have decided, even before
coming to power, to call off the meeting of 26 Communist parties that was to
begin here Dec. 15.
The meeting was to make preparations for a full-scale conference of the
world Communist parties.
Mr. Khrushchev had staked his own prestige and that of the Communist party
of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government on this project for a
But the response of the invited parties had been deeply disappointing.
Mr. Khrushchev's continued presence at the helm, the sources said, the
Soviet leadership would have been committed to go through with a potentially
disastrous project, while without him it would feel free to change plans and
avoid a showdown.
Mr. Khrushchev has been under vitriolic personal attack by the Chinese
The two new Soviet leaders have consistently echoed the Khrushchev line
the Chinese-Soviet conflict and other issues. But this was not regarded as
preventing them from adopting different policies now.
In the past Mr. Khrushchev had also been under attack for his agricultural
policies. But this was not thought to have been a central issue in his fall.
This year's crop has been good, especially in the virgin lands, which was
Khrushchev's special pride.
Removal Took Two Days
The maneuvering to bring about Mr. Khrushchev's fall from power covered
two days, according to Tass. The meeting of the Central Committee, which
took the party leadership from him Wednesday, was followed by a meeting of
the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (Parliament), which stripped him of the
Premiership yesterday, the press agency reported.
Mikhail A. Suslov, a spokesman in the Kremlin's dispute with Communist
China, was reported to have delivered the key address. Mr. Suslov had
appeared at times to be lukewarm in his support of Mr. Khrushchev.
It was President Anasatas I. Mikoyan, Mr. Khrushchev's closest and oldest
friend in the leadership, who presided over the session of the Presidium.
Mr. Mikoyan lived up to his reputation of being adept at surviving political
upheavals. He is the only man left who has been near the center of Soviet
power continuously since the middle nineteen-twenties and all through Stalin's
The Tass announcement emphasized that Mr. Khrushchev had been relieved
of his duties at his own "request." If that was true he was the first Soviet
leader since the revolution to have taken such a step.
Tass Report of Action
The Tass report said:
"The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. met Oct. 15 this year
with Comrade A. I. Mikoyan, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet of the U.S.S.R. in the chair.
"The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. discussed the question
of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R.
The Tass announcement said:
"The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. granted the request
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev on his relief from the duties of Chairman of
the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. in view of his advanced age and
deterioration of health.
"The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. appointed Comrade
Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the
U.S.S.R., releasing him from his duties of First Vice Chairman of the Council
of Ministers of the U.S.S.R.
"The decrees by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. on
relief of Comrade N. S. Khrushchev from his duties as Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R., and on the appointment of Comrade A.
N. Kosygin as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. were
adopted unanimously by the members of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
of the U.S.S.R.
"The members of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.
warmly congratulated Comrade A. N. Kosygin on his appointment to the post
of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R.
"Comrade A. N. Kosygin heartily thanked the Central Committee of the
Communist party of the Soviet Union and the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet of the U.S.S.R/ for the confidence shown him and gave the assurance
that he would do his utmost to discharge his duties."
The transformation of the Soviet regime came virtually without warning.
Rumors that a major political event was imminent started in the early evening.
Communist correspondence from Western countries were told, apparently by
party officials, to keep their radios tuned in for an announcement.
All through the day there had been a series of small but unusual events
caught the attention of correspondents and warned them that an upheaval
might be in the making.
Mr. Khrushchev's name was not mentioned in any of yesterday's newspapers,
except in the published text of a speech made at the airport yesterday by
President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado of Cuba.
Last night, President Mikoyan accompanied President Dorticos to a concert
in the Kremlin's Palace of Congresses as if nothing had happened.
Mr. Khrushchev's picture should have gone up in many places around the
in preparation for the big homecoming celebration and parade for the crew of
the spaceship Voskhod.
The celebration is expected tomorrow or Sunday, but observers noted that
several places the familiar picture was absent.
Then Tass, announced that there had been a lunch at the Kremlin for
President Dorticos. It listed virtually all members of the party leadership as
present but not Mr. Khrushchev.
The absence was all the more striking since Mr. Khrushchev had been reliably
reported to have returned to Moscow from the Black Sea coast yesterday.
In the afternoon, the Russians gave a reception for Gaston Palewski, the
French Minister of Atomic Research who is here on a visit.
President Mikoyan, Mr. Brezhnev, Mr. Kosygin and other Soviet leaders
were present, but Mr. Khrushchev again was absent.
A luncheon for the visiting Foreign Trade Minister of Italy, which was
scheduled for 1:30 P.M., was delayed for two hours without an explanation.
A large number of black limousines were parked most of yesterday morning
in front of the downtown building that houses the headquarters of the Central
Committee of the party.
This seemed to indicate that a meeting of the Central Committee was being
To cap it all, the Government newspaper Izvestia failed to appear at its
time last night. It is usually available 6 P.M.
Members of the staff said by telephone that the paper would not appear
early morning, together with Pravda, the party newspaper. Such a delay
occurs on occasions when the party and the Government want to issue a
The last time Mr. Khrushchev was in the news was Monday when he had a
cheerful radio conversation with Dr. Boris B. Yegorov, a member of the crew
of the Voskhod shortly after the spaceship had gone into orbit.
He told Dr. Yegorov to keep himself and the other crew members in good
shape for the huge "reception we are organizing for you [in Moscow] when
you get back."