The Glamour of Gerontocracy

What the famously elderly leaders of the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union meant for millions.

(Vladimir Musaelyan / TASS)

The Western press called them the “Kremlin elders.” They were all born between 1902 and 1914. And they all died between 1980 and 1985. It was no coincidence that after they passed, everything collapsed — their country, their regime, their ideology. Yet they were not very old. When, in 1972, Communist general secretary Leonid Brezhnev received Richard […]

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