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MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The people’s attitude to Secretary-General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Leonid Brezhnev would have been better, if he had quit his post earlier, ex-USSR geology minister in 1975-1989 Yevgeny Kozlovsky told TASS on Monday.
December 19, 2016 marks the 110th anniversary of Brezhnev’s birth.
"I believe that if Brezhnev had quit earlier and had not stayed in the post of the secretary-general for so long, the attitude to him would have not been so contradictory as it is now but would have been normal," the ex-Soviet minister said.
According to the ex-minister, Brezhnev did not want to stay in power during the last years of his rule.
"He said on many occasions in the political bureau: ‘Guys, let me go, I am tired.’ His stay in the post was needed by USSR Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov, Head of the CPSU Central Committee General Department Konstantin Chernenko and some other persons," the ex-Soviet minister said.
"And these persons started to pin medals on him. This made him fall apart at the seams. He turned out to be weak. He was unable to come up with saying: ‘No, I don’t accept medals. That’s it for me,’" the ex-minister said.
Some ministers in the Soviet government perceived with humor Brezhnev’s decoration with various medals and orders while "these things stirred up an adverse reaction among many officials," the ex-minister said.
Leonid Brezhnev who was born on December 19, 1906 in the village of Kamenskoye in the Yekaterinoslav province of the Russian empire formally held the post of the CPSU Central Committee secretary-general from April 8, 1966 to November 10, 1982. He was buried at the Kremlin wall on Red Square.