War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink

By Peter Vincent Pry | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
The Death of Andropov, February 1984

Another dangerous event during the early 1980s was the slow death of General Secretary Yuri Andropov from kidney failure, a process that extended over many months and finally ended on February 9, 1984. Don Oberdorfer describes well Andropov's slow physical deterioration:

After Andropov's kidneys failed in February 1983, he slowed his activities and had difficulty walking, though foreign visitors reported that his mind was sharp. . . . In July, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl found that although Andropov was hardly permitted to walk at all, he was clear and vigorous in his arguments. Nonetheless, a West German photographer, who studied the Soviet leader through his camera's magnifying lens during a photo session with Kohl, confided that Andropov "is a man with the mark of death on his face." . . . The General Secretary's health took a sharp turn for the worse in late September or early October 1983, when he went from vacation to permanent residence in a specially prepared VIP suite in the Kremlin's Kuntsevo hospital. Sometime in the fall, one kidney is reported to have been removed. Andropov continued to try to run the country via telephone and memoranda with the help of a small group of trusted associates, including his Politburo protégé, Mikhail Gorbachev.

The KAL 007 and ABLE ARCHER-83 incidents were no doubt made more dangerous by Andropov's failing health, which increased the risk that the Soviet leader might make mistakes and act rashly. The nearness of death for Andropov might have made the prospect of nuclear war less intimidating, perhaps even tempting. Gordievsky makes the chilling observation that the leader of the Soviet Union "spent the last five months of his life . . . as a morbidly suspicious invalid brooding over the possible approach of a nuclear Armageddon."

Andropov's deathbed fixation on impending nuclear war reflected the views of the USSR's other top leaders in the aftermath of ABLE ARCHER- 83. Despite its having proved a false alarm, Soviet political and military leaders remained no less convinced that a U.S. nuclear surprise attack might be imminent. In January 1984, a conference attended by high-ranking Soviet officials to judge the value of Operation VRYAN during the past two years concluded that it was indispensable and continued to deserve the highest priority. Gordievsky describes Kryuchkov's opening address at the conference, which was later circulated to KGB residencies. Kryuchkov said the threat of nuclear conflict had elevated to "dangerous proportions" and

-45-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
War Scare: Russia and America on the Nuclear Brink
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 344

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.