The Soviet Union has told the West that it would be senseless and hopeless to try to frighten the Communist world with Cruise missiles and Neutron bombs, because its scientists could match any enemy weapons.
SV Leonid Brezhnev, President of the Soviet Union, walking into the Place of Congresses in the Kremlin, and being applauded (2 shots)
SV Brezhnev speaking in Russian as members of the Presidium (5 shots)
CU Audience applauding
SV Soviet Defence Minister, Marshal Dmitry Ustinov speaking in Russian
CU Audience applauding
Sitting alongside President Brezhnev on the platform at the rally was Mr. Fyodor Kulakov, 60-year-old member of the party's ruling Politburo and widely tipped as a strong candidate for the eventual succession to the Chairmanship of the Party -- the Kremlin's top office. Mr. Kulakov's positioning next to the president on an occasion televised throughout the Soviet Union could suggest he was in a favoured position to take over as leader.
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Background: The Soviet Union has told the West that it would be senseless and hopeless to try to frighten the Communist world with Cruise missiles and Neutron bombs, because its scientists could match any enemy weapons. Speaking at a rally in Moscow on Wednesday (22 February) to mark the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Soviet armed forces, President Leonid Brezhnev, and Defence Minister, Marshal Dmitry Ustinov, both stressed that Soviet "love of peace" should not be taken for weakness.
He also said the Soviet Union is ready to ban all tests of nuclear weapons, to announce moratorium on nuclear explosions in peaceful purposes, to refuse on mutual interest to produce neutron weapons
The Soviet Union attributed great importance to successful ending of Soviet-American SALT talks and concluding treaty, as well as to signing agreement on reducing armed forces and arms in Central Europe.
Marshal Ustinov pointed out that NATO countries spend great amounts of dollars for military aids. He said that the Warsaw Pact countries will strengthen the defence capacity in view of NATO's military preparations.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was held in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. President Brezhnev wore the uniform of a marshal, the rank he was given last year. This week he was decorated with the Soviet Union's highest was medal, the Order of Victory.
Reading a message of congratulations from party and government leaders, the 71-year-old president declared the Soviet armed forces were intended entirely for defence. He said the Soviet Union was struggling for the continued development of detente. In a clear response to charges by Western political and military leaders that the armies of the Russian-led Warsaw Pact were a threat to the non-Communist world, he said the Soviet Union never armed itself for the sake of arming. Mr. Brezhnev claimed it never was, and never would be, an instigator of the arms race. All the Soviet Union was doing in the military sphere was to ensure the safety of itself and its socialist friends from attack.
Speaking after President Brezhnev, the 69-year-old Marshal Ustinov warned that no one should try to scare the Soviet Union with new types of lethal weapons, such as Cruise missiles and Neutron bombs. The Soviet economy, he said had the science and technology to ensure the destruction of any weapons conceived by its adversaries. Marshal Ustinov also accused China of acting "in concert with world reaction" in fanning hostility among nations and calling for the establishment of "a united anti-Soviet front".