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Kosygin pushed further into background

The shake-up of the technology branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the wake of Andrei Sakharov's removal from the Moscow scene has far-reaching consequences for the political setup inside the Soviet Union and for Soviet relations with the United States. It stands for the further hardening of the regime and almost complete eclipse of Premier Alexei Kosygin.

It started with the appointment Jan. 27 of Dr. Guri I. Marchuk, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, as chairman of the government's State Committee for Science and Technology. He replaced Deputy Premier Vladimir A. Kirillin, a longtime associate of Premier Kosygin.

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The State Committee for Science and Technology is the Soviet Union's most important agency in the scientific-technical field. Its task is the modernization and streamlining of industry, the orientation of Soviet imports to the most advanced and promising innovations in Western technology, and guidance of military technology.

Dr. Kirillin was a prominent figure in high-level Soviet negotiations with foreign countries. His successor, Dr. Marchuk, a mathematician and head of the computer center at the Siberian branch of the Academy of Sciences, heads the state committee for atomic energy research and plays a prominent role in cosmic and basic research.

Dr. Marchuk is a newcomer in the field of foreign relations.This was hitherto the special task of Mr. Kosygin's son-in-law, Dzherman M. Gvishiani, a first deputy chairman of the state committee for science and technology.

Dr. Gvishiani, who is fluent in both English and French, is well-known in American scientific and foreign trade circles. He was expected to become chairman of the government's State Committee for Science and Technology when Dr. Kirillin retired.

His being passed over for promotion was intrepreted as a further weakening of Premier Kosygin's influence and as evidence of a lessening of the Kremlin's interest in improved relations with the West.

Even more ominous in this respect is the quite recent removal of Dr. Gvishiani from the American section of the Committee on Science and Technology.

These developments seem to strengthen President Brezhnev's position and that of the hard-line quadriga that is believed to have his ear. This four-man group is said to include Mikhail Suslov, the Politburo's chief theoretician; Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov; Marshal Victor G. Kulikov, head of the Warsaw Pact forces; and Fleet Adm. Sergei G. Gorshkov, who heads the Soviet delegation to East Germany.


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