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'Catch-up' with US arms theme of Soviet birthday

Soviet Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov vowed his nation would match the United States in the ''unprecedented arms race,'' as the Soviets celebrated the 64th anniversary of its Bolshevik Revolution with the traditional massive military parade.

A group of 17 Western ambassadors again boycotted the parade to protest continued Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Sweden led a boycott by the four Nordic countries to protest the intrusion of a Soviet spy sub thought to be armed with nuclear weapons in restricted Swedish waters.

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Anti-American sentiment ran deep in the annual parade, and Mr. Ustinov accused the US of ''intensifying the war threat,'' warning that the Soviets would equal US efforts to enhance their nuclear arsenal before the opening of arms limitation talks.

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