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Soviet defense chief is seen as potential Andropov heir

Soviet Defense Minister Dmitri F. Ustinov has emerged in recent months as a new potential successor to President Yuri V. Andropov, whose rise to power itself ''owes much to the support of the military,'' Jane's Defence Weekly said in its inaugural issue Wednesday.

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The Soviet military could be ''drawn much deeper in the succession process,'' said the magazine published by Jane's, which produces standard world reference books on military hardware.

In Bonn, the Bonner Energie Report, a specialist oil and energy monthly, quoted high Soviet diplomatic sources as saying that Mr. Andropov, who has been reported ill since August, is not bedridden and is able to work about two days a week.

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