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Soviets' chief of ideology appears to be Gorbachev

Politburo member Mikhail S. Gorbachev has apparently assumed the Communist Party's ideology post traditionally held by the Kremlin's No. 2 man. He gave the closing speech to the Soviet Union's first-ever nationwide ideology conference, saying it was important to ''more fully and effectively utilize the vast ideological and organizing potential of party propaganda,'' the official news agency Tass reported.

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The two-day gathering, which concluded Tuesday, was the first all-union conference on ideology, which is usually discussed in plenary meetings of the 300-plus-member Central Committee.