The removal of N. S. Khrushchev from the post of first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee at the October 1964 plenum was made possible only as a result of the combined efforts of representatives of various party and state bodies, ministries and departments.
Formally, the collegiate leadership in the person of L.I. Brezhnev, A.N. Kosygin and other statesmen, heads of departments of the Central Committee and key ministries replaced the sole management of Khrushchev.
However, soon there was a departure from the principle of collegial governance. The first victim was A.I. Mikoyan, who in December 1965, when he reached the age of seventy, was sent to retire. N. V. Podgorny became the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (SC) of the USSR.
In the secretariat of the Central Committee, his place was transferred to the nomination of Brezhnev A. P. Kirilenko. In 1966, the Minister of the Interior, V. S. Tikunov, was replaced by N. A. Shchelokov, the stavant of Brezhnev. In 1967 there was a change and leadership of the KGB.
Taking advantage of the flight of Stalinís daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva to the United States , Brezhnev achieved the resignation of the Semichastny KGB chairman, who was replaced by Yu. V. Andropov . The death of the Minister of Defense of the march-la R. Ya. Malinovsky led to rearrangements in this department, which from 1967 to 1976 was headed by Marshal A. A. Grechko, Brezhnev's combat ally.
Serious personnel changes during this period occurred in the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Of the 17 members of the highest party organ after 10 years, only 7 remained in its composition. At the same time, Brezhnev here had an unconditional advantage of his supporters, the so-called "Dnepropetrovsk group."
All of them were joined by work in Dnepropetrovsk, Moldova and Kazakhstan. In addition to Kirilenko, Shchelokova among the Brezhnev parties, there were leaders of the party organizations of Kazakhstan - D. A. Kunaev and Ukraine - V. V. Scherbitsky, as well as the secretary of the Central Committee K. U. Chernenko.
The position in the party and Brezhnev himself , who became general secretary-general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee , will be strengthened (from 1977 he will also be chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet).
Occupying leadership positions in the party and state authorities, Brezhnev everywhere post-willed his supporters. Fedorchuk and Tsvigun were appointed as deputies to Andropov, who headed the KGB, and N. Tikhonov became deputy Kosygin in the USSR government in 1965, beginning his career in Dnepropetrovsk. Brezhnev had his representatives in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
At the same time, the general secretary did not close himself on all the levers of state power, leaving behind the ideological work for M. A. Suslov, for Yu.V. Andropov, questions of external and internal security, and for A. A. Gromyko, the foreign policy of the USSR. Since 1973, the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, internal affairs and the chairman of the KGB have become members of the Politburo. Thus, there is a merging of party and state authorities.
The secretary-generalís relations were clearly established with the first secretaries of the CPSU regional committees, whom he had contacted by phone at least once in a week. Strengthening his position in the party and the state, Brezhnev spoke in the 70s. in the role of a representative of the interests of the majority of the Politburo, not interested in new personnel changes, in changing the political system of Soviet society.
The members of the Politburo are now throwing their post only in case of death. Their average age in 1980 was 71 years. The ruling layer began to acquire the features of gerontocracy (the power of the elderly).