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Molotov Buried in Quiet Rites Attended Only by Kin, Friends

November 12, 1986|Associated Press

MOSCOW — Vyacheslav M. Molotov, who once was Josef Stalin's right-hand man and died in obscurity three decades after he fell from high office, was buried today at a private funeral attended by about 200 mourners.

Police guarded the cemetery to keep out uninvited guests. There was no pomp or government tributes.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday referred to Molotov, who died Saturday at 96, as a "pensioner" and told reporters his burial at Novodevichy Cemetery would be a private affair, organized by relatives and friends.

No high-ranking government members were at the cemetery, the second most prestigious burial place in the Soviet Union after the Kremlin Wall plot behind Lenin's Red Square mausoleum.

Molotov was buried in the same plot as his wife, Polina Zhemchuzhnaya Molotov, who died in 1970, and a few yards from the grave of Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Stalin's wife.

A Soviet man stood outside the cemetery, clutching a bunch of purple and white flowers and trying in vain to persuade police to let him in.

The man, who appeared to be in his 60s and wore a World War II veterans' medal on his lapel, told reporters, "I think (Molotov) was a great activist, although maybe there were a few mistakes."

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