Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev today promoted a series of associates--including Anatoly F. Dobrynin, for 25 years the ambassador to the United States, and a woman trade union official--and dumped two octogenarian non-voting members of the ruling Politburo in a shake-up marking the end of the 27th Communist Party Congress.
The most senior of the appointments was the promotion to full Politburo membership of Lev Zaikov, a former party boss of the Leningrad district who oversaw the defense industry for the party. He becomes the third most powerful member of the 12-man body by virtue of his dual post as a party secretary.
Dobrynin, dean of Washington's ambassador corps, was promoted to a Moscow-based job as a secretary in the Central Committee. A new ambassador was not immediately announced.
Diplomats were intrigued by the appointment of Dobrynin, 66. He had not been considered very powerful in the party, and his appointment appears to confirm reports that Gorbachev is determined to invigorate the party's direction for foreign affairs.
Vasili Kuznetsov--believed to be the first person to reach 85 years of age in the Politburo--and Boris Ponomarev, 81, were both dropped from their non-voting status in the Politburo.
The new non-voting members of the Politburo were identified as Byelorussian party chief Nikolai Slyunkov and Leningrad party chief Yuri Solovyev.
Besides Dobrynin, three other people were named secretaries of the Central Committee--including the first woman to have a prominent position in many years.
Alexandra Biryukova, 57, was listed previously as chairman of the Maternity, Child Development and the Work and Life of Women Commission.
The specific duties of secretaries are not announced, so details of her new position were unknown.
Central Committee secretaries, who supervise party activities in specific policy areas, are second only to Politburo members in power. The most powerful people, such as Gorbachev, hold membership in both.
Other new secretaries were Alexander Yakovlev, head of the propaganda section, and Georgi Razumovsky, former first party secretary of the Krasnodar region, near Gorbachev's home base.
At the same time, the membership of the Central Committee itself was overhauled. Of its 307 members, 136 are new.
Ten days after opening the congress with a 5 1/2-hour speech, Gorbachev closed the meeting with a brief address to the 5,000 delegates. It came only five days before his first anniversary as leader.
Gorbachev told the crowd gathered in the Palace of the Congresses that the 27th congress had been an endorsement of his call for stepping up the rate of economic growth.
"It is now becoming law in the life of the party and every party organization, a guide to action for the Communists, for all the working people," he said.
On the eve of the final session, the delegates gave the traditional unanimous support to a final resolution that amounted to a summary of Gorbachev's report on the opening day.
"In these circumstances the most crucial task of the whole party and the whole country is to overcome the unfavorable tendencies in economic development firmly . . . to give scope to truly revolutionary changes," the resolution said.