Possible Brezhnev heir reappears

Soviet Politburo member Andrei P. Kirilenko, once considered the most likely successor to President Leonid Brezhnev but seriously ill earlier this year, has returned to work, Monitor correspondent Ned Temko reports.

During the summer, official news media reports listed Mr. Kirilenko as present at a series of political meetings, and as having delivered an address at one of them.

A Soviet official told the Monitor in late August that Mr. Kirilenko was indeed feeling ''better,'' but that it remained unclear whether he would fully regain his former power within the Politburo and the party Secretariat. ''Personally,'' the official remarked, ''I somehow doubt it.''

Foreign diplomats, meanwhile, maintain that no one of Mr. Kirilenko's stature can safely be ruled out as a succession candidate, despite his illness, particularly if an interim choice is sought pending emergence of a full-fledged successor to Mr. Brezhnev.

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