3 FEBRUARY 1956, Page 7

I TAKE it that the dismissal of Kruglov, timed nicely

just before the Party Congress, is one more sign that the pot is still boiling in the Soviet power struggle. He had been Stalin's local protection expert as long ago as Teheran (where he got his KBE), and it had been remarked as odd that Khrushchev and Bulganin on their Asian safari took, not him, but the revolting Serov, although the latter was far more likely to startle the quarry. I hear that Kruglov has the reputation simply of a capable routine thug willing to serve anyone. When Malenkov and Khrushchev pulled their coup against Beria they gave him the MVD—having detached from it, however, the real security police. Someone else wants the half- million of the MVD now. And that leaves Serov the only full survivor of Stalin's seven top-ranking police generals. Five have been shot, and Kruglov seems a poor insurance risk, to say the least. The new man, Dudorov, has had a career in Khrushchev's Moscow fief and, since Malenkov's fall last year, in the Central Committee apparatus, where he has been chief 'construction' expert. The MVD does (or makes its victims do) a lot of Rusia's construction. Even so, devotion to Khrushchev seems the more important qualification.