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KGB Campaign against Corruption in Moscow, 1982–1987, The (Paperback)

Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Russian and East European Studies
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9780822961086
Published: 27th June 2010
Casemate UK Academic

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The 1980s brought a whirlwind of change to Communist Party politics and the Soviet Republic. By mid-decade, Gorbachev\u2019s policies of perestroika and glasnost had opened the door to democratic reform. Later, mounting public unrest over the failed economy and calls for independence among many republics ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Often overlooked in these events, yet monumental to breaking the Communist Party\u2019s institutional stranglehold, were the KGB anti-corruption campaigns of 1982–1987.In this original study, Luc Duhamel examines the KGB at its pinnacle of power. The appointment of former KGB director Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party in 1982 marked the height of KGB influence. For the first time since Stalin, Beria, and the NKVD, there was now an unquestioned authority to pursue violators of Soviet law, including members of the Communist Party. Duhamel focuses on the KGB\u2019s investigation into Moscow\u2019s two largest trade organizations: the Chief Administration of Trade and the Administration of the Moscow Fruit and Vegetable Office. Like many of their Soviet counterparts, these state-controlled institutions were built on a foundation of bribery and favoritism among Communist Party members, workers, and their bosses. This book analyzes the multifarious networks of influence peddling, appointments, and clientelism that pervaded these trade organizations and maintained their ties to party officials. Through firsthand research into the archives of the Andropov-era KGB and the prosecutor general\u2019s office, Duhamel uncovers the indictment of thousands of trade organization employees, the reprimand of Communist Party members, and the radical change in political ideology manifested by these proceedings. He further reveals that despite aggressive prosecutions, the KGB\u2019s power would soon wither, as the agency came under intense scrutiny because of its violent methods and the ghosts of the NKVD. The reinstatement of Moscow city government control over the trade organizations, the death of Andropov, and the rising tide of democratic reform would effectively end the reign of the KGB and its anticorruption campaigns.

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