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Page 1: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray
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The Soviet CommunistParty in DisarrayThe XXVIII Congress of the CommunistParty of the Soviet Union

Edited by

E. A. ReesLecturer in Soviet HistoryCentre for Russian and East European StudiesUniversity of Birmingham

MSt. Martin's Press

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Selection, editorial matter and Introduction © E. A. Rees 1992Chapters 1,2, 3,4 and 7 © The Macmillan Press Ltd 1992Chapter 5 © R. W. Davies 1992Chapter 6 © Jonathan Haslam 1992

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission ofthis publication may be made without written permission.

No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied ortransmitted save with written permission or in accordance withthe provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988,or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copyingissued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham CourtRoad, London W1P9HE.

Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to thispublication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civilclaims for damages.

First published in Great Britain 1992 byTHE MACMILLAN PRESS LTDHoundmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG2I 2XSand LondonCompanies and representativesthroughout the world

This book is published in MacmiMan's Studies in Soviet History andSociety series in association with the Centre for Russian and EuropeanStudies, University of Birmingham.General Editors: R. W. Davies and E. A. Rees

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 0-333-55827-8

Printed in Great Britain byAntony Rowe LtdChippenham, Wiltshire

First published in the United States of America 1992 byScholarly and Reference Division,ST. MARTIN'S PRESS. INC.,175 Fifth Avenue,New York, N.Y. 10010

ISBN 0-312-08543-5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataThe Soviet Communist party in disarray : the XXVIII Congress of theCommunist Party of the Soviet Union / edited by E. A. Rees.p. cm.Originally published: Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1992.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-312-08543-51. Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo Soiuza—History.2. Soviet Union—Politics and government—1985-1991. I. Rees, E.A.JN6598.K7S6375 1992324.247W5—dc20 92-14224


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Acknowledgements vi

Notes on the Contributors vii

Introduction 1

1 Background to the XXVIII Congress 6Stephen White

2 The Politics of the XXVIII Congress 29Stephen White

3 Economic Policy 61E. A. Rees

4 Nationalities Policy 90E. A. Rees

5 History and Perestroika 119R. W. Davies

6 Foreign Policy 148Jonathan Haslam

7 Party Relations with the Military and the KGB 157E. A. Rees

Appendix 185

Notes 191

Index 218

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The writing and preparation of this book for publication has necessarilybeen compressed into a short period of time, with the objective ofproducing a work that remains topical and relevant to the study of thecurrent political situation in the Soviet Union. It seeks also to situate theXXVIII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in its widerpolitical context I am indebted to my fellow contributors - ProfessorR. W. Davies, Professor Stephen White and Dr Jonathan Haslam - forthe speed with which they have submitted their contributions, and theircooperation with the editor in finalising the draft for publication. I wishto thank Professor R. W. Davies for reading Chapters 3, 4, and 7 and formany useful comments for their improvement Professor Philip Hanson andDr Julian Cooper of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies,University of Birmingham, were kind enough to read and make helpfulcomments on Chapter 3. Dr J. R. Hughes of the University of Keele readand commented on early versions of Chapters 3, 4, and 7. Finally I wouldlike to thank Mrs Betty Bennett for her extremely efficient and patient workin preparing the typescript for publication.



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Notes on the Contributors

R. W. Davies is Emeritus Professor of Soviet Economic Studies at theUniversity of Birmingham. He is the author of many works on Soviethistory, including Soviet History in the Gorbachev Revolution.

Jonathan Haslam is Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge. He isa specialist on Soviet foreign policy, and is the author of The Soviet Unionand the Politics of Nuclear Weapons in Europe, 1969-87.

E. A. Rees is Lecturer in Soviet History at the University of Birmingham.He is the author of State Control in Soviet Russia.

Stephen White is Professor of Politics at the University of Glasgow. Hehas written extensively on Soviet politics, and is the author of Gorbachevin Power.


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The XXVIII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)was held on July 2-13, 1990 against the background of fast-moving politi-cal developments and a highly unstable situation. For some commentatorsit was seen as possibly the last congress for the CPSU as a ruling party inthe Soviet Union, for others it was to be no less than the funeral of theparty and of communism. The very significance of the Congress was itselfa matter of contention amongst the various currents of political opinionin the USSR. For reformers it was a chance for Gorbachev to rescueperestroika and to secure the continued development of the reform process.For the most outspoken radicals the reform process had already by-passedthe party, with the CPSU conducting its deliberations in limbo, cut off fromthe real political processes in the country. For conservatives the Congresswas an opportunity to reverse the slide into disorder and anarchy. At notime since the 1920s had a party congress convened against a backgroundof such uncertainty regarding the fate of the party and the USSR itself.

This work seeks to analyse the situation within the Communist Partyas reflected in the major debates at the Congress. It seeks to identify thevarious currents of opinion within the party, their strategies for copingwith the deepening crisis within the USSR, and their relative strengths andprospects for realising their proposals. Beyond this it seeks to determinethe continuing relevance of the CPSU within the Soviet political system,examining the main challengers to the party's power, and to determine howfar the reform process has passed out of the party's hands and how far theparty has the capacity to reestablish its authority. It is therefore necessaryto place the Congress in its context and to follow the political debates andcontroversies as they had developed prior to the Congress itself.


The simple dichotomy of left and right, conservative and radical, cannot dojustice to the complexity of the reform process in the USSR. The options lienot between a simple choice between Stalinist 'socialism' and a capitalist,liberal-democratic system. The reform process involves the selection ofdifferent strategies of political reform and economic reform, which in


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2 Introduction

combination point in the direction of alternative variants of politicalorganisation. These variants are shaped by the objective difficulties ofcreating a viable system of government in the USSR, shaped also bythe country's past experiences and traditions and the expectations ofher peoples. An attempt to analyse the alternative strategies for theUSSR is provided by L. Gordon and A. Nazimova.1 They outlined twobasic problems facing the Soviet Union. Firstly, the conflict regardingthe organisation of the economy - between the maintenance of a centrallyplanned and administratively managed economy on the one hand and theliberalisation of the market, deregulation and the acceptance of privateproperty ownership on the other. The second problem concerns the politicalorganisation of the society with a choice between the continuation of thesystem of authoritarian rule of the one-party state on the one hand, and thedemocratisation of the society, and the creation of a multi-party democraticsystem of government, on the other. Utilising these two dimensions ofeconomic and political organisation Gordon and Nazimova outline fourpossible strategies, each combining different permutations of political andeconomic organisation.

1. 'authoritarian order', based on authoritarian political rule and acentrally planned and administered economy.

2. 'authoritarian modernisation' combining authoritarian rule but witha shift in economic organisation in the direction of the market.

3. 'superficial democratisation' retaining a centrally planned economybut seeking to democratise the system, promoting experiments inpopular participation in administration and the waging of anti-bureaucratic campaigns.

4. 'democratic renewal' combining democratisation of the politicalsystem and a shift in the direction of a market economy.

The strategy of 'authoritarian order' corresponds with the Stalinist andpost-Stalin phase of Soviet development The strategy of 'authoritarianmodernisation' - of economic modernisation within a market frame-work combined with authoritarian political rule - corresponds to themodel of development of many developing, non-communist countries,and is one favoured by many Soviet economists. The strategy of 'super-ficial democratisation', Gordon and Nazimova argue, is widely popu-lar in the USSR - seeking to retain the command economy, with itsguarantees of full employment and state subsidies for basic necessitiesbut allowing scope for limited democratisation. The main strategy of'democratic renewal' reflects the strategy of Gorbachev's perestroika.

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Introduction 3

The approach of Gordon and Nazimova provides important insights intothe dilemmas of reform. It offers a more complex view of the problemsof development than a simple spectrum of options from left to right. Ithighlights the multi-faceted and complex character of Soviet politics. Indeveloped western countries the political debate for the main politicalparties is waged within the parameters of what Gordon and Nazimovaoutline as the spectrum of 'democratic renewal'. In the USSR in sharpcontrast the political debate is waged across all four options. This approachalso focuses attention on the viability of different strategies. Two of the fourstrategies, the authors argue, have historically demonstrated their long-termviability - 'democratic renewal', and 'authoritarian order'.

Difficulties arise in two areas. The model allows only limited scopefor the consideration of the ideological dimension of reform. Within thedifferent strategies outlined various ideological courses might be pursued- the strategy of 'democratic renewal' could embrace either a socialdemocratic policy or an open adoption of a capitalist, liberal democraticpolicy. Secondly the model omits one crucial dimension to the reformprocess in the USSR - the question of centre-republican relations.


In this work we have sought to examine the major debates and controversiesat the XXVIII Congress, and to set them in their context, with the aim ofhighlighting the various alternative options facing the CPSU in developingperestroika and in coping with the attendant political crises besetting theparty and the country.

In Chapter 1 Stephen White examines the political background to theCongress, the evolving crisis within the USSR and the way in whichthis has been reflected within the CPSU, with the emergence of differentfactions inside the party and a growing crisis of confidence regarding theability of the leadership to resolve these problems. The crisis also, asoutlined, raises fundamental questions regarding the position of the CPSUwithin the Soviet political system, its relations with other institutions, notonly the popularly elected Soviets, but also key elements of the Soviet stateapparatus, including the military and the KGB.

In Chapter 2 Stephen White provides an overview of the Congress itself,concentrating particularly on the discussion concerning the role of theCPSU, its internal organisation, and its ideology. This chapter exploresthe internal divisions within the party examining the standpoint of differentcurrents of thought. The chapter also assesses the main achievements of the

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4 Introduction

Congress, the degree to which it marked a turning point in the evolvingcrisis-the extent to which it might serve to shore up the authority of theparty, and how far events have already overtaken the CPSU.

In Chapter 3 E. A. Rees looks at the issue of economic reform as itemerged in 1989-90 and how these issues were reflected in the Congressdebates. The chapter looks in particular at the different strategies advocatedby various tendencies within the party and amongst economists, and theimplications these strategies have not only for the organisation of the Sovieteconomy domestically, but for the Soviet economy's relations with theworld economy, and their social, political and ideological implications.

In Chapter 4 E. A. Rees examines the interrelated issues of the national-ity policy and centre-republican relations. The nationalities question posesone of the most explosive issues for the USSR. The chapter examinesthe various alternative strategies being considered as it affects both theconstitutional structure of the USSR and of the CPSU itself. The chapterexamines the mechanisms of central control which the leadership seeks tomaintain, and the degree of autonomy offered to the various republics. Thepressures from the republican parties and from within the society for greaterautonomy are also analysed.

In Chapter 5 R. W. Davies reviews the developing debate on Soviethistory, the reappraisal of the past, as reflected in the pre-congress dis-cussion and in the Congress itself. The chapter examines particularly thegenesis and nature of the Stalin regime, and the relevance of alternativemodels of social-political organisation - not only the Leninist model, butthe reevaluation of the tsarist system, and the relevance of western liberaldemocratic models for the future of the USSR. This debate has far-reachingsignificance, with for example the discussion on the Molotov-Ribbentroppact having a direct bearing on the question of Soviet frontiers and thelegality of the incorporation of the Baltic republics, Moldavia and otherareas into the USSR.

In Chapter 6 Jonathan Haslam examines the developing debate onSoviet foreign policy. In this he outlines the growing criticism of officialforeign policy from party conservatives and from an increasingly vocalconservative current within the armed forces.

In Chapter 7 E. A. Rees examines the party's changing relations withthe military, the KGB and the MVD against the background of movestowards a system of parliamentary government, with the attempts tosubstitute parliamentary for party control over these bodies, and attemptsby radicals to depoliticise the repressive organs of state. The success ofsuch a transition is still constrained by the party's needs in the deepeningcrisis to retain control of these bodies as part of its stabilisation strategy.

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Introduction 5

The chapter examines also the potential for a conservative backlash andresort to the solution of the 'iron hand' to contain the developing crisis.

In considering current Soviet politics a cautionary word is neededregarding terminology. Political labels have been appropriated by differentmovements for their own ends within the Soviet Union. Whilst it iscommon to regard Gorbachev as a 'centrist' or 'reformer', the polar endsof the political spectrum have been variously designated. Those who defendthe prevailing order in the USSR are variously described as 'conservatives','the right-wing', although they themselves assert that in defending the gainsof the October revolution they represent the 'left'. For those advocatingfundamental restructuring of the Soviet system the label of 'radicals' hasbeen used, they themselves sometimes describing themselves as the 'left'.But they were denounced by their traditionalist opponents as 'rightists' whoare intent on capitalist restoration and the reestablishment of a bourgeoissystem. In this work we have used the designation conservatives, reformersand radicals reflecting not the ideological position of these individuals buttheir attitude towards the prevailing system.

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1 Background to theXXVIH CongressStephen White

The XXVIII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)met against the background of mounting political turmoil, and deepuncertainty regarding the future of the CPSU and the fate of the USSR.The very direction of the policies of perestroika and glasnost hung in thebalance. The dismantling of the Stalinist 'command-administrative system'was well advanced, but had unleashed in the process an unprecedentedre-politicisation of Soviet society which sought more radical changesand often changes which threatened the stability of the system itself.The party confronted a series of intractable problems across the wholespectrum of policy-making - from domestic policy, the nationalitiesquestion, the economy, to foreign and defence policy. These issues sharplydivided the party and raised directly the question of the viability ofGorbachev's reform strategy. The prospect of reform turning into anar-chy and in the process creating the climate for a conservative backlashwhich would reverse the whole reform process was posed directly.1

Gorbachev's policy of perestroika had by 1990 progressed much fur-ther in transforming the Soviet system than the more halting efforts atde-Stalinisation initiated by Khrushchev at the historic XX Congress ofthe CPSU (1956), and developed by him at the XXII Congress (1961).What for Khrushchev had been the priority of eliminating terror as aninstrument of rule, of 'democratising' the political system, and reformingthe economic structures was still conceived within the framework of aCommunist one-party state, inspired by a rediscovery of Leninism anda belief that the Soviet concept of 'socialism' could secure not only thematerial well-being of its people, but demonstrate its superiority - interms of economic performance and its ethical values - over capitalism.Under Brezhnev (1964-82) the reform process ground to a halt; theneed for fundamental rethinking was impeded by the objective diffi-culties of reform, and its necessity obscured by the USSR's successfulemergence as a world super-power, and the government's not insig-nificant achievements in improving the living standards of its people.

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Background to the XXVIII Congress 7

After the interregnum of Andropov and Chernenko (1982-85) theprocess of reforming the Stalinist 'command-administrative system' wasresumed by Gorbachev; de-Stalinisation might be said to have enteredits second phase. As General Secretary Gorbachev's first priority wasto consolidate bis own position in the Politburo, Secretariat and CentralCommittee. The reform process was initiated hesitantly at the CentralCommittee plenum of April 1985. Thereafter it assumed more concreteform, through the resolutions of the XXVII Congress of the CPSU(February-March, 1986) and those of the XIX Conference of the CPSU(June-July, 1988). The role of the Central Committee in decision-makingwas also enhanced. Through appeals to wider party fora Gorbachev soughtto secure a mandate for fundamental reform and overcome opposition fromentrenched interests, stemming from political-ideological motives as wellas considerations of self-interest.

Perestroika developed as a series of reform measures, which werenot always clearly thought out, but were shaped by the exigencies ofpolitical compromise. They broadened out to embrace virtually all aspectsof life in the USSR, penetrating all fields of policy. The CommunistParty's monopoly of political power was questioned, and the preservationof the centrally planned, nationalised economy was challenged. WhilstGorbachev's reforms extended far beyond Khrushchev's restructuring ofthe system, these reforms were themselves conceived of as a fundamentalredefinition of 'socialism' in the USSR. In this perestroika involved aprofound re-examination of the Soviet past, particularly of the Stalinera. The mixed economy of the New Economic Policy era (1921-29)provided in part a model for this restructuring process. The possibility ofan alternative third way, between capitalism and the Stalinist 'command-administrative system', provided the intellectual and ideological inspirationof perestroika. In this the reform movement was seen to have implicationsextending far beyond the USSR, to other communist systems and tocapitalist states.

Gorbachev whilst describing perestroika as a 'revolution' conductedhimself more as a radical reformer than a revolutionary; adept at com-promise, he sought to maintain the broadest consensus for realising hisdesign. Popular enthusiasm for perestroika peaked in 1988 and there-after was replaced by a more critical and sceptical view. As the reformprocess deepened and problems accumulated this balancing act becameincreasingly precarious, with radicals accusing Gorbachev of becomingthe prisoner of entrenched bureaucratic interests intent on blocking seriousreform, and conservatives increasingly alarmed by the apparent limitedreturn flowing from ill-considered reforms and fearful that reform was

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8 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

unleashing ungovernable forces which were undermining the party andthe state itself.

Perestroika raised fundamental questions regarding the nature of theSoviet political system. For the Communist party it raised the questionof its role in the transition to a competitive multi-party system, of itsinternal organisation, its ideology, its links with the state apparatus, andits relationship with the wider society - the intelligentsia, the working class,the peasantry and the different nationalities. It raised the question of theorganisation of the state itself; the tension between a unitary and a federalstructure, the means of democratising the system, the regime's relationshipto the wider society, and the problems of creating a 'law-governed state'(pravovoe gosudarstvo). With this went the complex question of economicreform, the creation of a viable 'socialist market' alternative to theplanned-nationalised economy. For the society greater democratic rightsand glasnost posed the question of developing a functioning pluralistic'civil society' (grazhdanskoe obshchestvo) and the elaboration of a 'politi-cal culture' (politicheskaya kultura) capable of sustaining these changes.

From piecemeal reform of the system Gorbachev was driven to under-take the immense task of fundamentally transforming a deeply entrenchedsystem. To place the Congress in its context we must briefly review twobroad aspects of the reform process (i) the changes in the political structureof the Soviet political system, and (ii) policy changes. From the attendantdifficulties associated with these aspects of the reform process we can tracethe debate leading up to the discussions at the Congress itself.


The XXVIII Congress convened against the background of radical changesin the political structure of the Soviet political system. The most significantdevelopment was the transfer from the hegemony of the CPSU to amulti-party system, and from the dominance of the General Secretaryand the Politburo to the newly established Presidential executive office andthe new Presidential Council. As part of this transformation the impotentSupreme Soviet was to be transformed into an effective, representative par-liamentary assembly. The government, headed by the Council of Ministers,previously subordinated to the Politburo, was to be made accountable tothe Supreme Soviet The Communist Party's monopoly of political powerand the system of rigid internal party discipline, which prohibited internalfactions, both cardinal features of the Soviet one-party state established in1921, were dismantled.

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Background to the XXVIII Congress 9

1. The Changing Role of the CPSU

Following the XIX party Conference (June 28-July 1, 1988) which sawunprecedented open debate, the decision was taken to combine the post ofparty leader and head of state. On October 1, 1988 Gorbachev was electedas Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, in succession to A. A.Gromyko.2 This was intended to confer a wider legitimacy on Gorbachev,as not simply a party leader but as a national figure. This important changeheralded a new emphasis on the role of Chairman and that of the SupremeSoviet A similar combination of posts was organised at the republican andoblast level, requiring party secretaries to gain the mandate of the Sovietsfor election to this other post.

The role of the CPSU, and particularly that of the Politburo andSecretariat, was redefined. The dominant position of the Politburo over allaspects of policy making was gradually reduced, and its attention focusedon internal party affairs. The Secretariat - formerly a central part of themechanism of party control-assisting the Politburo in policy formation,enforcing policy implementation, monitoring the work of party and stateorgans, and exercising control over appointments through the system of thenomenklatura - had its functions drastically reduced.

In the autumn of 1988 the Central Committee approved six new com-missions, each headed by a senior member of the leadership; (i) partyconstruction and cadres policy (G. P. Razumovskii); (ii) ideology (V. A.Medvedev); (iii) social-economic policy (N. N. Slyunkov); (iv) agrarianpolicy (E. K. Ligachev); (v) international policy (A. N. Yakovlev); and(vi) legal policy (V. M. Chebrikov).3 They were intended to involvethe Central Committee membership as a whole in policy formation atthe highest level. The Central Committee apparatus was simplified andreduced in size.4

The CPSU was obliged to operate in a political system that was beingfundamentally transformed. In the spring of 1989 multi-candidate electionswere held to the new Congress of People's Deputies, which thereafterelected the new Supreme Soviet. In these elections leading party figures ina number of major cities suffered humiliating defeats. In February-March1990 elections were held to the republican Congresses of People's Deputiesand to local Soviets which further demonstrated the growing strength ofthe new political movements and parties, and particularly the nationalistpopular fronts in the republics.

The CPSU's position was increasingly subject to question, particularlythe provision under article 6 of the Constitution which guaranteed theparty a monopoly of power. The coalminers' strike in the summer of

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10 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

1989 demanded abolition of this article. The demand was taken up bythe radical Inter-Regional Group of Deputies in the Congress of People'sDeputies. Gorbachev initially resisted the pressure. However, the CPSUCentral Committee plenum February 4-7, 1990 voted almost unanimouslyto relinquish the Party's constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on power.The constitution was amended removing the party's 'leading role'.

The Central Committee plenum in February 1990 recommended thecreation of a Presidential form of government. The proposals submit-ted by Gorbachev were approved without 'substantial changes' althoughthey encountered strong opposition from party conservatives. The CPSU,Aleksandr Yakovlev asserted, intended henceforth to compete for powerwith other political movements. He described the plenum as a majorstep forward in the transfer of power to the Soviets. The plenum, hereported, supported Gorbachev's proposal to introduce presidential ruleand to 'concentrate power in the hands of the president and cabinet'. ThePolitburo in future, he declared, would confine itself to party affairs.5

On March 15 Gorbachev was elected by the Congress of People'sDeputies as first President of the USSR. Although running unopposed, hereceived only 1,329 votes, just 206 more than was required to win, with 495deputies voting against him. Attempts to give Gorbachev sweeping powers- in declaring a state of emergency, in overriding a veto of the SupremeSoviet - were frustrated. Gorbachev's failure to seek election to the post ofPresident by popular mandate was seen as a major limitation on his powerand a failure to gain popular legitimacy for his position.6

The new Presidential Council, however, was intended to boostGorbachev's authority, to distance him from the discredited partymachine and to provide a forum for creating a 'national consensus'.The third session of the Congress of People's Deputies on March 12,1990 pronounced that the Presidential Council should exercise authorityover domestic and foreign policy. The new office of executive Presidentwas to be assisted by the Presidential Council, its members appointed bythe President, and serving as his advisers.

The Presidential Council comprised sixteen members each with a port-folio: Chingiz Aitmatov - culture; V. V. Bakatin - public order; V. I.Boldin - staff work; A. E. Kauls - agriculture; V. A. Kryuchkov -state security; Yu. D. Maslyukov - economic planning; Yu. A. Osipyan- science and technology; E. M. Primakov - foreign policy; V. G. Rasputin- ecology, culture; Grigorii Revenko - nationalities policy; N. I. Ryzhkov- overall economy; S. S. Shatalin - socio-economic policy and economicreform; E. A. Shevardnadze - foreign policy; A. N. Yakovlev - lawenforcement bodies, ideology; V. A. Yarin - the workers' movement; D.

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Background to the XXVIII Congress 11

T. Yazov - military affairs. The inclusion of Yazov (minister of defence),Kryuchkov (chairman of the KGB) and Shevardnadze (minister of foreignaffairs) in the Council underlined how far power had shifted from thePolitburo.7 Ligachev was pointedly excluded from the Council.

A new Council of the Federation, comprising the leaders of the republics,was established to provide a link between the centre and the republics,underlying the latter's growing political importance.

The establishment of the office of President indicated a furtherweakening of the party's role. In April 1990 Eduard Shevardnadzedeclared that 'the Politburo will deal with purely political and Party matters- its leadership will try to exercise its influence through the activities of itsmembers'.8 Anatolii Luk'yanov, chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet,acknowledged that the President, parliament and government now formedthe 'triangle' of power in the Soviet Union in contrast to the past where itwas comprised by the General Secretary, the party and the government.9

From the beginning of 1989 the Politburo ceased to meet every week.According to Izvestiya TsK KPSS the Politburo and Secretariat each metonly 34 times in 1989. In the first six months of 1990 the Politburo wasmeeting only once a month and then only to consider party matters.10 ThePolitburo and Central Committee increasingly focused on party affairs.11

The role of the Secretariat in policy making and policy enforcementdeclined.12 Initiative passed to the Presidential office. At the same timethe role of the Council of Ministers, particularly in the field of economicpolicy, as a policy making centre was enhanced.

The Central Committee and Politburo in this period underwent sub-stantial change. At the XXVII Congress a new Central Committee waselected with 307 members and 170 candidates. In the succeeding years32 individuals were relieved of their position as candidate members. Atthe Central Committee plenum in April 1989 there was a dramatic renewalof membership with 74 members and 24 candidate members giving uptheir positions. By July 1 1990 the Central Committee comprised 248members and 108 candidates. There was also a substantial turnover in themembership of the Politburo and Secretariat.13


The abandonment of the CPSU's monopoly position and the creation of thePresidential office and the rise of the all-union and republican Congressesof People's Deputies represented fundamental shifts in the political struc-ture of the Soviet system. Under glasnost the past record of the CPSU was

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12 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

subject to mounting scrutiny and criticism. The relaxation of politicalcontrols and wider public debate raised fundamental questions regardingthe structure and ideological underpinnings of the Soviet system. Thesechanges were tied to other major changes in policy.

In the economic sphere the centrally planned, nationalised economywas reformed in the direction of a system of 'market socialism', and amixed economy. This itself involved a dismantling of the party's rolein the regulation of the economy; devolving power to the enterprises,extending the economic rights of individuals to engaged in economicactivity independently of the state either through cooperatives or as privateentrepreneurs; creating a more pluralistic system and transferring greaterpower to consumers and to the trade unions as part of the creation of a civilsociety.

In the sphere of social policy the party sought to win popular consentfor its policies, associated with the policy of glasnost and greater politicalfreedom for new parties, groups and associations. The revitalisation ofcivil society was seen as part of a strategy to mobilise greater socialand individual initiative, as a means of transforming popular attitudes-thecreation of a 'political culture', stimulating a more adaptive and purposefulapproach to economic and social affairs, whilst at the same time providingcompetition to state run organisations, and through the development ofpublic opinion creating pressures to expose deficiencies in the system.

A central aspect of this new approach was reflected in the new nation-alities policy, which accorded greater freedom for national expression asa means of encouraging diversity and intiative whilst at the same timeseeking to retain the integrity of the Union, through redefining relationsbetween the centre and the republics.

In foreign and defence policy fundamental changes were motivated bythe need to overcome the USSR's international isolation, to ease the burdenof the arms race, and to secure the reintegration of the Soviet economy intothe world economy.

In this process of reform the existing structures of power - the party, theeconomic ministries, the central state institutions, the Armed Forces, and theKGB - were fundamentally challenged. At the same time the reform pro-cess called into question the close links which had bound the CPSU to theseinstitutions in the past The demands of radicals for the reorganisation of theCPSU led to calls for it to break its links with the military and the KGB, toredefine its relationships with the soviets-compelling it to work through theSoviets - rather than use the Soviets as legitimising devices for party policy,and at the level of enterprises and institutions to scrap the party cells, theso called 'territorial-production' principle of party organisation.

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Background to the XXVIII Congress 13


Public enthusiasm for perestroika waned after 1988, thereafter mountingpolitical difficulties raised serious questions regarding the direction ofGorbachev's reform programme and the feasibility of the 'third way'strategy. These difficulties stemmed from objective factors outside thecontrol of the political leadership and from fundamental errors by theleadership itself. Political obstruction by entrenched interests compoundedthe problem. In part the problem derived from the lack of a sufficientpopular base for the reform programme, which was reflected in growingpublic alienation and dissatisfaction.

The most serious failure of the reform programme was in the eco-nomic field. By the winter of 1989/90 the reform process had becomebogged down, with no clear perspective for advance. The deteriorationin the supply of consumer goods and food stuffs fostered mountingpublic frustration, and growing labour unrest which themselves limitedthe leadership's room for manoeuvre. In the field of nationalities policythe eruption of violence in the Transcaucasus, the growing separatist tidein the Baltic republics and a mounting tide of nationalist unrest in otherrepublics raised sharply the question of the viability of the USSR and theability of the leadership to harness these forces without undermining thereform process. In international policy gains in improved relations with theWest through agreements on reducing conventional and nuclear weaponscould not conceal the erosion of the USSR's previous position as thesecond major superpower. The Soviet retreat in its policies with regardto the Third World reflected a growing preoccupation with its own internalproblems. In the autumn of 1989 Soviet compliance with the overthrow ofCommunist regimes in Eastern Europe underlined the new reality of theUSSR's position in the post 'cold-war' world.

The effect of these interrelated crises was to pose starkly the questionof the future direction of the reform process, with radicals demandingmore speedy and fundamental reform to democratise the system, andconservatives warning of the danger of anarchy and disorder internally, andthe loss of the USSR's position internationally. The feasibility of a socialist'third way' was posed with new force. Gorbachev's success in holdingtogether a consensus of forces from 1985 to 1988 began to break down asthe reform process began to challenge the existing centres of power and as itran into mounting difficulties. The crisis was reflected in the wider societyand within the party itself, with growing signs of fragmentation within theparty, falling morale, the exodus of party members and a dramatic loss inpublic confidence in its ability to deal with the crisis.

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The context in which the Congress met was one in which a reform of thepolitical system, launched by the Central Committee itself in January 1987,had led to the emergence of organised groupings outside the CPSU, firstof all 'informal' associations of individual citizens and then (from 1988onwards) political parties in a more established sense. By the time theCongress met there were at least 11,000 newly-formed independent asso-ciations of this kind, and about 20 nationally-based parties or movementsother than the CPSU itself.14 Indeed, a wholly new Department of the Cen-tral Committee 'for work with [other] socio-political organisations' had tobe established in 1990 to cope with these very different circumstances.15

The party abandoned its constitutionally guaranteed 'leading role' inearly 1990 (in reality, as speakers at the February plenum pointed out,the party had long since lost a position of this kind), but this still leftopen the way in which the party should relate to the other elementsthat were operating in a system that had been at least partly pluralised.Would the party, for instance, cooperate with all groups, or only those thatwere committed to 'socialism'? What form would this cooperation take -a 'round table', an electoral bloc, or full-scale coalition government? Andhow could the party in any case hope to retain a position of politicalinfluence in genuinely competitive elections?

It was not only the party's role in Soviet society but its own organisationand structure that were under challenge. A Leninist party had hithertobeen understood to be a highly disciplined and hierarchical one, basedupon democratic centralism and a 'ban on factions'. The Gorbachev yearssaw the steady erosion of this vanguard conception, partly as a result ofdecisions by the party itself in the interests of greater democracy, but stillmore so as a result of developments among the rank and file. At a timeof greater openness in the society at large there were demands for moreinformation about the party's own activities, including its decision-makingprocesses, its budget and substantial assets. Above all, party organisationsin the union republics, originally clients of the centre, began to reflect theviews of their local populations and to press for greater autonomy. TheLithuanian party, in the most spectacular of these developments, opted outof the CPSU altogether in December 1989, although a minority (mostly ofRussian speakers) retained their affiliation with the national organisation.16

Other republican parties, particularly in the Baltic, held their decisions inreserve until the XXVIII Congress had taken place. It was these issues, theparty's role in a changing society and its own organisational structure, thatwere at the centre of the Congress proceedings.

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1. The Party and Political Reform

The debate on 'democratisation', which was launched by the party itselfin January 1987, had naturally concerned its own role and structure. Ingeneral terms, as Kommunist argued in an editorial in January 1988, thereshould be a more restricted understanding of the party's role, involvinga kind of 'division of labour' in which the party would stand aside fromdirect management of public affairs and confine itself to a much loosercoordinating function.17

The discussion that preceded the XIX Party Conference in the sum-mer of 1988 saw very widespread support for changes of this kind.There were calls, for instance, for party officials to spend more timeworking 'with the masses' and less time in their offices, and for allparty bodies from the Politburo downwards to present annual reportson their work.18 It was suggested that there should be party congressesevery two years and party conferences during the intervals betweenthem, as in Lenin's time, and that the existing membership, recruitedto a large extent during the Brezhnevite years of stagnation, should bereaccredited and if possible reduced.19 There was also a good deal ofconcern about the way the party's finances were handled, with callsfor elected bodies at all levels to present proper income and expen-diture accounts.20 They knew more about the income of the Americanpresidency and British royal family, as one speaker at the Party Confer-ence complained, than they did about the finances of their own party.21

Perhaps the most widely-supported proposals, however, were that thereshould be a choice of candidate at all elections to party office, and thatpositions of this kind should be held for a limited number of terms.Under the existing system of recommendations from above, wrote onecontributor to the discussion, party posts were filled not by electionbut by appointment, often for life. Instead of this there should be a'periodic renewal of elected and non-elected cadres', with maximumperiods of tenure.22 There should, for instance, be a maximum period ofcontinuous membership of the Central Committee and of its apparatus.23

Other correspondents suggested a normal limit of two terms in the sameelected party position, and some called for the restoration of the compulsoryturnover rules that had been introduced by Khrushchev but dropped by hissuccessors.24 Party posts should also be filled by secret ballot from alarger number of candidates than seats available, with replacement possibleahead of time in the case of committees that were working ineffectively.25

Changes were suggested in the way in which the General Secretary waselected, with either a nationwide vote or a 'kind of party referendum'

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deciding the matter.26 There might even be age limits, such as 65 forPolitburo and Secretariat members.27 And there should be changes in theparty's own bureaucracy: it should be smaller, and less obviously parallelthe ministerial hierarchy.28

Several more sensitive issues were raised in the discussion, including theoperation of the nomenklatura appointments system. The existing 'closed'system, which too often protected the incompetent and corrupt from theconsequences of their actions, came in for repeated criticism.29 Why, forinstance, wrote a labour veteran from Krasnodar, should the politicallywell-connected have more comfortable flats, better foodstuffs, specialhospitals and even their own cemeteries?30 And why, asked a speakerat the Party Conference, was there a 'caste of untouchables' who wereapparently to bear no blame for their mistakes and even crimes during theBrezhnev years?31 There was a strong case, others argued, for separatingparty membership entirely from the tenure of leading posts in order toavoid membership becoming no more than a 'meal ticket' or a source ofprivilege.32 It was also suggested that the 'party maximum' on earningsof Lenin's time should be revived, and that a Committee on PartyEthics along the lines of those that had existed in the 1920s should beestablished.33 So far as the party's own members were concerned therewas widespread agreement that officials should avoid being hypnotisedby the word 'worker' and that more attention should be paid to themoral and political qualities of those that they recruited. Party branches,under existing policies, were becoming dominated by blue-collar staffand pensioners, not by those who were doing most to advance thescientific-technical revolution and other priorities of perestroika.34

Most of these themes found a place in Gorbachev's speech to the PartyConference in June 1988. There had been 'definite deformations in theparty itself, Gorbachev told the delegates. Democratic centralism haddegenerated into bureaucratic centralism. The rank and file had lostcontrol over the leaderships that spoke in their name. Officials had cometo believe they were infallible and irreplaceable; and an atmosphere ofcomradeship had been replaced by one of commands and subordination.Party and government had lost their distinctive functions, and the partyapparatus had become too closely involved in economic and administrativerather than properly political matters.35 The Conference, in its concludingresolutions, agreed with Gorbachev that a 'profound democratisation' ofparty life was necessary and insisted that there must 'never again' bea recurrence of the deformations that had taken place during the Stalinand Brezhnev eras. Membership should be determined by political criteriarather than by centrally-determined quotas; and meetings should be more

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critical and constructive. Central Committee members should be able toplay a more active role in the work of the leadership; more records ofparty meetings should be published; and - a matter of 'prime importance'- all posts up to the Central Committee level should be filled by secret andcompetitive ballot for a maximum of two five-year terms.36

These reforms, like their counterparts in the state system, graduallybegan to be implemented over the months that followed. Competitiveelections to party office had indeed begun to take place as early asFebruary 1987, when a local party secretary in the Kemerovo region waschosen by secret ballot from two competing candidates.37

For a long time, Gorbachev told a Central Committee meeting in July1989, the CPSU had been a part of the command-administrative system,which in turn had dominated all aspects of public life. This made it easier tocontrol developments, but the party's proper role, as a vanguard of society,had been sacrificed, and party committees had found themselves unable to'talk to the people [and] win their trust'. The task was now to bring theparty out of its 'state of siege', encouraging it to explain its ideas amongthe wider population and to win their support for a common programmeof action.38

The outcome of such exhortations, by early 1990, was still somewhatunclear. It was already apparent, however, that the party was restructuringitself rather more slowly than other public institutions. Considerable prog-ress had been made, as Leon Onikov, a Central Committee official, toldPravda in January 1989. In 1987, for instance, over 900 city and districtparty secretaries had been replaced, often in multi-candidate elections. Butmuch still remained to be done. Glasnost within the party, in particular,had made little progress since Gorbachev's accession. District committeesstill kept their records secret, the rank and file were 'walled off from theiractivities, and even members of elected party committees had no accessto the meetings of the party bureaux that were nominally accountableto them. In short there was a 'democratisation gap' between the partyand Soviet society, and it was widening.39 Writing some months later,Onikov pointed out that over a thousand local party secretaries hadbeen chosen on a competitive basis in the last round of party elections.This, however, was only 8.6 per cent of the total, and at higher levelsthe figures were even less impressive - just seven regional secretaries,for example, had been elected on a competitive basis, which was justone per cent of the total. No fewer than 74 per cent of the membersof the Congress of People's Deputies, by contrast, had been electedfrom a choice of candidates - 'a difference hardly in favour of theparty'.40

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Not simply was the 'vanguard lagging', as Onikov put i t In some waysmore important, the party began to lose members, particularly among theworking class, and began to experience what party officials themselvesdescribed as a 'crisis of confidence'. The rate of increase in the party'stotal membership dropped in 1988 to a scarcely measurable 0.09 percent, down from 0.7 per cent the year before and 1.8 per cent in theearlier part of the decade.41 In 1989 membership actually fell, by 1.4per cent; the fall accelerated in the last three months of that year andthe first three months of 1990.42 In some cases the fall was spectacular.In Lithuania, for instance, the party lost 6,500 members during 1989,with only 824 replacing them.43 In Tula, perhaps a more representativecase, the flow of new members fell by a half between 1986 and 1989and several hundred members left, a phenomenon that had earlier beenalmost unknown.44 In Sverdlovsk, more had left the party by the time ofthe Congress than in the whole of the previous year; in Moscow, one anda half times as many had left45 The proportion of workers and collectivefanners among party recruits, at the same time, fell significantly; so toodid the proportion of young people and women, down from 34.7 percent in 1985 to 24 per cent in the first three months of 1990.46 Thewhole position, in the words of the Central Committee apparatus, was'alarming'.47

Why had members been leaving, or failing to join? A party leader inthe Penza region explained that young people were reluctant to join anorganisation many of whose members had brought it into disrepute bytheir actions in earlier years.48 The party's failure to democratise wasanother disincentive. It still remained a 'rigid command-administrativestructure' with a central 'headquarters' and a 'drive mechanism', wrote onedisaffected Moscow member. Activists were leaving to join 'livelier, moreflexible' grass-roots organisations.49 Perhaps the central reason, however,was the party's failure to establish its moral authority. The party, onemember pointed out, had approved the bloody crimes of Stalin, the'voluntaristic adventures' of Khrushchev, and then the military and literary'"talents'" of Leonid Brezhnev. How could its support of perestroika nowbe taken seriously? He had been promised everything in his lifetime, wroteT. Gisikhin from the Leningrad region. So far as current policies wereconcerned he would be honest: 'I don't believe you, Mikhail Sergeevich!'In his twenty-five years of party membership, wrote another of Pravda'scorrespondents, he had believed he was helping to construct communism,Now it seemed the party had taken the nation to the verge of catastrophe.50

One of Pravda's correspondents, by the autumn of 1990, was prepared todescribed perestroika as the greatest calamity the country had experienced

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since the Second World War - and this in peacetime, by the action of itsown government51

The party's 'crisis of confidence' reflected a deeper uncertainty about itsfunction under conditions of perestroika, and indeed about the direction inwhich the society as a whole was meant to be moving. Gone, for a start,were the days of 'monolithic unity'. Some party members were leadingstrikes, and others were opposing them. Party members in the Baltic repub-lics were joining the popular fronts, and even supplying their leaderships,while other members were joining their Russian-speaking counterparts.Party members were competing against other party members at the polls,and on the basis of different electoral programmes. There were persistentrumours that the leadership was divided or at least far from unanimous, andthe 'braking mechanism' that members were urged to fight turned out to beanother section of the party itself.52 For Professor A. Denisov, a people'sdeputy, the party was in a state of nothing less than 'crisis' by the summerof 1989; for the playwright Aleksandr Gel'man and others, writing earlierin the year, party officials were attempting to 'sabotage' political reformand party headquarters themselves were dominated by a 'dictatorship ofmediocrities'.53

The most fundamental problem, as Denisov and others indicated, wasthe lack of a coherent and convincing vision of the manner in whichSoviet society was to develop under the party's guidance. Gorbachevhad called, at the XXVII Congress in 1986, for the party to lose its'infallibility complex';54 but for many members, particularly officialsresponsible for carrying out party policy, it must often have appearedthat the party had no more positive idea of the public role it was supposedto perform. The then Armenian first secretary, Suren Arutyunyan, raisedsome of these issue at a party meeting in July 1989. What, he asked,was party work supposed to mean in contemporary circumstances? Did'all power to the Soviets', for instance, mean that they were not tobe guided in their work by party committees? And what about thenomenklatura, asked the Kirgiz first secretary A. M. Masaliev: how,without it, could the party's leading role be sustained? The Sverdlovskfirst secretary queried the weakening of party influence in economicmatters, and added that the party's role in respect of ideology was stillmore unsatisfactory. Working people, for instance, had been almost entirelyeliminated from the media, and their place had been taken by prostitutes,narcomaniacs and hooligans. Where was the party's 'firm line' on suchmatters? More generally, in the view of the party secretaries from Rostovand Chimkent, the party needed to set out a clear model of the kind ofsociety it wished to construct if it was to rally its membership behind it5 5

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2. The Emergence of Factions

A growing uncertainly about the party's role was accompanied by anincreasing diversity of responses within the party itself. For M. G. Aliev,the Dagestan party secretary, there were clearly at least two different partieswithin the CPSU, differing on their attitude to democratic centralism,the party's role in industry and its social base.56 A reader of Izvestiyasaw at least three different parties within the CPSU: communist, socialdemocratic and 'radical'.57 The playwright Mikhail Shatrov, addressinga party meeting in early 1990, identified three, four or even five dif-ferent platforms within the party's ranks.58 According to VyacheslavShostakovskii, writing in late 1989, there were no fewer than eight'tendencies' in the party: liberals or social democrats; 'socialists aspiringto create a mass working class, intellectual and left-populist movement';a 'renewal wing of Marxist-Leninists'; a group that wished to revive theCPSU as a vanguard workers' party; a group affiliated to the the Workers'United Front, hostile to market relations and in favour of a factory-basedpolitics; various 'restorationists', who favoured a return to the kind of partythat had existed before Khrushchev; and finally, a 'silent majority'.59 Stillothers saw as many as ten different and contending forces in an organisationthat was still nominally based upon the principle of 'monolithic unity'.60

In the run-up to the Congress four tendencies emerged with particularclarity: a radical or liberal current organised in the Democratic Platform;a more orthodox grouping organised around the 'Marxist Platform'; apro-reform position associated most directly with the party leadershipand the Central Committee apparatus; and a conservative current highlycritical of the main direction of perestroika.

The Democratic Platform was the first of these to establish itself ona formal basis, at a weekend conference in Moscow on January 20-21attended by party members from all over the USSR including BorisEl'tsin, economist Gavriil Popov and historian Yurii Afanas'ev. Thiswas, in fact, the first organised faction in the Communist Party sincethe 1920s. The founding conference was attended by delegates from 162party clubs and organisations representing 102 Soviet cities and thirteenof the fifteen republics. Most of the participants were intellectuals, butthere were also some working-class delegates including a group fromthe strike committees formed by coalminers in the summer of 1989. Thegroup's charter, adopted at the conference, described the CPSU itself asan obstacle to the full democratisation of 'totalitarian socialism' and calledfor a transition to a 'modern democratic party of the parliamentary typein a multi-party system'. More specifically, the conference called for the

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abandonment of democratic centralism and the nomenklatura system, fullfreedom of action for groups and factions, equal rights for all parties anda parliamentary system directly reflecting the political preferences of theelectorate.61

It remained unclear whether the group would work within the CPSU,pushing for democratic change, or whether it would seek to establish anindependent social democratic party. At least one important considerationwas that if the group left the CPSU they would sacrifice any claimthey might have had to the party's considerable assets. The question ofworking within the CPSU or otherwise became clearer as the party clarifiedits own position. The emergence of factions prompted a conservativecounter-reaction. Egor Ligachev, for instance, told the Central Committeeplenum in March 1990 that it was time to 'purify the party of those whoare wrecking it, carrying on a fractional, oppositional struggle, and takingpart in anti-socialist movements'.62 In an open letter published on 11 April,'For consolidation on a principled basis', the Central Committee criticisedthe Democratic Platform by name and called for the explusion of its leaders,saying that there was no room in the CPSU for those who were trying toprovoke a 'split in the party from within' ,63 Yurii Afanas'ev left the CPSUa week later; others were expelled or resigned.64 Nonetheless, according toIgor' Chubais of its Coordinating Council, the Platform had immediatelyattracted the support of 100,000 party members 65; and at least 15 per centof the members nationally, according to a survey, were active supporterswho were prepared to leave the party and join the Platform if there wasa split.66 Research by the party's own Academy of Social Sciences foundthat 35 per cent of members supported the Democratic Platform, with onein four supporting the abandonment of democratic centralism and the samenumber supporting the principle of a federal party.67

The Platform, unusually, was allowed to set out its position at the found-ing Congress of the Russian Communist Party, which opened on June 19,1990. Addressing the delegates on behalf of the Democratic Platform, V.N. Lysenko insisted that the CPSU was in a 'deep political crisis' and hadnow become the main obstacle to the reform process it had itself initiated.It was steadily losing support, as he had found himself at the republicanelections earlier in the year. The question, as he saw it, was whether theCPSU would become a 'thoroughly modern party' or fail to reform itselfand be left behind by history. The Russian party, more specifically, shouldsurrender its privileges and most of its property; equally, it should abandonthe Utopian aims of communism and the party's traditional ideologicalmonopoly, and at the level of organisation the principle of democraticcentralism and the nomenklatura system. It should, indeed, abandon its

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designation as a communist party and seek power by parliamentary meansalone.68

The Democratic Platform held its own second all-union conference onJune 16 and 17 (877 were present, forty of them already chosen asdelegates to the XXVIII CPSU Congress). It was agreed by a majoritythat the Platform should attend the Congress and put forward a packageof proposals designed to transform the CPSU into a 'democratic andparliamentary' party; only if these were rejected should it consider theformation of an independent party.69

The Marxist Platform, by contrast, oriented itself towards more tradi-tional values, towards 'genuine' socialism and the working class. Dissat-isfied with the social democratic orientation of the Democratic Platform,supporters of the Marxist Platform were also critical of the position ofthe CPSU itself. The aim of the Marxist Platform, rather, was to 'restoreconfidence in the party... in that section of the working class for whomthe possibility of working freely and collectively and being masters ratherthan hired labour is a major consideration'.70 The Marxist Platform'salternative programme, published in Pravda on April 16, 1990, beganby observing that the country was faced by a crisis, to which it envisagedtwo solutions: the adoption of capitalism, or of democracy and socialism.The Marxist Platform advocated the latter, but drew a distinction betweensocial democracy and what it proposed itself: a return to classical Marxism,based upon a 'critical attitude' towards Marx and his followers and theconstant 'revolutionising' of Marxist theory. The Marxist Platform was a'democratic movement oriented towards the socialist choice, and Marxist inits ideology'. Supporters of the Marxist Platform also wanted to dismantle- 'finally and irrevocably' - the 'totalitarian and bureaucratic system'; theyfavoured self-management in all spheres, and a more prominent role forpublic organisations and movements. The party itself, in their view, shouldconcentrate upon work within labour collectives, in residential areas, andin mass democratic organisations 'with a view towards implementing thesocialist choice'.71

The Marxist Platform, like its Democratic counterpart, was allowed tonominate a speaker at the founding Congress of the Russian CommunistParty in June. In his speech A. I. Kolganov, a physics lecturer at MoscowUniversity, argued that there was as yet no adequate programme for dealingwith the crisis in which the USSR had found itself. A transition to the'regulated market' of the kind that had been proposed would leave thebureaucracy untouched and the working class unprotected. One part ofthe answer was to make a reality of the economic power of the Soviets,connecting them directly with factories, farms and public organisations of

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all kinds. Another part was reform of the CPSU itself, ending bureaucraticcentralism and strengthening the rights of ordinary members. The choicewas either to become a 'former ruling party' or to 'work among the massesand together with the masses', defending their interests at the level of publicpolicy. A party member for only three months, he did not intend to takepart in its funeral; he and the Marxist Platform wished rather to promotea 'profound democratic renewal'.72

The Marxist Platform held a second national conference on the eve ofthe Party Congress (June 16-17); it called for a party programme that wasnot a 'mixture of the free market and bureaucratic regulation' but one thatrelied on the initiative and self-organisation of working people and whichdid not prejudice their standard of living.73

The party's own proposals occupied an uneasy middle ground betweenthese competing poles. The broad thrust of the party's intentions was setout in a new platform, 'Towards humane, democratic socialism', whichwas approved by the Central Committee in February, and a new set of partystatutes (or rules -ustav), adopted by the Central Committee in March.74

Both of the documents, as published, were significantly different fromthose that had originally been considered, and in turn they attracted awide-ranging debate and appeared in a revised but still provisional formlater in the year.75 For Gorbachev, addressing the Central Committeein March, the central aim of the new platform and statutes was to endthe party's role as the direct manager of state affairs, returning it to itsproper function of political vanguard. It was the party's function to set outperspectives and to mobilise support for them through party members instate and public bodies, but not to command or direct them. A renewedparty would be a 'union of fellow-thinkers', based upon the teachingsof Marx, Engels and Lenin, but would be open to collaboration with allother political forces that were committed to peace and social progress.Some saw this as a loss of influence for the party; others envisaged theCPSU as a parliamentary party, an 'amorphous socio-political tendency'or a 'patchwork quilt' of various elements. The party would in futurehave to complete for political influence via competitive elections; but itwas also a 'ruling party', with responsibilities to society and the state.Within the party itself there should be more autonomy for republican andother party organisations, but he rejected the idea that the party shouldbecome a federal organisation, which would prevent it from exercising itsintegrating and coordinating role in the wider society.76

The party's 'Open Letter' of April 11 sought to take these centristpositions further, so too did a related Pravda editorial of April 16, entitled'For consolidation - on the principles of perestroika'. The party and the

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society as a whole, it argued, were in a process of deep and democraticreform. A discussion, 'unprecedented for many decades', was taking placeabout the ways in which this process could be taken further. But it wasimportant that this discussion, taking place at all levels of the party, ledto consolidation and not to fragmentation or even splits. The editorial,like the Open Letter, attacked 'certain forces' which were attempting todeflect the party from the path of perestroika: some of those concernedwere influenced by a 'nostalgia for the past', others were openly hostile toLeninism and the 'socialist choice' that had been made in October 1917.The real aim of this latter group, the Democratic Platform, appeared to bethe formation of a political party opposed to the CPSU. There was no placefor groupings of this kind within the party (independent thinkers were quiteanother matter). The task, rather, must be to unite all 'healthy forces' beforethe Congress, so that the party remained 'single, strong and united' andcapable of resisting pressures that were designed, in the last resort, to bringabout the end of perestroika.77

3. The Conservative Counter Reaction

In June 1990 the conference of the Communist Party of the RSFSR trans-formed itself into a founding constitutent Congress. In 1989 Gorbachevhad rejected the idea of a separate party for the RSFSR. The 'initiativegroup' from Leningrad was instrumental in mobilising support within theparty for the establishment of the new republican party. The Congresssaw the triumph of the party conservatives, with the election of IvanPolozkov, whom El'tsin had defeated in election to the post of chairmanof the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in May 1990,elected as first party secretary. The establishment of the Communist PartyRSFSR was essentially a conservative initiative, and one applauded byLigachev.78

The Congress of the RSFSR Communist Party indicated a growing tideof conservative opinion within the party, disillusioned by perestroika andintent on shoring up the crumbling authority of the party. It highlighted adeeper dilemma. The radical forces - represented by the newly emergentpopular fronts, groups and parties - lacked the means to wrest control ofpower from the existing political structures and to recreate the system anew.The representatives of the conservative forces lacked as yet a credibleprogramme of action, or leaders, and lacking popular support could onlybewail the course which events were following. The institutional basis fora coalition of conservative forces to reverse the tide of reform was stilllacking. Those involved in establishing the RSFSR Communist Party saw

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this Congress as a stepping stone towards regaining the initiative for theconservatives.

In this uncertain climate the leadership around Gorbachev continued tosteer a centrist course, continued to seek a strategy that would ensure thebroadest consensus for continuing the reform programme. Against thisbackground increasingly fears were being expressed that the failure ofthis strategy would lead to catastrophe - to the much heralded warningof 'civil war', or the possibility of a conservative backlash. The Chinesereform programme foundered in 1989 in the massacre at Tiananmen square,providing an ominous warning and lesson for the Soviet Union itself.

4. The Pre-Congress Debate

The XXVIII Congress of the CPSU was preceeded by party congressesin all the republics, including that in the RSFSR. Party conferences wereheld in the provinces, towns and krais. At these meetings basic questionsof policy were discussed and the delegates to the XXVIII Congress wereelected. As in the elections to the Congress of the RSFSR Communist Partythe delegates elected were predominantly conservative in outlook. On June29 a Central Committee plenum convened and approved the basic thesisof Gorbachev's report 'Political Report of the Central Committee CPSUto the XXVIII Congress of CPSU and the tasks of the party'. The plenumapproved in the main the draft programme declaration of the XXVIII Con-gress - 'Towards a Humane, Democratic Socialism', and the Statutes of theCPSU, and adopted a resolution for their submission to the Congress.79

The Congress was preceded by extensive discussion. Pravda in Janu-ary 1990 commenced publication of its 'Discussion Sheets', of which50 appeared prior to the Congress.80 Each sheet of two pages carriedcontributions to the discussion of a wide range of issues. Prior to theCongress members of the Politburo and the Secretariat were interviewedin Pravda outlining their positions.81 Leading figures such as Medvedev,Ligachev and Yazov all spoke for consolidation and party unity.

The reform process called into doubt the vailidity of Marxism-Leninismand underlined the necessity for the party to redefine its position ideo-logically. Vadim Medvedev, the secretary in charge of ideology, defendedhis work in the ideological sphere repudiated 'barrack room socialism'and pronounced the 'authoritarian-bureaucratic system' to be bankrupt,but accepted that serious mistakes had been committed in carrying outperestroika. There was great confusion and tension in the ideologicalsphere. This posed serious dangers, having raised people's expectationswith excessive optimism:

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'How can we now tell them that there will be no "quick" results? Howcan we divert the temptation to seek out "enemies" and "witches" -especially given our Russian history?'82

He rejected the charges levelled at him of 'presiding over the "collapse ofideology'" or the charge made at the Congress of the RSFSR CommunistParty of being 'the chief ideologist of party deideologisation'.

The XXVIII Congress intended for autumn of 1990 had been broughtforward to July. At the last minute there was widespread speculationthat it might be postponed on account of victory of conservatives at thefounding Congress of Communist Party RSFSR. In a press conference onJune 26 El'tsin warned of the danger of a conservative backlash and urgedpostponement of the Congress.83

Feodor Burlatskii the veteran political commentator on June 28, incommon with other radicals, foresaw an alliance between the reform-ers ('centre') (Gorbachev) and the radicals ('left') (El'tsin) against theconservatives ('right') (Ligachev, Polozkov). The centre, he argued, hadmoved its ground and now accepted the need for a multi-party sys-tem, market reform and a new union treaty. On this basis agreementwith the left was possible. The conservatives, he predicted, might leavethe party and form a separate Marxist-Leninist party. Whether the con-servatives were prepared to fight for their positions remained uncer-tain.84

Other radicals questioned the significance of the Congress, seeing itprimarily as a matter of concern for the party itself. The newly electedmayor of Moscow, Gavriil Popov, a supporter of the Democratic Platform,declared 'You should not exaggerate the significance of the Congress inthe life of the country. If the Communist Party were the only executorof perestroika as it was five years ago, the Congress would play ahuge role. But today, the situation is entirely different The fate ofperestroika is being determined by the logic of history which no onecan abolish.'85

5. The Party and Society

The party's uncertainty about its purposes was reflected in a society thatappeared increasingly to doubt its right to rule. A Moscow poll in 1988,for instance, found that only 2 per cent of those who were asked expressedconfidence in party officials, and fewer than 2 per cent in Komsomolofficials, as compared with 16 per cent that were prepared to trustjournalists and up to 38 per cent that were prepared to trust scientists.86

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Background to the XXVlll Congress 27

A still more searching poll, conducted on a national basis in the summerof 1989, found that more than a third of those polled (and a quarter ofmembers themselves) were doubtful if the party could restructure itselfand carry out its leading role effectively. For 39 per cent of respondents,the authority of party branches had 'significantly weakened'; and for amajority, 'nothing had changed' during the period of perestroika.81 ByMarch 1990 the proportion of those willing to 'completely trust' theCPSU, 38 per cent a year earlier, had fallen to 16 per cent; supportfor the Central Committee more specifically fell from 71 per cent inNovember 1988 to just 21 per cent by the time of the Congress.88

Leading party officials themselves admitted that the party's authoritywas declining, and that a process of 'deideologicisation' was occurringin the wider society. Important as the economic difficulties were, theBukhara party first secretary told a Central Committee meeting in 1989,the most serious of all shortages was the 'lack of popular trust' in the CPSUitself.89

According to a poll taken in May 1990, the CPSU as such would secureno more than 18.8 per cent of the vote in a genuinely competitive election;the Democratic Platform would secure a further 10.9 per cent, but theprospect of an entirely communist-dominated administration appeared tohave gone for ever.90


The XXVIII Congress met against a background of mounting uncertainty,and growing internal division, in a situation where the fate of the partyitself was in the balance. Outside of the CPSU's ranks calls were beingmade for the party to be put on trial for crimes against the people, for itsassets to be nationalised, and for the party to reliquish its links with thestate apparatus and with the military and security organs. The prospectsof the CPSU suffering the same fate as its sister parties in Eastern Europeand being ignominiously ousted from power was raised. The ability ofGorbachev to control these forces and to re-establish the direction of thereform process was to be tested to the utmost. In this Gorbachev's strategyas a moderate reformist to carry the party with him, to check the processof polarisation, without fundamentally splitting the party, or antagonisingthe conservatives or the radicals was to be put to the test. In this lay afundamental dilemma; retaining party unity and appeasing particularlyhis conservative critics might require policy compromises which wouldinhibit the emergence of a clear reform strategy. A failure to agree on

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such a strategy would deepen the political paralysis of the regime andexacerbate the crisis. The growing strength of the conservatives within theCPSU demonstrated in the preceding months posed the danger of resolu-tions being passed which might fundamentally inhibit the continuation ofperestroika.

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2 The Politics of theXXVin CongressStephen White

It was an unusual Congress. It was the first, for a start, to meet against abackground of demonstrators shouting 'Down with the CPSU'. It was thefirst, since the XI Congress in 1922, to be placed under the continuoussurveillance of its own sociological service.1 It was the first congress, formany years at least, at which members of the Politburo and Secretariataccounted individually for their period of office. It was the first congress atany time at which there was a direct contest for the general secretaryship.2

The Congress met about eight months earlier than it would normally havebeen due, after its opening had twice been brought forward to take accountof a deepening domestic crisis. Moreover, it was the most public PartyCongress that had ever taken place. Foreign journalists mingled freely withdelegates, and the opening and closing sessions were directly televised.3

The concept of 'monolithic unity' had dissolved, with open differencesaired by different leaders. Still more remarkably, there were openlyfactional groupings among the delegates and attempts to form still broadercoalitions on the Congress floor. The Congress addressed the fundamentalquestion of the fate of the CPSU, as well as the question of reform in thekey areas of the economy, nationalities policy and foreign policy.


The Congress was opened by Gorbachev on July 2 in the Kremlin's Palaceof Congresses with 4,657 delegates of the 4,683 elected in attendance,representing just under 19.5 million party members. The Congress com-menced with the election of the leading bodies of the Congress: presidium(chairman M. S. Gorbachev), secretariat (chairman A. N. II'in), editorialcommission (chairman V. A Ivashko) and mandate commission (chairmanYu. A. Manaenkov).4 The Congress thereafter approved the agenda for itsdeliberations.

The Congress like the RSFSR Communist Party Congress was domi-nated by conservative party officials. Yurii Manaenkov, chairman of


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30 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

the Credentials Commission, revealed that party officials constituted themajor group of delegates, making up over 40 per cent of all delegates,one-fourth of which were secretaries of primary party organisations. Thepoor representation of workers and peasants (11.6 and 5.5 per cent respec-tively) and of women (344 or 7.3 per cent) was one of the paradoxes ofparty democratisation, which prompted Manaenkov to censure local partycommittees (see Appendix 2).5 It was in Gorbachev's terms a 'congress ofofficials'.6

The Congress went into an unscheduled extra day, and altogether by itsend nearly 900 delegates had spoken of the two thousand that had asked todo so.7 Sessions were held in the morning, afternoon and evenings. Leadingparty figures chaired the often unruly sessions, with Gorbachev playingan active role as chairman together with his ally Anatolii Luk'yanov, thechairman of the Supreme Soviet. The Congress utilised a new electronicvoting system, and unprecedented freedom was allowed to delegates toquestion speakers and to submit proposals. As part of the policy ofglasnost the Congress organised a daily press centre forum at whichleading delegates presented themselves at conferences for the Sovietand foreign press. The cost of staging the Congress was preliminarilyestimated at 11 million roubles; the major item of expenditure was 4.5-5million roubles on nationwide radio and television transmission.8

From the outset the tone was set by a series of interventions. Bludov, aconservative delegate from Magadan, sought to turn the Congress into acourt of inquisition. He proposed the resignation of all Central Committeeand Politburo members, and their exclusion from the leading bodies of theCongress, on account of their failure to implement the resolutions of theXXVII Congress or the XIX Conference. Moreover, he proposed that theCongress should assess the performance of every Secretary and Politburomember. He proposed that the credentials of the delegates of the XXVIIICongress be extended to the XXIX Congress, to secure control over theimplementation of the Congress' decisions.9 The proposal that Politburomembers report back was approved, but Gorbachev issued a warning thatthe Congress had not been convened 'in order to hold a summary trial'.10

A radical delegate, Yurii Boldyrev, a supporter of the DemocraticPlatform, proposed that the Congress should inquire into the CPSU'sresponsibility before the Soviet people. The proposal was defeated by3,417 votes to 1,022 votes. He proposed also that the CPSU's propertybe nationalised. These proposals as well as demands that the DemocraticPlatform and the Marxist Platform be allowed to submit their own reportsto the Congress alongside the official report of the Central Committee wererejected.11

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The Politics of the XXVIII Congress 31


Gorbachev's keynote speech, the report of the Central Committee to theCongress, described the cross-roads at which the party and society hadarrived:

The issue today is this: Either Soviet society will go forward alongthe path of the profound changes that have been begun, ensuring aworthy future for our great multinational state or else forces opposedto perestroika will gain the upper hand. In that case let us face thefacts squarely - dismal times would be in store for the country and thepeople.12

They had rejected the 'Stalinist model of socialism' and whilst much hadbeen achieved, they were caught in a transitional situation of 'substantialcontradiction'. There was a mounting crisis in the economy and in the fieldof public order. He dismissed as arrant nonsense attempts to attribute allcurrent difficulties to perestroika. Whilst the Politburo could not absolveitself of responsibility for the crisis facing the country, much of the crisis- the economy, ecology, the nationalities question, the military burden -stemmed from the 'extremely grim legacy that we inherited'. Without afundamental change of course from 1985 onwards the USSR would havebeen turned into a second rate power. Still more decisive measures wereneeded, Gorbachev argued, in order to break out of the transitional phase.There was strong opposition from the bureaucratic stratum which wasclinging on to its power and position; from nationalist and other destructiveforces which sought to destabilise the situation; as well as attempts bythose elements who wished to restore a 'bourgeois system'. These forceswere interacting with one another to confuse the people. The party, as 'theconsolidating force in society', had to ensure that 'perestroika develops asa peaceful revolution'.

Gorbachev's address outlined the familiar themes of perestroika. Hespoke of the replacement of the 'Stalinist model of socialism' by a 'civilsociety of free men and women'. The political system, more particularly,was being 'radically transformed', with the establishment of 'genuinedemocracy' based upon free elections, a multi-party system, human rightsand popular self-government. A start had been made on the conversionof an overcentralised state into a 'genuine union' based upon voluntaryassociation. 'Ideological domineering' had been replaced by freedom ofthought The crimes of the past had been 'resolutely condemned'. Thishad transformed the position of science, and opened up new opportunities

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32 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

for the 'free development of culture, literature and the arts'. And interna-tionally, a 'new kind of civilisation' was emerging, which would require an'entirely new type of world polities', reflected in the shift in Soviet foreignpolicy from confrontation to cooperation.

Against this panoramic perspective Gorbachev analysed in more detailseven major areas of reform - (i) the economy: industry, agriculture,and the USSR's position in the world economic system; (ii) the crisis inrelations between nationalities in the USSR; (iii) the reform of the politicalsystem: relations between the party, the state and Soviets, and the role of thelaw enforcement agencies; (iv) cultural policy: embracing the arts, science,education and the delicate matter of history; (v) foreign and defence policy:relations with the West, and with the communist and ex-communist worlds;(vi) perestroika, ideology and the relevance of Marxism; (vii) the role ofthe party: the CPSU's internal organisation, and its relations with otherpolitical and social organisations.

Gorbachev's speech elicited little enthusiasm from the delegates andreceived only perfunctory applause. Other Politburo members came infor more serious criticism. Ryzhkov's speech provoked criticisms ofinadequacy from the Congress presiding officer. Barracking, interjectionsand slow handclapping almost prevented Vadim Medvedev, secretary forideology, finishing his speech. Shevardnadze, minister of foreign affairs, ina defensive performance, met angry accusations that official foreign policyhad led to a surrender of basic Soviet positions. Leonid Abalkin, the mainauthor of the current economic reform, encountered vociferous criticismfrom the delegates.

Aleksandr Yakovlev, one of the acknowledged architects of perestroika,provided a spirited and impassioned defence of the basic principles ofthe 'new thinking'. Perestroika, he declared, was taking place '50 yearstoo late'. Only a reforming, 'left-orientated and rejuvenated party' couldsuccesfully carry through perestroika. If the party could not lead themovement it would be by-passed. The party still remained in thrall to 'thesystem of stagnation'. The task of perestroika was to break the backboneof this 'authoritarian organism'. This accounted for the hatred which thiscourse provoked amongst certain strata. He urged unity to end the 'civilwar' inside the party's ranks, but warned that 'perestroika will progress -irrespective of whether this is with the CPSU or without it'. At the sametime he appealed to dissidents not to abandon the CPSU but to stay 'tostruggle to transform and renew our party'.13 This bold speech won himthe respect of the Congress. He took personal satisfaction from havingbeen able to take part in 'a great renovation of a great country and itshistoric entry into the world of freedom'.14

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Yu. A. Prokof ev, the pro-reform first secretary of Moscow gorkom,in the face of a hostile Congress condemned the 'totalitarian past', andoutlined three possible courses open to the party; (i) return to the com-mand economy, which would marginalise the USSR at 'the peripheryof world civilisation'; (ii) radical renewal and democratisation of theparty, 'to create it anew as a political organism'; (iii) internal frag-mentation of the CPSU, on the basis of which new political partiesand groupings would arise. He urged the Congress to choose the secondcourse.15

In sharp contrast the leading party conservative Egor Ligachev wonloud applause for a ringing defence of Marxism-Leninism. 'I believe theparty will remain Marxist-Leninist. Some people have started talking aboutperestroika going ahead with or without the [Communist] party. I think thatperestroika without the party is hopeless.'16

The reports and contribution by the party leaders indicated clearly themain ideological cleavages. Amongst the eleven full members of thePolitburo the reformers included Gorbachev, Eduard Shevardnadze, andAleksandr Yakovlev with Vadim Medvedev occupying a more ambigu-ous position. A centrist position was taken by Nikolai Ryzhkov, YuriiMaslyukov, Lev Zaikov, Nikolai Slyunkov and Vitalii Vorotnikov, and theconservatives were represented by Egor Ligachev and Vladimir Kryuchkov,although the latter supported Gorbachev. Amongst the seven candidatemembers of the Politburo Anatolii Luk'yanov, Aleksandra Biryukova,Georgii Razumovskii and Evgenii Primakov were reformers; AleksandrVlasov took a strongly conservative stance; Dimitrii Yazov and BorisPugo represented the conservative tendency but both supported Gorbachev.Amongst the party Secretaries were the reformers G. I. Usmanov, A.N. Girenko and I. T. Frolov, the centrist Yu. A. Manaenkov and theconservative O. D. Baklanov.

In addition to these three main currents other lesser tendencies wererepresented: the radicals by the Democratic Platform (V. N. Lysenko, V.N. Shostakovskii); a hardline tendency, difficult to quantify but representedby figures such as Colonel Viktor Alksnis; and a small leftist currentrepresented most clearly by the Marxist Platform. Although claimingsupport of 40 per cent of the CPSU's membership the Democratic Platformhad only 100 delegates at the Congress.17

A sense of events running out of the party's control and the need fordecisive action was stressed by Komsomol first secretary the reformer Vla-dimir Zyukin who noted that in 1989 the leadership had failed to foresee theestablishment of the RSFSR Communist Party, the abolition of Article 6, orthe establishment of the office of President.18 Gorbachev evidently had his

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34 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

work cut-out to avoid a party split and to steer the Congress so as to preventit from passing decisions which might irretrievably damage the prospect forcontinuing reform.


The transfer of power to the Presidential Council and the consequentdecline in the powers of the Politburo and Secretariat sharply dividedreformers and conservatives. Ryzhkov drew a contrast between the Pol-itburo under Brezhnev and Gorbachev. Whereas under Brezhnev Politburosessions lasted 15-20 minutes with issues going through on the nod, nowthey might begin at 10 a.m. and go on until 8, 9 or 10 p.m. AllPolitburo members now had the opportunity to express their positions.The Central Committee's sectoral departments, which had practicallyduplicated the government, had been replaced by new policy commis-sions.19

In contrast Ligachev insisted, in spite of Gorbachev and Ryzhkov'sprotestations to the contrary, that discussion in the Politburo, particu-larly on agricultural policy, had been curbed; only matters of generalprinciple, not substantive policy, were discussed.20 Ligachev deploredthe virtual collapse of the Secretariat as a functioning institution fol-lowing the formation, in late 1988, of the Central Committee com-missions.21 The conservative Aleksandr Vlasov, candidate member ofthe Politburo and former Russian premier, stressed the need for col-lective leadership and collegiality in the Politburo, and criticised thePolitburo's lack of influence over economic policy - with decisionstransferred to the Commissions of the Central Committee. Even theCentral Committee's 'Open Letter' - 'For Consolidation on a PrincipledBasis' - had not been discussed by the Central Committee.22 Ordinarydelegates also complained of the Secretariat's loss of control over policyimplementation.23

Others took issue with Ligachev and Vlasov's views. Shevardnadzestressed that as a Politburo member he accepted responsibility for alldecisions taken by that body.24 Zaikov argued that the Politburo hadfunctioned as a 'collective organ' in which everyone had been free tovoice their views.25 Vorotnikov concurred, and complained that in thepast the Secretariat had exercised excessive control over local organsof power.26 Razumovskii welcomed the establishment of the CentralCommittee Commissions as a positive development which allowed widerparticipation in decision-making.27

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1. The Party and the Soviets

The problem of transferring from party control to soviet control affectedthe administrative hierarchy from top to bottom. Boris Gidaspov, firstsecretary of Leningrad obkom, complained that the Presidential Coun-cil was unable to enforce its directives, and presidential decrees wereoften ignored; 'the mechanism has no driving belt'. He suggested theestablishment of the president's own plenipotentiaries in the localities,'endorsed by law with special prerogative powers', to enforce decisionsand to strengthen 'presidential power'. Gidaspov stressed the need togive 'primacy' to the Soviets, but complained of the ensuing breakdownin the administrative system. A substantial corpus of soviet deputiesadopted an openly 'anti-communist' position and sought confrontationwith the CPSU.28 Gidaspov and Yu. V. Arkhipov demanded greaterdiscipline and unity amongst communists in the Soviets to ensure partysupremacy.29

The party's retreat from direct involvement in the management of societyplaced new onus on the Soviets. Razumovskii criticised the situation inthe past when the party had in effect substituted itself for soviet, stateand economic bodies. The party had to free itself of the 'administrative-command syndrome'.30 Anatolii Luk'yanov complained that there was areal 'power vacuum', owing to the 'anaemia' of the Soviets, where partycommittees had virtually given up governing.31 The more conservativeVlasov complained that the Soviets were as yet not ready to assume theeconomic powers assigned to them.32

A fractious meeting of raikom and gorkom first secretaries on July 4gave Gorbachev and other party leaders a rough ride, severely criticisingthe disorder that had been introduced into party-soviet relations, and theconsequent weakening of party authority in the localities.33 The matter wasalso raised by a number of delegates in the Congress section dealing withparty relations with the social organisations.34

2. Party Structure and Role

At the XXVIII Congress a fundamental difference of principle was raisedregarding the party's role. Radicals wished to see the CPSU transformedinto a parliamentary party, competing in a multi-party system and divestingitself of its links with the state apparatus. Conservative delegates clungto the notion of the CPSU as a 'Leninist' vanguard party, committed toMarxism- Leninism, retaining its base of support amongst the working classthrough its cells in the enterprises (the 'territorial-production' principle

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36 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

of party organisation) and preserving its links with the state apparatus,including the Armed Forces and the KGB (see Chapter 6).

What, Gorbachev asked, would an 'updated CPSU' look like? His replywas politic, seeking to assuage both conservatives and radicals. It would bea party of the 'socialist choice and communist perspective', committed atthe same time to the common ideals of humanity. It would be paradoxicallyboth a parliamentary as well as a 'vanguard' party, seeking to retain itsmandate through the democratic process while at the same time influencingthe affairs of workplaces and regions through the example and persuasiveforce of its members. It would also be a self-managing party, based uponthe freedom of action of branches and the 'independence' of republicancommunist parties but within the framework of the common programmeand statutes of the CPSU.

For many years, Gorbachev argued, the party had functioned as anextension of the command-administrative system, which excluded themass membership from participation in decision-making. This had ledto 'serious deformations', errors and crimes committed by its leadership.It had fostered a 'climate of indifference, apathy and passivity in partyorganisations'. The CPSU had to free itself of its 'ideological blinkersand dogmatism'. In the interests of perestroika and social consolidationit needed dialogue and cooperation with other 'progressive' social andpolitical forces. It should be a tolerant party, based on 'total freedomof debate', respecting minority opinions whilst ensuring that majoritydecisions were binding upon all of its members. The CPSU soughtclose relations with communists and socialists in other countries, andwith 'representatives of many other tendencies in modern political andscientific thought'.

Many delegates strongly criticised the party leadership's growing iso-lation from the rank and file, the lack of consultation, the prevalenceof ritualistic participation, and the weakness of the party cells.35 G.A. Pershin from Irkutsk criticised the dominance of the 'bureaucraticapparatus'; ordinary workers were leaving the party, and there was areal danger that the CPSU would become a party of directors, engineersand white-collar staff.36

On July 6 Gorbachev and other leaders had a two and a half hour meetingwith party secretaries from primary party organs who were delegates to theCongress at which the role of the party cells was discussed.37 On July 8Gorbachev and Ryzhkov met workers and kolkhozniks who were delegatesto the Congress, to discuss current problems.38

There were several suggestions for mechanisms to bridge the gulf withthe rank and file. Prokof'ev, the liberal Moscow party secretary, charged

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that in four years or more of perestroika the party had remained an organof state power, not an institution of democracy; his own preferred solutionwas for the development of platforms within the party to be encouraged,supported by regular referenda.39 The North Ossetian party first secretarycomplained, that the party had lost control of its own internal affairs, quiteapart from those of the wider society.40 Other delegates proposed regularparty referenda,41 direct election of the Central Committee by regionalparty conferences and the inclusion of more rank and file members in theparty's leading bodies,42 the submission of alternative policy drafts to theparty for discussion,43 annual party congresses,44 the publication of annualbudgets,45 and direct involvement of the rank and file in elections up toCentral Committee level.46

The proposed changes in the party's Statutes, claimed Georgii Razum-ovskii, greatly strengthened the powers of the rank and file. Committeeswere working in a more collective way, and a new policy on appointmentswas being developed.47

The status of republican communist parties was a related concern, par-ticularly (and unsurprisingly) on the part of their respective first secretaries.A broad range of opinions was expressed: some delegates supported aunitary CPSU, others called for greater autonomy for the republican partiesup to a form of federation (see Chapter 4).

3. The Party's Future

The question of what kind of party should the CPSU be provoked thedeepest disagreements. A direct challenge was thrown down by El'tsin tothe conservatives. 'The last few years', he declared, 'have shown that wehave not been able to neutralise the party's conservative forces', becausefundamental divisions had been concealed by a facade of unity. Rejectingcompromise, he declared: 'This Congress does not represent the people, oreven the party. It cannot decide perestroika's fate. At most it can decidethe fate of the party, or to be more accurate, the fate of the party's seniorapparatus.' Only a 'renewed party', transformed into 'a union of democraticforces', could retain its active role in the process of perestroika.

Failure to undertake fundamental reform, El'tsin warned, would lead tothe CPSU losing power as had happened to its sister parties in EasternEurope. The initiative was already passing from the party to the Soviets,with the reform process by-passing the CPSU. The delegates should heedthe demands already being voiced for 'total nationalisation of the CPSU'sproperty' and the demands for it to be brought before the courts to answerfor its past actions. He proposed that the party should change its name to

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38 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

the 'party of Democratic Socialism', give up its position in the army, theKGB and state institutions, and transform itself into a 'parliamentary party'competing on an equal footing with other parties and promoting dialogue'with all democratic and socialist forces', and working towards the creationof a 'federation of national units'.48

A similar radical line was taken by Vyacheslav Shostakovskii of theDemocratic Platform, who argued for a parliamentary party, a party ofsocial progress and democracy within a civil society that had been freedof the monopoly of a single ideology.49 A. V. Shutyleva also called for aparliamentary party within a multi-party system.50

For Ligachev, on the other hand, a vanguard party was essentialfor the success of perestroika. The party should remain 'a genuinelyMarxist-Leninist party, free of dogma and stereotypes', 'a genuinelyrevolutionary party', a party of 'scientific socialism' and a party ofthe working class. The division within the party was not between leftand right but between three currents - the Marxist-Leninists, the social-democrats, and the national-separatists. He took particular exception tothe disseminators of anti-communist views, singling out for criticism theradical historian Yurii Afanas'ev.51 The conservative Kirgiz first secretaryMasaliev declared that democracy was not measured simply by the numberof parties that were permitted.52

The Marxist Platform's spokesman, A. V. Buzgalin, placed more empha-sis than Ligachev on the need for democratisation, but he rejected thecalls of the radicals for liberal democracy and marketisation. Rather thanreverting to the patterns of the past or joining less developed capitalistcountries, he suggested another way forward based upon direct contactsbetween producers, consumers and the centre, and (in politics) upon aradical, working-class democracy based on a revived system of Soviets.53

A. A. Sergeev of the Higher Party School, who represented the views ofthose who had initiated the RSFSR Communist Party Congress, denouncedthose 'rightist' elements in the party who were intent on capitalistrestoration, declared himself against 'rouble totalitarianism', and arguedfor the 'sovietisation of the economy'.54

4. The Party and Society

The form which the re-politicisation of Soviet society was assuming drewstrong criticism from conservatives: the Arbat in Moscow, with its politicalpropagandists, was presented as a symbol of impending anarchy. People,Ligachev argued, were in favour of perestroika but they were fed up withthe disorder, the endless meetings and rallies, and the inefficiency by which

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it appeared to be accompanied.55 Vorotnikov warned against the 'romanticattachment' to democratisation that had developed, which conceived ofit without a proper legal framework and mechanisms of control.56 OlegBaklanov called for the existing laws to be more vigorously enforced, andfor new laws to be devised as necessary.57

The conservative A. A. Porutchikov, a sovkhoz chairman, in an impas-sioned attack on 'liberals' and 'radicals', declared, to enthusiastic applause,that the peasantry 'are sick of the words "excessive pluralism and democ-racy" in quotation marks'. Delegates should not be misled by the seemingquiesence of the countryside-a protest was coming to a head. The peasantryhad no time for so-called 'radicals' who regarded them as an apatheticmass. It was rural communists who after a long day's work were supporting'17 other people who are marching around with posters and dumping all theblame on the party'.58 The North Ossetian party secretary, A. Kh. Galazov,introduced a more ominous tone, warning that democracy and glasnost hadled to an 'orgy of the destructive elements of society'.59

Boris Pugo, head of the Party Control Committee, reported on a furtheraspect of the process of 'restoring the party to health', struggling with'corruption, parochialism, bureaucracy, servility and lies'. The Committeedealt with disciplinary violations but, he stressed, it was not 'a partyInquisition'; there was a danger of pressing matters to extremes, and hewas himself in favour of dialogue wherever possible. A future ControlCommittee with greater powers might, however, consider the politicalresponsibility of Kunaev, Grishin and other disgraced leaders of the recentpast60

For conservatives the CPSU was primarily a working class party andattempts to water this down were strongly contested by Ligachev, Vlasov,Nazarbaev, first secretary of Kazakhstan, and the Kirgiz first secretaryMasaliev.61 The Ukrainian first secretary S. I. Gurenko pointed out thatin his own republic 38 per cent of Central Committee members wereworkers or collective farmers, and two workers were in the Politburoitself.62 Ligachev deplored the poor representation of workers and peasantsin the newly elected Soviets.63

Gidaspov warned of the system sliding either into dictatorship oranarchy unless the party could restablish its links with the workingclass, peasantry and intelligentsia.64 For Yu. A. Peskov the CPSU hadto consolidate the healthy forces in the party,and reestablish its links withthe working class. It could not transform itself simply into a parliamentaryparty but had to retain its vanguard role preserving its organs in theproduction units.65 The retention of the party's vanguard role and themaintenance of the 'territorial-production principle' was stressed by other

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conservatives.66 Associated with this was the stress on discipline and orderin society.

In contrast to the uncompromising position of the conservatives Ryzhkovproposed a government of 'social consensus', bringing together all whowere committed to radical renewal.67 Prokof'ev, the Moscow party sec-retary, called for the formation of a 'civic culture of consensus'.68 TheKomsomol first secretary, Zyukin, urged the Congress to initiate a 'bloc ofreformers' independent of party affiliation.69 The Moldavian first secretary,P. K. Luchinskii, explained the initiative that had been taken in his ownrepublic, where the local party had called together a round-table meeting ofmore than twenty organisations and movements, the outcome of which hadbeen a moderate and widely welcomed manifesto for reform. The CPSU atnational level, he suggested, should convene a meeting of this kind so asto establish a measure of 'civic consensus'.70

Gorbachev, in his second speech, supported the consensus view,applauded Luchinskii's initiative, and insisted on the need for the partyto form a 'coalition of all democratic and socialist forces' even if it secureda majority and remained a governing party after the next elections.71

5. Party Ideology

Ideology was the central issue in the party's relationship to society.Gorbachev, in his opening address, argued that perestroika was the exten-sion of process begun at the XX Party Congress in 1956. Its basicobjective was 'within the framework of the socialist choice: to profoundlydemocratise and humanise society, to make it free and create livingconditions worthy of a human being'. This represented a 'new revolution',a 'logical continuation of the cause which was begun in the Great Octoberrevolution'.

There could be no fully-developed theory of such a socialism: it couldonly be elaborated in the course of the struggle to achieve it. Socialismwas a movement, the 'creative endeavour of the masses', whose purpose(in the party's view) was a 'humane and democratic socialism'. The partywas opposed to dogmatism and scholastic reasoning, and in favour of a'consistently creative' approach to the theory and practice of socialismwhich took account of the historical experience of the twentieth centuryand of other progressive thinkers as well as Marx, Engels and Lenin.This was to be based on 'universal human values' and for a 'spiritualrebirth' of society. Politics had to be based on morality. This required afundamental repudiation of the methods of the past 'So I am for change,and fundamental revolutionary change, but using methods so as not to

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break people on the wheel of their fate, and just the same for the wholeof society.'71

It fell to Vadim Medvedev, the Central Committee secretary responsiblefor ideology, to deal with the issue in more detail. With the loss of the'April [1985] euphoria', he noted, ideology had become a kind of 'riskzone' for central and local officials. There was admittedly a need for a'new model of ideological work', now that the Central Committee was nolonger a kind of 'ministry of ideology'. The ideological cadres were underfire from conservatives who accused them of 'turning bourgeois' and fromradicals who accused them of clinging to 'decrepit Marxist dogmas'. Theseforces sought to place ideology at the service of either 'barren conservatismor destructive ultra-radicalism' rather than perestroika.73

The ineffectual Medvedev came under a barrage of criticism from bothconservatives and reformers.The attack was led by conservatives suchas S. Gurenko (party secretary of the Ukraine), and B. M. Belousov(Minister of the Defence Industries).74 He was accused of presiding overthe 'ideological demobilisation' of the party, failing to develop an ideologyof perestroika, of surrendering positions to anti-socialist forces, of causingvacillations amongst party activists and spreading confusion amongst thepopulation. The Kazakh leader Nazarbaev complained of the 'passive,even cowardly actions' of the party's ideologists and of Medvedev inparticular.75 The pro-reform A. V. Shutyleva, thought Medvedev's reportunacceptable, comparing him to a figure in a cartoon film, and theideological department's performance was simply 'shameful'.76

For conservatives the defence of Marxism-Leninism was a first priority.A. V. Vlasov argued that the CPSU should not accept 'a nihilistic negationof the ideals of the October revolution', declaring that it should remain'the party of socialist choice and communist perspective'. He condemned'revisionism' and 'opportunistic theory', including the conception of 'spon-taneous development towards socialism'. He denounced those who underthe slogans of perestroika waged a struggle against socialism, stressinghis adherence to 'Marxism-Leninism', 'socialism in its scientific under-standing' against 'ideological disarmament'; he was willing to supportagreement and compromise with other political forces only on a 'principledbasis'.77

Masaliev (Kirgizia) warned that the CPSU was being turned intoeither a 'parliamentary party abandoning Marxist-Leninist positions' ora 'discussion club'. E. E. Sokolov (Belorussia) insisted that the partyremain true to Marxism-Leninism, and demanded a specific commitmentto the goal of social equality not simply commitment to a vague conceptof 'socialist humanism'.78 Yu. A. Peskov criticised proposals to transform

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the CPSU into a social democratic party.79 I. I. Mel'nikov stressed thatthere should be no abandonment of the 'communist perspective'.80 B.M. Belousov questioned the retention of Shostakovskii, a supporter ofthe Democratic Platform, as rector of the Higher Party School.81 V.I. Perov, first secretary of the Kaliningrad party committee, thought thewhole notion of 'humane, democratic socialism' was too obscure.82

The Dagestan first secretary, M. G. Aliev, warned that substantialproportions of the population and even of the party's own membershipappeared to be abandoning Marxism-Leninism, adding that the failure todefend socialist and communist ideas had become an 'epidemic'.83

The central concern of party traditionalists was (as the Armenian partyleader V. M. Movsisyan put it) the lack of a clear, properly consideredtheory of perestroika as a transitional period.84 The same point wasreiterated by B. M. Belousov, Vorotnikov, A. M. Mutalibov and otherdelegates.85 In the Congress section on ideology severe criticism wasdirected at the weakness of the party's ideological work and the lackof any theory of perestroika; Lenin and Leninism must be defended.

Party reformers, however, supported the new orientation in ideology.The first secretaries of Georgia, Moldavia and Turkmenistan - G. G.Gumbaridze, Luchinskii and S. A. Niyazov eloquently defended thenew line. The basis of the new ideological orientation was a conceptof morality rooted in universal, human values and these speakersemphasised this concept not Marxism-Leninism. Medvedev spoke ofthe 'national rebirth of our people'. The Moscow party secretaryProkof'ev declared 'The political culture of agreement and not theStalinist culture of implacable struggle must take root in the party.'86

The actor M. A. Ul'yanov offered a scathing parody of the conservatives'conception of socialism (see Chapter 5). He warned of those dark currentswho wished 'to go back to the iron fist, to uniformity and homogeneity,to the orderly ranks where people do not dare to say a single word'. Heappealed for a democratic, law-governed state which would respect andsafeguard its citizens: 'When will we, at long last, come to understandthat we are de-civilising ourselves, that ignorance is clouding over thefield of culture like algae are clouding our rivers and lakes?'87 The writerChingiz Aitmatov, more grandiloquently, spoke of perestroika as a 'newachievement in the universal development of the human soul' and a meansof achieving international peace and preserving the human race.88

The economist Leonid Abalkin insisted that socialism was a globalprocess, very influential in the developed capitalist world, which assumeda diversity of forms. The USSR, he declared to a hostile and indignantCongress, was not a socialist state; witness the lack of adequate food

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and bousing, and the alienation of the mass of the population from theeconomy and political system. The party's task, in fact, was precisely 'toconstruct socialism'. Perestroika, he argued, accorded with the 'generallaws of social progress' which it was foolish to try and restrain.89 TheMoldavian first secretary Luchinskii and the Estonian party leader E-A. A.Sillari echoed this view.90

In foreign policy Shevardnadze stressed the need to abandon dog-matic ideological positions: 'I have actively defended and implementedin practice the idea of common human values over class, group or otherinterests.'91

Speaking later after what he acknowledged to have been an unconvincingspeech, Medvedev lamely pointed out that the party's ideological work wasalready in difficulties at the time of his appointment, and he insisted thatperestroika was in fact itself an ideology. He sought to counter his criticsby asking: what kind of ideology was it that one man could single-handedlydestroy?92

6. The Reponsibility of the CPSU

Gorbachev noted that there had been a 'barrage of serious criticism, bothfair and unfair' of the party over recent months. The heroic role of partymembers during critical moments in the country's history, such as theSecond World War, could not be denied. They, however, still needed tocritically review the past so as to make the right decisions for the future.

The discussion of ideology and party history led to calls from reformersfor a fundamental reappraisal of the CPSU's record. Aleksandr Yakovlev,who headed the Politburo commission investigating the repression ofthe Stalin era, told the delegates that apart from the widely publicisedshow trials that had taken place during this period, at least 60 morehad taken place in Moscow alone. Collectivisation, he described as a'most appalling crime' against hundreds of thousands of peasant families.No-one, Yakovlev declared, had made such massive and tragic sacrificeson the altar of Stalinism as the Russian peasantry.93

Yakovlev spoke of the choice of perestroika in 1985 as one of 'profoundmorality'. The CPSU's tragedy was that in becoming a 'party of power' ithad beeen corrupted and had committed grave crimes against the people.It had a moral duty to face up to these facts. It was not just empty shelvesbut 'empty souls' which had made perestroika a necessity: 'It is time forthe party to take the initiative in the moral cleansing of our existence andconsciousness.'94 Shostakovskii, of the Democratic Platform, went furtherand called for the party to 'repent' before the people, and to engage in a

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process of moral self-purification.95 The need for repentance was echoedby Niyazov.

This provoked outraged indignation from conservatives. G. I. Yanaevprotested that there was 'no party in the world which has repented somuch' and that the CPSU needed to free itself of its 'guilt complex'.Makhkamov called for the party to cease from 'self-flagellation'. Gurenkocalled for an end to 'self-flagellation and self-castigation', and demandedthe breaking off of relations with those 'who have adopted an openlyhostile stand towards the CPSU'.96 Porutchikov angrily demanded toknow what rural communists, who were grappling with the crisis in thecountryside, had to repent of.97 Why, asked V. S. Belousov, was the partycontinually retreating and continually apologising? Why was the leadershipso indecisive in its defence of socialism and Soviet history?98 Mutalibovdeclared that 'Judgement by self-reproach and self-torment should also bemoderated'.99

Gorbachev in his closing address whilst accepting that the party shouldaccept responsibility for its past actions repudiated the more outspokenattacks on its record:

Those who demand repentance from the party the settling of accounts,who declare it almost a criminal organisation, are simply trying in thisway to remove it from political life, and thereby strike a blow at thewhole cause of the revolutionary renewal of society.100

7. The Party and the Mass Media

For conservatives the strong radical orientation of sections of the massmedia drew scathing criticism. A. I. Teplenichev, a party secretary fromthe Lipets region, accused Izvestiya, Komsomol'skaya pravda, Ogonek andother journals of denigrating the whole of Soviet history; they had made clearthat for them there was nothing that was sacred.101 O. Azimov, a Dushanbefactory driver, pointed to Izvestiya and the television programme 'Vzglyaa"as the main sources of attacks on the party, complaining that the very words'communist', 'CPSU' and 'Politburo' were now used with undisguisedcontempt.102 V. S. Belousov condemned the 'apolitical' character of themedia. V. Shved, second secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party,complained that the vacillation in the party press had contributed tothe CPSU's 'ideological disarmament'.103 A. A. Sergeev of the InitiativeCongress of the RSFSR Communist Party asserted that the media was inthe grip of 'right-radical forces'.104

These emotionally charged criticisms were again directed at Medvedev.

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He claimed that he was endeavouring to rebuff the 'unbridled propagandaagainst our party' in the liberal journals - Moskovskiye novosti, Ogonekand Argumenty i fakty but noted a growing 'barrage of criticism that isgetting harder to keep back'. He rejected calls for the suppression ofsuch views and stressed the need for a constructive dialogue. He noteda decline in the circulation of the party's heavy publications - Pravda,Sovetskaya Rossiya and Kommunist, but an increase in the more lightweightRabochaya tribuna, Sel'skaya zhizn and Ekonomika.105

On July 6 delegates instructed L. N. Kravchenko, head of the Congressgroup for contact with the media, to convey complaints from the delegatesregarding bias in the media's coverage of the Congress.106 On July 8delegates met in the editorial office of Pravda under the chairmanship ofI. T. Frolov, editor, with journalists to discuss the matter.107

8. The Party Budget

As part of the process of glasnost reports were presented on the financesand the budget of the CPSU. This was intended to provide delegates witha fuller picture of the party's situation, to answer allegations concerningprivileges and extravagance of party officials, to stem the growing demandsthat party property be taken over by the Soviets and to try to reestablish theparty's good name.

A. A. Nizovtsevaya, presenting the report of the Central Revision Com-mittee, told the Congress that most republican and regional organisationswere loss-making and dependent on subsidies from the party's centralorganisation. Information was provided on party expenditure - on salariesof leading party officials, party revenues, expenditure on publishing andon the maintenance of museums.108 Party income was expected to fall inthe future, mainly as a result of declining numbers, and there had been aninefold increase since 1985 in the number of members that were behindwith their payments.109

N. E. Kruchina, presenting the report on the party's budget, reported thatcosts had been cut in a number of ways, including the liquidation of elevenCentral Committee departments (a total of 680 staff had left the party'semployment as a result). He detailed efforts to cut back expenditure ontransport, sanatoria, health resorts, publishing, foreign business trips anddachas. There were, he declared, no special shops or restaurants in theCPSU Central Committee building.110 The reduction of party dues andthe question of central subsidies to poorer branches provoked sharpdisagreements.111

The question of privilege aroused the sharpest controversy. N. N.

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Sidorkin queried the increased salaries that had recently been voted forCentral Committee staff; and asked was it true that all Politburo membershad an aircraft at their personal disposal?112 It was 'not a secret', addedG. A. Pershin from Irkutsk, that many party members 'had for some timebeen living under communism'.113 A. V. Shutyleva of Kirov was concernedabout the use of holiday passes and sanatoria, and thought flats should beconstructed for party veterans.114


On July 8 Gorbachev and Ryzhkov met with worker delegates. Thediscussion was described by Pravda as a 'lively exchange of opinions'.Gorbachev expressed concern at the planned unofficial coalminers' strike,which had been called to demand the government's resignation. He claimedthat some unnamed forces were seeking to 'stir up the workers' andwarned that this was 'the road to ruin', and appealed for agreement andconsolidation. Ryzhkov feared that other workers might follow the miners'lead. He claimed that steps were being taken to redress grievances, butwarned against ultimata and alleged that shortages were being artificiallymaintained; dismissal of the government wouldn't solve the miners'problems. Other speakers complained of the influence of outside agitators.The loss of its working-class support, Gorbachev warned, would leave theparty dead.115

On July 11 the coalminers' strike was held. The same day V. N.Lysenko, of the Democratic Platform, submitted to the Congress a reso-lution demanding the resignation of the union government, and its replace-ment by 'a new democratic, coalition government made up of differentpolitical forces, which would enjoy the confidence of the population of thecountry'. Gorbachev rebuked Lysenko for describing the action as a generalstrike. Ryzhkov questioned Lysenko's right to speak for the miners. Thiscontroversial resolution was not put to the vote.116

Ryzhkov reported on the miners' strike to the Congress on July 12. Hecriticised Lykenko's 'provocative' statement the previous day. Altogether,276 coal-mining enterprises out of 655 in the industry took part in thestrike. Of these, 230 were 24-hour strikes, and 46 lasted between two and12 hours. The greatest activity was in Donetsk, Kuznetsk and the Pechoracoal-fields. The rallies which had been held 'were clearly of a pronouncedanti-government and anti-party nature'.117

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The Congress, which manifested throughout a strong conservative mood,underwent a significant change in attitude in its final days. In this period theconservative onslaught weakened which allowed Gorbachev to recapturethe initiative.

1. The Congress Sections

The battle between the reformers and conservatives was waged in theplenary sessions and in the sections. On July 5 the Congress continued itswork in the seven sections, under their elected chairmen: (i) Party renewal,organisational-political aspect (I. I. Mel'nikov); (ii) Party ideologicalwork (I. T. Frolov); (iii) Party relations with the Soviets, social-politicalorganisations and movements (V. A. Kuptsov); (iv) Nationalities policy(A. N. Girenko); (v) Social-economic issues (S. I. Gurenko); (vi) Agrarianpolicy (E. K. Ligachev); (vii) International activity of the CPSU (V.M. Falin). The sections on party renewal, social-economic policy andagricultural policy attracted the most attention. The section which attractedleast attention, in terms of attendance by delegates, was surprisingly thesection on international affairs. On July 7 the Congress heard reports fromthe sections presented by their chairmen.118

The sections saw some of the most heated debates of the Congress.Proceedings at the section on party renewal were described as 'stormy';those in the section on ideology as 'lively, sometimes heated';119 thesection of international policy saw a vigorous conservative attack onofficial foreign and defence policy; whilst the section on the nationalitiesproblem was emotionally highly charged. The section on socio-economicpolicy produced 'a tense, difficult and truly collective search' for ways ofsurmounting the economic crisis, whilst on market reform and propertyownership 'harsh, impartial but demonstrative and basically constructivecriticism prevailed'.120

On July 4 Gorbachev attended a meeting of local party secretaries fromcity and district party organisations. At this meeting he met scathingcriticism of his policies. Izvestiya described the meeting as 'a full-scaleoffensive against perestroikd1. It reported that delegates 'showed theirtotal non-acceptance of [Gorbachev's] policy of change' and demandedthat he make an about turn to what they called 'Andropov's course torestore order'. The paper warned 'only a miracle can bring the Congress toa full accord . . . . Only a referendum will really show where Communistsof the country would like to go - to the left or to the right'.121

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On Saturday July 7 members of the Politburo-Ryzhkov, Medvedev,Yakovlev, Ligachev and Shevardnadze-were grilled in question and answersessions. Kryuchkov received the same treatment two days later. At the endof the session delegates demanded that they be entitled to give a personalassessment of the political activity of each of these leaders, and voted forthis. A commentator on the Moscow home service described the procedureas a form of 'civil execution'.122

Gorbachev suspended the session, declaring: 'If you want to split theparty, if you want to bury it, then you are going about it the rightway. I think the time has come to think and think hard'. When theCongress reconvened Gorbachev forced through a proposal to vote onthe performance of the leadership collectively.123 It was decided that nomore reports or questions be accepted.

The strength of the conservative assault in the early days of the Congressproved deceptive. Whilst the Congress was prepared to applaud Ligachevand others no coherent conservative platform emerged. The conservatives,lacking an effective standard bearer, proved unwilling to press theirdifferences with Gorbachev to the brink. Ligachev proved to be a lessthan effective champion of the cause. He stressed his support for 'socialist'perestroika, and repudiated accusations that he favoured an 'iron hand'solution to the crisis in the USSR:

I don't call myself either a conservative or a radical; I am a realist pureand simple. All kinds of reckless radicalism, improvisation and shifts inposition have brought us little during the five years of perestroika. I amfor having the implementation of the reform proceed consistently andgradually but steadily.124

Ligachev's position was undermined by criticisms of his own pastactions. He came under a barrage of criticism as architect of the anti-alcohol campaign. Critics included his Politburo colleagues Vorotnikovand Maslyukov,125 and several rank and file delegates.126 Ligachevunrepentingly deplored the early relaxation of the policy and describedalcoholism as a 'slow Chernobyl for the whole country'.127 He was alsocriticised for the cover-up of the Uzbek scandal exposed by Gdlyan andIvanov, and for the decision to send Ministry of Defence units into Tbilisiin April 1989.128

The pressure from the radicals of the Democratic Platform failed tocome to a head. In part this may have been the result of the moderatinginfluence of their mentor Yakovlev. In his speech on July 2 Yakovlev,whilst recounting the repression of the Stalin years, pleaded for moderation,

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compromise and understanding within the party, calling upon it to face upto the immense responsibilities which it bore before the people at thiscritical moment. They should not betray the people's hopes and 'drownin a whirlpool of bitterness' and mutual recrimination.129

The question and answer session with Yakovlev on July 7, in which hedealt with the highly contentious developments in the Baltic republics andEastern Europe, produced a favourable reaction from the audience eventhough he was one of the main architects of official policy in this field. Thisprompted one delegate to criticise the 'unmerited warmth' of the applause.Delegates were being swayed by Yakovlev's 'oratorical verbiage'.130

Yakovlev's stature as architect of perestroika provoked an extraordinaryattempt to smear him. A leaflet was circulated to delegates which purportedto be the transcript of a discussion held on July 4 between Yakovlev andmembers of the Democratic Platform, the Marxist Platform, Komsomoldelegates and representatives of the Democratic Union, who had unitedunder the banner of the 'Edinstvo' group. This contained compromisingstatements on the objectives of the reformers and of Yakovlev's sup-posed attitude towards the conservatives. Yakovlev demanded an inquiry,denounced 'loathsome' methods of political struggle, declared defiantly tothe organisers of this campaign against him 'you can shorten my life, butyou will never force me to remain silent'. A Congress inquiry pronouncedthat he had been traduced.131

Throughout the proceedings Gorbachev exercised a dominating influ-ence, chairing many of the plenary sessions, attending the sections andmeetings of delegates. His mastery of Congress procedures, his abilityto get the Congress to reverse hostile votes led one delegate to demandthat he be barred from chairing any more session, 'because he is using theKashpirovskii method [TV faith-healer]; he hypnotises every last one of usand sidetracks us from tackling issues head on. He is suppressing us'.132

2. A Limited Split

The mood in favour of conciliation was sustained by a fear that a partysplit would lead to disaster. The view that the CPSU was the only forcecapable of succesfully carrying through perestroika and surmounting thecrisis was repeated again and again by conservative spokesmen.133 G.I. Yanaev, reflecting the prevailing mood, warned of a 'total crisis insociety', whilst V. L. Yurchenkova complained of a crisis of confidencein the party and government134 The danger of political disintegration, ofanarchy and disorder, and of reversion to authoritarian rule was stressedby many delegates. A dominant theme which emerged during the Congress

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was the need for consolidation (konsolidatsiya) of the CPSU and society.One significant but limited split did take place at the Congress. On July

13 in a remarkable declaration Boris El'tsin announced that he was leavingthe party entirely. He declared that the party was increasingly irrelevant'This congress cannot decide perestroika's fate'; 'I am announcing myresignation from the CPSU. I cannot be guided in my decisions by theCPSU alone. I cannot fulfil the instructions of the CPSU alone.'135 Thedecision by the leading radical in the CPSU and one of the most popularpolitical figures in the USSR to leave the party was a body-blow to theadvocates of reform, but had the effect of compelling the party to seriouslyappraise its situation.136

Vyacheslav Shostakovskii, followed with a similar declaration on behalfof the Democratic Platform, (signed also by Anatolii Sobchak, mayorof Leningrad; Yurii Boldyrev, and Vladimir Lysenko). This statementwas in turn repudiated by other members of the Platform, who pre-ferred to continue the fight for a parliamentary party within the CPSUitself.137 Gavriil Popov and Anatolii Sobchak, the radical mayors ofMoscow and Leningrad, in announcing their resignation from the party,declared that the Congress had shown 'its complete inability to offerthe country a real programme of transition to a new society'. A pressconference held by five departing members of the Democratic Platform,announced they were leaving to set up a democratic party, based onthe parliamentary model, and appealed to other party members to jointhem.138

These events had a sobering effect on the Congress and encouraged asearch for reconciliation. The switch in the Congress' mood was alsoassisted by external events. The NATO meeting in London on July5-6 and the overtures made to improve relations with the countries ofthe Warsaw Pact provided further comfort to Gorbachev. The Houstonmeeting of the leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nationsand their promise of financial and technical assistance to the USSR servedto buoy up the leadership's position. The coalminers' strike on July 11served also to concentrate the minds of the delegates regarding the realdangers threatening the party.


The search for compromise was reflected in the Congress' decisions andresolutions. A great deal of the Congress' time was spent in approvingsuccessive draft resolutions on Gorbachev's Central Committee report,

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on the new party Statutes, and the programmatic declaration 'Towards aHumane Democratic Socialism'.

1. The Party Programme

The draft party programme, approved initially by the Central Committee,formed the basis for discussion at the Congress. An alternative programmesubmitted by the Democratic Platform was rejected. In the debate, sup-porters of the Democratic Platform sought unsuccessfully to modify theofficially approved document, and to remove all references to socialism,the communist future or democratic centralism, and to drop 'Communist'from the party's name.139 The declaration as approved was to serve, ineffect, as the party's Programme until a new Programme could be adoptedat a conference or congress in the first half of 1992. A commission of134 members, chaired by Gorbachev, was appointed to prepare the newProgramme.140

The Programmatic Declaration, entitled 'Towards a humane, democraticsocialism', welcomed the 'beginning of democratic changes in the coun-try's life'. The socialist idea had in the past been distorted and deformedby the 'statisation of all aspects of social life' and the 'dictatorship bythe party-state elite'. It indicated a middle course, rejecting both the'conservative-bureaucratic' current which sought a return to authoritari-anism and barracks-socialism, and those who disclaimed the 'socialistoption'. Moreover, it rejected 'the denial of the ideals of October andthe nihilistic attitude towards the Soviet people's revolutionary gains'.The socialist project was to be redefined, placing man at the centre ofits concerns.

The programme embraced a series of 'emergency anti-crisis measures'.The economic crisis was accorded central priority. At the same time itindicated the need for development in promoting civil rights and freedom,establishing social guarantees to protect the population, and the develop-ment of cultural, educational and science policy as a matter of priority.It confirmed the continuation of the 'new thinking' in Soviet foreignpolicy aimed at at 'a qualitatively new international cooperation'. On thequestion of state organisation the programme adhered to the principle ofa law-governed state which 'excludes the dictatorship of any class, party,grouping or managerial bureaucracy' and ensures access for all citizensto participate in state and public affairs. It embraced the concept of the'separation of powers', between legislature, executive and judiciary, toprovide a guarantee 'against the usurpation of unlimited authority and

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abuse of power'.The programme stressed the need to undertake the renewal of the party,

condemning the damage done by 'the ideological and moral degenerationof a number of party leaders'. The party accepted responsibility for pastmistakes and the crimes of the Stalin era. The CPSU was the party of'socialist choice and communist perspective'; its programme was to bebased on 'universal human values and the communist ideal'. It 'resolutelyrepudiates political and ideological monopolism' and the 'supplanting ofstate and economic management bodies'. The party sought 'free compe-tition with other socio-political forces', retaining for itself a theoretical,ideological and political function but working through its members in stateand social organisations. The party bad to democratise itself and turn theprinciple of democratic centralism into reality. The CPSU had to renew itslinks with the workers, peasants, intelligentsia, and young people.141

2. The Party Statutes

Gorbachev himself chaired the commission on drafting the new partyStatutes (Rules or Ustav).142 The Central Committee, he reported, hadreceived more than 200,000 proposals, and a further 6,000 proposals weresubmitted at the Congress. More than 50 alternative sets of draft statutes -from the Democratic Platform of the CPSU, the Marxist Platform and othergroups - had been submitted. He urged the adoption of Statutes whichwould organically combine within the party the principle of centralism withthe greatest democracy. He was against turning the party into a debatingclub. He favoured a unitary CPSU with greater independence for therepublican communist parties. He urged the retention of the party's linkswith the armed forces, the KGB and the law enforcement agencies.143

The new Party Statutes introduced some quite significant changes ascompared with the earlier drafts and still more so the Statutes that had beenadopted in 1986. The principle of democratic centralism, missing in theoriginal (unpublished) draft, was reinstated in both published versions andwas retained, after some discussion, in the final and definitive text144 Therewas much more emphasis, however, upon the rights of ordinary membersand party branches. Members, as compared with the draft published inMarch, were given greater rights to information about party committeesat all levels and the right to 'evaluate' their work (Arts 2 and 9). Thecircumstances in which all-party discussions and referenda had to be heldwere made more precise (Art. 6). Branches were to be allowed to expresstheir views on the 'most important questions' before they were consideredby the Central Committee (Art. 28), and were given the right to retain up tohalf of their subscription income (Art. 40). The changes as compared with

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the Statutes of 1986 were still more dramatic, including the explicit rightto form 'platforms' but not organised factions (Art. 16), greater respect forthe rights of the minority (Art. 13), and official endorsement of 'horizontal'structures such as political clubs and seminars (Art. 16) of a kind that hadhitherto been regarded as incompatible with democratic centralism.145

3. The Congress Resolutions

The Congress adopted a series of resolution covering aspects of economicand environmental policy, the nationalities question, and military policy.A number of resolutions reflected the party's concern with society, withparticular emphasis being placed on the needs to consolidate its links withthe working class, the peasantry, the intelligentsia, the nationalities andyoung people. In this the party adopted a high moral tone. The crisisin Soviet society was presented not simply as political but as a moral,spiritual crisis.

The resolution on Education and Science Policy deplored the 'disastrouscondition' of public education and the low standard of much cultural andscientific work. It declared that: 'Nihilism, apathy and lack of faith in theparty are spreading amongst the intelligentsia and nationalist sentiments areintensifying.' It noted as one of the party's top priorities 'the intellectualand spiritual' revival of the country. It stressed the importance of strength-ening the family, and combating the dissemination of 'vulgarity, violenceand cruelty' in order 'to defend the morals of the Soviet people'.146 TheCongress declared its faith in the country's youth, but stressed the role ofeducation in moulding their outlook - in inculcating socialist and universalvalues and ideals, patriotic and civic qualities, and the strengthening of 'themoral principles of the family'.147

The resolution on the CPSU's media criticised the 'ossified' party pressfor 'losing their combativeness and sometimes even their principles in theface of the galvanisation of anti-socialist and anti-perestroika forces'. Evenparty newspapers and journals were 'propagandising views alien to theCPSU', and distorting the historic past. It was necessary to give a 'properrebuff to those forces infringing the 'people's spiritual and moral values',undermining their patriotic and international traditions, and underminingrespect for the Soviet Army and law enforcement agencies.148

The Congress rejected the Democratic Platform's demands that theparty relinquish all property which it had acquired 'illegally' but votedto establish a committee to investigate the whole question of privilege inmore detail. The resolution on the CPSU's budget and property underlinedthe party's intention to hold on to its property 'created by generations of

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communists' and that the CPSU exercised the rights of 'a legal person' insecuring its ownership rights of its assets.149

The resolution on the report of the Central Committee called for a coali-tion of forces to defend perestroika: 'The CPSU proposes to all supportersof the socialist idea that they should unite in a broad coalition in the Soviets,public organisations and movements and in everyday, practical activity. Itis prepared to hold an equal dialogue, standing up for everything that isconstructive, for the sake of the man of labour, civil peace and nationwideaccord.' Demands to abandon the 'territorial-production' principle of partyorganisation was rejected as 'liquidationism'. 15° The resolution 'In defenceof democratic rights, against the persecution of communists' condemnedanti-communism, and stressed that individual communists should not beheld responsible for the actions of overturned regimes, as in EasternEurope.151


Both reformers and conservative spokesmen spoke of Gorbachev as theonly possible choice as General Secretary.152 O. D. Baklanov and A. I.Teplenichev supported Gorbachev as General Secretary and President.153

The conservative Yu. A. Peskov spoke for combining the post of GeneralSecretary and President as a safeguard against destabilisation.154 Karimov,first secretary of Uzbekistan, insisted that Gorbachev was the only possiblecandidate, and warned that a split in the party would lead to 'catastro-phe'.155 For one pro-reform delegate Gorbachev's survival was vital:'Defend Gorbachev, in this case, because as soon as we replace Gorbachevperestroika will be scrapped in 24 hours, no doubt about it'.156 But otherdelegates expressed the view that the combination of the posts of GeneralSecretary and President in one man was inexpedient157

In marked contrast other members of the Politburo and Secretariat camein for severe criticism.158 The radical V. I. Perov demanded 'seriousrenewal of the Central Committee'.159 N. N. Sidorkin pronounced thework of the Politburo and Central Committee to be unsatisfactory.160 G. A.Pershin demanded a 'radical change' in the party leadership and an influx offresh forces into the upper echelons of the party and government.161 Severaldelegates from oblast and raion party organisations declared their lack ofconfidence in the present Central Committee, in view of its mistakes,inconsistency, and indecisiveness in implementing perestroika.162

On July 10 the Congress elected the new party General Secretary.Nine alternative candidates were nominated from the floor including

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Shevardnadze and Yakovlev. None was a notable conservative, underliningthe absence of a credible alternative to Gorbachev. All candidates withdrewexcept Gorbachev and Teimuraz Avaliani. Avaliani, a local party secretary,had made his name as leader of the strike movement in the Kuzbass in July1989, and as the man who had called on Brezhnev in 1978 to resign. Inthe nomination of Gorbachev for the post of President at the Congress ofPeople's Deputies in March 1990 Avaliani had urged delegates 'not to votefor Gorbachev under any circumstances'.163

In the election Gorbachev won easily securing 3,411 votes to just 501votes for Avaliani. Under the voting system, with votes being cast forand against each candidate, a significant 1,116 delegates voted againstGorbachev, something short of a resounding endorsement.

In his speech prior to his election Gorbachev adopted a more confidentstance than in his opening report, directly challenging his critics to quit ifthey disagreed with his policies, and staunchly defending his foreign policyagainst his conservative critics. He berated party hard-liners: 'Any returnto the past is impossible. There is no dictatorship that can settle anything,but there are still people holding on to this stupid idea.' He issued a directwarning - 'If the party fails in its duty to renew itself thoroughly, it willlose its place in society.' 'The main danger is that the democratic andprogressive forces, which are now working toward radical transformationof our society, become divided.'

In his opening speech Gorbachev, having reviewed the crisis besettingthe country, grudgingly asserted 'we can say, with all responsibility thatthe present Central Committee, elected by the XXVII CPSU Congress,basically and chiefly fulfilled the tasks entrusted to it'.164 In his electionaddress he took a different line, clearly indicating his intentions 'Youshould know before you decide how to vote, that I will fight for acompletely renewed Central Committee and Politburo'. This renewal heproposed 'will be repeated at all levels'.165

Gorbachev's speech struck a careful balance. He affirmed orthodoxsocialist principles - 'We must prove that we did not live in vain afterthe Revolution. I defend the socialist choice and I will never be linkedto those who wish to push the country back to capitalism'. And hesupported thorough reform: 'Has our entire history not shown, comrades,the futility of the attempts to get out of this plight by patching by thecommand-administrative system? If we continue to act in this way then,I shall be frank, we will bankrupt the country.'166

The Politburo's decline was signalled by declarations by Shevardnadze,Kryuchkov, Yazov, Yakovlev, and Medvedev of their intention either notto serve on the Politburo or a willingness to give up their post. The

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resolution on the Central Committee's report criticised the ineffectivenessof the Politburo, Secretariat and Central Committee, and demanded 'radicalimprovement' in their work. It also noted the need to strengthen theSoviets and to give effective powers to the President, so as to ensure thatpresidential decrees were implemented in the republics and localities.167

The Congress established an entirely new post, that of deputy Gen-eral Secretary. Nine names were nominated, including Ligachev andGorbachev's nominee Vladimir Ivashko.168 Ligachev stressed that hisdifferences with Gorbachev were tactical not strategic, rejecting accusa-tions that he had been a 'brake on perestroikd1. He stood 'for the unificationof all forces which occupy a socialist standpoint'.169 The Congress whichhad cheered his speeches, however, was not prepared to entrust him withthis key post. The need for unity and 'consolidation' ruled out the electionof a popular yet 'divisive' candidate.170 He suffered a humiliating defeat,receiving only 776 votes to the 3,642 votes cast for Ivashko.171 Gorbachevhad stressed the need to appoint as his deputy, some one who was of likemind on policy matters. Ivashko, describing himself as a 'staunch supporterof perestroikd! and an ally of Gorbachev, will probably chair the meetingsof the Politburo, now set to meet monthly.172

The procedure for the election of the new Central Committee underlinedthe tensions at the Congress. Two separate lists of candidates were drawnup. List 1 consisted of 311 candidates who had been nominated byrepublican, krai and oblast party organisations and by party organisationswithin the state institutions. List 2 contained 99 candidates who had beennominated at the Congress, primarily representatives of central partyorgans and ministries plus some secretaries of primary party organs.Both lists contained a number of rank and file workers and collectivefarm workers. The General Secretary and the deputy General Secretarywere automatically made Central Committee members.173

Gorbachev succeeded in using the nomination process for both lists tosecure the election of a number of leading reformers. The number of votescast against each member was registered, but the number voting for andabstaining was not given. The results indicated considerable dissatisfaction,mainly amongst conservative delegates, with a number of candidates. InList 1 strong votes were cast against leading economic reformers such asBunich (1,088), Latsis (1,139) and Shatalin (1,100). A significant protestvote was registered against Yazov, Minister of Defence (1,010) and asmaller number against Kryuchkov (404).174

Pro-reform candidates on List 2 received even heavier protest votes- Kruchina (2,000), the economist Abalkin (1,681), the historian RoyMedvedev (1,875), and the actor M. A. UPyanov (1,768). A substantial

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number of delegates cast votes against Shevardnadze (872). Whilst allcandidates on List 2 received more than 50 per cent of the votes cast,fourteen candidates, on account of abstentions, failed to gain an absolutemajority of the votes of all delegates.175 Nevertheless, on Gorbachev'sinsistence, and against considerable dissent from the Congress floor, all99 candidates on List 2 were returned as having been elected to the CentralCommittee.176

The new 412-member Central Committee represented a new generationof leaders. Only 59 were members of the previous Central Committee.177

However, the system of quota representation for central and local insti-tutions, and for workers and peasants, led one political commentator tocast doubts on the intellectual and political calibre of the new CentralCommittee.178

The Congress elected a new Central Control Commission, with 165members, headed by Boris Pugo, previously head of the party ControlCommittee and a former head of the Latvian KGB.179

Proposals that the Congress should itself directly elect the party Politburoand Secretariat were defeated by only 87 votes - 1,959 for versus 2,046against.

The Congress ended on July 13 with Gorbachev's concluding speech. OnJuly 13-14 the new Central Committee met and elected by secret ballot anew twenty-four member Politburo, and a new Secretariat. Only Gorbachevretained his seat on the Politburo. The new Politburo included the fifteenfirst secretaries of the republican communist parties, including Sillari of thereformist Estonian Communist party (for the new members of the Politburosee Appendix 3B).180

For the first time not a single member of the government or of thepresidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet was in the Politburo. Ryzhkov(chairman of the Council of Ministers), Luk'yanov (chairman of theSupreme Soviet), Yazov (minister of defence), Shevardnadze (ministerof foreign affairs) and Kryuchkov (chairman of the KGB), althoughmembers of the Presidential Council, were not re-elected. Ivan Frolov,editor of Pravda, explained the logic of this arrangement: 'the party is fullybreaking with its former position, whereby it was organically embeddedinto the administrative-command system and was at the summit of thehierarchy'.181

As Giulletto Chiesa has argued the results of the XXVIII Congresswere paradoxical. Gorbachev emerged successful from a Congress thatwas largely hostile to him, the paradox of a conservative majority unable towin. Gorbachev succeeded by a strategy which isolated the hardliners, andaccomodated moderate conservatives at the expense of losing the support

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of part of the party's radical wing, amongst the Democratic Platform.The price of this success, however, was that Gorbachev was obligedto compromise on policy and principle, as reflected in the Congressresolutions.


The impact of the Congress depended upon the response of party membersand the population at large. The Congress had, at least, been followedfairly closely by the general public, according to a survey conducted bythe party's own Academy of Social Sciences. Only 5 per cent, however,were wholly satisfied with the results of the Congress; 44 per cent werepartly satisfied, and 30 per cent not satisfied at all (21 per cent had still tomake up their minds). A modest 17 per cent thought the Congress wouldhelp the country to overcome its crisis; 56 per cent were doubtful, and 27per cent thought it would make no contribution of this kind. Some 27 percent were wholly or largely satisfied with the composition of party's newleading bodies; 40 per cent, however, were wholly or largely dissatisfied,and 32 per cent had no opinion. About half of those polled thought the partyshould move to the 'left' (although in what sense remained unclear), and thesame proportion thought it should become more youthful (the average ageof party members, according to the Mandates Commission at the Congress,was now 46).182

A comparable public opinion poll conducted by the All-Union Centrefor the Study of Public Opinion found that 26 per cent of those polledthought the Congress would have an 'appreciable influence on the party'sfuture and its place in the country's social life'. A rather more substantial47 per cent, however, thought it would have no influence of this kind, and27 per cent were undecided. No more than 18 per cent were satisfied withGorbachev's opening address (41 per cent were dissatisfied), and 64 percent approved of the growing criticism that had been directed at the Sovietleader (19 per cent disapproved). A further substantial majority (64 percent) thought the CPSU was not necessarily the only force capable ofextracting Soviet society from its crisis; 74 per cent thought the partyshould be held responsible for its errors over the previous seventy years,and 31 per cent (with 41 per cent against) thought it should be disbanded.So far as the future was concerned, 51 per cent thought the party wouldfragment (22 per cent disagreed), and 49 per cent thought the party wouldlose influence during the next year or two (only 6 per cent thought it wouldgain influence). A majority (54 per cent) were opposed to the idea of their

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children or grandchildren becoming members of the CPSU, as against amere 15 per cent who were in favour.183

Among the delegates themselves, only one in ten expressed completesatisfaction with the Congress proceedings. Half were partly satisfied,and about a third reported that their hopes had not been justified, mostlybecause there had been 'few constructive suggestions on the subjects underdiscussion'.184 Surveys made public during the Congress itself found that80 per cent of the delegates favoured a party of the 'socialist option',able to consolidate the wider society; half of the delegates supported theProgrammatic Declaration entirely, and a further 38 per cent partially.185

On the central point at issue between the party at large and the DemocraticPlatform, 67 per cent favoured a party of the vanguard type and only 19per cent a purely parliamentary party. The delegates were almost equallydivided, however, as to whether the forces seeking a 'bourgeois order' hadany chance of success (46 per cent thought they had not, but almost as many- 45 per cent - thought they had). A large majority (73 per cent), finally,supported a very limited private sector, and 70 per cent favoured the ideaof a federation of Soviet republics.186


In his final address to the Congress, Gorbachev claimed that its significancewould be 'great and lasting'. Many, both in the USSR and outside it, hadthought the party had lost its capacity to renew itself and that it wasdoomed to fragment and withdraw from the political scene. But thosewho had counted on the XXVIII Congress being the last gathering of itskind and on holding a funeral for the CPSU had been proved wrong; theparty, Gorbachev declared, was 'alive' and it would 'continue to live on',making its historic contribution to social progress within the USSR and tothe development of world civilisation. The Congress had not been an easyone; there had been 'heated discussions' and 'dramatic clashes' right upto its final moments. In the end, however, it had adopted decisions thatwere in accordance with the aims and spirit of perestroika; now it wasup to the members to make these decisions a reality, turning the partyinto a 'real vanguard party whose power lies not in issuing orders, butin influencing minds'. It was necessary to consolidate the party's linkswith workers, peasants and intelligentsia, to establish 'a broad coalition'of those committed to democracy and socialism. Gorbachev pledged that hewould use all his constitutional powers as USSR President to carry throughrestructuring - 'Nobody will be allowed to frustrate perestroika'.lsl

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For the pro-Gorbachev editor of Pravda Frolov the Congress had beenthe 'congress of truth'.188 The conservative Shved, second secretary ofthe Lithuanian Communist Party, in contrast dared to ask whether therewould be a XXIX CPSU Congress.189 Although a major split was avertedthe Congress revealed deep divisions within the party and fundamentaldisagreement as how to deal with the manifold problems besetting it. Theresolutions of the Congress had a provisional, programmatic character andawaited more concrete finalisation by the Supreme Soviet

The Congress, in the end, probably made little difference to the prob-ability of any of these outcomes. Indeed it was already a characteristic ofthe Gorbachev period that the party should react belatedly and inadequatelyto developments within the wider society - most conspicuously in regardto the national question, but also on economic reform and social change.The party, in reality, had already lost its political monopoly before theabolition of its constitutionally guaranteed leading role in March 1990.The democratisation that was taking place in society had already escapedthe party's control; the Congress simply registered a situation that alreadyexisted when it called for cooperation and even coalition with the partiesand movements that had come into existence outside its ranks. Lookingforward from the XXVIII Congress, the party could be said to have wonthe battle (to preserve its organisational unity) but lost the war: to maintainits position as the dominant force in Soviet political life.

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3 Economic PolicyE. A. Rees

The deepening crisis in the Soviet economy in 1989-90 threatened todestroy the reform process. Four distinct currents of opinion emergedin the party each reflecting fundamentally different political standpoints:(i) the conservatives, such as Ligachev, who whilst accepting aspects ofperestroika were ideologically opposed to the dismantling of the basicprinciples of the Soviet 'socialist' economy; (ii) the reformers, includingGorbachev and Ryzhkov, who were committed to a 'socialist market'solution, which avoid major 'shocks' and upheavals; (iii) the radicalsassociated with the Democratic Platform and the Inter-Regional Groupof Deputies who urged the adoption of a capitalist, free enterprise, marketeconomy; and (iv) the small minority 'leftist' tendency, represented by theMarxist Platform, who saw the development of the socialist economy inthe direction of worker self-management.


At the XXVII Congress of the CPSU in February 1986 Gorbachev spokeof the need to strengthen 'commodity-money relations' in the Sovieteconomy. This implied more fundamental reform than simply the extensionof profit and loss accounting (khozraschet) within the command economy.The Law on Individual Labour Activity (November 1986) legalised privateenterprise in a number of fields but imposed severe restrictions on theiractivities. The Law on State Enterprises (June 1987) moved the economyin the direction of economic accountability and self-financing. In June 1987the Central Committee plenum committed the party to radical economicreform. The Law on Cooperatives (May 1988) legalised cooperatives in awide area of economic activity.1

In 1989 Gorbachev spoke decisively for a 'full-blooded socialist mar-ket' economy, without which, he argued, the planned economy couldnot function.2 Vadim Medvedev spoke of the market - if speculativedistortions were omitted - as 'one of the greatest achievements of humancivilisation'.3 Ryzhkov whilst endorsing the market noted the need for


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effective mechanism to control it and to secure the interests of citizensfrom 'market spontaneity'.4

Support for the market was associated in 1989 with the abandonment ofcommitment to state ownership as the highest form of common ownership.Gorbachev at the Congress of Soviets in May 1989 declared that state,cooperative and individual ownership be deemed to be of equal status ina socialist economy, with the proviso ' that exploitation and the alienationof the worker from the means of production should not be permitted'.5

The expansion of cooperative enterprises, and the leasing of enterprises(arenda) to the labour collectives was tried out

The question of market reform raised the spectre of price increases,particularly for food, and of the reduction of state subsidies. It was alsoassociated with the acceptance of increasing income differentials to boostproduction. Medvedev declared "The differentiation of incomes will obvi-ously increase . . . Demagogic calls for equalising the incomes of everyoneand everything are alien to socialism.'6 However, public opposition to priceincreases in 1988 resulted in reforms being postponed.

The deepening economic crisis in 1989 was in part self-induced.The process of liberalisation, and the transfer to economic accounting(khozraschet) with enterprises retaining a larger proportion of theirearnings, together with the effect of the anti-alcohol campaign, reducedthe tax base of the state budget. To cover the mounting fiscal deficit themoney supply was increased; and it was further increased to meet wageincreases, improvements in pensions and students stipends. Inflationarypressure was heightened by the loose credit policy of the State Bank.Increases in cash incomes without a comparable increase in output fuelledinflation and destabilised the rouble.

With the depreciation of the rouble, individuals, enterprises and farmspreferred to hold value in commodities rather than in money, resulting inthe building up of inventories and the development of barter exchange.Even though government statistics revealed increases in the output ofagricultural and industrial goods the crisis on the consumer market wasaccentuated. To deal with the budget deficit the government faced theproblem of increasing state revenue or reducing expenditure.

The attempt to combine radical economic reform with democratisationran into growing problems and public resistance. Democratisation with-out economic reform proved unable to satisfy the expectations of thepopulation and created mounting frustrations. Whilst the influence ofMarxism-Leninism as a determinant of economic policy declined the minis-tries and planning agencies sought to retain their control over the economy.But the prospect for retaining the existing command-administrative system

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Economic Policy 63

and the existing political order with moderate reforms lost all cred-ibility.

In 1989 the radical economists became more vocal. Vasilii Selyuninadvocated a a barely concealed capitalist variant of the market economy,and presented Russian history as a tension between the creativity of themarket and the repressive state. The full-blooded market received thesupport of radical deputies in the Congress of People's Deputies andthe Supreme Soviet. The Inter-Regional Group of Deputies urged freeenterprises, and free markets including a free labour market, modelled onthe reforms in Hungary and Poland. The collapse of communist regimesin Eastern Europe, and their enthusiasm for capitalist market economies,hastened this process.

Gavriil Popov, vice chairman of the Inter-Regional Group of Deputiesargued at the Congress of People's Deputies in June 1989 in favour of astate sector of 50 per cent, with the rest of the economy transferred tocooperatives and individuals. He pointed out that in developed capitalistcountries the state sector was only 30-40 per cent Academician Shatalinlauded the example of prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 'denationalisingpractically everything' in the UK.7 He told a conference organised by theCentral Committee in October 1989 - 'One should not be frightened ofprivate ownership, there is nothing terrible in i t ' A step towards privateownership would be the renting out of enterprises, and the introduction ofshareholding; 'the issue of shares also leads to private ownership' .8

Meanwhile the government itself accepted the need for some kind ofshare market or stock exchange in the Soviet Union. A resolution of theSupreme Soviet on economic policy in June 1989 stated that 'Conditionsshall be created for the formation of a socialist market, including a marketfor shares and for investment resources'.

As part of the economic reform encouragement was given to experimentsin self-management. The Law on the State Enterprises of 1987 supportedthe organisation of the enterprises on the basis of self-management, with theCouncil of the Labour Collective (STK) having power to determine generaldirection of policy, but with continued power in the hands of the enterprisedirector. The election of enterprise directors by the workers collectivewas organised in many factories. In 1989, however, self-management inindustry came under increasing attack from radical economists, as anobstacle to economic efficiency, and a cause of labour indiscipline andexcessive wage increases. Abel Aganbegyan in May 1989 spoke of theneed to abandon the system of electing directors in its existing form. Theprinciple of worker self-management was also restricted in a number ofministries by a Council of Ministers decree.

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The efforts at economic reform continued against the background ofdeepening social discontent. In the summer of 1989 the strike of coalminersin the Kuzbass, Donbass and Vorkuta wrested major concessions fromthe government on pay, pensions, working conditions, housing and foodsupply which further limited the government's room for manoeuvre.Fear of aggravating popular discontent held up any realistic reform offood prices. The rationalisation of industry through economic accounting(khozraschei) was blunted by fears of the consequences which might issuefrom mass unemployment The reform programme was slowed down in thesecond half of 1989 with the adoption of a strategy of 'stabilisation'.

The emergence of an embryonic independent labour movement wasreflected in the miners strike committees, which took control of the admin-istration of some towns in the coalfields. In September 1989 the congressof the United Front of Working People of Russia (OFT) met in Sverdlovsk.It saw demands for the defence of workers conditions, attacks on pseudo-cooperatives, excessive profiteering, as well as calls for currency reformdirected at the alleged holders of large amounts of illegally acquired money.OFT was associated with the conservative wing of the party, which wishedto retain the existing command-administrative system in being.

Towards the end of 1989 the ideological divisions within the party deep-ened. Gorbachev, at the Ukrainian Central Committee in September 1989,insisted that 'perestroika is the renewal of socialism, not the dismantlingof i t . . . a revolutionary transformation, eliminating the deformations ofsocialism, but not the restoration of capitalism' .9 Ligachev at the September1989 Central Committee plenum more forthrightly condemned those whowere 'in favour of moving towards capitalism and bourgeois democracy,of introducing private property into the economy and a multi-party systeminto the political system'.10

One major aspect of the attempts to deal with the economic crisis wasthe reduction of military expenditure and the conversion (konversiya) ofmilitary enterprises to civilian production, associated with the new Sovietforeign and defence policy. The manner of implementing this policyprovoked strong criticism from the military and the defence industriesalthough the principle, except amongst hard-liners, was accepted. At thesame time radical parliamentary deputies and the Democratic Platformaccused the 'military-industrial complex' of putting a brake on reform andobstructing conversion.11

The agrarian problem was raised in Gorbachev's report to the XXVIICongress, including the question of family farms. In September 1988Ligachev reluctantly assumed the chairmanship of the new party commis-sion on agrarian policy. The Central Committee plenum in March 1989

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Economic Policy 65

adopted wide-ranging resolutions on agrarian policy, including provisionsfor the leasing of land to peasants from the collective farms. The LandLaw (March 1990) agreed to the perpetual leasing of land from the stateand collective farms to individual peasant proprietors, on condition thatthe land was not sold, rented out, given away or split up, and on conditionthat hired labour was not employed. These policy shifts saw a revival ofinterests in the Stolypin agricultural reforms of 1907-14 and in the creationof small peasant farming (see Chapter 5).

The moves towards tenured lease in agriculture, however, ignored oneof the basic problems. Agriculture accounted for more than a quarterof national income, and its products provided more than two thirds ofthe goods of consumption, but half of the basic productive fund ofkolkhozes and sovkhozes was physically worn out and required replace-ment. Whilst agricultural output had actually grown, distributional diffi-culties had increased, on account of transport failure, and retention byrepublican agencies and the farms themselves of more of their output inviolation of contracts with the state. Whilst consumption increased, stateprocurements fell. The problem was compounded by the increase of cashincomes, leading to shortages and a growing gap between kolkhoz marketand state store prices. Without correcting the policy in pricing, marketing,finance and input supply - including the supply of consumer goods to thecountryside - changes in tenure alone would fail to provide the stimulusfor increased output.12

The economic crisis was also reflected in the mounting Soviet foreigntrade deficit - partly caused by the fall in world oil prices. Soviet needs forforeign capital, technology and trade led to proposals for joint enterpriseschemes, and even for free economic zones. Soviet application for observerstatus in GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) indicated adesire to integrate the Soviet economy with the world economy.13

The leading moderate reformers such as Leonid Abalkin and Aganbegyancontinued to argue for the 'socialist market', the need for a staged process oftransition, over a long period of time, utilising features of the central plan-ning system, supply allocation and price setting mechanism to stabilise theeconomy and regulate the transition to the market Abalkin, having earlierseverely criticised Ryzhkov's mismanagement of the reform programme,was in July 1989 appointed chairman of the commission on economicreform and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. In November1989 Abalkin declared that 'the mission of the reform is to prove theviability of the socialist system . . . its humanitarian nature'.14

The second Congress of USSR People's Deputies in December 1989overwhelmingly endorsed government proposals, drafted by Abalkin, for

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a staged process of reform, through the reduction of inflationary pressurewithin the existing economic framework in 1990-91; the passing of lawsduring this period to create the framework for the transition to a marketeconomy; and the beginning of marketisation during 1992-95. Revisedwholesale prices would be introduced in 1991, but these would stillbe determined centrally. The government stressed that its successfulrealisation needed popular support and social and political stability.15 ThePolish strategy (the Balcerowicz plan) of shock therapy - based on financialausterity, prices and quantity decontrol and substantial privatisation withineighteen months - was ruled out on political grounds.

In sharp contrast radical economists such as Selyunin argued that tostabilise the economy before proceeding to radical reform would beto court disaster, urging the abandonment of directive planning, andallowing prices to rise immediately to market-clearing levels.16 LarissaPiyasheva and Boris Pinsker rejected the possibility of a 'third way',openly championing private enterprise, private ownership and the market;and rejecting the limited reforms on cooperatives and workforce leasing asineffective.17 Shatalin urged privatisation and demonopolisation of industryas part of a strategy to bring inflation under control. Oleg Bogomolovrejected the concept of a 'socialist market' as an ideological euphemism,which impeded clear choices.18

The issue of 'de-statification' (razgosudarstvlenie) and private owner-ship (chastnaya sobstvennost) was increasingly urged as the deteriorationof the economy in the first quarter of 1990 underlined the need for change.In January 1990 4.5 million days were lost through strikes, compared to7 million for the whole of 1989. The weakening of central control inplanning and supply allocation was reflected in the development of barterarrangements between republics and between enterprises.

The administration of the economy passed increasingly from the partyto the government and the Presidential Council. An important role wasplayed by the Commission for Economic Reform of the Council ofMinisters, headed by Abalkin.19 The radical economist Nikolai Petrakovwas appointed as Gorbachev's economic aide in January 1990.20

On March 11 the Council of Ministers created a special commis-sion, chaired by Gorbachev, which was to prepare a package of reformmeasures within one month. The commission's deputy chairmen wereYurii Maslyukov and Abalkin. A memorandum from Abalkin urged thegovernment not to delay further economic reform, although still stressingthe feasibility of a third way - combining market deregulation and centralplanning to mitigate the worst effects of such a change; emphasising theneed for social consensus, with state control over key prices and supplies,

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including compulsory deliveries of agricultural produce, the indexing ofall incomes to cope with an immediate 150-200 per cent rise in consumergoods prices; hard budget constraints on enterprises; an end to monopolisticprofiteering; ending the election of managers; devaluation of the rouble;and denationalisation - through leasing and the sale of shares to workcollectives.21

Gorbachev in a speech to the Presidential Council on March 27 intro-duced a draft package of 'radical' economic reforms, including some thirtydraft laws (zakony) and decrees (postanovleniya), including draft laws onthe transition to a market economy, price reform, reform of the bankingsystem, foreign ownership of property - including provision for 100 percent foreign ownership on enterprises.22 A draft law on the formation ofjoint-stock companies was also prepared.23 Gorbachev secured the supportof radical economists - Petrakov, Bunich, and Shatalin - and more cautiousfigures such as Aganbegyan for a 'strong president' to force the reformthrough.

As the crisis sharpened attempts by Ryzhkov as chairman of the Councilof Ministers to deal with the growing budget deficit, to curb the growth ofcash incomes and associated inflation, and to cut the foreign trade deficitprovoked opposition. Boris El'tsin's populistic programme of reform whichwould not cut living standards helped secure his election as Chairman ofthe Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in May 1990. Inthe republican parliaments, city and provincial Soviets' impatience withgovernment policies further radicalised opinion.

By this time Gorbachev was convinced that more radical reform wasneeded. The Commission for Economic Reform of the Council of Minis-ters, headed by Abalkin, studied not only the the West German, Japaneseand Swedish economies but also the Polish shock treatment approach.Gorbachev's address to the Presidential Council and the Council of theFederation stressed the need to accelerate reform. He spoke of the transitionto 'a regulated market economy' as 'a choice that has been made, the moveto a humane democratic socialism', not as a 'change of direction', but thetransition to a 'developed and more profound conception of socialism'. Hestill saw change as staged, emphasising the need for consultation.24

In a television address on May 24 Ryzhkov sought to grasp the nettleof unpopular food price increases delayed since 1988, and announcedproposals to increase retail prices. This provoked a wave of panic buying.The pro-reform parliaments of the RSFSR, Ukraine and Belorussia refusedto put the price increases into effect.

Faced with the challenge of an embryonic independent labour move-ment the official trade union reacted coolly to the demands for radical

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economic reform. The conservative Gennadi Yanaev, elected chairman ofthe All Union Council of Trade Unions (VTsSPS) in April 1990, stronglydefended wage indexation and full employment and argued that marketreform be put to a public referendum.25

While the radicals condemned Gorbachev's half-hearted reforms, theparty conservatives held that they had gone too far. Ligachev at theCommunist Party RSFSR Congress criticised the party's declining rolein formulating economic policy. He complained that 'The government'smeasures concerning the changeover to a regulated market economy werenot discussed either in the Politburo or at a plenary session of the CentralCommittee', and had been referred directly to the Supreme Soviet In spiteof an angry rebuttal by Gorbachev, Ligachev insisted that the party wasbeing denied the chance to determine the main direction of economicpolicy.26

Thus in the eighteen months before the CPSU Congress of July 1990 thedebate on economic policy focused increasingly on the dispute betweenthe cautious reformers, represented by Gorbachev - committed to reformbut seeking to avoid 'shocks' that would impose too heavy a burden onthe population, and the radicals - committed to speedy marketisation andprivatisation, in order to reduce the transition period and minimise theuncertainty. At the same time opposition to economic reform from theconservatives - embracing bureaucratic interests, managers, workers andconsumers - provided parallels with the opposition which overturned themore limited economic reforms introduced by Khrushchev in 1957 andKosygin in 1965.


Gorbachev in his Congress keynote speech stressed that perestroika hadgrown in reponse to economic necessity. The country by the early1980s was falling behind the advanced capitalist states. The command-administrative system inhibited economic and technical innovation andproduced vast wastage:

By the early 1980s, it was clear that our apparent well-being was beingmaintained through the barbaric, wasteful use of natural and humanresources. One can frankly say that very soon we would have woundup in a catastrophic situation with unpredictable consequences.27

The USSR employed 100-150 per cent more material resources and 50 percent more fuel and energy per unit of output than the developed countries.

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Large numbers of enterprises operated at a loss, with state subsidiestotalling 23 billion roubles. 'With this system of economic managementthe state cannot be rich, and the people cannot be well off. We can't goon this way - the system must be changed.' He urged 'the acceleration andradicalisation of economic reform'.

In the current five-year plan, Gorbachev argued, priority had been givento the consumer goods industries. The old 'Stalinist model' of economicmanagement, with only one-seventh of industrial capacity devoted to theproduction of consumer goods, had bankrupted itself. The USSR waspassing through a 'transitional period' in which the old system had notbeen fully dismantled, and the construction of a new system had scarcelybegun; in which conservatives in the apparatus were fighting to maintaintheir position.

Investment in consumer goods industries and the social sphere hadincreased. In the past four years 34 billion roubles over and above thefive-year plan assignments was allocated to the construction of non-production facilities - housing, schools, hospitals, clinics etc. The annualaverage growth rate for non-production investment increased from 4.7per cent in the eleventh five-year plan to 8.8 per cent in the currentfive-year plan.

The 'extremely grave' goods shortage, Gorbachev declared, requiredsober assessment not attempts to further 'fire up passions'. The output offood, fabrics, knitwear, and consumer durables had increased. There hadbeen a massive increase in the annual trade turnover. In the past this hadbeen of the volume of 10-12 billion roubles; rising in the current five-yearplan to 20 billion roubles; in 1989 it reached 38 billion roubles. Per capitaconsumption had increased. Nevertheless, the worsening situation on theconsumer market had become 'simply intolerable'.

The problems, Gorbachev argued, derived from the government's failureto adopt and implement a comprehensive economic reform. In this, heconceded, the Politburo bore some responsibility. They had to acceptfundamental changes of attitude towards different forms of property, soas to ensure proper incentives. Gorbachev urged accelerating the formationof commodity and stock markets, reforming the banking system, puttingan interest rate policy into effect, and encouraging a competitive systemfor producing consumer goods. Management had to operate within thediscipline of the market. It was necessary to reduce the central branchministries and to free enterprises from the diktat of departments. Importantnew laws on property, on leasing, on land etc were part of the changeoverto the market. 'Urgent measures' were necessary to stabilise the consumermarket, to control the money supply, and balance the state budget. Labour

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collectives were under an obligation to ensure improved performance in1990 to ease the social and economic situation in the country.

Ryzhkov, reviewing the development of the economy since 1985, notedthat two basic objectives had been set at that time-firstly to acceleratethe development of the economy, and secondly to introduce new eco-nomic methods of management. These had proved incompatible. Theold administrative-command structure of economic management becamea drag on economic development, while the continuing priority given toheavy industry delayed the structural transformation of industry. In thesummer of 1988 the XIX party Conference resolved to intensify the 'socialreorientation of the economy'. The change was decided in the middle of afive-year plan, necessitating the break-up of the plan.

There had, Ryzhkov insisted, been a huge increase in the consumptionfund, and a large increase in the production of consumer goods. Never-theless, the economy was still failing to meet the populations' needs.There were 'enormous political tensions' associated with the changeoverto the market But the imbalances in the economy, he predicted, would besoon resolved. Market relations would increase production efficiency, andestablish an equilibrium between supply and demand. The market wouldbecome saturated with an assortment of consumer goods in 1991-92.Ryzhkov's speech was poorly received. Later he admitted that the economywas in an 'ungovernable state'.28

Power over economic policy had passed from the party to the Presiden-tial Council and to the Congress of People's Deputies and the SupremeSoviet. Conservatives such as Ligachev deplored the loss of control bythe Politburo and Secretariat over the direction of economic policy. A. V.Vlasov, candidate member of the Politburo, echoed these views. Theworking out of an economic policy 'that meets the fundamental interestsof the working class and of all working people' in the RSFSR and the USSRshould retain a 'key place' in the party's activity; 'Its neutrality here wouldonly play into the hands of anti-socialist forces striving for power.'29

Gorbachev's allies, however, welcomed the change. G. P. Razumovskiiurged withdrawal of the party from economic management30 A.I.Lukyanovstressed the need to strengthen the soviet apparatus, which should assumesome of the management roles which the party was now surrendering.31

The restriction of the party's role in economic management had,B. Pugo reported, even influenced the work of the party ControlCommittee.32

Maslyukov, chairman of Gosplan and a member of the Politburo,accepted that there was 'no alternative to the market', but complained of'downright mistakes' committed in this field: the acceleration of economic

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development in all areas, the dismantling of the existing managerial struc-tures, the introduction of the election of managers, and the anti-alcoholcampaign. In the process Gosplan and the ministries had 'lost control overmany highly important aspects of economic development', including thegrowth of the population's cash income:

At present, centralised state planning, which was the linchpin of thecommand system, has been destroyed to a large degree. The state planas a directive law has lost its determining role in the functioning anddevelopment of the economy. Everyone wanted to produce less but tolive better and have a balanced economy. Many could not produce more,and for many it was not worthwhile to strive to increase production.33

All the key issues of economic policy emerged at the Congress, and inthe account which follows we summarise the main trends in the debate.

1. Monetary Policy

In his opening report Gorbachev traced the root of the economic crisisto the fact that cash incomes had risen much faster than the productionof goods, partly as a result of the granting of greater economic rights toenterprises and the elimination of rigid controls over labour productivityand wages. The newly-established cooperatives also provided a channelfor converting noncash money into cash, involving billions of roubles.Delays in completing construction projects also had an inflationary effect.Wage rises had increased the population's cash incomes which in 1989 hadincreased by 64 billion roubles, compared to 12-15 billion roubles in pastyears. The situation continued in 1990.

Ryzhkov conceded that the government, in the face of strong publicresistance, had failed to keep the growth of incomes in line with thegrowth of output. With no alternative outlets for the population to investtheir money, inflation had spiralled, resulting in barter exchange betweenenterprises, sectors and regions. It was necessary to cut the budget deficitby reducing expenditure and creating economic conditions which wouldgenerate income. The task was the responsibility of the central government,and also the republican governments which would compile their ownbudgets for 1991.

In the debate P. Bunich of the USSR Academy of the National Economydeplored the unreliability of Gosplan's forecasts of economic performance.Maslyukov (Gosplan) admitted Gosplan's failures in curbing the growth ofcash incomes but rebuked Bunich for his 'disgraceful' outburst.34 Within

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the economy, Bunich estimated, there was 200 billion roubles of excessmoney. He proposed higher interest rates on personal savings accounts;the sale of state enterprises to worker collectives; the sale of state-ownedhousing and land; and the issuing of commodity loans as a means toabsorb this excess money.35 But the crucial question - how far the budgetdeficit could be cut without drastically reducing government expenditureon subsidies and welfare provisions - was not seriously dealt with in anyof the speeches by all the various schools of thought represented at theCongress.

2. Price Policy

The closely related question of price reform posed the most difficult prob-lem for the party leadership. Decision on this matter had been postponedrepeatedly since 1988, and in May 1990 Ryzhkov's plan for price increaseswas torpedoed by the republican parliaments and by consumer protestGorbachev distanced himself from Ryzhkov's programme of economicreform, particularly the controversial plan to raise retail prices:

For my part, I would like to emphasize that a revision of retailprices cannot begin without social-protection mechanisms that havebeen thought through in detail and put in place. And, of course, thechangeover to a market economy cannot begin with a price increase.This would be absurd.36

In response Ryzhkov insisted that the formation of a market economycould not be realised without price reform. The 'biggest mistake' wouldbe to show indecision and as in 1988 to postpone 'this incredibly difficult,but objectively necessary task' ,37 Price reform required public support ifrestraint on the growth of money incomes was to be checked. The statehad promised 'strong safeguards' for the economically weaker groups insociety - pensioners, students, disabled people and families with children.Other areas - defence, education, public health and culture - needed specialprotection under a market economy.

In the debate Ryzhkov's television announcement of price increaseson May 24, without prior public discussion or consultation, was stronglycriticised by Vorotnikov, Sokolov and other delegates.38

The distortion in the price system, Maslyukov complained, meantthat enterprises refused to produce low-profit goods (this created seriousdifficulties with regard to medical supplies, as noted by A. P. Biryukova).39

Economic ties between enterprises were violated, resulting in imbalances in

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production and falling rates of development. The changeover to a marketeconomy encountered bureaucratic opposition which sought 'to return tothe old, rigidly centralised system, which can supposedly stabilise thesituation. There was a point at which the scales nearly tipped in thatdirection'. He rejected 'shock therapy' - the freeing of prices to allowthem to find their market-clearing level. He stressed the need to winpublic support for economic reform, and emphasised the role of Gosplanand the ministries in organising a staged, gradual reform of prices.40

In marked contrast V. I. Perov complained that the USSR had nothingcomparable to the Balcerowicz plan in Poland to deal with the crisis. Hecondemned attempts to realise reform through command methods from thecentre. It was necessary to create horizontal linkages in the economy, toproceed with price reform and the demonopolisation of the economy.41

Conservatives attacked Ryzhkov's policy of price increases. S. I.Gurenko, first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, defended therepublican party's decision to block the Council of Minister's proposals forprice increases in May 1990. He condemned the centre's failure to consultthe republican leadership over economic reform. The social interests ofthe people had to be protected in the transition to a market economy. Todisregard the workers' movement, particularly the Ukrainian coalminers,posed the greatest danger to the CPSU.42 Ivan Polozkov, the newly-electedRussian party leader, emphasised the defence of living standards andthe strengthening of discipline.43 Efrem Sokolov, first secretary of theBelorussian Communist Party, argued that a regulated market mechanismwas acceptable only if it was introduced 'exclusively in the interests of thepeople, and not at their expense'.44

Boris El'tsin combined insistence on rapid and radical reform with rejec-tion of Ryzhkov's proposed price increases. He accused party conservativesof waging an offensive against economic reform, and at the same timedemanded 'an economic programme for getting out of the crisis that doesnot involve deceiving the people or putting an additional burden on them'.But what that reform programme amounted to remained elusive.45

Abalkin argued that the idea that reform could be achieved painlesslywas a delusion: the government's task was to minimise the social costs.He rejected Maslyukov's view that economic reform was possible whilstmaintaining administrative control over price formation. There were twooptions, either to allow the government to set higher prices and com-pensate the population for loss of income, or to decontrol prices andlet them find their level. The first option was the just solution, andprovided hope of economic reform without unendurable social sufferingand convulsions.46

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Ryzhkov on July 11 announced that he and Gorbachev now saw eye-to-eye on economic reform, accepting that it was impossible to proceed to amarket economy by price reform alone.47 But what measures were to betaken to bring supply and demand into balance in the absence of pricereform remained entirely unclear.

3. Workers and Consumers

Delegates voiced great concern regarding the deterioration in the economicsituation: the empty shops, the comprehensive shortages, the mounting'economic chaos'.48 Alarm was expressed by factory directors, factoryparty secretaries and ordinary workers at the break down of labourdiscipline, and the problem of supply discontinuities, with calls for thegovernment to reestablish order.49 Strong resentment was voiced againstthe exploitative private cooperatives which were benefitting from thisdisorder.50 Underinvestment in education and social ameneties drew thefire of other delegates.51

The defence of living and working conditions of ordinary people wasa theme in the speeches both of reformers such as Yurii Prokof'ev, theMoscow party secretary, and of conservatives such as Central Committeesecretary Oleg Baklanov.52 The threat which radical economic reformposed to employment security and subsidised food and housing compelledthe radicals to soft pedal the issue. On this matter the party conservativescould make common cause with the worker delegates.

The pro-reform A. P. Biryukova, candidate member of the Politburo withspecial responsibility for light industry, urged large-scale expansion of theconsumer goods industry. She welcomed speedy transfer to a 'regulatedmarket', but rejected the idea of shock therapy. She condemned the'stereotyped technocratic thinking' among party officials and others whoreckoned social questions to be of secondary importance. In an evidentdig at El'tsin, she also criticised the dishonesty of those who claimed thatthe transition to a market economy could be 'completely painless'. Thiswas politically dangerous, fostering illusions and provoking resistance toreform.The Council of Ministers' Bureau of Social Development, whichshe chaired, was preparing a series of 'social safeguards' to protect thepopulation from 'the rising cost of living, unemployment and other possiblenegative consequences of market relations'.53

The trade unions, Yanaev (chairman of VTsSPS) argued, supportedtransfer to a market economy. However, they should choose the variant'least harmful to the workers'; rejecting the idea of 'shock therapy' andinsisting on strong social safeguards. He argued for a partnership of equals

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between the party and the trade unions, and warned of attempts by 'all kindsof anti-communist forces' to penetrate the workers' movement54

The precarious position of the party was underlined by the token politicalstrike of coalminers on July 11. Worker delegates warned of the dangerof the party losing its working class base and of workers forming theirown party.55 Gorbachev appealed for restraint in a television interviewon July 4, and renewed the appeal in a meeting with worker delegatesfour days later. An appeal for restraint was issued by delegates from thecoalmining regions, which stressed that 'a policy of duress and ultimatacould lead to the collapse of the country's economy and adversely effectperestroika and the standard of living of the people'.56

4. The Defence Industries and Conversion

Gorbachev traced one of the principal roots of the country' s economic crisisto the crippling burden of military expenditure on the civilan economy,which had threatened to turn the USSR into a 'second-rate state'. He hitout at 'the militarisation of the economy which devoured colossal - andthe best - material and intellectual resources' of the country. With theconversion of the defence branches their output of consumer goods hadincreased by 22 per cent from January to May 1990.57 Shevardnadze,minister of foreign affairs, defending the new thinking in Soviet foreignpolicy echoed Gorbachev's views. The USSR, he argued, needed adequatesufficient defence, 'But it's obvious that if we continue to spend one fourthof our budget on military expenditure, as we were doing before, we willruin the country once and for all.' The 'new thinking' would in the currentfive year plan yield a 'peace dividend' of 240-250 billion roubles.58

Lev Zaikov, Politburo member and secretary responsible for the defenceindustries, noted that in the mid-1980s 'Our country's economy was sag-ging under the exhausting burden of the arms race'.59 V.I.Perov welcomedconversion and stressed the need to preserve the technical and intellectualpotential of these industries for civilian production.60

In response to these criticisms and the more vehement attacks in thepress by supporters of the Democratic Platform on the 'military-industrialcomplex', the spokesmen from the military and the defence industrieswhilst not opposing conversion criticised the way it was carried out,stressed the need for care in its realisation and warned against over-highexpectations.

Dimitrii Yazov, Minister of Defence, accepted that cuts in defenceexpenditure were necessary given the parlous state of the economy, butinsisted that they had to be carried out with care, emphasising the need for

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technically more sophisticated equipment since the military threat to theSoviet Union remained. Under the conversion programme, the proportionof civilian output in the defence branches of industry would increase from40 per cent in 1989 to 60 per cent in 1995. Conversion embraced 400enterprises in the defence complex and 100 civilian plants which producedmilitary equipment From 1988 to 1995 the production of civilian outputwould increase to a total of more than 110 billion roubles.61

B. M. Belousov, minister of the USSR Defence Industries, complainedthat these industries had been used recklessly as a 'testing ground' for anumber of 'controversial economic conceptions'. He blamed the econo-my's lamentable state not on excessive military spending but on mis-management and incompetence in implementing the reform programme.The defence industries were the victims of the constant reorganisation ofmanagement structures. The RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies soughtthe transfer of enterprises from the USSR Ministry of Defence Industryto Union-republican jurisdiction. It was necessary to stem the flight ofskilled workers from the defence industry, and to retain its high technologycapacity.62

A more outspoken defence of military interests was made by OlegBaklanov, secretary of the Central Committee responsible for the defenceindustries. He dismissed as myths the assertions that the defence complexdevoured large amounts of money, that it produced little for the nationaleconomy, and that conversion was the only thing which could save thecountry. The industrial potential of the defence branches was only 6.4 percent of the country's total production potential (measured in terms of fixedcapital): 'Further conversion I believe, should depend on fitting measuresin response being taken abroad.'63

5. Agriculture

The debate on agricultural policy exposed a deep rift between Gorbachevand Ligachev. The failure to implement the March 1989 Central Committeeresolution on agriculture, particularly the decision on the leasing of land tothe peasants, was blamed on bureaucratic obstruction, notably by the partycommission on agrarian policy, headed by Ligachev.

Gorbachev in his keynote speech declared that the party had returned'to the basic Leninist understanding of the agrarian question'. Whilstagricultural output had increased the situation remained unsatisfactory.The March (1989) Central Committee plenum resolution and the Lawon Land, authorising the leasing of land to peasant farmers, was beingobstructed at central, republican and local level. If new incentives for

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peasant labour were not introduced, if their economic position was notimproved, if they did not become the true masters of the land - furtherinvestment would be to no avail. The peasants as a consequence of'depeasantising', had lost initiative, had been alienated from the land andthe means of production, and had become accustomed to receiving wagesregardless of results. Workers in agriculture adopted 'a critical, harsh andcategorical attitude' to the situation.64

The countryside, Gorbachev warned, needed 'serious measures' toimprove social amenities and to strengthen its 'material technical base'.The Congress had to ensure 'powerful financial and material support'for the countryside. However, he rejected additional budget allocationsto agriculture, but instead urged new policies of equivalent exchange inprices between town and countryside; the setting of economic and socialpriorities which favoured the countryside and the agro-industrial complexas a whole; by demonopolising the farm-machinery industry and producingmachinery that met the needs of different types of farming. The USSRSupreme Soviet had to introduce appropriate legislation. 'Society shouldcome to the aid of the countryside'. 'No other branch of the nationaleconomy,' he argued, was so critically in need of 'economic freedom, ofa true market environment.'

Whilst strongly advocating the leasing of land, Gorbachev insisted thatthere would be no 'total decollectivisation' of agriculture; the socialisedsector would 'remain an organic part of the Soviet countryside as itundergoes renewal'. The efficient sovkhozy and kolkhozy would survive,but (hose which lived off state subsidies would have to 'undergo funda-mental transformation'. He rejected 'total conversion to leasing', on themistaken and costly model of 'total collectivisation', or the setting oftargets for leasing. The Presidential Council was to consider the progressof the reform in the immediate future.

The food problem, Ryzhkov reported, remained critical, despite therepeated endeavours of the Central Committee. The average annualgrowth rate of agricultural output fell from 2.6 per cent in 1984-86,to 1.5 per cent in 1987-89. The population's demands for foodstuffswas unsatified. According to one estimate it amounted to almost 50billion roubles, which equalled one-third of the foodstuffs producedin the country. One-sixth of the foodstuffs sold through state andcooperative trade was imported. Ryzhkov blamed the problems primar-ily on deformations in economic management, non-equivalent exchangebetween town and countryside, and the lag in the social development ofthe countryside. "The countryside should be the core of our economicpolicy'. This was a 'top priority task', requiring 'radical steps'.65

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Ligachev, chairman of the Central Committee's Commission onAgriculture, took a sharply different view. He claimed that sincethe March 1989 Central Committee plenum on agriculture, variousmeasures had been taken to improve the position of the agriculturalsector. The party's agricultural policy was basically correct, despitethe severe criticism. Whilst agricultural production had increased, thefood supply situation had worsened. This he blamed on the lackof material, and on technical resources and scientific support. Thesituation was compounded by the slump in industrial production, whichexacerbated the deficit of goods supplied to the countryside. In 1989,some 800,000 workers left the land - the highest figure for any post-war year - but with no compensatory increase in agricultural assets.

Soviet agriculture's problems, Ligachev argued, citing data from theUkrainian Institute of Economics, stemmed primarily from under-invest-ment and decades of past neglect. As head of the party's AgrarianCommission he had failed to convince the government and the SupremeSoviet of the need to give priority to the countryside. He proposed thatthe existing figure of annual investment in agriculture of 51,000 millionroubles be doubled to 100,000 million roubles. He was opposed to givingsubsidies indiscriminately, stressing that the 'main thing' was paritybetween industrial and agricultural prices, and selective investment in theagro-industrial complex. Changes in ownership would produce little with-out additional investment. He urged the development of rural cooperatives'on the basis of public ownership' and remained opposed to the extensionof private property rights. He welcomed the establishment of the PeasantUnion as a body which could defend the interests of the peasantry. Peasantsshould be allowed voluntarily to decide on the forms of economic manage-ment they preferred-whether state, collective or independent holdings.66

Ligachev's call for large increases in investment in agriculture drew asharp reaction. Pavel Gutionov in Izvestiya depicted Ligachev as the 'mainprotector' of collective farms from 'leaseholders and private fanners', anddeclared 'the delegates were amazed at the proposal by the agrariancommission, headed by Ligachev, to double investments in the agriculturalcomplex (why double them, why not increase them seven times or 1.3times?)'.67

A. A. Porutchikov, a sovkhoz director, followed Ligachev's line. In ascathing attack on 'radicals' and 'liberals', which won enthusiastic applause(see Chapter 2) he derided radical schemes for the decoUectivisation ofagriculture, which, he argued, commanded little support in the countryside.The radicals regarded the countryside as 'a huge milch cow grazingsomewhere in the foggy distance that only needs to be milked on time,

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and it will provide cream for the table'. Agriculture was 'exhaustedand enfeebled', and needed 'real economic concern' not just 'one-shoteconomic injections'. Investment in social amenities and new technologycould not be funded by 'the own resources method'. State and collectivefarm workers, the victims of 'depeasantising', supported the renewal ofthe party, distrusted other political forces which promised a 'new' socialsystem. Rural communists were doing all in their powers to save thesituation. The peasantry had had enough, and, he prophesied, a protestwas coming to a head.68

Impatience with government policy was also voiced by V. A.Starodubtsev, a kolkhoz chairman and chairman of the 'Peasant UnionUSSR', who complained that Politburo members' reports did not trulyreflected the situation in the countryside. He demanded increased invest-ment to redress decades of neglect. In 1990 there would be an excellentharvest, but as much as one-third would be lost. Since 1965 agriculture hadbeen considered 21 times at meetings of the Central Committee, there hadbeen 86 party and government decrees on the subject, but all to no avail.He was amongst those who called for equivalent exchange between townand countryside.69

Other delegates were equally forthright, condemning the ignorance ofagricultural matters at the highest level of leadership70, failure by theleadership to take a clear line on leasing,71 and the inability to deal withthe extortionate terms of trade which industrial enterprises were imposingon agriculture.72 Gurenko (Ukraine) urged that the position of agriculturebe improved, and that the CPSU's position with the peasantry be strength-ened.73 Sokolov (Belorussia) argued for equivalent exchange betweenindustry and agriculture, to safeguard the interests of his republic.

Summarising the debate Gorbachev distinguished between two principaltendencies on the agrarian question - the radicals who favoured leasingand decontrol, and the conservatives who emphasised the need for greaterstate investment in the rural sector. The government's policy, he declared,was threefold - full freedom and equality for all forms of economy in thecountryside on the basis of free choice; equivalent exchange in industrialand agricultural prices; and investment in rural social amenities. Hehotly rejected the charge that he was indifferent to the plight of thecountryside.74

Ryzhkov refused to give any undertaking regarding future investmentin agriculture, but indicated plans to increase investment in rural socialamenities, stressing that this inevitably entailed cut backs in other sec-tors. He reported also that during the 1990 harvest 7 million tonnesof petroleum earmarked for export was to be diverted to agriculture.

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The debts of the collective and state farms were also to be writtenoff.75

6. The All-Union Market

Economic reform was closely bound to the question of centre-repubbcanrelations. Gorbachev's keynote speech noted an alarming tendency towards'economic isolation', the breakup of existing inter-regional economic tiesand their conversion to barter. These tendencies were fed by separatistsaspirations, and nationalist circles. The proposed new Union Treaty hadto define the economic rights of the republics 'within the single national-economic complex'. Enterprises had to be given maximum independence- the diktat of all-union ministries should not be replaced by the diktat ofrepublican ministries.76

Ryzhkov, his economic reform having been rebuffed by the RSFSR,Ukrainian and Belrorussia parliaments, stressed greater consultation withthe republics on economic-social questions. Economic separatism and thecreation of self-contained republican markets, he warned, posed as greata danger to the country as political separatism. Only an all-union marketwould allow integration and the full development of the potential of therepublics. He urged greater involvement of public-political movements ingovernment, to make it a 'government of public consent' .77

Maslyukov, chairman of Gosplan, stressed that in the transition to amarket economy Gosplan USSR had still a role to play ensuring thepreservation of the USSR as a 'Union of sovereign republics', regulatingthe most important inter-republican contacts, forming an all-union marketas the basis of the country's economy, securing the interests of all republicsand preventing imbalances so as to avoid 'economic disintegration andsocial convulsions'. In drafting the plans for 1991 centralised planningmethods would be necessary as part of the regulated market economyto avoid the 'ungoverned rupture' of established ties which would leavethousands of producers and consumers without partners.78

G. I. Usmanov, party Secretary, in his report to the section on Nation-alities Policy, warned of the real danger that under an unfettered marketeconomy 'the gap between the more and less developed regions willincrease and that economic inequality will inevitably intensify contradic-tions between nationalities'. The stress had to be placed on a regulatedmarket economy, providing social safeguards, in accordance with the'spirit of our social system'.79 These concerns were taken up by the partysecretaries from the more backward republics of Soviet Central Asia (seeChapter 4).

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7. The Economy and Ecology

Gorbachev blamed the command-administrative system of rule inheritedfrom the past for the 'dramatic', 'downright critical' situation with regardto environmental degradation. Over 100 cities were classed as 'disasterzones', over 1,000 enterprises had had to be shut down. There was thedrama of Lake Baikal, the Aral Sea, Lake Ladoga, the Sea of Azov,Chernobyl, railway and gas pipeline disasters and the flooding of millionsof hectares of fertile land for power engineering projects. In the futureenterprises were to be held responsible for pollution, the powers of unionrepublics and local authorities were to be strengthened, and strict state andpublic supervision established. This required control through taxes, interestrates, benefits and sanctions - 'not through crude administrative pressures'.Coordinated action to protect the environment should be included in thenew Union Treaty.80

Republican party first secretaries took up the ecological issue. Sokolov(Belorussia) and Gurenko (Ukraine) criticised the central government'sresponse to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, severely censured themishandling of the situation, condemned the bureaucracy and complacencyof the USSR Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defence.81 V. L.Yurchenkova, a school director from Gomel, described Chernobyl as a'national disaster', which had seriously impaired the health of children inBelorussia.82

Karimov (Uzbekistan) and Nazarbaev (Kazakhstan) spoke of the eco-logical disaster in the Aral Sea region which required central assistance forits resolution.83 Nazarbaev also raised the question of the possible closureon health grounds of the military's nuclear testing site at Semipalatinsk.84

V. S. Belousov, from Semipalatinsk, delivered an impassioned plea for thesite to be closed.85 G. A. Pershin, from Siberia, deplored the plundering ofthe regions natural resources by Moscow-based ministries.86

The Congress established commissions to prepare resolutions on dealingwith the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the situation inthe Aral Sea area and the measures taken to deal with the Armenianearthquake.87

8. The Ideology of Economic Reform

Underlying the debate on economic reform lay profound ideologicaldifferences between radicals, reformers, conservatives, and the minorityMarxist Platform. Gorbachev steered a middle course, urging the party toface the need for a new model for the economy:

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a mixed economy, with diversified forms of ownership and economicmanagement and up-to date market infrastructure. This will open upscope for people's business activity and initiative and create power-ful new incentives for fruitful labour and growth in the economy'sefficiency.

Gorbachev delivered a paean of praise to the market. The market wasnot an end in itself but a means to raise economic efficiency, improveliving standards, and give the economy a greater 'social orientation'. Thetransition to the market had to be controlled. The market did not providethe framework for promoting scientific and technical development, dealingwith ecological problems or securing individual and employment rights.

These measures, Gorbachev argued, were compatible with socialism.There was no basis for exploitation or the reestablishment of a 'bourgeoissystem'. It was important to guard against property differentiation insociety - 'we are resolutely against stratification based on unearnedincome or illegal privileges'. 'Here by moving toward a market we aremoving not away from socialism but toward a fuller realisation of society'spossibilities'. He categorically rejected the restoration of capitalism; 'Icannot conceive myself, and I shall never be linked with those who urgeour country on to the path of restoring capitalist ways.'88

Vladimir Ivashko, the Ukrainian party secretary who was electedGorbachev's deputy by the Congress, also spoke against the sale of privateproperty to capitalists and stressed that reform should be 'gradual'.89

The conservative position was outlined by Ligachev in reply to delegatesquestions. 'I want to say once again that I am against private property, forI am sure it will set us back both politically and socially. I am resolutelyagainst mass unemployment, and I would like to repeat once again, letwhoever is pushing the country toward a free-market relations be the firstof the Soviet unemployed.'90 At the same time he urged strengtheninglabour discipline, citing the positive experience of 1983 under Andropov'sleadership, which had boosted output.

Ligachev argued for rural production cooperatives 'on the basis of publicownership'. 'Public ownership unites people's interests, while private own-ership separates them, and, beyond question, divides them into social strata'.Restructuring should make 'the fullest use of the potential of socialism'.'Does the sale of enterprises to private hands really promote the disclosureof the possibilities inherent in the socialist system? Of course not. Nor amI convinced by the introduction of the new category "labour-based privateownership" as apparently the latest achievement of present-day theoreticalthought'.91

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A conservative note was also struck by Kryuchkov, chairman of theKGB, who noted the negative aspects of economic reform which rancounter to socialist ideals-the growth of the 'shadow economy', therise of 'property-based stratification', and the emergence of 'a wholestratum of millionaires'. He stressed the KGB's role in dealing withthe black economy and the growth of organised crime (mafia). Strategicraw materials, precious metals and works of art worth tens of millions ofroubles were being illegally exported. Connected with this was the roleof the cooperative sector. Unless these trends were checked their childrenmight have to institute their own version of the October revolution.92

Kryuchkov was backed up by V. Yakovlev, Minister of Justice, whoargued for a market regulated by law, a fair market, not a speculators'market.93 A. V. Vlasov stressed that the party in directing economicpolicy should pay 'serious attention' to Marxist-Leninist theory, andrebut 'opportunistic theories', such as the theory 'of alleged spontaneousmovements towards socialism'.94 Similarly Masaliev, first secretary ofKirgizia, warned that ordinary workers would not be beneficiaries of thepolicy of selling enterprises, the leasing of land or of multi-faceted typesof ownership.95 A. P. Rubiks, first secretary of the Latvian CommunistParty, noted that in his republic government officials were seeking to gainlegal rights of property over state assets which were being privatised.96

The reformer Abalkin was jeered and booed by the delegates whenhe declared that the USSR had never been socialist. There was, heinsisted, 'no other choice but a changeover to a market economy'. Itwas necessary to cast aside 'dogmas and myths' associated with thecommand-administrative system which were acquiring the status of 'massprejudices'. The task of the party was still to build socialism, but therewere different models of socialism which it could adopt.97

The XXVIII Congress was notable for the presentation of alternativeplatforms by the Marxist Platform, the Initiative Group and the DemocraticPlatform.

A. V. Buzgalin, an associate professor of economics from Moscow StateUniversity and a supporter of the Marxist Platform, delivered a witheringattack on the direction of economic policy. The new stratum of les-sees, stockholders and businessmen would be recruited from amongst the'wheeler-dealers' of the shadow economy and from party-state bureaucratswho would exchange 'power for ownership'. The labour collective wouldremain powerless. He proposed the destatisation and debureaucratisation ofownership through democratic self-management by the labour collectives.This would revive 'public ownership', and prove its superiority over privateownership. If they failed in this the private businessman would win. If the

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party could 'establish power for the labour collective' then 'no decision atany level will drive us out of the enterprises'.98

A similar line was taken by A. A. Sergeev, from the Shvernik HigherSchool of the Trade Unions, and a delegate of the Initiative Congress. Hewarned of an 'ultra-right, radical pro-bourgeois trend in our socio-politicallife', based on an alliance of apparatchiki and underground capitalistsof the black economy. Social differentiation was increasing, creating astratum of 'super-rich people'. These pressures would strip perestroikaof any socialist content. He stressed adherence to Marxism-Leninism,denounced the 'openly pro-capitalist platform' of the Democratic Union.He rejected the deideologisation and depoliticisation of the economyproposed by the Inter-Regional Group of Deputies; a trap into whichboth El'tsin and Ryzhkov were in danger of falling. Economic policyshould be based on 'the material socialisation of production', which wasa global phenomenon, and one which corresponded with 'the collectivistessence of mass Soviet consciousness' which had been shaped overcenturies. Incompatible proposals purveyed by the media, monopolisedby 'right-radical forces', he predicted would provoke a mass reaction inthe direction of a 'choice appropriate to October'.99

The radical V. N. Shostakovskii, for the Democratic Platform, vigor-ously defended the market, private enterprise and a mixed economy.The old order was a system of control - 'a system of social Chernobyland of total control', which crippled initiative and fostered mismanage-ment. Moreover, Marxism had gravely underestimated 'the profoundlycreative content of peasant's labour'. It was necessary, Shostakovskiiargued, to sacrifice 'sacred ideological cows' and repudiate Marxist shib-boleths:

For me, there is one criterion of a system's socialist nature: people'swell-being and freedom. The forms of ownership make absolutely nodifference. What is important is something else - how these forms ofownership are used and how they work for people's interests, theirgeneral social feeling and the prosperity of society.100

Vladimir Zyukin, first secretary of the Komsomol, and a reformer, tooksharp issue with Buzgalin's Marxist standpoint that the party should remainin the enterprises come what may. Those who took the view 'we'll diebefore we leave' were short-sighted. The shift towards a market economyand a multi-party system would make the existing situation untenable:the retention of party cells in the enterprises made no sense in thesecircumstances.101

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9. The Soviet Economy and the World

Gorbachev stressed that improvements in the Soviet economy dependedon its integration into the international division of labour. Enterprises,republics and regions had been given more freedom to operate on the worldmarket as a means of modernising industry and gaining access to foreigntechnology. He urged faster movement towards rouble convertibility inorder to stimulate exports, to restrict the growth of imports, to attractforeign capital and to check the burgeoning foreign debt The USSR wasexpanding its ties with capitalist countries, transferring to world prices andhard-currency transcations in trade with the member countries of CMEA,and was reappraising its relations with the Third World.102

For Shevardnadze the Soviet Union had to find for itself a 'place amongthe centres of economic power' in the world. The USSR had to abandonits 'self-isolation' from the world. In the conditions of 'technologicalrevolution' no country - not even the USA, Japan or Europe - couldpursue a course of self-sufficiency.103

In marked contrast O. D. Baklanov, expressed little enthusiasm forthe prospects which a transition to a regulated market economy offeredthe USSR within the world economic system. Of 100 countries whichprofessed to have market economies only 10 to 15 could be called rich,many of the others dragged out a 'miserable existence'.104

Buzgalin of the Marxist Platform warned of the consequences of theimpact of the world market on the Soviet economy:

What will we get in that event? In the best case we'll get an India, wherethere are nuclear missile complexes and hundreds of millions of peoplewho are semi-destitute, even by our Soviet standards. But there is alsothe threat of a Pinochet-style dictatorship, where the American adviserFriedman will develop the ideas of private enterprise and a free marketunder the patronage of new bloody dictators.105

A. A. Sergeev warned against the leasing of enterprises to foreign capital-ists and the establishment of free economic zones in the scramble to attractforeign capital. This would transform the USSR into a comprador economy,a 'semi-colony of the more developed capitalist states', reducing it to theposition of a 'robbed beggar'.106

The debate assumed a new significance as a result of the meeting ofthe leaders of the Group of Seven at Houston on July 9-10 which offeredtechnical and economic aid to the USSR.107 The radical economist NikolaiShmelev in Moscow News urged the leadership to seize this opportunity,

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without bowing to political demands, to break out of economic autarchy.Without 'urgent foreign aid' it would be impossible to drag the economyout of its 'coma', to quickly 'escape from this lunatic asylum in which westill live'.108

Gorbachev, in his closing speech to the Congress, welcomed the resultof the Houston summit as evidence that the USSR's attempt to overcome'self-isolation' and achieve integration in the world economy was meetinga positive response. They were anxious for mutually advantageous coopera-tion, but were not supplicants and they could not acccept political strings tobe attached to such cooperation.109


The sensitivity of economic reform was reflected in the wrangles overthe commissions set up to draft the main economic resolutions. Thesection on the party's economic policy had the reference to a regulatedmarket economy stricken from its title. Ryzhkov was named to head thecommission. Ligachev, after a contested election, became chairman of thecommission on agriculture.u0 S. I. Gurenko reported to the Congress on thework on the section 'Social-economic policy' that the majority of delegateswho attended the section had expressed support for a transfer to marketrelations - although he stressed that this was not the unanimous view.111

The resolution 'Concerning the policy of the CPSU in implementingeconomic reform and the transition to market relations' noted the wors-ening economic situation, decline in living standards, and the collapse(raspad) of the consumer market, which was undermining the people'sconfidence in perestroika. The resolution rejected either a return to theadministrative-command system or 'an immediate rapid denationalisation'of the means of production as counter to the values of socialism, whichwould neither yield effective results nor safeguard the interests of thepeople. Radical economic reform, the resolution argued, lay in the directionof 'socialist choice', transfer to market relations, to a system based onthe principle 'from each according to his ability, to each according tothe results of his work'. In this process the state had to protect livingstandards, especially of the weaker groups in the society. The state hadto provide guaranteed pensions, housing, health, education and culturalservices. The economic system was to be based on the legal equality ofall forms of ownership and management, 'excluding the exploitation ofman by man'. The Congress urged development of an all-union marketrecognising the economic rights and sovereignty of the republics on the

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basis of the new Union Treaty. The resolution endorsed the decision ofthe II Congress of People's Deputies and the USSR Supreme Soviet oftransition to a 'regulated market economy', including measures to securesocial-economic stability in the country. Communists were to assist in thetransition to market relations. The 'most important tasks for the party' wasto explain to the people the necessity and benefits - economic and political- of switching to a regulated market economy. Communists had to assist inthese developments.112

This resolution was not approved without dissent. V. Tyulkin, one ofthe leaders of the Initiative Congress of the RSFSR Communist Party,argued that any movement towards the market represented a slide towardscapitalist restoration and warned the reformers that if these measures werepersisted with they 'should be prepared for possible collisions', meaningan upsurge of popular opposition. Tyulkin's statement was put to the voteand received the support of 1,259 delegates.113

In the section of 'Agrarian Policy of the CPSU' delegates reportedthat 'stormy disputes' were flaring up in the localities between the advo-cates of collective farming and leasing. Contrary to Gorbachev's asser-tion that nobody was advocating full leasing of agricultural land, thiswas precisely what was being advanced in Latvia.114 The report tothe Congress was presented by V. A. Starodubtsev, who traced thecrisis in agriculture back to collectivisation. The situation in terms ofexchange between industry and agriculture, in prices and volume ofgoods, was deteriorating. Reflecting a widespread view amongst thedelegates he stressed that the XIII Five-Year Plan should be devotedto the 'revival of the countryside' and to improving the lot of thepeasantry.115

The resolution 'Concerning the position of the peasantry and the reali-sation of the agrarian policy of the CPSU' reaffirmed the policy laiddown at the March (1989) Central Committee plenum. The resolutionacknowledged full independence and equality for kolkhozes, sovkhozes,private land, and leased land. The peasants had to be rewarded in accord-ance with their labour. State investment in agriculture and social amen-ities had to be increased - in the thirteenth five-year plan beginning in1991. Special programmes were needed for the Non-Black Earth regionof Russia. Special food producing zones were to be set up in largetowns and industrial centres. Transfer to the market required the obser-vation of strict equivalent exchange between industrial and agriculturalgoods.116

The resolution on the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blamedthe disaster on the failures of the country's leadership in working out

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an adequate nuclear power policy 'in the conditions of the command-administrative system'. It deplored the 'arrogance and irresponsible atti-tude' of eminent scientists and heads of ministries and departments whohad been involved in this work. It criticised the party and governmentleadership in the Ukraine and Belorussia for failing to take adequatemeasures to deal with the disaster.

The conservative influence in the Congress was underlined by com-promise character of the resolutions adopted and the difficulties whichGorbachev encountered in gaining the support of delegates to elect radicalreformers, such as the economists Abalkin, Shatalin and Bunich, to theCentral Committee (see Chapter 2).


The XXVIII Congress offered no fundamental change in economic policybut provided a forum for outlining already well denned positions by thevarious tendencies in the party. Already prior to the Congress the terms ofthe debate had shifted, reflected in the influence of the various tendencies,with the debate focusing increasingly on the rival options advocated by themoderate reformers, such as Ryzhkov, and the proposals of the radicalssuch as the Democratic Platform within the CPSU, and radical economists,and deputies in the union and republican parliaments. In the Congress itselfthe conservative tendency, represented by Ligachev, remained strongly inevidence, as did the small 'leftist' current, represented by the MarxistPlatform. The Congress resolutions marked a compromise between themoderate reformers and the conservatives.

Opposition to a full-blooded market economy was expressed by a diver-sity of interests - by representatives of the 'military-industrial complex',regional lobbies (Kazakhstan and Central Asia), agricultural spokesmen,and the advocates of social welfare programmes and state subsidiesaimed at protecting the living standards of the working population. Theconservative tendency lacked cohesion and common purpose, and withthe deterioration in the economic situation the pressure for more radicalmeasures increased. The failure of the centre to impose a successfulreform programme meant that restructuring of the economy proceededincreasingly on the basis of local initiatives.

Following the Congress the terms of the debate shifted further towardsthe radical position. In the drafting of a comprehensive reform programmefor presentation to the Supreme Soviet Ryzhkov's stabilisation strategy waschallenged by the far reaching proposals of Shatalin. For those committed

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to a radical programme the problem of opposition from political conserva-tives, bureaucratic and managerial interests remained a real danger. Againstthe background of a deteriorating economic system and the threat of socialunrest the pressure for Gorbachev to embrace a strategy of 'authoritarianmodernisation', as described by Gordon and Nazimova (see Introduction),continued to mount.

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4 Nationalities PolicyE. A. Rees

The development of the CPSU's nationalities policy and the related ques-tion of centre-republican and inter-republican relations occupied centrestage in the debates of the XXVin Congress. At the heart of the disputelay the question of the fate of the USSR and the CPSU. The debateraised fundamental political and constitutional questions, unvoiced sincethe formation of the USSR in 1922. The discussion highlighted thetensions not only within the central leadership regarding policy towardsthe nationalities question, but also the tension between the central andthe republican party leadership - of mutual recriminations, attribution ofblame for the crisis, and discussion of future responsibilities. The choicesfacing the USSR and the CPSU lies between a combination of options: (a)preserving the existing unitary structures; (b) the devolution of power in thedirection of a new federal system; and (c) a loose association of parties andstates within a radically new confederal system. Beyond these options liesthe possibility of the USSR's fragmentation and the secession of republicsas wholly independent states, or 'as in the case of Moldavia' merger withanother existing state.


With the development after 1985 of democratisation and glasnost thenationalities question was thrust to the fore as one of the principal issuesfacing the leadership. Powerful national fronts emerged in the Baltic, theTranscaucasian republics, the Ukraine and Moldavia. In Lithuania thecommunist party was ousted from power by the nationalist movementSajudis. Moves towards greater republican autonomy followed in otherrepublics - notably in the Ukraine, where the powerful nationalist currentwas led by Rukh. In the Transcaucasus inter-ethnic violence exploded,sparked off by the rival constitutional claims of Azerbaidzhan and Armeniaover Nagorno-Karabakh. Serious inter-ethnic tensions within republics -in Georgia, Uzbekistan and elsewhere - raised fundamental questionsconcerning the ability of the central leadership to manage these conflictsand to preserve the USSR as a viable union.


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The nationalist upsurge in the USSR was shaped by various factors.In part it was a response to the over-centralised state established inthe Stalinist era, and further fuelled by economic, social and politicalgrievances. The assertion of national identity by non-Russian peopleswas an attempt to preserve identity and language against the process ofRussification, which had occurred over several decades with the influx oflarge numbers of Russians into non-Russian republics (especially Latvia,Estonia, Moldavia and Kazakhstan).

The anti-communist revolutions which swept through Eastern Europein the last quarter of 1989 provided a strong catalyst to the nationalistmovement within the USSR. Close links were forged between nationalistmovements in the Baltic republics and the Ukraine and East Europeannationalist movements such as Solidarity in Poland and Civic Forum inCzechoslovakia. The upsurge of Moslem nationalism in the Middle Eastraised the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism developing in Azerbaidzhanand the Central Asian republics. Contrary to some expectations, however,the upsurge of nationalism - notably in Azerbaidzhan - on the wholeassumed more of the form of a secularised nationalist movement, butshaped also by a legacy of hatred towards non-Islamic peoples such asthe Armenians.

The strong anti-Russian aspects of nationalism in these republics fuelledan upsurge of Russian nationalism in the RSFSR. This became increasinglyevident in 1989, and reflected resentment against the supposed preferentialtreatment accorded by the centre to the non-Russian peoples. In the RSFSRRussian nationalism was strongly associated with the political Right, andinvolved a reassertion of Russian identity. At the extreme it includedpolitical movements with a strong anti-semitic current - as with thePamyat' group. Amongst the Russian nationalists one trend, representedin intellectual circles by the influence of Solzhenitsyn and others, was toreject the Russian empire, support a policy of Russians first, and abandonthe non-Russian peoples to their own fate. The majority tendency, however,insisted on preserving the territorial integrity of the USSR. This was theview of the RSFSR Writers' Union, the workers' councils, and conservativepublications such as Nash sovremennik, Molodaya gvardiya, and Moskva.This tendency was strengthened by concern regarding the fate of Russiansoutside the RSFSR, and by the campaigns of Russian nationals in the Balticrepublics to preserve the union.

The nationalist upsurge in the RSFSR and the non-Russian republicsembraced a diversity of currents - cultural, religious, social and ecological.Attempts to dismiss nationalist movements such as Rukh in the Ukraine asthe product of petty-bourgeois intellectuals, understated their capacity to

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mobilise considerable popular support. Rukh emerged as a real challengeto the Ukrainian Communist Party particularly in the western Ukraine. Thenationalist movement outside the RSFSR was generally anti-communistand anti-Russian to some degree, although in the Baltic republics and theUkraine many Russians lent their support to the local nationalist cause.

Towards a New Union Treaty

The changed situation since 1985 prompted a major reassessment ofpolicies. The old nationalities policy - based on the idea of the growingtogether (sblizhenie) of the various Soviet nationalities and their eventualfusion (sliyanie) into a unified Soviet nation - was abandoned. The formerconception of Soviet federalism - seen as in effect a facade for whatwas a unitary state - was severely criticised. Historical discussion of theSoviet-German non-aggression treaty of 1939 raised anew the question ofthe legality of the incorporation of the Baltic republics, western Belorussia,western Ukraine and Moldavia into the USSR (see Chapter 5). In Georgia,Armenia and Azerbaidzhan the circumstances of their incorporation intothe union in the early 1920s was also questioned.

The new respect for national identity and self-expression accorded underglasnost was combined with an attempt to reconstitute the USSR, outlinedin the 'CPSU Nationalities Platform' adopted by Central Committeeplenum of September 1989. This conceded that previously the republics*sovereignty was 'largely formal'. It proposed a 'completely new federation'and the construction of a 'common home for all Soviet peoples'. It referredto the 'Leninist principle of national self-determination', defined as 'acomplex, multi-layered process of the affirmation of national dignity, thestrengthening of political and economic autonomy, and the development oflanguage and culture . . . best expressed as self-management'.1 It proposedto create a new union, granting greater authority to the republics, anddevolving power from the CPSU to the republican communist parties.This would stop short of a federal solution, and the unity and integrityof the CPSU would be protected. The Central Committee approved theambiguous, if not directly contradictory formulation - a strong centre andstrong republics.

The Central Committee plenum in September 1989 elected A. N.Girenko as party secretary with responsibility for nationalities policy.The Central Committee set up its own Department (otdel) for NationalRelations; similar bodies were attached to the Central Committees of theunion republics, and to the obkoms. Within the department a special officewas created to assist party workers in the localities, publishing its own

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bulletin - 'National Relations in the USSR'. The party was compelled toseek the advice of research bodies including the Academy of Sciences, andparty bodies such as the Academy of the Social Sciences and the Institute ofMarxism-Leninism. Plans were announced for a new All-Union ScientificResearch Institute on National Relations. Party policy in this field wasincluded in the programme of action approved by the Politburo - 'Nationalpolicy of the party in contemporary conditions' .2

The question of drafting a new Union Treaty (soyuznyi dogovor), toreplace the treaty of 1922, had been raised already in 1988 by the Balticcommunist parties. Gorbachev even as late as the September 1989 CentralCommittee plenum was still resisting the idea.3 Events, however, were toforce him to recognise the necessity for a new Union Treaty as a means ofholding the USSR together.

The central leadership responded too little and too late, thus increasingpressure for more sweeping radical reform from a plethora of popularfronts and movements in the republics.4 The appointment of liberals tohead the communist parties in the Baltic republics proved a miscalculation,hastening their disintegration. The decision to democratise society and tohold elections to the all-union and republican parliaments in 1989 and1990 was implemented before a new Union Treaty, defining the rightsof the republics, was drawn up and before the question of the rights of therepublican communist parties was settled. This strengthened the positionof nationalist forces. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the republicancommunist parties split between reformers and conservatives, only thelatter remaining loyal to the CPSU. The base of support of these partieseroded away.

The situation was compounded by the massacre of Georgian nationalistdemonstrators in Tbilisi on April 9, 1989 by Soviet soldiers. A high levelcommission was set up to investigate the affair. The matter divided theleadership and precipitated the fall of Chebrikov, former head of the KGB,while Shevardnadze threatened to resign if the matter was covered up. Forradicals the military action was seen as a possible provocation to justifyand prepare for a crack down on nationalist dissent.5 The use of Soviettroops in Baku in January 1990 against the Popular Front of Azerbaidzhanled to further loss of life and further raised the temperature. However,the deployment of Soviet troops to halt the massacres of Armenians byAzeri extremists in Sumgait (February 1988) and Baku (January 1990)underlined the need for resolute measures to protect lives and property.

Soviet policy towards the union republics and the nationalities questiondeveloped against this evolving crisis. The formation of the anti-communistSajudis government in Lithuania, under president Landesbergis, dramatised

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the challenge to Moscow's authority. On January 11-13, 1990, Gorbachevas President visited Lithuania in a desperate bid to use bis personalauthority to sway public opinion in the republic against secession. Theappeal was rebuffed.6 On March 11, 1990, the Lithuanian parliament issuedits declaration of outright independence. Gorbachev's failure to bring therepublic back into the fold - in spite of presidential decrees, economicembargo and military sabre rattling - proved a damaging setback.

At the Central Committee plenum in February 1990 Gorbachev spoke forthe first time of 'the treaty principle of the Soviet federation'. A new UnionTreaty was urged by the first secretaries of the communist parties of Latvia,Estonia and Moldavia - Janis Vagris, Vaino Valjas and P. K. Luchinskii -and by Shevardnadze, in his capacity as Georgian spokesman.7

In March 1990 Gorbachev's election as President and the creation of anew Presidential Council represented a step to strengthen central control.In the Presidential Council G. I. Revenko, former first secretary of Kievoblast committee, was given the portfolio for the nationalities question.8

The new Council of the Federation, comprising the heads of the fifteenunion republics, was to advise the president on nationalities policy.

In the spring of 1990 the USSR Supreme Soviet passed a series of lawsdelimiting the powers of the central and republican governments, includinglaws on economic relations, on the languages of the peoples of the USSR,and on citizenship. The law of April 3 'On the Procedure for Dealing withMatters Connected with the Secession of a Union Republic from theUSSR' was designed to make secession difficult; the process involveda transition period of five years during which the republic concernedwould have to settle financial and other matters with other republics andthe USSR itself.9

Concessions to the nationalist and republican interests drew a strongconservative counter-reaction. Within the Congress of People's Deputiesa hard-line tendency was represented by 'Soyuz', headed by ColonelViktor Alksnis, a people's deputy from Riga, a young military officer,and a leading figure in the anti-nationalist Latvian 'Interfront'. Alksnisadvocated the maintenance of a centralised Soviet state, with Russian asthe state language, with a strong anny and KGB, and implacable oppositionto separatist, nationalist forces.10

The increasingly vocal demands from the republics for 'sovereignty'involved calls for self-government within the Union, with the republicsdeciding which powers they should delegate to the central governmentIn this sense 'sovereignty' fell short of the demands of Sajudis forindependence and secession. In 1990 Gorbachev was compelled to acceptthe principle of republican 'sovereignty'. Associated with the demand for

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republican 'sovereignty' went demands for 'autonomy' for republicancommunist parties.

The Estonian Supreme Soviet on 30 March suspended the Sovietconstitution within the republic, and the Latvian Supreme Soviet onMay 4 declared its sovereignty. A joint declaration by Baltic republicson cooperation directly challenged the integrity of the USSR. Thesedevelopments hastened the process of formulating a new Union Treaty.On June 12, 1990, Gorbachev presided at a meeting of the Council of theFederation, which set up a working group of representatives of the Unionrepublics to draft the treaty.11 On June 20 the working group met for itsfirst session.12 According to Anatolii Luk'yanov, chairman of the USSRSupreme Soviet, the new Union Treaty had to be agreed with the republicsbefore the autumn session of the USSR Supreme Soviet. The treaty, afterapproval by the republican Supreme Soviets, would be finally adopted bythe Congress of People's Deputies USSR.13

The leadership's position on the new Union Treaty was outlined by A.Maslennikov, Gorbachev's press secretary, following the decision to setup the working party. Maslennikov asserted that the participants at thesession had agreed that the republics should delegate to the centre controlover foreign policy, defence, diplomacy and some spheres of economicactivity, particularly finance. Revenko asserted that republics should enterthe Union either on a federal or confederal basis, or with special status, butstressed 'that we cannot form a "patch-work" state'; the new Union shouldbe formed on 'a single constitutional basis'. Another difficult questionconcerned the sovereign rights of the autonomous republics, oblasts andkrais at present located within the various union republics of the USSR- should they be signatories to the new treaty, and have similar rights,including rights of secession on a par with the union republics?14

At the conservative-dominated founding Congress of the RSFSR Com-munist Party in June 1990 Gorbachev stressed the need for 'a profoundreformulation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' with 'realsovereignty of the republic, whilst preserving for the centre that whichthe subjects of the federation delegated to this centre'. However, for theCPSU, by contrast, he advocated an unitary structure, declaring 'I am forthe unity of the CPSU, and against federalisation'.15

The party's position was increasingly eroded as more republican par-liaments issued declarations of sovereignty. The RSFSR Congress ofPeople's Deputies, under the chairmanship of Boris El'tsin, declared itssovereignty, with measures on economic sovereignty, self-administrationand self-finance. The RSFSR sought to establish its own governmentalstructures, and its own social-cultural institutions, and to expand its own

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press. The Uzbek Supreme Soviet followed with its own declaration ofsovereignty.

The USSR's fate is closely bound to the fate of the RSFSR, the Ukraineand Belorussia, the Slav core of the USSR. The RSFSR and the Ukrainerepresent the two largest, economically most developed republics. Attemptsby the USSR Council of Ministers to introduce price increases on July1, 1990, were blocked by the parliaments of the RSFSR, Ukraine andBelorussia (see Chapter 3). The growing power of the parliaments ofthe RSFSR and the Ukraine poses a direct challenge to the centre andto the republican communist parties. Proposals by the RSFSR SupremeSoviet to conclude separate treaties with other union republics, includ-ing the breakaway Baltic republics, and its threat to break the centralgovernment's economic embargo on Lithuania, further underlined thischallenge.16

The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet on July 16 issued its 'Declaration of StateSovereignty of Ukraine'. As with the RSFSR and Uzbekistan 'sovereignty'did not imply full independence, but the declaration went much furtherthan previous declarations, including control over its own armed forcesand internal security forces, Ukrainian citizenship, contact with otherstates - including treaties, diplomatic, trade and consular representation,and a statement on economic independence. The XXVJJI Congress of theUkrainian Communist Party on June 22 had earlier endorsed a more modestdeclaration of sovereignty.17

The process of political dissolution was accelerated by economic frag-mentation, encouraged by the introduction of 'regional khozraschef in1988. Republics and regions ignored their contractual obligations withthe central government and pursued quasi-autarkic policies. Localism(mestnichestvo) and inter-regional conflicts flourished. There were acri-monious disputes over central pricing policy, and the responsibility ofcentral ministries for the plundering of natural sources and environ-mental pollution. Within the RSFSR Tyumen demanded control of itsoil resources, Yakutiya of its coal, timber and diamonds. Already inFebruary 1990 the economist Bronshtein had envisaged the transfor-mation of the USSR into an economic entity akin to the EuropeanCommunity.18

On June 22-23 in Alma Ata a meeting of party and governmentleaders of Kazakhstan and the Central Asian republics concluded aninter-governmental agreement on political, economic, scientific-technicaland cultural cooperation. They expressed the 'unanimous' view that 'thecentre should have only those functions that the Union republics, as itssubjects, voluntarily delegate to it'.19

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Gorbachev's Central Committee report to the Congress dealt with thetwo interconnected issues - relations between nationalities, and centre-republican and inter-republican relations.20 Perestroika and glasnost, heaverred, had nurtured a positive rebirth of national consciousness, butcentral and local organs had been taken unawares by the nationalist andseparatist upsurge and had responded inadequately. This had strengthenedall kinds of 'destructive forces', including 'separatists, ranting nationalistsand corrupt elements'. There had been considerable loss of life, andthousands had been forced to leave their homelands.

Gorbachev advocated what he claimed to be the 'Leninist view' on thecharacter and nature of a 'Union as a voluntary association (ob'edinenie)of peoples, connected by general economic, political interests, by theirhistory'. A fundamental change was needed in centre-republican relations;'The transformation of our super-centralised state into a truly federalstate based on self-determination and the voluntary union of peoples hasbegun.' The new Union Treaty, defining the rights of the union republics,Gorbachev asserted, had to be drafted 'without delaying a single day'.He proposed a 'real Union of sovereign states' but also indicated that thepowers of the centre should be safeguarded.

The CPSU, Gorbachev argued, as an international organisation, createdby Lenin, performed the role of 'cementing the forces of our multi-nationalstate'. It was necessary to preserve the 'integrity of the CPSU' combinedwith 'maximum independence of the communist parties of union republicsand autonomous areas'. But he rejected the idea of a party federation or ofsecession from the CPSU - which in the experience of the Baltic republicshad led to their expulsion from power and opened the door to other politicalforces. Gorbachev welcomed the establishment of the RSFSR CommunistParty, whose founding Congress had approved a resolution to assist instrengthening the CPSU as an union of all republican parties, with equalrights to cooperate with communist parties of other republics. United thecommunists constituted a powerful force, and should not divide themselveson a nationalist basis.

Evgenii Primakov, candidate member of the Politburo, attributed thenationalities crisis to three blunders committed by the leadership: firstly,'democratisation in the society was not accompanied by democratisa-tion in the party on the proper scale'; secondly, the proper enforce-ment of law and order was neglected; and thirdly, regional economicaccounting had been introduced, which had exacerbated inter-regional ten-sions. Whilst advocating the 'radical democratisation of relations between

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nationalities', he stressed that secession should be made difficult. Itshould be preceded by a binding referendum, should take account of theviews of the non-indigenous population, and should include compensationfor central investment in the local economy and military infrastructure.He declared: 'And let's be frank: in the case of secession from theUSSR, an alternative to which is full sovereignty within the frame-work of the Union, with respect to this seceding state we will do onlythat which is advantageous to the Union, especially in the economicfield.'21

Ligachev only touched on the nationalities question in response toquestions from Congress delegates.22 His position was complicated bycriticism of his role in the Tbilisi affair in April 1989, and in the coverup of the scandal in Uzbekistan. Ligachev rejected a 'confederate' partyand argued for a united CPSU, with broad rights for the communist partiesof the union republics. The removal of the CPSU from the political arena,he warned, would fragment the Soviet federation, and posed the danger ofa bourgeois-capitalist restoration as had occurred in Lithuania and LatviaHe dismissed suggestions that an 'iron hand' solution was contemplatedby elements in the party, the army and society, condemning them as thespeculations of destructive forces. Ligachev favoured devolved powerwithin an unitary system. His sole aim, he insisted, was to secure theunity of the party and society:

With this aim they depict the so called conservative forces of the 'ironhand'. Yes there are such people. But again I repeat: the main dangerconsists above all in anti-socialist, nationalistic-separatist forces, whichsplit party organisations, which undermine the soviet federation, andrestore a bourgeois order in various republics.23

Those branded as conservatives were simply those who defended socialismand the party against those who sought to subvert it. He supportedperestroika, but reforms had to be thought out.

El'tsin in a swingeing attack on party conservatives demanded that thosewho had committed errors in dealing with the nationalities question shouldbe brought to trial. The USSR should be reconstituted as a federation ofsovereign states, reflected in the new Union Treaty. The new politicalstructure had to allow for free, voluntary political activity of the people;threats and intimidation would no longer work. Implicit in this concept ofvoluntary federalism lay also the acceptance of the right of the republics tosecede from the Union, and the formation of bilateral agreements betweenrepublics.24

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Vladimir Zyukin, first secretary of the Komsomol, took a similiar line.The recreation of the USSR as a union of sovereign states, he asserted,required that the CPSU itself be reorganised on a federal basis. Only thencould the republican parties become a real political force able to mobilisepublic support. The CPSU would retain its links with the republican parties,but the flow of influence would be reversed, flowing from the republicsto the centre. This would revitalise the CPSU, and, he insisted, need notexacerbate centrifugal tendencies. The draft party Statutes already includedelements of 'federal construction'. It was necessary to act promptly; theparty in time, he declared, would be compelled to adopt this solution.25

1. Centre-republican Relations

The policy of the leadership, whilst allowing greater independence to therepublics, also had its limits. Since 1988 the CPSU devolved some rightsover questions of organisation, cadres and finance to the republicanparties.26 However, central control through the CPSU, the governmentapparatus, the KGB and the military was to be retained.

For the Soviet military, the KGB and the MVD the rise of nationalistmovements in the republics posed serious problems. The bid by the Balticrepublics to secede raised question regarding the defence of the USSRand the integrity of the country's borders. The problem of maintainingorder within the USSR highlighted the domestic role of these agencies.The demands by republican Supreme Soviets to establish their own armedforces threatened the unity of the Soviet armed forces.

Minister of Defence D. T. Yazov voiced alarm at the large increase inthe number of army deserters. In Armenia and other republics the springdraft in 1990 had been undermined as a result of 'anti-communist acts'by the local authorities. Yazov noted also the serious effect of inter-ethnicconflict on the moral-psycholgical state and military preparedness of thearmy and navy. Arms and military equipment had been seized by unofficialnationalist formations. The army, he insisted, had to remain organised onan extra-territorial basis. Its task was to defend the socialist state andmaintain stability.27 N. I. Shlyaga, first deputy head of the party's MainPolitical Administration of the Soviet Army and Navy, echoed Yazov'sconcerns.28

Kryuchkov, chairman of the KGB and a member of the PolitburoCommission on Inter-Ethnic Relations, provided a sombre assessment ofthe situation, with parts of the country in a state of civil war. One of theKGB's prime responsibilities was the strengthening of the union of thesovereign republics. The 'Chekists' (KGB officials) were daily involved in

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combating the nationalist, separatist tide, and the killings and despoliationsassociated with i t The wave of crime parasitic on inter-ethnic tensions, theemergence of armed nationalist formations constituted a serious threat. Ifthe pogroms, massacres and intimidation were not quickly brought to anend it would have unpredictable consequences for the country.29

Even Primakov, from the pro-Gorbachev wing of the party leadership,admitted that one of its major failures was that it had not dealt withdisorder: 'The democratic process, which is absolutely necessary, cannotdevelop without leading to chaos unless it is accompanied by measures toprotect the law. The ungoverned development of democracy is especiallyunacceptable for our multi-national country, with its history and its dis-tinctive psychological traditions.'30 Girenko also stressed the importanceof the rule of law, and of checking organised crime that was parasitic onnational intolerance.31

2. The Political Standpoint of Republican Party Leaders

The republican first secretaries at the XXVIII Congress were forthe most part new men. The longest serving were K. Makhkamov(Tadzhikistan), A. M. Masaliev (Kirgizia), S. A. Niyazov (Turkmenistan),all elected in 1985. E. E. Sokolov (Belorussia) was elected in 1987.P. K. Luchinskii (Moldavia), G. G. Gumbaridze (Georgia) and N. A.Nazarbaev (Kazakhstan) were elected in 1989. The remaining eight -M. M. Burokyavichyus (Lithuania), S. I. Gurenko (Ukraine), I. A.Karimov (Uzbekistan), V. M. Movsisyan (Armenia), A. M. Mutalibov(Azerbaidzhan), I. K. Polozkov (RSFSR), A. P. Rubiks (Latvia), E-A. A.Sillari (Estonia) - had all been elected in 1990. All first secretaries weremale and nationals of the republics which they represented; their averageage was 55 years.32

All republican leaders censured the central leadership's failure to dealwith the crisis - criticising the lack of consultation, and the limitationson their own powers. All supported or paid lip-service to perestroika,and demanded greater republican autononomy and a new Union Treaty.Karimov and Gurenko argued that only a strong, disciplined renewedparty would be able to carry through restructuring to its end. The partywas the sole force of consolidation and renewal. Karimov and Nazarbaevdescribed the situation as critical, where a party split would divide thesociety and result in 'monstrous consequences'. 'Political compromise'was essential.33

The republican first secretaries played a central role in the Congress,and chaired many of the sessions. Their speeches were marked by blunt

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speaking, and forthright criticism of the leadership.34 But their approachesdiffered sharply. Four more or less distinct standpoints emerged, reflectinga combination of ideological conviction and political expediency: radicals,reformers, conservatives and hard-liners.

a. RadicalsThe radicals, primarily the 'Baltic separatists', were represented by Sillari,leader of the breakaway Estonia Communist Party. The independentpro-reform communist parties from Latvia and Lithuania were excludedfrom the Congress. The position of these three parties was close to thatof El'tsin and the Democratic Platform. They stood for a federation ofparties and states within a loose framework provided by the CPSU andthe USSR. In effect they accepted the reform programme as inevitable, andsought to transform the Communist Party into a social-democratic partyoperating within a pluralistic, multi-party system and mixed economy.Sillari unapologetically defended the Estonian party's commitment todialogue and power-sharing which, he argued, other republican communistparties would have to learn from.35

b. ReformersThe reformers were Luchinskii (Moldavia), Gumbaridze (Georgia),Karimov (Uzbekistan), Niyazov (Turkmenistan), Makhkamov (Tadzhik-istan) and Movsisyan (Armenia). Whilst not openly advocating federalisa-tion of the CPSU, they stressed maximum autonomy of republican partieswhilst adhering to common Programme and Statutes. They stressed theautonomy of the union republican parties, whose status previously hadbeen akin to those of oblast party committees. Reformers condemnedthe restrictive nature of the 'unitary', 'totalitarian' system of the past,with minimal sovereignty for the republics. They demanded real reform,economic and political sovereignty, and equal rights for the republics.

The Uzbek first secretary Karimov called for the CPSU to become aunion of republican organisations with common programmes and statutes;republican parties would then have full authority to determine their owntactics and organisation.36 Gumbaridze shared the wish to maximisethe independence of republican party organisations and deplored the'unitaristic tendencies' of some recent all-union legislation.37 Niyazovsupported 'an independent Communist party' with the republic in a'renewed federation'. Makhkamov criticised mere 'minimum sovereigntyof republican communist parties', calling for greater autonomy within whatwould remain a unitary CPSU. Luchinskii took a more radical line andspoke for a 'union of free states', with the republican communist parties

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independent but based on the CPSU Programme and Statutes. Movsisyan,whilst deploring the negative effects of perestroika and the immaturity ofthe new political forces in the republic, warned that perestroika in the partywas lagging behind social developments, and that the party was loath toyield its monopoly of power. He saw the USSR as 'a union of sovereignstates', based on a network of bilateral associations, with the CPSU as 'analliance of independent communist parties of sovereign states'.38

The reformers, particularly Luchinskii and Gumbaridze, stressed theneed for dialogue with other political movements within the republics -but without bowing to ultimata or threats. They called for the abandonmentof dogmatism, and stressed respect for national traditions, culture andhistory. Luchinskii urged 'civic consensus' - consultation with all partiesand movements - a proposal strongly endorsed by Gorbachev. Niyazovacknowledged that should another party arise in his republic which betterserved the interests of the people the people would follow it3 9 Only onthe basis of autonomy could the party in a multi-party system representthe people. Only on this basis could the CPSU be renewed.

Luchinskii and Gumbaridze, in common with radicals such as Sillari,saw perestroika and the associated devolution of powers to the republicsand the greater freedom for national self-expression as not simply positivedevelopments, but as part of a law-governed (zakonomernyi) process.The crisis of perestroika was an inevitable outcome of the problemof dismantling the Stalinist administrative-command system. The partyhad to adapt itself, controlling the processes of change, accommodatingitself to the new realities, and securing popular consent for its policies.The reformers were supportive of Gorbachev, endorsing perestroika, andstressing the necessity for a political solution to the problems within therepublics.40

c. ConservativesThe conservatives were Masaliev (Kirgizia), Polozkov (RSFSR), Nazar-baev (Kazakhstan), Mutalibov (Azerbaidzhan) and Gurenko (Ukraine).They blamed the crisis on the central leadership's mishandling ofperestroika, and voiced concern at the direction events were taking.They demanded greater party discipline, order, and unity - rejectingfractions. They proclaimed their adherence to Marxism-Leninism andto the 'communist perspective1. They criticised the new political forcesemerging within their republics as opportunistic, immature and politicallyirresponsible. They urged an ideological offensive against opponents,demanded a stronger lead from the centre, and stressed the role of thesecurity forces.

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Nazarbaev saw the solution to the impasse in strengthening the unityof the CPSU. At the republican level he argued for consolidation throughgreater internal democracy, strengthening links with the party rank andfile, revitalising the primary party organs, and maintaining the production-territorial principle of organisation, with party cells in the enterprises andinstitutions. This was presented as giving power to the party masses,in order to consolidate the party's social base. Party policies shouldprotect the social interests of workers, peasants and the toiling intelli-gentsia.

The conservatives stressed the danger which ill-considered reformsposed to the CPSU, the USSR and Socialism in general. They raised thespectre of fragmentation, anarchy, disorder, and the prospect of counter-revolution. They called for the preservation of the USSR, the restatementof socialist ideals, and a 'principled' stand with regard to anti-socialist,anti-Soviet political forces.

Thus Gurenko, whilst welcoming some of the benefits of greater politicalfreedom, expressed concern at the unhealthy phenomena attendant onperestroika. The party had to differentiate as to which political forcesit should work with. He argued for greater autonomy for the republicancommunist party but based on the CPSU's Programme and Statutes. Hecondemned the failure of the leadership to foresee the negative aspects ofperestroika. He stressed the need to draw representatives of workers andpeasants into the leading party organs. Gurenko and Nazarbaev vigorouslydenounced the ideological demobilisation of the party in the face of thenationalist challenge, and roundly criticised the work of the secretariesMedvedev and Yakovlev.41

Masaliev supported an unitary USSR with a strong centre.42 The Russianparty leader, Polozkov, told his own congress in September 1989 that hefavoured a CPSU which was based upon a single programme and set ofparty statutes.43 Nazarbaev favoured a unitary party, whilst deploring thelack of consultation that had so far taken place between the Politburoand republican leaders.44 Mutalibov also argued that, as before, the 'top'decided and the 'base' simply agreed; his own preference, almost placinghim in the camp of the reformers, was for independent and equal republicanparties within the framework of the CPSU.45

d. Hard-linersThe hard-liners were Sokolov (Belorussia), Rubiks of the ousted Latvianparty, and Burokyavichyus of the ousted Lithuanian party. The hard-linerswere distinguished from the conservatives less by policy differences thanby the intemperance with which they attacked the failures of perestroika.

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Burokyavichyus and Rubiks were scathingly critical of the former com-munist republican leadership's alleged opportunism, vaccilation, politicalbetrayal and ideological capitulation. Sokolov favoured a unitary CPSU,rejected the 'Lithuanian alternative', and called for 'political and economicsovereignty within the USSR'.46 Burokyavichyus favoured a unitary party'on the positions of the CPSU' .47 Rubiks took a more radical stance arguingfor preserving the CPSU as a party, as an association of independentrepublican communist parties united by ideas and organisation.48

The hard-liners warned of the danger of the party - as had alreadyhappened in the Baltic republics - losing power, leading to a bourgeoisrestoration. Stressing the importance of discipline, unity and integrity ofthe CPSU, they indicated their hostility to dialogue with nationalist forcesin the republics, and emphasised the need for the robust enforcement oflaw and order to deal with 'extremists' and separatists.

3. The Crisis in the Republics

Here we shall review the situation in the various republics.The main hotspots (goryachaya tochka) according to Girenko, were the Baltic andTranscaucasian republics, where there was 'extraordinary tension'. TheCentral Committee, he reported, was also concerned at developments inGeorgia, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirgizia, Moldavia and the westernUkraine.49

a. The Baltic republicsFrom Gorbachev's speech it is clear that the Baltic republics providethe principal test case for centre-republican relations. On June 29 1990the Lithuanian parliament declared a moratorium on its declaration ofindependence of March 11 to facilitate negotiations with Moscow.50

On June 30 Moscow lifted its economic embargo on the republic.51 Atthe XXVIII Congress the first and second secretaries of the LithuanianCommunist Party which still adhered to the CPSU spoke, as did thefirst secretary of the Latvian party even though their parties were nowin opposition.

Lithuania. M. M. Burokyavichyus, first secretary of the LithuanianCommunist Party (CPSU), deplored the disintegration of the republicancommunist party - blaming it on its reformist leadership - which hadallowed Sajudis to take power. Burokyavichyus depicted Sajudis as anextremist right-wing nationalist movement, which was intent on imple-menting a bourgeois-capitalist counter-revolution aided by fascist elements

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and other 'anti-Soviet reactionary and conservative forces', such as theLeague of Freedom. The Sajudis government was bent on secession, wasfanning hostility towards the USSR, and establishing an anti-Soviet, anti-Socialist form of government, in contravention of the USSR Constitution,with only a bare majority in the republic's parliament, and without apopular mandate. The 'adventurers' leading Sajudis had created a 'nationalpsychosis', by whipping up 'nationalist hysteria' and using 'moral terror' toestablish a new form of totalitarianism. They monopolised the mass media,and were creating their own border forces, internal security organs, andmilitarised formations.

The Lithuanian Communist Party (CPSU) stood for the restorationof Soviet power in the republic and the reconstruction of the party.Burokyavichyus warned that federalisation of the CPSU would precipi-tate its disintegration. He condemned proposals to depoliticise the stateadministrative organs, particularly the law enforcement agencies. He calledfor more resolute measures from the USSR President and the centralgovernment to restore Soviet power and the real constitutions of USSRand the Lithuanian SSR in the republic:

We firmly stand on a position of ideological-organisational unity of theCPSU, and are confident that only in the composition of a renewedfederation of equal soviet socialist republics that Lithuania as a socialiststate can secure real independence and state sovereignty.52

Sajudis, he claimed, was leading the republic into an impasse. The majorityof the people in the republic, he assured the delegates, were demanding'more decisive measures by the government of the USSR to enforceSoviet law in Lithuania and maintain Lithuania in the Soviet Union'.Burokyavichyus's speech was enthusiastically applauded by the delegatesand his time was extended.

Vladislav Shved, second secretary of the Lithuanian communist party,poured vitriol on the Sajudis leadership of the republic - the 'sajudocracy'- as initiators of a counter-revolutionary, bourgeois-capitalist restoration.He too stood for a unified CPSU as a check on separatist, nationalistcurrents. He blamed the collapse of communist rule in Lithuania onMoscow's failure to act early enough. Had the Central Committee takenaction in May 1989 when the question of independence was first raisedthe collapse could have been averted. Vacillation strengthened the hands ofthe nationalists, and precipitated a split in the Lithuanian Communist Party.Shved lay the blame directly on Gorbachev as General Secretary. Whereeverything was decided at the centre, the leaders were unable to respond

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to changing circumstances, like the Soviet High Command in 1941. TheCPSU - and its Secretariat - needed organisation structures to deal withsuch situations.53

Latvia. Alfreds Rubiks, first secretary of the Latvian pro-Moscow Com-munist Party, blamed the party's loss of power in Latvia on distortionsof perestroika; the party's former reformist leadership were opportun-ists, 'weak-willed appeasers' who engaged in 'endless compromises andretreats'. He blamed Medvedev and Yakovlev for failing to alert the Polit-buro. As a result the anti-socialist People's Front of Latvia had taken powerand restored the bourgeois constitution of 1922. Loyal party members hadnot received adequate support from the CPSU leadership in Moscow. TheLatvian parliament had repudiated the title of socialist and Soviet, and wasbent on secession. Capitalism and bourgeois power was being restored,with factories and farms being returned to their former owners, with stateand party officials themselves becoming property owners. Proto-fascistmilitary formations were being set up. The government had establishedmonopoly control over the means of mass information. The communistparty was subject to a campaign of slander; Russians were denounced as'occupiers', 'migrants', and 'enemies of the Latvian people'; the SovietArmed Forces, Procuracy, Militia and the KGB were abused. The CPSU,the MVD and the KGB had failed to support the local party. A referendumwas needed to decide the republic's future.54

Estonia. The appearance of Enn-Arno Sillari, first secretary of thebreakaway pro-reform Communist Party of Estonia, at the Congress wasa sign that the federalist option for the CPSU has not been completelyruled out. The Estonian party responded to the nationalist challenge witha strategy of accommodation and dialogue. At the XIX CPSU Conferencein 1988 its leaders had urged adoption of a new Union Treaty but hadreceived no support. Moscow had denounced the republic's declaration ofsovereignty.

The tragedy of the Estonian Communist Party, Sillari argued, was that ithad been ahead of its time. The CPSU leadership now at last recognised theneed for a new Union Treaty and new party Statutes enlarging the powersof the republican communist parties. The republican parties, Sillari argued,had to become real political parties. Only on this basis could the CPSUbe renewed. A federal party structure would not lead to the CPSU'sdisintegration. The Estonian party sought to organise across national linesand to mobilise maximum support in the republic.

The XX Congress of the Estonian Communist Party in December 1989resolved on a course of independence. A new Central Committee waselected, a 'coalition' of representatives of organisations which supported the

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reform programme and those who opposed it. In this way, Sillari argued,the party hoped to retain public support, to control the unfolding events,and to consolidate left-wing forces in the republic. This had relevance forcommunist parties in other republics. The changes in the Baltic republics,he asserted, were part of 'law-governed processes', attempts to thwartwhich would lead to a social-political catastrophe. It was necessary tounderstand these processes, not engage in a witch-hunt to find those guiltyof the overthrow of communism.55

The debate on the Baltic republicsThe division of opinion between radicals and hard-liners in the Balticcommunist parties was acute. The declarations by the conservatives -Burokyavichyus, Shved and Rubiks - in earlier times (as with the Sovietinvasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968) would have been construed asan invitation to the Moscow leadership to reimpose communist rule inthose republics. Ominously these speeches failed to elicit a firm ripostefrom reformers, although Girenko repudiated these conservative views,which, he argued, reflected old thinking and over simplified the situation.The republican party leadership 'lacking experience in political struggle,had proved unable to resist the onslaught of the nationalistic, separatistforces', and had ignored the repeated and timely warnings and advicefrom the President, and the Central Committee, leading to the presentdebacle.56

Aleksandr Yakovlev, the leading radical in the Politburo, was chargedby hard-liner Colonel Viktor Alksnis, leader of the Latvian 'Interfront'and 'Soyuz', with having encouraged Baltic separatism.57 His visits toVilnius and Riga in August 1988, his criticisms of the Molotov-Ribbentroppact, and demands for greater republican autonomy, were alleged to havetriggered off the crisis. Yakovlev insisted that he had consistently spokenfrom an internationalist perspective and for the retention of the Balticrepublics within the USSR. He had argued for republican sovereignty, theend to central dictatorship and for a new Soviet federation. He deplored theway events had evolved since 1988 and called for restriant by all sides, andfor political dialogue between Vilnius and Moscow. He proposed a speedyadvance to a market economy and to a new Union treaty.58

Vadim Medvedev, the much criticised Secretary for ideology, wascensured for ignoring the nationalities question in his report. He assertedthat he had consistently supported the party's nationalities policy. Hehad repeatedly visited the republic and supported the Lithuanian party'sattempts to prevent the split and achieve consolidation.59

Ligachev endorsed the statements of the Lithuanian and Latvian party

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spokesmen, warned of the seizure of power by anti-communist forcesin the republics and the re-politicisation of the republics under theircontrol. He demanded greater social discipline and tighter enforcementof the law to save the country from the plethora of meetings and ral-lies.60

Gorbachev, by presidential decree on July 9, appointed a twenty-twoperson delegation of the USSR, chaired by Ryzhkov, to carry out discus-sions with a delegation from the Lithuanian SSR.61 Ryzhkov warned theLithuanian parliament that if it insisted on withdrawing from the USSR, 'itmust proceed along this path in strict accordance with the law of secessionof republics from our country - from the first letter to the last. Includingan obligatory carrying out of a referendum*. The new Union Treaty, hestressed, offered many possibilities for a republic to find for itself an'acceptable status' within the Union.62

b. The crisis in the TranscaucasusGirenko reported on the extreme tension in the Transcaucasus, particu-larly the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, claimed by both Armenia andAzerbaidzhan. Whilst every people had a right to self-determination, hestressed that it was necessary also to observe the sovereign rights ofeach republic. The demands of the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh forunion with Armenia arose from real grievances. However, the problemshad to be resolved lawfully. He commended the USSR Supreme Soviet'sruling - retaining Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaidzhan but providingconcessions to the Armenian majority in the territory as an acceptablesolution which took account of the interests of both the Armenian andthe Azerbaidzhani population, the rights and national interests of bothrepublics.63

A. N. Mutalibov, appointed first secretary of the Azerbaidzhan partyin January 1990,64 delivered a swingeing attack on party policy, blamingthe central leadership for bringing the country to the edge of an abyss.They had adopted 'a too high handed approach' to inter-ethnic difficulties,particularly concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. They had failed to deal with theArmenian 'separatists' who threatened the whole state. The Politburo spokewith different voices: whilst Ligachev in Baku had pronounced on theinadmissibility of redrawing frontiers, Yakovlev in Erevan had supportedseparatism under the guise of national self-determination. Functionariesfrom the centre, who were quite ignorant of the situation, had beendispatched to Azerbaidzhan to enforce unthought out policies, which hadexacerbated the situation. He compared the flight of thousands of refugeeswith the worst of the Stalinist deportations.

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Mutalibov deplored the crisis in relations between Azerbaidzhan andArmenia and the necessity to set up a cordon sanitaire between thetwo republics. In Armenia a national army, 140,000 strong, had beenestablished under the control of nationalist groups, which, he asserted,threatened the lives and security of the Azerbaidzhani people. Repeatedappeals to the USSR President and the Central Committee to halt thisprocess of 'spontaneous militarisation' had been to no avail. In the absenceof law, military force had become the main guarantee of social order,discrediting the process of democratisation. If they failed to differentiatebetween democracy and anarchy the country would again revert to ruleby diktat. Criticising Gorbachev, he warned - 'If we intend to continueperestroika, then the steering wheel must be in firm hands.'65

Movsisyan (Armenia) warned delegates against underestimating thenationalities problem. The Central Committee had failed to take a clearline on Nagorno-Karabakh and failed to ensure the prosecution of theAzeri perpetrators of the massacre of Armenians in Sumgait. Perestroikaneeded peace and tranquillity to succeed. The USSR Supreme Soviet'sresolution on Nagorno-Karabakh had been ignored. Soviet power in theregion had replaced by military power all in the name of normalisation,and to the detriment of the Armenian population. He urged restorationof Nagorno-Karabakh's oblast soviet and party organs, and the removalof the Azerbaidzhani blockade. If the Soviet leadership could redrawthe frontier between the two Germanies it was possible to redraw thefrontier between two Soviet republics.66 The 1922 Union Treaty hadto be rewritten. He repudiated Mutalibov's equation of the demand ofArmenians in Nagorno-Karabakh for self-determination with separatism.The crisis facing the country, he insisted, could not be resolved by force,by strong hands, but only on the basis of democracy and a law-based state.He appealed for mutual understanding and dialogue.

Major-General V.Safonov, head of the MVD's internal forces in theNorth Caucasus and Transcaucasia, expressed concern that the com-manders of the MVD forces were usurping the functions of local partyand soviet organs in the regions and republics. In Nagorno-Karabakh,where there were daily armed clashes, it was necessary to disarm thecombatants. Without Presidential help it was impossible to deal withthe problem. But it was imperative to find a political solution to thedispute.67

The activities of Armenian guerrillas in Nagorno-Karabakh, Gorbachevreported, had led to demands that the President take decisive action 'toend the rampaging of lawlessness and bloodshed' and 'to disarm Arme-nian nationalist formations'. This prompted a demand from an Armenian

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delegate that the root causes of the trouble be addressed, the failure toinvestigate atrocities against Annenians at Sumgait, and the creation of asystem of military rule in Nagorno-Karabakh.68

The third Transcaucasian republic - Georgia - was itself plagued byinter-ethnic conflicts between Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians. Therewas also a rising nationalist tide demanding independence. Gumbardize,first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, and former head of theGeorgian KGB, said little about the national problems of Georgia and evenless about the killing of nationalist demonstrators in Tbilisi in April 1989.An enthusiastic supporter of perestroika, he urged greater autonomy to therepublics, stressing that the Georgian Communist Party sought to representall the national groups within the republic.

c. The RSFSR, Ukraine, Belorussia and MoldaviaThe declaration of sovereignty by the first Congress of People's Deputiesof the RSFSR highlighted the new reality of centre-republican rela-tions in the USSR. Yu. A. Manaenkov, party secretary and head ofthe Russian Bureau, welcomed the acquisition of political and state sov-ereignty by the RSFSR.69 Vorotnikov declared it to be a 'key task' tostrengthen the sovereignty of the RSFSR, but, in a veiled attack onEl'tsin, warned against those who wished to follow the 'destructivepath' of separating the RSFSR from the USSR.70 G. I. Usmanov, partysecretary, argued that the practical realisation of this sovereingty had tobe approached with 'extreme caution', lest it provoke an upsurge of anti-RSFSR, anti-Russian sentiments.71 Vlasov welcomed greater sovereigntyfor the RSFSR but noted the difficulties of the 31 autonomous units withinthe RSFSR.72

The party secretaries of the three main republics of the RSFSR, theUkraine and Belorussia all took a strongly conservative stance. Theposition of Ivan Polozkov, first secretary of the newly formed RSFSRCommunist Party, underlined the weakening position of the republicanparties. The party was internally divided, with strong radical influences inMoscow and Leningrad. The party's position was constrained by the chal-lenge posed by the radical Supreme Soviet RSFSR, under El'tsin. Polozkovblamed the party leadership for errors in implementing perestroika whichhad led to the crisis.73

Gurenko supported a socialist Ukraine within a renewed federation,in accordance with the views of a majority in the Ukrainian SupremeSoviet, although other Ukrainian parliamentary deputies sought either aconfederation or complete independence.74 During the XXVIII Congressthe Ukrainian parliament ordered home the 60 delegates from the republic

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who were members of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet - in order todeal with the threatened miners' strike, and to discuss the issue of therepublic's sovereignty.75 Severe criticism was directed at V. Ivashko,chainnan of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, for his involvement in centralpolitics.

Sokolov, first secretary of the Belorussian communist party, stressedthat consolidation had to be achieved on the basis of socialist ideals,the harmonisation of inter-ethnic relations, and preserving the unity ofthe USSR. Cooperation and joint action with other tendencies was onlypossible on the basis of 'socialist choice, the communist perspective'.76

In contrast the pro-reform first secretary of the Moldavian CommunistParty - Luchinskii - spoke in favour of perestroika, and for accommodationwith the strong nationalist movement in the republic, which sought thesecession of Moldavia from the USSR and reunification with Roma-nia.

d. Kazakhstan and Central AsiaNazarbaev, first secretary of the Kazakhstan Communist Party and Presi-dent of the republic, was the dominant figure behind the Anna Atameeting in June. He delivered a searing attack on the failures of cen-tral leadership; they were proceeding by methods of trial and error,which was damaging the party's authority. 'The Politburo's membershad no time and, moreover, they had little wish to take advice withthe first secretaries of the Central Committees of the republican com-munist parties.' He supported the renewal of the USSR and the unityof the CPSU, expressing alarm at the growth of separatist, centrifugaltendencies. However, it was a mistake to see in perestroika only thenegative phenomena, this reflected nostalgia for the time of stagna-tion. The President of the USSR had to strengthen law enforcementand discipline to ensure social tranquillity. Whatever General Secretarywas elected by the Congress should heed the criticisms made, strongleadership was essential; nevertheless, he supported Gorbachev's elec-tion.

Whilst Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan and Niyazov from Turkmenistanexpressed confidence that the political situation in their republics wasunder control, the situation in Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan and Kirgiziawas more fraught. Karimov (Uzbekistan) blamed the inter-ethnic killingsin Osh in June 1990 on the leadership of the Kirgizia SSR.77 KazarMakhkamov (Tadzhikistan) noted tensions in his republic. The Alma Ataconference in June discussed inter-republican cooperation to deal withethnic conflicts.

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4. National Rights Versus Individual Human Rights

In appealing for an end to the destructive conflict, Gorbachev in his keynotespeech stressed that priority had to be given to individual human rights overany rights of national sovereignty and autonomy. This firm principle hadto be incorporated into the Constitution of the USSR and those of eachrepublic. The conservative Rubiks (Latvia) in his attack on separatism,declared that 'Latvia's communists advocate recognising common humanvalues and priorities and human rights over all other rights, including therights of nations'.78 However, the reformer Movsisyan (Armenia) warnedthat 'setting human rights in opposition to nation's rights is dangerous ona political level, bcause it could be used to justify the flouting of nationalrights allegedly in the name of human rights'.79 Gumbaridze (Georgia)called for 'real respect for the rights of a person and a nation'.

Within the USSR over 60 million people reside outside their national orrepublican homelands. This is potentially an explosive issue, particularlyas regards ethnic Russians living in other republics, where there are stronganti-Russian sentiments. Vorotnikov in particular stressed the need tosafeguard the interests of these Russians.80 National associations andnational-cultural societies, A. N. Girenko reported, were being establishedto defend and fight for the civil rights of dispersed nationalities and thoseliving outside their homelands.

The declaration of sovereignty by the union republics raised the questionof the status of the autonomous republics, oblasts and krais. This posed thedanger of further fragmentation, as Usmanov noted, particularly within theRSFSR, with its 31 autonomous formations.81 M. G. Aliev, first secretaryof the Dagestanskii obkom, and A. A. Popov of the Suntarskii raikom of theYakutsk ASSR took a strong conservative stance on the issue of politicalreform and emphasised the importance of central assistance in reviving theeconomies of their regions. Both also stressed the importance of relationswith the RSFSR. Autonomous units, they predicted, would seek to improvetheir status and would begin issuing their own declarations of 'sovereignty'.They urged increased representation of national minorities within their ownregions.82

A particular problem concerned those peoples deported during the Stalinera, such as the Volga Germans, Crimean Tartars, Turk-Mezhketians,Chechen-Ingush people. The Council of Ministers, Girenko reported,had set up special commissions to look into these matters. The reset-tlement of Tartars in the Crimea, however, had already created seri-ous problems. Congress delegates strongly criticised delays in resolvingthese grievances. Girenko noted that 'this work is not simple, it is

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extremely complicated, it requires resolve and resources, and it proceedsslowly'.

5. Economic Reform and Centre-republican Relations

The question of centre-republican relations was closely bound to theprocess of economc reform. The rejection by the Supreme Soviets in theRSFSR, Ukraine and Belorussia of the proposed price increases approvedby the Council of Ministers in April 1990 torpedoed the plan. It highlightedthe lack of consultation between centre and republican authorities. Thedebate on the economy raised the question of an all-union market -seen by Gorbachev, Ryzhkov, Abalkin and Primakov as a safeguardagainst economic separatism. Maslyukov, chairman of Gosplan, stressedthe need for central regulation of the economy to avoid growing disparitiesbetween regions. The new Union Treaty, Gorbachev insisted, had to definethe economic rights of the republics 'within the single national-economiccomplex' (see Chapter 3).

Nazarbaev (Kazakhstan) welcomed the RSFSR's leadership attemptsto strengthen inter-republican links, and supported El'tsin's proposal tonegotiate directly with the Baltic republics. These agreements, Nazarbaevasserted, created the basis for the new Union treaty.83 In his Congressspeech and in an interview in Pravda, he warned of an impending economiccollapse. The old economic mechanism had been abandoned without a newone being established. He censured the Council of Ministers and centralministries for incompetence: 'Mistakes made on top of mistakes'. InKazakhstan the economy was healthy but the republic was hamstrungas 90 per cent of its industry was centrally controlled. The grain harvestwas impeded by lack of spare parts and fuel from the central ministries. Afull-blooded market economy, he warned, threatened the USSR's politicalunity, whilst the breakdown in central planning and supply allocationwas forcing republics to embrace 'economic sovereignty'. A regulatedmarket had to be speedily introduced, on the basis of real competitionand demonopolisation. 84

The Central Asian republics - Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistanand Kirgizia - suffered the lowest standards of living in the USSR, thelowest social development, high unemployment, and rapid populationgrowth. Economic development was impeded by lack of infrastructure,over-dependence on cotton production, the plundering of the republicsresources by central ministries, unequal exchange with other republics,and reliance on central support for investment. Makhkamov (Tadzhikistan)

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pointed out that a quarter of the working-age population of his republicwas without gainful employment.85 Karimov (Uzbekistan) revealed thathis republic had a national income only half that of the all-union average,and a fifth of the population were without permanent employment.86

The Alma Ata agreement represents the emergence of a powerfulregional lobby-aimed at countering the influence of the centre, aimed atsecuring the development of the region. All party secretaries from CentralAsia stressed the need to proceed to a 'regulated market economy'.Makhkamov (Tadzhikistan) stressed that the 'regulated market' had tobe introduced on the basis of a differentiated approach' which recognisedthe problems of republics which lacked the 'starting base' to transfer toeconomic independence. Niyazov (Turkmenistan) advocated not just a'regulated market', but 'even a regulated approach to its introduction'.87

A delegate from Uzbekistan challenged Ryzhkov concerning the proportionof the republic's cotton production which would be disposed of by theMoscow ministries via state orders.88

Mutalibov (Azerbaidzhan) warned that in moving to a market economyaccount had to be taken of the relative level of economic development ofthe republics. Azerbaidzhan, the country's major oil supplier for decades,remained 'in a hypertrophy of economic structures'. Movsisyan (Armenia)criticised the inadequate measures taken to deal with the consequencesof the Armenian earthquake. In striving to establish sovereignty of therepublic, he declared, the economic basis of the Union should not bebroken.

Conservative republican secretaries such as Gurenko (Ukraine) andSokolov (Belorussia) condemned the lack of consultation by the centreover economic reforms, stressing the need to safeguard the interests oftheir people. Gurenko was alarmed by the upsurge of labour militancy par-ticularly in the Donbass coal-field (see Chapter 3). Sokolov and Gurenkocriticised the ineffective measures by the central government to deal withthe consequences of the Chernobyl disaster of 1985.89


The party, Girenko argued, had to promote its policies via the SupremeSoviet of the USSR and the government He proposed that the uniquemodel offered by the RSFSR two chamber parliament - with the secondchamber representing the various nationalities - be adopted in otherrepublics, krais and oblasts. The Central Committee and party committees

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had to work out legal reforms and establish 'union, all-state structures in thelaw enforcing agencies' to combat organised crime, and criminal activitywhich was parasitic on inter-ethnic intolerance. Party committees had towage ideological struggle against nationalist, chauvinistic and separatistforces, in accordance with the CPSU's 'international character'.

Girenko stressed that the party could no longer tinker with the old feder-alism, but had to embrace radical reform. Proposals by various specialists in1988-89 to formulate a new Union Treaty, he lamented, had been ignored.The matter was given urgency by republican party first secretaries Sokolov,Makhkamov, Karimov and Burokyavichyus. Nazarbaev insisted that a newUnion Treaty had to be adopted and implemented in 1990, otherwise thefate of the USSR would be jeopardised.90

The Congress section on 'The National Policy of the CPSU', discussedthe reports of secretaries A. N. Girenko and G. I. Usmanov, as well asGorbachev's Central Committee report.91 The atmosphere in the sec-tion was described as 'not simply heated but extremely overwrought(nakaplemayaY ,92 Girenko reported that the mood had been 'very emo-tional', with a number of bitter exchanges (perekhlestov).93 The sectiondiscussed the situation in the Baltic and Transcaucasian republics as wellas the killings in Povolzhe, Osh and Tuva.

Delegates censured the 'highest political leadership of the country', par-ticularly party secretaries - Yakovlev, Medvedev, Girenko and Usmanov.Usmanov conceded that the party was mainly concerned with 'putting outfires'; it had still not gotten to 'the deep-seated, root causes' of the conflictsnor developed a political strategy to cope with the crisis.94 The party waslosing the initiative, whilst the republican communist parties had beenkept in the dark. The press was accused of giving a one sided view ofthe conflicts. Several delegates appealed to Gorbachev to show greaterresolution in implementing the already published presidential decrees.Girenko's attempt to attribute the crisis in nationalities policy to Stalinwas rejected, according to TASS, by a 'significant part' of the delegateswho blamed the crisis on the current leadership.95

The plenary session on the Programme Declaration of the CPSU dis-cussed the future character of the USSR. Hard-liner Colonel Alksnisprotested that the concept of a 'Union of Sovereign States' contained aninternal contradiction, and posed the danger of a transfer from a federal toa confederal state, leading eventually to the disintegration {razval) of theUSSR. The sovereignty of the republics should not turn the sovereigntyof the Union into a fiction. Gorbachev defended the original formulationwhich was adopted.96

In the discussion of the party Statutes Lembit Annus, a leader of the

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Estonian party loyal to the CPSU, proposed that the programmes andstatutes of the republican communist parties be based on that of the CPSU.This was intended to outlaw the federal principle in party organisation. Heopposed 'turning Lenin's party into a union of communist parties'.97 Hewas supported by Russian delegates from the Baltic republics. However,Moldavian party secretary Luchinskii argued for maximum autonomy forthe republican communist parties. An amendment emphasising adherenceby republican parties to the CPSU's Statutes and Programme was approved'with a small majority'.98

The section on 'Renewing the party' debated the question of whetherthe CPSU should be organised on an unitary or federal basis.99 Gorbachevreported that the section had rejected proposals for a federal partystructure: 'We are convinced that only a single CPSU . . . . can be atruly consolidating political force in our multi-national state'.The tensionbetween an unitary CPSU with autonomous republican parties, Gorbachevargued, was 'a very dialectical situation'.100

The resolution on the Central Committee's report described the USSR as'A super-centralised state transforming itself into a real union, based on theself-determination and a voluntary union of peoples'; and the CPSU as 'avoluntary union of like thinkers, remaining a party of socialist choice andcommunist perspective', opposed to nationalism, chauvinism and racism.It stressed the threat which inter-ethnic conflict posed to the USSR andcriticised the delay in concluding a new union treaty - 'The integrityand the very existence of the USSR are under threat'. The party wasin danger of losing the initiative. It reaffirmed support for the Balticparties who were committed to the perspective of 'socialist choice', andappealed to the communists of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to unite onthe basis of the programme documents of the XXVIII Congress of theCPSU.101

The CPSU's Programme of Action called for a new Union Treaty whichtook account of the needs of the republics 'as well as the interest of theUnion as a whole'.102 It proposed developing the economy of all regionson the basis of a unified all-union market. The party recognised the rightof nations to self-determination and the right of secession from the union,but pronounced such a course to be inexpedient and retrogressive. It urgedthe preservation of the integrity of the renewed Union as a dynamicmulti-national state. On relations between the CPSU and union republicanparties the resolution noted:

in the process of renewing the Union of the SSR we must ensurethe independence of the communist parties of the union republics,

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dialectically corresponding with the unity of the party on the baseof a general approved programme and statutory principles of theCPSU.103

On the delicate question of national rights the resolution marked a com-promise; it proposed broadening the rights of nationalities whilst accordingpriority to securing individual civil and human rights.

The resolution 'Democratic national policy - path to a voluntary union,peace and agreement between peoples' traced the crisis to the sub-stitution of the 'Leninist model of national relations' by the Stalinistconception of an 'unitary state'. The rights of repressed and deportedpeoples had to be restored; the refugee problem had to be tackled; therights of national minorities had to be safeguarded. The new UnionTreaty, founded on 'the union of sovereign states', was to transform theUSSR from a unitary state into 'a real commonwealth (sodruzhestvo) ofpeoples'. It appealed for restraint, condemning all kinds of chauvinism,Russo-phobia, anti-semitism, national intolerance and discrimination, anddemanded that the state respect and defend the national dignity of allcitizens.104

The most significant outcome of the Congress was the reconstruc-tion of the Politburo, and its transformation into a party council forcoordinating centre-republican relations.105 It was enlarged to 24 members,including all fifteen first secretaries of the union republics as ex officiomembers.106 In the election of Ivashko as deputy General SecretaryGorbachev stressed that there had been close consultation with the firstsecretaries of the union republics.107 The Presidential Council will runthe country, whilst the Politburo, Secretariat and Central Committeewill concentrate purely on party affairs.108 In cases of disagreementwith the decisions of the central leadership the republican communistparties have the right to appeal to the plenum of the Central CommitteeCPSU or joint plenums of the Central Committee and TsKK CPSU.109

The Central Committee reelected A. N. Girenko as party secretary fornationalities.

Gorbachev, in closing the Congress, pledged to assist the republicanparties to seize their new 'independent status', creating 'a new interna-tional union of the CPSU on a common ideological-political basis', tosecure the integrity 'of our great multi-national Union'.110 The Congressresolutions were strong on rhetoric but short on substance. Until theaproval of the new Union Treaty relations between the centre and therepublics, and between the CPSU and the republican parties, remain tobe clarified.

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The options facing the party leadership of the USSR on the nationalitiesquestion and centre-republican relations as outlined above are various. Theadvocates of maintaining the unitary state through recourse to the 'ironhand' solution were circumspect in their statements. The radical solutionof a loose confederation of republics and parties - was the view of aminority within the party. Between these two positions is the centre group,the advocacy by Gorbachev of a strategy of a strong centre and strongrepublics, rejecting super centralisation and rejecting the federalist solution,aimed at creating mechanisms whereby the interests of all republics and theinterests of the centre and republics can be harmonised. The purpose is topreserve the unity of USSR and integrity of the CPSU.

The dangers for the CPSU and the USSR are clear. Political concessionsmay lead to an upsurge of nationalism that will sweep the party asideor to some form of power sharing as has already occurred in the Balticrepublics. In coping with these pressures the party may be transformedout of recognition and socialism abandoned. However, failure to respondto these aspirations may render the party further redundant as predicted byEl'tsin. The strategy of consolidation is intended to hold the line betweenthese two positions. It is an extremely precarious exercise. The difficultyfor the leadership in drafting the new Union Treaty is to provide aframework which will encompass different relations between the republicsand the centre - from federal, confederal, to special status. In definingthese relations it may well lead to republics raising their demands regardingthe degree of sovereignty which they retain, and hasten the process offragmentation by raising demands for sovereignty from the autonomousrepublics, krais, oblasts and okrugs.

Economic failure will intensify the trend towards 'economic separatism'.In that eventuality the role of the centre becomes critical - and may haveto rely increasingly on the military, the KGB, and the MVD - with resortto the solution of the 'iron hand'. This itself is increasingly threatenedas republican parliaments demand control over their own armed forcesand internal security forces. Moves in the direction of a federal structureseem the probable outcome - which will strengthen the position ofstrong republics like the RSFSR and the Ukraine, whilst the economicallyunderdeveloped republics of Central Asia, and republics like Armenia withits own security concerns - will require central support.

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5 History and PerestroikaR. W. Davies


The reconsideration of the Soviet past was central to the mental revolutionlaunched by Gorbachev. In the course of 1987 and 1988 the Soviet pressand other media described with increasing frankness grim aspects of thepast on which they had been utterly silent for twenty years or more. Theintense interest of the Soviet public in the truth about their own historyled to a huge rise in the circulation of the hardest-hitting journals. Thecirculation of the literary monthly Novyi mir increased from 495,000 in1987 to 1,560,000 in 1989, and of the weekly Ogonek from 1,500,000 to3,200,000.

By the end of 1988 nearly all the 'negative aspects' of the Stalinist pastwere openly discussed: executions, labour camps, Stalin's personal dicta-torship and its effect on Soviet society, the collectivisation of agriculture inthe early 1930s, the 'Great Terror' of 1936-38, the disasters and tragediesof the Second World War, the bizarre and terrible final years of Stalin'srule after the war.

This anti-Stalinist explosion was not planned by Gorbachev and hissupporters in the Politburo. In February 1986, in an interview for the FrenchCommunist newspaper L'Humanite, Gorbachev insisted that '"Stalinism"is a concept made up by opponents of communism and used on a large-scaleto smear the Soviet Union and socialism as a whole'.2 This statementcertainly did not honestly summarise Gorbachev's own view about thepast But there is strong evidence that when he launched his vast campaignto reform Soviet society Gorbachev believed that the problem of Stalinismshould be left well alone.

Many leading party members, and this almost certainly included themajority of the Politburo, believed that the Soviet Union, in spite of a fewblemishes, had been advancing successfully towards socialism in the 1930sand 1940s. In the course of 1987 and 1988 several attempts were made tostop the progress of glasnost about Soviet history - notably on the occasionof the publication of Nina Andreeva's notorious article 'I Shall Not GiveUp My Principles' in March 1988. But as early as the beginning of 1987


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Gorbachev, like Khrushchev at the time of the XX Party Congress 31 yearsearlier, had concluded that reform could not succeed if Stalin and Stalinismwere not undermined. In 1987 and 1988 he consistently gave his support toglasnost.

In the last months of 1988, following the XIX Party Conference, thepredominant view of the past in the Soviet press rejected the wholepolitical and economic system of Stalinism as it had developed sincethe late 1920s. Leading journalists and writers condemned not only therepressions but also the collectivisation of agriculture; and claimed thatthe 'command-administrative system' had played a negative role in Sovietdevelopment ever since it was introduced at the end of the 1920s. Thisdominant group argued that Lenin's New Economic Policy of the 1920s- NEP - had been extremely successful. Its mixed market economycombined state ownership of large-scale industry with an agricultureworked by individual peasant households; NEP was based not on thecoercion characteristic of the Stalin period but on economic incentives. Intheir view NEP should have been continued into the 1930s. The hero of thelast months of 1988 was the most brilliant proponent of this alternative toStalinism: Bukharin, born exactly 100 years before in 1888 (and executedfifty years before in 1938).

The glasnost of 1988 was incomplete. With the exception of a few boldvoices, it was glasnost within the framework of the Communist Party andthe one-party state - even within the framework of Marxism-Leninism.Lenin's ideas and political activities were very little scrutinised, and itwas taken almost for granted in nearly every article about the Soviet pastthat the October 1917 Revolution led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks was anecessary and progressive event in Soviet and human history.


In the course of 1989 all this changed. Assessments of the past funda-mentally critical of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and also of Marxism,were very vocally expressed, and contended for public support. Thedebate about history moved beyond the Communist Party framework.The rival pro-Bolshevik views of the past continued to contend bitterlyamong themselves, but now formed only one school of thought - or groupof schools of thought Desperate efforts were again made to contain thedebate - and Gorbachev sympathised with the contention that it was wrongto criticise the rightness and inevitability of the 'socialist choice' made bythe Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. However, by the end of 1989

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the political context of the historical debate had changed dramatically. Anumber of incipient non-Communist Parties had begun to form, each withits own assessment of the Soviet past The attempts to restrict the historicaldiscussion failed completely.

In view of this extension of the terms of the debate, public interest inSoviet history continued to increase in 1989. In the summer of 1989, thenumber of subscribers signing up to purchase the crucial journals againgreatly expanded. There were 2,641,000 subscribers to Novyi mir for 1990and as many as 4,451,000 subscribers to Ogonek. And subscriptions to theweekly newspaper Argumenty ifakty increased from 9,200,000 in 1988 to31,517,000 in 1990; it had a much larger circulation than any Soviet dailynewspaper, perhaps a larger circulation than any other newspaper in theworld. Many articles about history appeared in these publications in theeighteen months before the XXVIII Party Congress. Argumenty i fakty,for example, published a striking series about the number of people sentto camps and exiled under Stalin, based on the secret police files. Butit is probably true to say that by the end of 1989 the intense interest inhistory was beginning to fade. Soviet citizens, and their journals, turnedtheir attention from history to the current political scene - forming then-views partly on the basis of the understanding of their country's past whichthey had reached in the previous three years.

The focus of the public debate shifted decisively from Stalinism toLeninism and Marxism at the beginning of 1989 with the publication inthe popular science monthly Nauka i zhizn (Science and Life) of a seriesof four articles by Aleksandr Tsipko on 'The Sources of Stalinism'.3

Tsipko is a philosopher who at that time worked in the headquarters ofthe party central committee. According to Moscow rumours, just as NinaAndreeva had been protected by Egor Ligachev in March 1988, AleksandrTsipko was protected by Gorbachev's close colleague Aleksandr Yakovlev- though this support may have been due more to Yakovlev's genuinepassion for glasnost than to his complete agreement with Tsipko.

Tsipko's articles caused a sensation among Moscow intellectuals. Themain thrust of his argument was that the sources of Stalinism are tobe found in Leninist and Marxist doctrine. In 1988 many writers aboutthe Soviet past argued that Stalin had in effect carried out a counter-revolutionary coup at the end of the 1920s; the Stalin period was a kindof throw-back to Tsarism, and was supported by the backward patriarchaloutlook of the peasantry. Tsipko dismissed this whole line of thought asludicrous: Stalinism had its roots in the October 1917 revolution and theCivil War which followed i t The collectivisation of agriculture was acontinuation of the grain requisitions of the Civil War. And Stalin's view

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that socialism required the eumination of the market was held in commonby all marxists, from the anti-Bolshevik German socialist Karl Kautsky tothe Soviet Left Oppositionist Preobrazhensky:

In all cases without exception [Tsipko wrote], in all countries includingKhomeini's Iran today, the struggle against the market and commodity- money relations has always led to authoritarianism, to the disruptionof the rights and virtues of the personality, to the omnipotence of theadministration and the bureaucratic apparatus.

In Russia, the entire post-revolutionary process was a departure from 'thecourse of development of the whole of human civilisation'.

Tsipko also argued that Stalinism could not have been prevented withouta fundamental change in the whole political system which was formedduring the Civil War. Indeed, 'the attitude to the tragedy of the CivilWar is a measure of the extent to which a person is a true member ofthe intelligentsia'; the Soviet intelligentsia had accepted Stalinism so easilybecause of its firm belief that history had been moving in a correct directionsince October 1917. This false belief in the Utopian goals of the revolutionhad profound origins:

our society was educated in the spirit of the romantic conceptions of thehuman being held in common with Rousseau . . .

. . . Such messianism and deification of any kind of great idea is morethan a weakness and a romantic notion, it is a great sin against humanityand one's own people. Hatred of the routine in life, whatever are the highmotives used to justify it, has always been hatred of life.

Tsipko concluded that left-wing extremism, personified by Trotsky, rep-resents the greatest danger to perestroika. Failure to face up publicly tothe whole truth about the deep roots of Stalinism lay behind the failureof Khrushchev: unless all myth-making about the past and the future iscompletely eradicated perestroika will fail.

Several other influential publications in 1989 challenged the wholecourse of development since October 1917. Articles about NEP by theeconomist Grigorii Khanin concluded that every phase of Soviet economicpolicy, including NEP, had almost certainly been doomed to failure.He implied that only a capitalist economy could have been successful.According to Khanin, even as late as 1928 national income per head wasas much as 17 per cent below the 1913 level, while the stock of capital

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was 13 per cent above that level; a 'catastrophic decline' had taken placein the efficiency with which capital was used. These failures were due tothe power of the bureaucracy, to the domination of industrial managementby ex-workers with low qualifications, and to the elimination of efficientfanners during revolution and civil war. Khanin claimed that the feasiblelevel of capital investment within the framework of NEP was too low toavoid stagnation and military weakness: 'the last chance for alternativesolutions was lost, it seems to me, at the beginning of the 1920s; andeven then it was small'.4 Khanin's statistics are strongly disputed by othereconomists both in the Soviet Union and the West, including myself. Weargue that NEP brought about a rapid economic recovery, and achieved alevel of capital accumulation equal to that of the Russian Empire beforethe First World War.5

In the autumn of 1989 Soviet publications for the first time franklycriticised Lenin as a political leader. In the October edition of the newjournal of popular history Rodina, Vladimir Soloukhin, in a brief articleentitled 'Reading Lenin', sought to demonstrate with numerous quotationsfrom Lenin's collected works that under Lenin's leadership 'a group, ahandful of people conquered Russia and immediately introduced a morecruel occupation regime than the history of humanity had known in anycentury . . . They introduced this regime in order to remain in power'.6

The anti-Leninist case was also eloquently presented in two impor-tant works published in the Soviet Union for the first time in 1989,but written twenty years previously (and then published in the West).First, Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Arkhipelag. The publication of key sectionsof this book at the end of 1989 was a major extension of glasnost.As recently as November 1988 V. A. Medvedev, Politburo memberand head of the ideological commission of the party Central Commit-tee, declared at a news conference: 'I am against the publication of anumber of works of Solzhenitsyn, and in the first place such works asLenin in Zurich and The Gulag Archipelago. To publish Solzhenitsyn'sworks would mean, in effect, to undermine the foundations on whichtoday's life rests.'7 This was not an unrealistic judgement. The centralargument of Gulag Arkhipelag was that the spirit and practice of theconcentration-camp system can be traced back to Lenin, and to theinstitutions established during the Civil War under his leadership, andnever afterwards relinquished.

Secondly, Vasilii Grossman's bitter essay-novella Vse techet (Every-thing Flows) also treated Stalinism as continuous with Leninism. But,unlike Tsipko and Solzhenitsyn, Grossman believed that Russian historicaltraditions, and the serf-mentality they had produced in the Russian people,

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played a major part in the triumph of both the Leninist and the Stalinistautocracy:

Merciless suppression of the personality remorselessly accompanied thethousand-year history of the Russians. The slavish subordination of thepersonality to the State and its Master.

Both Solzhenitsyn and Grossman are regarded with great respect in Sovietintellectual circles. In surveys enquiring which new publications of 1989had influenced the respondents, Gulag Arkhipelag and Vse techet were themost prominent.

The Bicentenary of the French Revolution, celebrated on July 14, 1989,provided an occasion for critics of the October 1917 Revolution to discussit in a comparative context. The historian Natan Eidel'man claimed that theFrench Revolution and the Napoleonic dictatorship which followed it hadbeen less bloody than the October Revolution and the Stalin dictatorshipbecause democratic traditions and the rule of law were far more advancedin pre-revolutionary France than in pre-revolutionary Russia. V. Sirotkincondemned both the French and the Bolshevik revolutionaries for theirimpatient 'running ahead':

The French Jacobins failed in their attempt to build a universal worldof liberty and equality. The Russian Bolsheviks failed to bury capitalismby means of a world proletarian revolution. Both attempts to squeezereal life into the Procrustean bed of their doctrines ended in what Lenindescribed as 'meat-chopping'.8

By the beginning of 1990 the view was widespread that systematic progresshad been taking place in Russia in the decades before the First World Warin spite of the tsars, and had been tragically interrupted by the OctoberRevolution. On the eve of the XXVIII Party Congress, an economist fromMoscow University even praised the huge flow of foreign investments intoRussia in the decades before the First World War. The author did not evenhint that this investment might have been accompanied by disadvantages.9

Influential Soviet intellectuals argued that Stolypin's policies had offered apreferable alternative to the revolutions of 1917. Stolypin, Prime Ministerafter the 1905 revolution, introduced agrarian and other reforms in anattempt to stabilise Russian society. Thus the economist Nikolai Shmelevdeclared: 'I have an extremely positive attitude to Stolypin . . . Stolypinwas the hope of the country and he began a very fruitful process. Today

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the situation is to some extent similar.' The author Yu. Polyakov arguedthat Stolypin's policies of renewal had been defeated by the combinedefforts of the extreme Right and the extreme Left.10 Gavriil Popov, sinceelected head of the Moscow soviet following the victory of the democraticbloc, enthusiastically praised the 'unforgettable Stolypin' and his supportfor small family farms.11

Yurii Afanas'ev, Rector of the Moscow Historical-Archive Institute,one of the first to launch the historical debate at the end of 1986, wasthe bluntest of all the critics of the October Revolution. Speaking in thesummer of 1989, he declared that the Soviet regime 'was brought intobeing through bloodshed, with the aid of mass murder and crimes againsthumanity', so that it was a 'hopeless task' to provide a legal foundationfor Soviet society:

One must admit that Soviet history as a whole is not fit to serve as alegal basis for Soviet power. By admitting this, we would be taking astep towards the creation of a democratic society.12

On another occasion Afanas'ev added that 'the party as it is now does nothave a future, because it is a Leninist party; it is constructed according tothe corrupt Leninist model of imposing socialism from above, and loyaltyto the Leninist tradition is an important factor in legitimising the presentregime, its last bastion, and it is therefore necessary to renounce all featuresof the party which come from Lenin'.13 And at the Moscow InternationalConference of Historians in April 1990 he insisted that the true history ofthe Soviet period could not be written unless the path on which Russia hadembarked in October 1917 was recognised to be illegitimate.

In the spring of 1990 the idealistic image of Lenin widely acceptedin the first phases of perestroika was thoroughly undermined by thepublication in the Soviet press of a letter from Lenin to Molotov. The letter,marked ''Strictly secret1, was written on March 19, 1922, following massdisturbances among Orthodox Christian believers in the town of Shui aftera local commission, acting on government orders, seized church valuables,which were to be sold off to benefit the needy. Lenin cynically argued thatthe campaign provided a convincing pretext for a damaging blow againstthe clergy:

A wise writer on problems of state said that if a series of cruel actionsmust be carried out in order to achieve a certain political objective, thenthey must be carried out in the most energetic fashion and in as short a

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period of time as possible, because the popular masses will not toleratea long period in which cruel actions are undertaken . . .

Therefore I have reached the firm conclusion that we must now atthis moment undertake a decisive and merciless battle with the BlackHundred clergy and suppress their opposition with so much cruelty thatthey will not forget it for several decades . . .

[On the basis of an oral report to the Politburo about the Shuievents] . . . the Politburo must issue a detailed directive to the courtauthorities, also in oral form, that the trial of the Shui rebels, whoopposed assistance to the hungry, should be carried out as quicklyas possible and should definitely conclude with the execution byshooting of a very large number of the most influential and dangerousBlack-Hundreders of the town of Shui - and if possible not only of thistown but also of Moscow and several other church centres . . .

The greater the number of representatives of the reactionary clergyand the reactionary bourgeoisie which we succeed in shooting for thisreason, the better. It is precisely now that we must teach these peoplea lesson, so that for several decades they will not even dare to think ofany resistance.14

What we might call the liberal-democratic anti-Leninist school repre-sented by Tsipko, Grossman, Soloukhin, Khanin and others was opposedin 1989 - 90 from several quite different ideological viewpoints. Themost strident were the Russian nationalists. One vocal group of Russiannationalists, whose views were expressed in Nina Andreeva's letter ofMarch 1988, while admitting that there were unjustified repressions underStalin, insisted that the best national traditions were embodied in the newSoviet society and the Soviet system of the 1930s, which had provedstrong enough to defend Russia against the foreign invader in the secondworld war.

In September 1989, the newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya, which had pub-lished Andreeva's letter, attempted to renew this campaign for nationalisticCommunism. An impassioned 'Letter of a Communist', by Ignat Chebukin,who joined the party in May 1941, admitted that Stalin had been respon-sible for great injustices, but insisted that 'in spite of all Stalin's power hewas unable to turn us from the socialist path':

I, and thousands and millions like me, felt and knew that Soviet powerwas our power, that it had already succeeded in giving us a great deal.Work and some social protection to the workers. Land and literacy to

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the peasants. People who were not even considered to be people beforewatched the cinema, listened to the radio, were called on to the stage,were allowed to experience the arts and the secrets of science . . .

Soviet pride, the new quality of human beings, did not grow up onan empty place.

Chebukin vigorously criticised the 'anti-communists who, disguising theirlonging for the Russia of the nobility and the landowners, mount theirattack beginning with pre-revolutionary times and with Lenin'.15

It is significant that no-one paid any attention to Chebukin's letter,while Andreeva's letter had scared the press and most of the intelligentsiainto almost complete silence. Glasnost had advanced and become firmlysecured in the eighteen months since March 1988.

Russian nationalists of a quite different cast of thought rejected suchsupport for Lenin and for the positive aspects of the Stalin period.These nationalists shared the liberals' hostility to the Revolution andto Marxism-Leninism, but they rejected the liberals' analysis and values,and their hopes for the future. The most prominent member of theanti-Leninist nationalists is of course Solzhenitsyn. But Solzhenitsyn issui generis. Almost alone among the nationalist writers, his moral andliterary influence is considerable on liberals and nationalists alike. It isperhaps significant that he chose the liberal journal Novyi mir to publishhis writings in 1989 - the journal which over twenty years before underthe editorship of Tvardovsky had stoutly defended him, and had managedto publish One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, his novella about aStalinist labour camp.

Both the pro-Bolshevik and the anti-Bolshevik wings of Russian nation-alism are tinged with anti-semitism. Nina Andreeva's letter of March 1988was fairly circumspect in its anti-semitism. In 1989 and 1990 hatred ofthe Jews was much more openly expressed. The most dramatic examplewas the long essay 'Russophobia' by the mathematician Academician IgorShafarevich, published by the nationalist monthly literary journal Nashsovremennik. The essay was published in two parts. The first part, whichappeared in no. 6, 1989, omitted three sections which dealt directly withthe 'accursed question' - the Jewish question. These sections appearedbelatedly in no. 11, 1989; the editor apologised for omitting them in thetime of glasnost, but remarked that their publication might again lead to'stupid accusations of anti-semitism'.

According to Shafarevich, the long-isolated Jewish religious communesrapidly disintegrated in Russia at the end of the XIX Century, and as aresult Jews in disproportionate numbers had entered the economy and all

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the opposition groups in society, from the liberals to the terrorists. Thedifference between the French and the Russian Revolutions was that inthe French Revolution Jews had played no role. The influence of Jews onSoviet society continued in the 1920s and the 1930s:

The situation in the 1930s . . . [was] that while the number of Jewishnames declined in the very top leadership, in the next lowest levels theinfluence expanded and went deeper. In the key People's Commissariats(the OGPU, foreign affairs, heavy industry) Jews occupied a dominantposition in the top leadership (People's Commissars, their deputies, andmembers of the collegia), and amounted to well over half. In somespheres the leadership consisted almost entirely of Jews.

Moreover, ever since the Revolution Jews had been particularly prominentin violent repressive acts: the execution of members of the Union of Rus-sian Nationalists in Kiev during the Civil War on the basis of membershiplists; the murder of the Tsar and his family in 1918; the construction of theWhite Sea Canal and the organisation of the GULAGs in the 1930s; andthe persecution of the Orthodox Church. Shafarevich concluded:

[The Jews were characterised by] not merely dislike for the countrywhere they were born, but complete alienation from it, and activehostility to its spiritual principles; not merely a failure to abstain frompolitical rights, but the exercise of all their will and strength to influencethe life of the country. Such a combination was remarkably effective;it created a 'Little People', who in their influence exceeded all othervariants of this phenomenon which have ever appeared in History.

Anti-semitic feelings are widespread in the Soviet Union, but fortunatelysuch rabid anti-semitic Russian nationalism as Shafarevich's has so farattracted little public support. In the 1989 and 1990 elections, the can-didates of the nationalist movement Pamyat' and its allies attracted fewvotes. While the circulation of Nash sovremennik increased in 1990, it isstill less than one-sixth of the circulation of its liberal rival Novyi mir.

The advocates of Leninist alternatives to Stalinism - let us call themthe 'democratic Leninists' - did not fold their tents and depart vanquishedfrom the battlefield in face of this dual assault from liberals and nationalists.Vigorous articles by historians from the Institute of Marxism-Leninismand elsewhere mounted a defence of Leninism and of Lenin's policiesin revolution and civil war which was on the whole thoughtful and notunconstructive.16

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The democratic Leninists have begun to move from general discussionto serious professional historical investigation of the past. Following thepublication of the Russian translation of Stephen Cohen's biography ofBukharin in 1988, Soviet historians issued several substantial volumesof Bukharin's writings and speeches. These included material from thearchives such as Bukharin's previously unpublished speech to the plenumof the party Central Committee on April 18, 1929, the last occasion onwhich he was able to present an extended defence of his views.17

In the course of 1989 and 1990 the democratic Leninists also struggledto secure the political rehabilitation of Trotsky and the Left Opposition -for sixty years the most maligned heretic, and now dismissed with scornand hostility by both liberals and Russian nationalists.

In October 1989 two young historians, M. M. Gorinov and S. V.Tsakunov, presented to a Soviet-American colloquium in Moscow acarefully-researched paper on Evgenii Preobrazhensky, the principaleconomist of the Left Opposition; they were assisted in their work byPreobrazhensky's son Leonid.18 In a sympathetic account, the authors con-clude that Preobrazhensky, in his work on the problems of industrialisationin the 1920s, 'disclosed and analysed the main objective tendencies of theperiod'.

More or less simultaneously, several crucial articles by Trotsky werepublished in Soviet journals, including New Course (1923) and TheStalin School of Falsification (1928).19 Extracts from the autobiographyof Trotsky by Pierre Broue", a French marxist sympathetic to Trotsky, werepublished in the Novosibirsk economic journal EKO, nos 9 and 10, 1989.Then at the beginning of 1990 EKO published an Afterword to Broud bythe well-known historian V. P. Danilov. Danilov proclaimed that '1989was the first year when the first steps were taken on the road to a realunderstanding of Trotsky'.20 Danilov had discovered in the party archivesnotes by Stalin's secretary Bazhanov on a speech by Trotsky deliveredat a party Central Committee plenum on October 16, 1923 (previouslyhistorians had believed that Trotsky was not present at the plenum owingto illness, and Trotsky had evidently completely forgotten that he hadbeen present when he later wrote about these events). In 1923 Trotskywas frequently reproached for his immodesty in refusing Lenin's proposal,some months earlier, that he should become deputy chairman under Leninof the Council of People's Commissars. However, Trotsky explained tothe plenum that 'I firmly turned down his proposal on the grounds that weshould not give our enemies the opportunity to say that our country wasbeing ruled by a Jew'. Danilov argues that in this speech 'Trotsky providedconvincing proof that he never sought to struggle for personal power'.

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Danilov had been one of the most active protagonists of the rehabilitationof Bukharin and other marxists who were in the opposite camp to Trotskyin the mid-1920s. But Danilov contended that it was very important topresent the lives and opinions of all Stalin's opponents honestly and fully."The myth that the struggle within the party in the twenties was a strugglefor power among all its voluntary and involuntary participants was verynecessary to Stalin; with the help of this myth he discredited his opponentsand justified his own struggle for personal power.' Danilov also arguedthat it was important for present-day political reasons to appreciate thefundamental difference between Stalin and his opponents. Failure to do sohelped those who argued that Soviet history had taken a wrong path eversince 1917:

As in the case of N. I. Bukharin, the evolution of attitudes to L. D.Trotsky displays a strange shift in historical viewpoints. The mainopponents of Stalin, who resisted the establishment of the counter-revolutionary bureaucratic dictatorship, are presented as collaboratorsin the Stalin crimes, as co-founders of the Stalin regime. This dis-torted view is understandable in the case of those who have recentlydeclared themselves to be supporters of 'the Stolypin alternative' orof Kerensky's 'law-governed state': for them all Bolsheviks are 'tarredwith the same brush'. But those who wave the banner of October writein just the same way.

In their publications of 1989 and 1990, a number of Soviet historians,mainly working in the party Institute of Marxism-Leninism, offered a freshassessment of NEP and of its collapse at the end of the 1920s. Theirapproach is less superficial than either the uncritical enthusiasm for NEPdisplayed in the typical writings of 1987 and 1988 or the dismissal of NEPby the anti-Leninists in 1990 as merely an unsuccessful attempt to preventthe inevitable degeneration of the October Revolution into totalitarianism.Thus the young historian N. S. Simonov presents the crisis of NEP asfundamentally due to the conflict between two economic formations: 'thetraditional semi-patriarchal semi-commodity peasant economy; and themodern industrial economy'. Avoiding this conflict was a difficult anddelicate task. In Simonov's opinion, in the mid-1920s the state should haveattempted to mitigate this conflict by giving priority to light rather thanheavy industry; and it should have acted earlier against rural differentiation,encouraging genuine cooperation in the countryside [how this would havehelped with the economic problem is not clear]. And in foreign policy itshould have been more flexible, so that the Western powers were willing

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to advance loans for economic development. But according to Simonoveven these policies might not have solved the dilemma, in view of thehuge expenditures on transport, engineering and chemicals required by theSoviet military.21

Another young historian, M. M. Gorinov, who works in the Institute ofthe History of the USSR (we have already met him as the co-author of abiographical article on Preobrazhensky) argued even more strongly thatit would have been very difficult to combine successful industrialisationwith the continuation of the market equilibrium which was at the heart ofNEP:

the threat of technical backwardness, the permanent danger of war, andthe instability of the market cast very grave doubt on the effectivenessof this variant.

Gorinov suggested that the optimum variant would have been 'a synthesisof the "Stalinist model" and "Bukharinist methods'", but instead Stalin andhis entourage stepped over the 'narrow boundary between self-defence andcrime'.22

In the battle between Leninism and its opponents, articles sceptical aboutthe October Revolution and critical of Lenin predominated in those journalsand magazines which have the largest circulation, such as Novyi mir andLiteraturnaya gazeta. But the Leninists possessed one major advantage:the school syllabus was broadly under their control. After the extraordinarydecision to cancel school examinations on XX-Century Soviet history in1988, the new textbook for the X Form was prepared in a great hurry,sent to the press on December 16, 1988, and approved for publicationon February 16, 1989. 3,110,000 copies were published. It covered thehistory of the USSR from 1900-41. The lively and informative chapterson revolution and civil war, written by Yu. I. Korablev, strongly supportedall the major decisions of the Bolsheviks. The Bolshevik minority whichcalled for a socialist coalition in the autumn of 1917 was condemnedfor 'defending the necessity of sharing power with parties which took upanti-Soviet positions'. The textbook described with approval or withoutcriticism the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the establishmentof the food dictatorship and the one-party system, and the Red Terror.

The chapters on NEP and the 1930s, written by Yu. Borisov, areunambiguously anti-Stalinist. They condemn not only the political repres-sions, but also the collectivisation of agriculture, the losses from which arefully described. They present industrialisation as a necessity, but condemnthe methods used, including the use of forced labour in large numbers,

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as inhumane. The success of industrialisation is presented as due notto the system but to 'labour heroism', and particularly to the efforts ofYoung Communists and other young people. The concluding section ofthe textbook is open-minded, but conveys a Leninist message:

Stalinism led to a departure from a number of fundamental Leninistprinciples. The gigantic zigzag in the history of the country greatlydelayed the transition period from capitalism to socialism. In theseconditions socialism could not emerge as a system with its full value,corresponding to the programmatic statements of Marxism-Leninism.

. . . Why were socialist ideals not only not lost but strengthened, in spiteof undergoing such serious trials? This is because the people made itschoice firmly in 1917. The first difficult years after the revolution gavethe people belief in their own strength, belief in the Communist Party.The transition to NEP showed that the policy of building and developingsocialism can and must be flexible and efficient, taking into account theinterests of the very broad mass of people?3

The syllabus for students applying for entry into higher educationestablishments in 1990 on the whole takes the same line. Thus its list ofsubjects to be studied in connection with the collectivisation of agricultureis extremely critical of the methods used, but also refers to 'the historicalnecessity of the socialist transformation of agriculture'.24 This is a legiti-mate point of view, but would be regarded as far too uncritical by mostrecent Soviet writers about the fate of the peasantry since the revolution.

How long the Leninist domination of the school and higher educationsyllabuses will remain is quite unclear. Since the crisis in history teachingin the school year 1987/88 there have been many demands from teachersand historians that a variety of school history textbooks should be madeavailable. At the beginning of 1990 the Prosveshchenie publishing house,which issues the textbooks, ordered two alternative variants of the textbookon Soviet history for the X Form from Leningrad historians (the textbookpublished in 1989 was written by Moscow historians).25 Whatever thecontent of the textbooks, it is now certain that, after the great debatesand revelations of the past four years, teachers will have to teach beyondthe present textbook if they are to retain the respect of their pupils.26

The seventeen-year old pupils who study the Soviet period of history arewell aware of the debate about the October Revolution which rages ontelevision as well as in the press, and regard orthodox history with theutmost scepticism. And undergraduates are of course even better informedabout how history is being discussed outside the lecture room.

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To sum up. In the months before the XXVIII Congress, the OctoberRevolution and Leninism were on trial before the country at large. HadRussia been on the wrong path ever since 1917, so that the wholepost-revolutionary development needed to be superseded? This was thecentral question about Soviet history which was debated in the Sovietmedia.

It was also one of the central questions for professional historians, whohad cast off the caution which characterised their public activities in theearly stages of perestroika. At the International Conference of Historiansin Moscow in April 1990, Leninism was debated as much among Sovietas Western historians. Some Soviet members of the audience greeted anattack by Afanas'ev on the whole course of development since the Octoberrevolution with enthusiasm, others with hostility. Some Soviet speakers atthe Conference took a broadly Leninist approach, but one young historianfrom the Institute of Marxism-Leninism (previously the shrine of Leninistorthodoxy) criticised Lenin as someone who opportunistically took policiespragmatically from whichever of his pockets seemed suitable. Westernscholars who made cautious criticisms of Lenin were enthusiasticallyslapped on the shoulder by anti-Leninists; those who, like myself, notedthat central planning had been responsible for major industrial develop-ments in the 1930s were warmly shaken by the hand by more orthodoxhistorians. Historical scholarship proved quite unable to stand outside thegeneral political ferment


In the months before the party Congress the reconsideration of the past wascentral to several important party or government decisions. First, the Pol-itburo 'Commission on the Further Examination of Materials Concerningthe Repressions of the 30s, 40s and Early 50s', vigorously continued itsgrim task of rehabilitating (usually posthumously) the victims of Stalinism,working closely with the Procuracy, the Supreme Court and the KGB. Thecommission, established on September 28, 1987, was under the chairman-ship of A. N. Yakovlev from October 11,1988. It met eleven times betweenJanuary 1988 and May 1990, and on each occasion rehabilitated largegroups of former party members.27 Its work was greatly accelerated by theDecree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on January 16,1989, whichruled that all decisions of the special extra-legal committees of the OGPU,NKVD and their successors were illegal. In a statement issued a few weeksbefore the party Congress, the Politburo Commission declared:

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In 1988-1989 and the first half of 1990 about one million citizens havebeen rehabilitated. The total number of citizens to whom their goodname has been restored now amounts to more than two millions. Therehabilitation of citizens in accordance with the Decree . . . of January16, 1989, is virtually complete.

The statement also declared of the big political trials:

They were all a result of arbitrariness and extreme violations of legalprocess. The materials for them were crudely falsified. No 'blocs' or'centres' existed in reality. They were created artificially.

Some trials remain to be examined, particularly those of non-party spe-cialists and others. The statement of the Pobtburo Commission urged theProcuracy, the KGB and the Supreme Court to accelerate their investigationof the famous Industrial Party, Menshevik and 'Academicians' Trials of1930-31.28

Shortly before the Party Congress the Politburo Commission published afurther list of persons readmitted posthumously to the party. This belatedlyincluded the Left Oppositionists E. A. Preobrazhensky (on whom seeabove) and I. N. Smirnov;29 the only prominent Communist opponentof Stalin not yet rehabilitated by the Commission is Trotsky himself(Trotsky was declared an 'enemy of the people' in the trials of 1937-38,and murdered by an NKVD agent in 1940).

No proceedings have yet been announced for reconsidering earlier trialswhich fall outside the period covered by the remit of the PolitburoCommission. These include the trials of the Civil War period and thetrial of the Socialist Revolutionaries in 1922. The sensitive question ofthe role of Lenin would inevitably intrude into these cases.

The second important reconsideration of the past in which Yakovlev wasclosely involved was that undertaken by the Commission of the Congress ofSoviets on the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Treaty of 1939. Yakovlev,who chaired the commission, presented a very thorough report to theCongress of Soviets on December 23, 1989; its judicious presentation ofthe evidence was widely admired by the deputies, including those fromthe Baltic republics. On the basis of Yakovlev's report the Congress ofSoviets resolved that when the USSR signed the Pact of August 23, 1939,'the country was faced with a difficult choice', and that the content of thePact itself 'was not at variance with the international legal norms and thetreaty practice of states'. But the resolution expressed no opinion aboutthe wisdom or otherwise of signing the Pact, and condemned 'the fact

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of the signing of the "secret additional protocol" of August 23, 1939,and other accords with Germany'. The secret protocol divided EasternEurope into spheres of interest between Germany and the Soviet Union,and the original protocol has not been found in any archive. Sovietspokesmen had frequently expressed doubt about its existence, or deniedit altogether. But the Congress, backed by the authority of the YakovlevCommission, declared that expert analysis of copies, together with otherevidence, 'confirm the fact of its signing and its existence'.30

The terms of the Commission were confined to the year 1939, anddeputies from the Baltic called for an extension of its mandate, or thecreation of a new commission, to examine international documents of1940-41, including the entry of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into theSoviet Union in 1940.31 No action was taken on this matter. An objectiveinvestigation would inevitably have found that the Soviet annexation ofthese countries was illegal. Since then the Baltic countries themselves havedeclared that their entry into the Soviet Union in 1940 was illegal.

The third major issue considered by the Soviet government at a highlevel was the murder of 4,000 Polish officers whose bodies were found inKatyn' Woods, and of 11,000 other missing Polish officers. This was oneof the issues investigated by the Polish-Soviet commission of historians,but at first without any agreement As recently as November 1988, whenthe USSR Council of Ministers decided to construct a memorial in Katyn',a senior Soviet official brashly claimed that the Polish officers had beenexecuted 'by fascists in 1943 when our army was advancing':

Incidentally, this question was controversial for a long time. Theyasserted in the West that the Polish comrades were killed on theorder of the leadership of the NKVD. I cannot be a judge on thispolemic, but I know that at one time specialists went to Katyn', carriedout investigations on the spot and proved that the Polish officers wereshot by German weapons.32

However, eighteen months later an enterprising Soviet historian, DrNatalya Lebedeva of the Institute of General History, provided the finalproof of Soviet responsibility for the Katyn' murders. Her clue was theunit number of a Soviet signal battalion, mentioned in a letter from itscommanding officer. This enabled her to start tracing the movements ofthe Polish officers and their Soviet guards between September 1939 andthe massacre of May 1940. Much of this material was found in the 'CentralState Special Archive' (TsGA or TsGOA), a large building on the outskirtsof Moscow; until February 1990 the Soviet press was forbidden even to

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mention the existence of this archive, and most of the few historians whohave been permitted to use the archive are still unable to cite specificarchival references which would enable other historians to find the relevantfiles. A preliminary account of Dr Lebedeva's discoveries appeared inMoscow News in April 1990, and the full account a month later.33

Simultaneously, a military historian followed a parallel trail. In June1989 he reported to the Soviet chairman of the Soviet-Polish Commissionthat materials proving Soviet guilt existed, and submitted detailed reportsin October 1989 and February 1990.34

On the basis of these researches, Gorbachev, in his capacity as Presidentof the USSR, apologised on behalf of the Soviet Union to the President ofPoland in the course of his visit to the USSR in April 1990.35 Owing tothe careful research of professional historians, truth prevailed at last.


The historical debate within the party in the months before the Congressfollowed similar lines to the debate in the country as a whole, though theinfluence of the Leninist position was naturally greater in the debate withinthe party.

In his famous report of November 1987 Gorbachev had criticised the'administrative-command system' and bitterly condemned the Stalinistrepressions, but had also been contemptuously critical of Trotsky, critical(albeit sympathetically) of Bukharin, and on the whole supported thecollectivisation of agriculture. After the XIX Party Conference in June1988, Gorbachev moved towards the unambiguously anti-Stalinist positionalready taken in 1988 by almost all reformist intellectuals. Here are someexamples of his views of the past:

In 1929-30, we were too fast in trying to change Soviet agriculture asquickly as possible, and today we are suffering the consequences ofthis. We destroyed the peasantry of our country, this is the problem.(September 13, 1988.)36

Why did Stalin succeed in foisting on the party and the whole ofsociety his programme and his methods? This is the question ofquestions for evaluating our history . . .

Stalin played cleverly on the revolutionary impatience of the masses,on Utopian and equalising tendencies inherent in any mass movement,

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on the effort of the vanguard to achieve its desired objective as quicklyas possible . . .

In the name of the 'great objective' any means, of the most inhumankind, were justified . . .

Instead of the idea of the free development of each as the conditionfor the free development of all, the concept of human beings as 'nutsand bolts' appeared. (November 1989)37

While more consistently critical of the Stalinist system, Gorbachevcontinued to support Lenin and the 'socialist choice' made in October1917 more or less unconditionally. Thus in an address to a USSR StudentForum in November 1989, while admitting or insisting that Lenin couldnot provide the answers to all the questions of subsequent development,he criticised the frequent attacks on Lenin as a theoretician and politician,and defended the October revolution:

The October revolution was not a mistake, because its real alternativewas certainly not a bourgeois-democratic republic, as they try topersuade us nowadays, but an anarchist riot [bunt] and a bloody militarydictatorship, a reactionary anti-popular regime.38

Three months later, however, Gorbachev seemed to have silentlydeparted from his previous enthusiasm for Lenin and Leninism. His reporton the 'Draft Platform for the XXVIII Party Congress', presented to theFebruary 1990 plenum of the party Central Committee, reiterated that 'weremain faithful to the choice made in October 1917, the socialist idea', butalso added that 'we are leaving behind the dogmatic conception of it', andmade only one cursory reference to Lenin:

The Platform states that our ideal is humane and democratic socialism.The CPSU, expressing the interests of the working class and of allworking people, and relying on the great heritage of Marx, Engelsand Lenin, creatively develops socialist ideas in their application topresent-day reality, taking into account the whole colossal experienceof the twentieth century.39

Gorbachev's report led the Western press to conclude that he had aban-doned Leninism. Startling headlines appeared such as: 'Farewell, Lenin:three days that shook the Party'.40

This conclusion soon prove to have been unwarranted. Gorbachev began

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his speech of April 10, 1990, to the congress of the Komsomol (YoungCommunist League) with a lengthy discussion of the importance ofcreatively using the Leninist heritage. 'The true Lenin,' he declared, 'issurprisingly up-to-date; don't believe those who claim the opposite.'41 Tendays later he delivered the keynote address at the meeting commemoratingthe 120th anniversary of Lenin's birth. He vigorously condemned the viewthat there was continuity between Lenin and Stalin, and the 'philistineslander' of Lenin. But at the same time he argued that Lenin should not betreated as an icon. For Gorbachev 'the principal value in Lenin's thoughtabout socialism, his main contribution to the elaboration of the socialistidea is to be found in his writings and policy connected with NEP, andof course in his "Testament"'. And the aspect of Lenin's character whichparticularly appealed to Gorbachev, who had himself been battling fora market-oriented reform in the Politburo, was his willingness to pushthrough his policy against the opposition or reluctance of most of theother party leaders. According to Gorbachev, when Lenin proposed theturn to NEP, 'at first perhaps only Krasin and Tsyurupa were fully inagreement' with him, and he threatened to resign. But 'eventually Lenin'sarguments and the logic of life prevailed, and NEP became the policy ofthe party'.42

At a reunion with his fellow-students a few weeks later Gorbachevis reported to have spoken as 'a true believer in socialism and Lenin-ism . . . "I can't go against my father or my grandfather", he said'.43

But he displayed a remarkable ability to adapt Lenin to the needs ofperestroika.

Among the other members of the Politburo, Ligachev wore Lenin'smantle with equal assurance. He was the only member of the Politburowho consistently presented coherent arguments for a more traditional viewof the October Revolution and Leninism. At the December 1989 plenum ofthe party Central Committee he passionately denounced those who rejectedLenin:

The Communist Party and Vladimir II'ich Lenin are the objects offerocious attacks from political careerists . . .

Yes, comrades, our history is really far from simple and it does ofcourse press down on all of us. But that is not the real question. Wehave changed much of our outlook in evaluating historical events. Ihave emphasised, and will continue to emphasise, that we are harvestingthe fruits of irresponsible and destructive activity of this kind. We havedeprived ourselves of one of the most powerful moral forces, by failing

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to place all our history, with all its heroism and complexity, at theservice of overcoming the difficulties of perestroika . . .

I am deeply convinced that attempts are being made, by blackeningour history, to weaken the belief of our people in our ideals and toundermine patriotic feelings. If I am wrong, say so.

Voices: Correct.

Ligachev, E. K.: I am deeply convinced that nihilism towards the pastgives rise to nihilism towards the present.44

The two unofficial Platforms for the Party Congress, the 'MarxistPlatform' and the 'Democratic Platform', took sharply different viewsof the Soviet past. The Marxist Platform strongly identified itself withthe October Revolution and the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' which itestablished, and argued that the tragedy of Stalinism resulted from thehistorical circumstances of the backwardness of Russian capitalism, plusthe Utopianism and other weaknesses in Soviet ideology. The adherentsof the Marxist Platform called for a return to the socialist ideals, theoverturn of the bureaucracy, and the establishment of a society based onself-management.45

The Democratic Platform, however, called for 'a fundamental re-examination of dogmatic concepts of the historical mission of the workingclass, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the necessity and inevitabilityof socialist revolutions'.46 The supporters of the Democratic Platformincluded Yurii Afanas'ev, Gavriil Popov, and other reformist intellectualswho reject the Leninist tradition altogether, and support a mixed economyalong Western social-democratic lines (Afanas'ev resigned from the partya few weeks before the Congress).

With the exception of the reactionary wing of Russian nationalism, theapproaches to Soviet history which we have surveyed were all representedin the 'Discussion Sheets' published in Pravda in the six months beforethe Congress. A number of contributors shared Ligachev's antipathy tothe blackening of the past. One writer claimed that 'I did not find a singlearticle in 1989 in defence of our system - only negative facts and opinions;I found a few facts in support of the socialist road of development onlyin the files for 1988'.47 And a deputy of the Supreme Soviet, a driverby occupation, announced his intention of resigning because the countrywas being pushed towards capitalism and unemployment while its historywas being blackened: 'I find it repulsive that dirt is thrown at the history ofour party from various public platforms, including those in the Kremlin';'the General Secretary and members of the Politburo defend the ideas of

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Marx and Lenin very weakly, lose the initiative, and give up position afterposition' .**

In contrast, a foreman in the building industry asserted that 'the Com-munist idea is dead . . . The ideas of Marx and Lenin have proved to bea Utopia . . . This is not a "lag", but a historical defeat'.49 And a scientistresigned from the Party because its 'activity is based on a false doctrinethat has already completely failed, that society should be compulsorilyreconstructed on the basis of a Utopian idea':

The party is inexcusably guilty before the people for unprecedentedwrong-doing, mass violence, the destruction of the intelligentsia andthe peasantry, the suppression of freedom . . . 5o


The Congress proceedings were primarily concerned with the currentSoviet political and economic crisis and the crisis in the party itself. Butthe great debate on history which had raged during the previous three yearsremained a significant sub-theme throughout the Congress discussions.

In an interview a few days before the Congress Vadim Medvedevattempted to maintain a careful balance between condemnation of theStalinist system and support for the Bolshevik revolution and the Leninisttradition. Describing himself as a 'left-centrist reformist', he declared onthe sensitive issue of the reinterpretation of Lenin and Leninism:

In past years, of course, Lenin was transformed from a unique individualinto a symbol of ideological orthodoxy. But today things have goneto the other extreme: Lenin's icon-like image is being replaced bydilettantish petty carping and even direct falsifications. Taking facts andquotations out of their context is a definite widespread but neverthelesspatently unscientific and unworthy occupation. Even so, I believe thatLenin needs no 'special pleading', because the greatness of his thoughtsand deeds is recognised even by his ideological opponents. The questionis different: what should we take from Lenin's 'treasury' in order toelaborate modern ideas about socialism and roads to social progress?51

Both the draft 'Programmatic Declaration', published immediatelybefore the Congress, and Gorbachev's Report to the Congress, endeavouredto take a similar balanced approach. The Programmatic Declaration stronglycriticised not only 'the departure from the ideals and principles of socialism

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in the 1930s to 1950s' but also the 'false conception of socialism as a societybased on a monopoly of state property, carried out by the party and state61ite (verkhushka) in the name of the proletariat'. But at the same timeit condemned 'the nihilistic rejection of the ideals of October and therevolutionary and democratic conquests of the Soviet people'.52

Gorbachev's Report insisted that 'we decisively renounce in our pastwhat we do not wish to take with ourselves into the future'. This was aremarkably pragmatic statement, even for Gorbachev: should every pastdevelopment which is now outmoded be renounced? He immediatelyqualified it by insisting that 'we are against a complete renunciation ofeverything our people have accomplished since October, and we pay ourrespects to every generation of Soviet people which was inspired by thesocialist idea'. At the end of the first day of the Congress, this respect wasacknowledged when the delegates, led by Gorbachev, placed a wreath onLenin's mausoleum.53

The division in the Politburo about Soviet history appeared more orless openly in the speeches of Politburo members. Aleksandr Yakovlev,bluntly declaring that 'the truth about Stalinism is a sentence on thesystem it created', commented on Soviet history in terms critical ofmajor aspects of the whole of Soviet development, not just the Stalinperiod. According to Yakovlev, the fundamental trouble was that 'theparty of the idea, the revolutionary idea, turned into a party of power: inessence they always coexisted - the party serving the people and the partyof no contradictions, communist vanity (komchvanstvo) and communistlordliness (kombarstvoY. The use of these terms from the Leninist lexicondid not disguise the thrust of Yakovlev's criticism - he added that 'for 70years we have often allowed ourselves to ignore everything we did notlike'.54

Notwithstanding his reputation as a party disciplinarian, B. K. Pugo, acandidate member of the Politburo, and chairman of the Committee of PartyControl, gave a moving account of his work as a member of the Politburocommission on the repressions:

We have experienced deep in our hearts this whole bottomless pitof horror, this sea of tears. So much has now been said about therepressions that some people even treat the question more or less calmly.But anyone who has been directly concerned with this tragedy knows thecost of lawlessness. You leaf through a file, and you are confronted bya simple human being, a worker, who supported the revolution - andhe is an enemy. A woman, a mother with many children - she is alsoan enemy. Military and party officials, professors, and people from the

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arts - and they are all enemies, enemies. No, comrades, these were notmistakes. This is a terrible sin in our history. And we will not be forgivenuntil every single person who was unjustly condemned has been cleared.We shall take this matter to the very end, have no doubt about that.55

In contrast, two Politburo members, while not attempting to defend theStalinist past, emphatically opposed the widespread general rejection of theSoviet past. Kryuchkov, head of the KGB, claimed that the present-dayKGB bore no responsibility for what he described as 'the tragic pages ofthe past', and that these were in any case not the whole of Soviet history:

Together with serious mistakes and tragic pages there was much thatwas positive and glorious. And those who try to depict everything indark colours are either blind, or are acting with intentions that are farfrom pure.56

And Ligachev, in his last speech as a member of the Politburo, rejectedthe notion that Lenin's outlook had fundamentally changed after theintroduction of NEP:

The example of Lenin inspired me . . . I do not agree with the viewthat Lenin at the end of his life decisively changed his viewpointon socialism. He did not change his viewpoint on socialism. Hemerely changed his view on the methods and means of constructingsocialism . . .

M. S. Gorbachev's statement on the 70th Anniversary of Great Octoberthat not one year was lived in vain for our people was not developed inthe political work of our party, and I profoundly regret this.57

These contrasting views were expressed even more emphatically in thespeeches of delegates. The actor M. A. Ul'yanov, who has frequentlyportrayed Lenin on the stage, raised searching questions about the natureof socialism and the campaign for its renewal:

How can we renew socialism, which has not so far achieved successes,although the period for achieving what was promised was not short -over 70 years. Perhaps we should not renew the socialism of unbendingdogmatism? the socialism of dreary equality? the socialism of beggars?the socialism of silent little cogs in the wheel? the socialism of untouch-able leaders and the silent masses . . . Socialism, which at some time

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was turned from its true path and began to serve not people, but leaders,and the naked idea? . . . The system of such a socialism drove out ofpeople the smallest manifestation of spirituality.58

V. N. Shostakovskii, rector of the Moscow Higher Party School, a promi-nent supporter of the Democratic Platform, took a similar line, andextended the criticism to Marxism itself:

The people followed the slogans of the Bolsheviks in 1917. And 73years later we repeat these slogans again and again: land to the peasants,factories to the workers, power to the Soviets, peace to the peoples. Wehave not put these slogans into practice. Land belongs to the state andis thus without a master. The factories - to government departments.Power - to the party. And there is no peace between the peoples . . .

Another mistake of principle of Marxism was the underestimationof the profound creative content of peasant labour, the importance oftraditions in the countryside, the special morality of tillers of the soil inrelation to the land. It was the Communist Manifesto [of 1848] whichspoke of 'the idiocy of rural life'.59

These critical voices about the past did not express the general mood ofthe Congress, which was far more conservative. Several delegates sharplycondemned the party leadership, and particularly Politburo member V. A.Medvedev, responsible for ideology, for their failure to rebuff the onslaughton Leninism:

Barrels of dirt are poured over Lenin and Leninism; the ideologicalprinciples of our party are falsified in a most unscrupulous way. Andno-one gives this a suitable rebuff. In the general view of the delegates ofthe XVII Congress of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, the passiveand even cowardly actions of the officials on the ideological front,headed by Politburo member V. A. Medvedev, have demoralised theparty and damaged the ideological convictions of the Soviet people.(N. A. Nazarbaev, First Secretary, Kazakhstan Communist Party, andPresident of Kazakhstan.)60

It is necessary to consolidate the healthy forces in the party by cleansingit from fellow-travellers who belong to it by accident and from thosewho still carry our party cards, but still preach an ideology alien to us,regard all our history as a mistake and Marxist-Leninist doctrine as aUtopia.

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We lost a great deal when we gave the possibility to the enemiesof socialism to distract our attention and our intellectual forces fromcontemporary problems to endless digging in the past. This has beencleverly used by our ideological adversaries. Through past mistakes andfaults they have deftly built a bridge to our complicated present, . . . andon a wave of democratic euphoria of the people are demanding thatMarx and Lenin should be thrown off our ship of history. (A. Kh.Galazov, First Secretary, North Ossetian party regional committee.)61

Some people have recently been trying very assiduously andunscrupulously to besmirch our whole history and to paint it onlyin black. It is your history and mine, bad or good, and it should beequally dear to the heart of every Soviet person.

We want to be respected in the world, but how can others respectus if we have lost respect for ourselves? We only seem capable ofcovering ourselves in filth What is the picture presented tous in the pages of Izvestiya, Komsomol'skaya Pravda, Ogonek andother publications? The period of the revolution is the debauch of theilliterate rabble, and genocide in relation to the intelligentsia. The lifeof the older generation was nothing but a field of blood, the life ofthe middle generation was a stagnant marsh. (A. I. Teplenichev, partysecretary, Novo-Lipetsk iron and steel combine.)62


The resolutions of the party Congress retained the approach taken byGorbachev in his political report. The resolution on the Report declaredthat 'the totalitarian Stalin system, which caused enormous damage to thecountry, the people, and the idea of socialism itself, is being overcome'.But it also condemned the attacks on Lenin, and claimed that 'it is theduty of every Communist and honest person to defend him as a politicianand a thinker both from slander and defamation, and from bureaucraticpraise and glorification'.63 The Congress also adopted the 'ProgrammaticDeclaration', with minor modifications, which went some way towardsaccepting responsibility for the party's past actions:

The Congress notes that the CPSU as the ruling party bears political andmoral responsibility for the situation that developed in the country, andit has itself talked candidly about the mistakes made by the country'sparty and state leadership and has condemned the crimes of the Stalin

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era and the flagrant violation of human rights. But the Congressresolutely opposes blanket accusations against honest communists ofboth past and present generations. Millions of communists served thepeople selflessly, worked whole-heartedly, and fought courageously forthe homeland's freedom and independence. There have always beenprogressive forces at work within the CPSU, and it is they who inspiredand have led society's restructuring.64

These compromise proposals for the present, and broadly Leninist viewof the past, succeeded in retaining both the conservatives and the supportersof the Marxist Platform within the party, as well as the 'centrists' headedby Gorbachev. But towards the end of the Congress many of the delegateswho had declared their support for the Democratic Platform resigned fromthe party, including figures prominent in the historical debate such asShostakovskii and Gavriil Popov (now mayor of Moscow).

After the Congress many former members of the Politburo now ceasedto occupy any party post. Ligachev departed from the political stage; andAleksandr Yakovlev took on important state responsibilities as a memberof Gorbachev's Presidential Council.

At the time of the Congress Yakovlev, who was responsible in practicefor the work of the commission on party history headed by Gorbachev,published in the party journal Kommunist an introductory article about theforthcoming multi-volume Essays on the History of the CPSU (Ocherkiistorii KPSS). The forthright questions raised in Yakovlev's article deserveextensive quotation:

What was the real significance of Marxism in the XIX Century and howfar had this significance changed by the end of the XX Century? Wasthe historical division of the socialist movement into Social-democracyand Communism due to the 'irreconcilability' of Lenin or to the'renegadism' of Plekhanov and Kautsky; and has not Communismreturned to Social-democratic positions? Were there doctrinal 'flaws' inthe viewpoint of Marx and Engels, and did these flaws play a perniciousrole in the establishment of the historical phenomenon known as 'statesocialism'? Did the command-administrative system carry within itselfsomething from the theory and practice of Leninism and Trotskyism,especially from the 'War Communism' period of 1918-20? Was it not afatal mistake to create a one-party system instead of a two-party system,which would have enabled natural mutual control? Why did Lenin'scolleagues ignore his 'Political Testament'?

What was the historical formation which was established as a result

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of the Stalin 'revolution from above'? How did the fusion of the partyand state apparatus take place? Did there begin after the second worldwar processes not foreseen by Marxism, amounting to the 'convergence'of two opposing social systems? Did not socialist practice depart fromthe common human norms of morality when it recognised force as themidwife of history? When and why were these norms lost?

Complicated general questions of theory have begun to 'back up'questions which are of a specific character, but also extremely impor-tant What did the 'Stolypin reform' give to Russia in practice and didthe Bolsheviks struggle against it in vain? Would it not have been moresensible to stop at February 1917, with its 'freedoms', and not pushthe country to October, with its 'dictatorship of the proletariat'? Could'Stalin collectivisation' have been avoided? Did Stalin really introduceit on the Trotskyist model'? What were the origins of the terribletragedies, organised consciously by the authorities? How did it happenthat a permanent crisis of political and state leadership developed in thecountry and the party? And so on. And so forth.65

A comparison of this list of questions with the shorter list presentedby Yakovlev in his lecture to the Academy of Sciences in April 1987 isinstructive.66 The earlier list was confined primarily to the Stalin period;the new list presents a programme for the reexamination of Marxism andLeninism as well as Stalinism. The debate about Leninism had found itsway into the heart of the discussions within the party.

Following the Congress, the liberal press continued to criticise the Len-inist past. Reminiscences of Aleksandr Blok, author of the revolutionarypoem 'The Twelve', described how he gradually turned against revolutionin 1920-21; 'he could not even hear about "The Twelve" - he had turnedso much against the subject of "The Twelve'" .67 An article on the occasionof the 50th anniversary of the murder of Trotsky by a GPU agent declaredthat 'in my opinion Trotsky and Stalin were brothers born from the samewomb, sons of the October revolution . . . They were both ideologists andpractitioners of barrack socialism'.68 The Left Socialist-Revolutionarieswere condemned for their coalition with the Bolsheviks in the first monthsafter the October Revolution:

Concessions, which turned the idea of democracy bit by bit into the ideaof dictatorship - in the name of the 'interests of the revolution' - hadthe result that by the summer of 1918 the revolution was headed by aparty which was no longer tied down by anything - not by laws, norby democratic 'prejudices'.69

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At the same time public attention turned to the anti-Bolshevik and non-Bolshevik thinkers of the immediate pre-revolutionary period, particularlyto the writers of the famous collection of essays Vekhi (Landmarks) callingfor moderation and compromise published in the aftermath of the 1905revolution. Most prominent among them was Nikolai Berdyaev, whocondemned both Right and Left in Russia for allowing slogans to replacetruth, and called for independent individual thought. Berdyaev's thoughtwas described by the editors of the literary newspaper as 'surprisingly freshand appropriate in the context of our present arguments about the fate ofRussia'.70

An opinion survey in Moscow purported to reveal that Lenin, whowas the most popular political figure in November 1989, had fallen tosecond place by the time of the party Congress (the first place wasoccupied by Sobchak, the mayor of Leningrad).71 Following the Congress,in various parts of the Soviet Union, including the Baltic Republics,Georgia, Moldavia and Western Ukraine, public monuments to Leninwere removed by the local authorities. The Central Committee of theUkrainian Communist Party, and the Secretariat of the Central Committeeof the Communist Party of the USSR, protested vigorously.72 But thestatues and busts continued to disappear.

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6 Foreign PolicyJonathan Haslam

The XXVIII Party Congress inaugurated no changes at all in the conductof Soviet foreign policy. It did, however, witness the continuation ofsavage and bitter attacks on the policy latterly adopted by Gorbachev.The main thrust of these attacks emanated from the military, for whomthe consequences of the 'new thinking' have been the most threateningsince it had led to (and was leading to more) agreements on disarmament;it had imposed a redefinition of Soviet military doctrine from an emphasison the offensive to an emphasis on defence; it had obliged a withdrawalfrom Afghanistan without victory as a precondition; it had driven the SovietUnion out of Eastern Europe, thus completely breaking the pre-existing bal-ance of power with NATO; and finally, it was forcing a major curtailmentin the growth of military expenditure.

In terms of diplomacy, the 'new thinking' essentially amounted to thesurrendering of previously held positions to the Chinese and to the West inreturn for a more peaceful and relaxed international environment in whichto bring the Soviet Union up to Western standards. The three basic tenetsenunciated by Gorbachev at the Congress on July 2 1990, were: (i) thesecurity of the Soviet Union could not be secured at the expense of thesecurity of others; (ii) it was impossible to build a democratic society inisolation from others; and (iii) the Soviet Union had to be incorporated intothe world economy.1

The attacks upon the policy were not surprising, however reasonablethe goals appeared to be. All the major changes - particularly the mostdramatic, altering the shape of Eastern Europe - had been initiated at thevery top without consultation with the lower ranks. And all these changescut across the grain of the past The Party ranks were accustomed enough tono consultation but not in combination with what amounted to a revolutionin values and practices. Our knowledge of what precisely took place is stillfragmentary - glasnost has yet to reach the levels of openness accustomedto us in the West. We do not have access to the full proceedings of theCongress, especially its specialist committees. But there is sufficient onrecord to illustrate the shape of the debate and to assess its impact, if any,on policy.


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From the outset under Gorbachev Soviet foreign policy was an obviouscandidate for perestroika. No serious reform - even of the limited typeconceived by Gorbachev's mentor, Andropov, and faltingly attempted in1982-84 - could be contemplated without a visible decrease in tension inrelations with the other Powers. And those relations were, by March 1985,in an abysmal condition. As Politburo member Zaikov acknowledged,'In the eyes of the world we looked like a potential aggressor. No onewanted to deal with us. It was necessary to change the situation urgentlyand fundamentally.'2

Perestroika in foreign policy was thus the sine qua non of perestroikain domestic policy. The Soviet Union needed a quiescent external envi-ronment in order to focus on internal reform. The attempt to mould suchan environment through a policy of arming to the teeth under Brezhnev- a policy of negotiation from strength - had done nothing but harm. Itbadly distorted the allocation of scarce resources by diverting hard-earnedcapital and skilled manpower towards the relatively unproductive military -industrial sectors of the economy. It alarmed the Soviet Union's neighboursand accelerated the nuclear arms race with the United States to the pointwhere detente had all but completely collapsed.3

New thinking was badly needed. The extent of this re-evaluation was,however, contingent upon the degree of reform in the domestic spheres.Tactical changes in foreign policy - more emphasis on arms control,growing cultural contacts with the West, avoidance of open conflict inthe Third World - could be initiated without much adjustment to traditionalpolicies at home. These tactical changes were quickly brought into beingby Gorbachev on the appointment of the noted Georgian reformer, EduardShevardnadze, as Foreign Minister in July 1985. They certainly releasedsome of the tensions characteristic of relations with China and the Westsince the end of the previous decade. But the limitations of these adjust-ments rapidly became apparent as a new detente failed to emerge from theruins of the past.

Two aspects of Soviet foreign policy raised troublesome issues ofprinciple. It was these two aspects that caused the greatest friction withthe West: first, the longstanding Soviet commitment to 'national liberationmovements' in the Third World; second, the maintenance of Soviethegemony over East Central and Eastern Europe. In respect of the formerShevardnadze took decisive action in July 1988, when he redefined theLeninist concept of peaceful co-existence in such a way as to denythe primacy of the ideological struggle in the conduct of internationalrelations.4 It was only a matter of weeks before Gorbachev's main rivalLigachev lauched an attack on this heresy and reasserted the primacy of

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the class struggle in the international arena.5 Gorbachev carefully avoidedtaking a stand either way. But the tenor of his policies was certainlycloser to that of Shevardnadze than that of Ligachev. Under Gorbachevthe Leninist line in international relations was thus destined to fade intoquiet oblivion without a formal funeral that might arouse the unwelcomegrief of its steadfast adherents.

One fundamental precept - the ideological priority of national liberationmovements in the Third World - had thus been tacitly revised by thebeginning of 1989. The other - that of Soviet hegemony over EasternEurope - was by then under challenge. From surrendering the idea ofoverturning capitalism it was but a short step to the point of acceptingthe overthrow of 'socialism'. The battle lines were drawn in the summerof 1988 when a committee reported to Gorbachev on Soviet security com-mitments worldwide and recommended withdrawal from certain countriesin Eastern Europe. These recommendations emanated from the Institute ofthe Economics of the World Socialist System, headed by economist OlegBogomolov. They came ultimately from the pen of Dashichev, head ofthe institute's international relations department since its creation in 1972.Dashichev also headed the consultants to the East European Department ofthe Foreign Ministry after the reorganization of the ministry's departmentalstructure later that year.6

Nothing came of these recommendations until events in Eastern Europeunderlined the fragility of Communist rule in the region. Up to this pointGorbachev had left the region as it was. The only demand placed uponthese regimes was that their economies should become more efficientYet the growth of political freedom within the USSR was impossibleto contain. It became increasingly evident that true economic progresswas unsustainable without democratisation. This was most apparent inPoland. And as the demands on the Polish government from Solidaritymounted Moscow began losening the ties that bound that government to themonolithic one-party state. By the summer of 1989 Gorbachev had graspedthe nettle and accepted the need for democratic elections in Poland, just ashe had also accepted the need for a more representative assembly in theUSSR. Thereafter the unravelling of Soviet hegemony was a matter oftime. One by one the Communist Parties ruling Eastern Europe crashed tothe ground when faced with mounting popular discontent and Moscow'srefusal to send in the tanks. The process culminated in the downfall of thehated East German dictatorship in December 1990. Dashichev's Utopianvision had become reality. The decision to withdraw Soviet forces, nowislands of military power in a sea of hostility, was henceforth merely amatter of timing.

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Disengagement from the commitment to revolution in the Third Worldhad aroused the wrath of Ligachev. And he was no doubt speaking formany in the apparatus in his outright condemnation of revisionism. Butthe process of disengagement was silent, gradual, and almost imperceptible.This made it difficult to track and next to impossible to challenge withany effectiveness. Ligachev all too easily took on the appearance of DonQuixote tilting at windmills. Shevardnadze had been careful not to abandonthe Leninist testament too explicitly; he had at least verbally-merely sub-jugated it to more urgent priorities that had an indefinite future. The flightfrom Eastern Europe was a different matter entirely. It meant desertingfraternal communist regimes: a disquieting precedent (to a Communist)for the future of perestroika at home. More important, perhaps, was theundeniable fact that the commitment to Soviet hegemony was an emotionalas well as a material issue. Eastern Europe was the soil soaked in the bloodof Red Army soldiers who had bberated it from Nazi occupation.7 Theprice of this liberation had been Soviet domination. And many Russians -not just Communists in power - saw this as only right. For these reasons itwas only to be expected that opposition would take a highly emotive form,particularly from the Soviet military.

The Central Committee plenum on February 5-7, 1990, saw the firstconcerted attack on the government's foreign policy since Gorbachev hadcome to power. The interconnexion between the retreat from EasternEurope and Gorbachev's domestic programme was underlined when theSoviet ambassador to Poland, Brovikov, launched a full-frontal assault onthe leadership's policies. In turn Ligachev explicitly attacked the new lineon Germany and warned of a second 'Munich'.8 Shevardnadze vigorouslydefended the government's foreign policy, denying that the USSR hadmade 'unilateral concession' or that it had 'surrendered' any positions.'Never on any occasions have we made any concessions to anyone, andif we did, they were concessions to common sense.'9 Later Shevardnadzeexplained:

One comrade, speaking at the plenum, said that until recently the USSRwas a great state, which commanded authority, that the whole worldadmired it. And there was Eastern Europe . . . the guarantee of oursecurity . . . . It is implied that we have destroyed all this . . . boththe grandeur and the guarantee . . . And what lay behind all this?Forces were brought into Czechoslovakia and progressive buds werewiped out Do they consider that the world admired that? Order wasbrought to Hungary in 1956. Was Europe also delighted at this? Wewent into Afghanistan. How was it called at the time - an international

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duty? When it was correct to call it an invasion. And did the world onceagain admire that? . . . And someone among us even now puts puzzlingquestions [such as]; how is it that a massive Power with a five-millionstrong army was unable to sort out little Afghanistan?!10

But dissatisfaction continued to grow and to be expressed as the processtowards German reunification gathered pace and the issue of whether thenew Germany should enter NATO came to a head. Discontent was notconfined purely to the ranks of the Central Committee. In the formulation ofthe new line on Germany the responsible officials in the Central Committeeapparatus and the Foreign Ministry had been overruled in favour of theheresies espoused by such as Dashichev.11 Early in April these elements inthe Foreign Ministry took their revenge. The deputy head of the informationdirectorate issued a statement published in Izvestiya on April 5 denyingthat Dashichev 'and some of his colleagues' were 'advisers of the topSoviet leadership' and asserting that 'Dashichev and his political kin donot belong to the circle of experts that participates in the formulationof Soviet policy'.12 This was technically true but highly misleading,particularly given Dashichev's role as consultant to the Ministry's EastEuropean department and the fact that he briefed Gorbachev before hisvisit to Bonn in June 1989 with the advice that 'East Europe has graduallychanged for the Soviet Union from being a safety zone into a zone of dangerand instability' and arguing for the peaceful and democratic (in the Westernsense) reunification of Germany.13 If Dashichev was not formally withinthe closed circle at the top, the Foreign Ministry spokesman none the lessleaves unexplained how Dashichev's influence spread to the very heart ofdecision-making in Moscow.

Izvestiya refused to publish Dashichev's reply to the attack made on him;and the progressive Moscow News was no more helpful in such a delicatematter. For this was not merely an attack on Dashichev. Shervardnadzehad been supportive of Dashichev, and at the time it was rightly pointedout that Shevardnadze works in a hostile environment.14 After all, theForeign Ministry was not a machine of his, but of his predecessor'screation. Shevardnadze had to step outside its traditional confines in orderto secure new policies, being unable to purge its collegium (the rulingcaucus) without Politburo sanction. He did, however, secure the departureof a few 'old thinkers' by the time the XXVIII Party Congress convenedearly in July, but the degree of resistance from those in the old guard whothought Stalin right (in foreign affairs) should never be underestimated.

Resistance to the new line from within the Foreign Ministry undoubtedlycomplicated Shevardnadze's task. But resistance from within the Soviet

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military carried with it daunting implications for the very future ofperestroika. At the founding congress of the Communist Party of theRSFSR (as distinct from the USSR), the complaints of the militarybecame more open and more strident. Colonel General Makashov ledthe attack. Commander of the Volga-Urals military district, Makashovechoed the sentiments of many when he denounced Gorbachev's retreatfrom Eastern Europe - 'the countries our fathers liberated from fascism'- and vowed that the Soviet armed forces would not accept 'ideologicalsurrender'. A reunified Germany within NATO and, in the East, Japaneserearmament posed a serious threat to the security of the state; 'only ourlearned peacocks are crowing that no one is going to attack us'.15 Suchcriticism prompted Shevardnadze to draw a parallel between demands fora postmortem into the loss of Eastern Europe to the demands made byMcCarthyists in the United States for an investigation into the 'loss' ofChina to the Communists in 1949.16

Thus by the time the Soviet Party Congress convened in July it was nosecret where the attack on Gorbachev's policies would come from. Theonly question remained, whether Gorbachev would rebuff the attacks andtake the counter-offensive. 'As at the Congress of the Communist Party ofthe Russian Federation, so too at this Congress, especially in committees,we once again had to listen to savage criticism of, and frank objections toour new foreign policy', Gorbachev complained.17 Ligachev, now tribuneof the Party conservatives, led the vanguard. Speaking in open sessionLigachev was careful to appear reasonable on the subject of 'revolutionaryinternationalism'. International relations was, he admitted, 'not subservientexclusively - 1 stress exclusively - to the dynamics of the conflict of classinterests'.18 But the difference in emphasis with Shevardnadze was strikingnone the less. And on the subject of Germany Ligachev was considerablymore obdurate: 'it is not unification', he declared, 'but at best annexation'.19

A chorus of criticism accompanied Ligachev's attack, though mostly fromwithin the safe confines of committees operating in closed session.

'Is the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe not a severe defeatfor the Soviet diplomacy you head', Shevardnadze was asked in nouncertain terms. His reply was equally combative: 'Soviet diplomacydid not set, and could not have set itself the goal of opposing theliquidation, in other countries, of administrative-command systems andtotalitarian regimes imposed upon them and alien to them [applause].'Another question elicited a response that threw a further shaft of light onthe murky origins of Soviet policy towards the democratic revolutions inEastern Europe. 'Did diplomats know, did ministers know, did the highestpolitical leadership know what would happen, how the events in Eastern

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Europe would develop?' 'Yes,' came the answer, 'we had in principlepredicted all this. We sensed all this . . . We felt that if serious changesdid not take place, then tragic events would result' Shevardnadze was notat all contrite: 'I will say frankly and honestly and in all responsibility,comrades, that it is not our interests to drag the resolution of the externalaspects of German unity within the framework of a general settlement.'20

As to suggestions that they should use the half million troops in the GDR toblock reunification, he was no less firm: 'One can well imagine what thiswould entail.' And insistence that hegemony over Eastern Europe was vitalto sustaining the Warsaw Pact prompted the blunt retort: 'A bloc whichneeded to be forcibly restrained from disintegration was not and cannotbe a reliable support in serious matters. Will it not be better for our ownsecurity to rely on a union based on common interests?'21

Yakovlev, too, came under attack as the eminence grise equally influ-ential in foreign policy as in domestic matters. In foreign policy he wasknown to favour a more multi-polar world, a world that was dominatedby neither of the Superpowers, particularly the United States. In domesticmatters he was known to advocate marketisation of the economy as theessential precondition to the establishment of political democracy. Hetook the offensive from the outset: 'I was in Czechoslovakia in 1968,restoring the foundations of socialism so to speak, and to this day I feeluncomfortable about that mission.' He was not at all impressed with therecord of socialism's economic performance: 'You cannot by a CentralCommittee decision, annul the fact that industry has increased ten timesfaster in South Korea than in North Korea in recent years, or that livingstandards in West Germany are considerable higher than in East Germany'.He insisted that the retreat from Central Europe was justifiable not merelyon its merits but also as a means of ejecting the United States from thecontinent. Normalization had 'objectively reduced our role as a militaryguarantor and leader . . . . but this normalisation has reduced not only ourrole, but also that of the United States, as military guarantors and leadersin Europe, and I think this is a good thing'.22

V. M. Falin, head of the Central Committee's International Department,also came under fire on the same issues. Yet he was by no meansresponsible for the dramatic shift in Moscow's position on the Germanquestion. He was a veteran of the Stalin era. He had spoken out againstreunification, and his response to criticism at the Congress was by nomeans as vigorous as the response of his superiors. Moreover, the Congressat an end, he said: 'The sentiments of the public show that people willnot support unbalanced, unilateral concessions or actions encroaching onour rights.' He then added - in direct contradiction to Shevardnadze -

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that there were, indeed 'grounds for such concern'. And he took as anexample the switch in the Soviet stance on the issue of a German peacetreaty: first insisting upon and then jettisoning the idea of a peace treatyas the prerequisite for reunification. Falin went on to reassure TASS thatthese 'public fears' would be taken into account in future.23

But in stark contrast to what eventually happened in domestic affairs,the attacks on the regime's foreign policy seemingly came to nothing:'we unequivocally reject all attempts to discredit the foreign policy lineworked out and pursued by the Party and the state', Gorbachev hadannounced at the opening of the Congress and showed no inclinationto retreat thereafter.24 But it should not be assumed these attacks had noimpact at all. Under fire for his foreign and defence policy - mostly a faitaccompli - Gorbachev appears to have sacrificed control over domesticmatters, where the critical decisions had yet to be taken, particularly onthe issue of nationalities but also with respect to fundamental economicreform - in order to satisfy his critics. In this respect it is significant thatShevardnadze resigned on December 20, 1990, on an issue of domesticrather than of foreign policy, as he had nearly resigned after the massacreof Georgian demonstrators in Tbilisi in May 1989. In his speech ofresignation Shevardnadze, now the Cassandra of perestroika, focused hisattack on the reactionary 'colonels', notably Alksnis and Petrushenko, whowere demanding that Gorbachev dismiss the likes of Shevardnadze andYakovlev and use force, if necessary, to sustain the territorial integrityof the Soviet Union against separatist movements in the mutinous repub-lics. 'Democrats,' Shevardnadze warned, 'I will put it bluntly: comradedemocrats, in the widest meaning of this word, you have scattered. Thereformers have gone to ground. Dictatorship is coming; I state this withcomplete responsibility.'25 Subsequent events appear to have borne outShevardnadze's worst fears.

Can we therefore conclude that the structural constraints working againsta return to the class-against-class foreign policy of previous years are thatmuch stronger than those that have proved too feeble to halt a returnto autocratic methods on the domestic front? On the critical issue ofEastern Europe the colonels could complain ad nauseum. But the plainfact remained that providing an alternative to these fait accomplis is noeasy matter. 'It turns out that we are advised to resort to precisely whatwe resorted to before and what we have unequivocally broken with anddenounced', Gorbachev stated bluntly.26 And since the Congress Sovietforeign policy has moved further still along the road to concessions andaccommodations with the capitalist Powers - cooperation with the UnitedStates against Iraq, an agreement on conventional arms reduction in

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Europe, moves towards compromise to secure a peace treaty with Japan,diplomatic recognition of South Korea and one step closer to renewingdiplomatic relations with Israel.

Any alternative - whether in arms control, on Eastern Europe, or in thesphere of Third World policy - would risk antagonising the West at a timeof growing Soviet weakness. And, thanks to glasnost but the absence ofreal perestroika, the Soviet Union is in every sense much less capable ofdealing with Western hostility than it has been since the Second WorldWar, perhaps even than it has been since the civil war. The failure ofthe economy, the demoralisation of the armed forces and the CommunistParty as well as widespread nationalist unrest have all meant that as asuperpower the Soviet Union is only a shadow of its former self. Inthese circumstances Soviet foreign policy has become the prisoner ofSoviet economic backwardness. An undying optimist would argue that,even if perestroika is completely abandoned, it is questionable whetherthe resulting domestic crisis will be such as to allow for bold reversalsin foreign policy without near suicidal consequences for Soviet interests.Nothing should, however, be ruled out. Ultimately it remains to be seenwhether a decisive shift towards the conservative end of the politicalspectrum and the military within the Soviet Union will drastically affectits foreign policy orientation.

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7 Party Relations with theMilitary and the KGBE. A. Rees

The Soviet political system has traditionally been seen as a system restingon four administrative pillars - the party, the government ministries, thearmy and the secret police, with the CPSU ostensibly the dominant partner.With the initiation oiperestroika and glasnost, the transition to a multi-partysystem, and a law-based state (pravovoe gosudarstvo) the relations betweenthese organisations have been fundamentally questioned. The basic issuein the transition to a parliamentary system of government is whether theMinistry of Defence, the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD)are subject to parliamentary control or party control. Parliamentary controllogically implies that these bodies be freed from party supervision, and thatthey be depoliticised by disbanding the political and party organs withinthese bodies. These controversial organisational changes are closely relatedto policy issues affecting these agencies. Party conservatives stress the vitalimportance of the CPSU's close links with the military and the KGB. Butradicals - most notably the Democratic Platform - emphasise parliamentarycontrol and accountability, and the depoliticisation of these bodies.

The establishment of the Congress of People's Deputies, the SupremeSoviet, the Presidential executive office and the Presidential Councilset the relationship between party, the army and the KGB in a newcontext. The appointment of Dimitrii Yazov to head the Ministry ofDefence in 1987 and Vladimir Kryuchkov as head of the KGB in 1988placed Gorbachev's appointees as heads of these bodies. Both Yazovand Kryuchkov represented the conservative wing within the Gorbachevcoalition, both were made members of the new Presidential Council in1990. The State Defence Council was overhauled and attached to thePresidential Council, with control over the Ministry of Defence forces,the Interior Ministry Troops, the KGB Border Troops and the RailwayTroops. The new State Defence Council appears to have been envisagedas a constitutionally based body, akin to the US National Security Council,albeit with broader concerns with domestic affairs.1

A first step in establishing parliamentary control over these bodies was


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the creation in June 1989 of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Committee forDefence and State Security, chaired by the conservative professor V. L.Lapygin. It comprised forty three members, including leading officialsfrom the Ministry of Defence, the KGB and no less than nineteen employeesfrom the defence industries. The committee has three sub-committees:armed forces headed by E. Velikhov, defence industry headed by M.Simonov, and state security headed by G. F. Kharchenko. The committee wasgiven responsibility for overseeing the budgets of the Ministry of Defenceand the KGB, confirming ministers nominated to these organs, ratifyinginternational agreement, and drafting legislation affecting these bodies.2

However, CPSU oversight over the armed forces, the KGB and the MVDremained a central part of the control structure. The Main Political Admin-istration of the Soviet Army and Navy (MPA), headed by A. D. Lizichev,attached to the party Central Committee, controlled the political organs andparty organs in the armed forces. In this way a political command structurecoexisted alongside the administrative command structure, as a politicalcheck on these institutions. This remained a central tenet of the CPSU'svanguard role. The Central Committee's Committee for AdministrativeAffairs controls the KGB, whilst party control of the MVD is organisedthrough its the Main Political Administration (MPA) headed by A. Anikiev.The Central Committee's Commission for Legal Policy, established inSeptember 1988, also assumed oversight of the KGB and the MVD.


Party-military relations were exacerbated by various reverses of fortune- the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the loss of EasternEurope, Soviet concessions in the conventional and nuclear arms reductiontalks with the USA - leading to fears that the USSR was losing its super-power status. These reverses highlighted tensions between the Ministryof Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Military resentment wasalso expressed at its loss of influence at the highest level, with the StateDefence Council being subsumed under the Presidential Council, and itsposition challenged by the Supreme Soviet's Committee on Defence andState Security.3 The failure to promote Yazov as a full member of thePolitburo reflected the same loss of influence.

The new Soviet military policy of 'sufficient defence' was enunciatedby the XXVII Congress in February 1986. In May 1987 the Warsaw Pact'sPolitical Consultative Committee adopted its new 'defensive militarydoctrine'. Gorbachev's announcement to the UN in December 1988 of

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a unilateral reduction in Soviet military manpower (of 500,000 men)and equipment (including 10,000 tanks) marked a watershed in Sovietmilitary policy. Moves to change defensive doctrine and cut militaryexpenditure were coupled with attacks on the military bureaucracy withthe appointment of Yazov as Minister of Defence and Mikhail Moiseev aschief of the General Staff.

1. Issues of Concern to the Military

Soviet military sensibilities were offended by the growth of disorder, therise of secessionist currents in the republics, the decline in the military'sprestige, cuts in defence expenditure, and attacks on the good name of thearmed forces. Party relations with the army and the KGB were increasinglyquestioned, particularly in the radical press - Komsomolskaya pravda,Argumenty i fakty, Ogonek and Moscow News - in radio and televisionbroadcasts, and in the burgeoning unofficial press. Media hostility drewstrong complaints from military and KGB spokesmen. The conservativecase was presented in the Ministry of Defence's Krasnaya zvezda, and inpatriotic papers such as Sovetskaya Rossiya.

The domestic, policing role of the armed forces, was challenged particu-larly following the Tbilisi massacre of April 1989 by Ministry of Defencetroops. This issue divided conservatives and radicals, reflected in the debate'Functions of the Army: The Dialectics of Development' in the journalKommunist vooruzhennykh sil in 1989. Conservatives such as General V. I.Varennikov, deputy minister of defence, stressed the role of the military indefending the socialist order, and preventing 'counter-revolution'.4 The useof the army to arrest the Popular Front of Azerbaidzhan in Baku in January1990 and the use of the military to intimidate the Sajudis government inLithuania following its declaration of sovereignty in March 1990 furtherraised the temperature.

Military concern at the growing disorder in Soviet society becamestrongly evident in the early months of 1990. According to NATO sourcesSoviet military leaders concerned at the pace of reform staged a showof strength, deploying 3,000 to 6,000 armed troops to police the giantpro-democracy demonstration in Moscow in February 1990. Althoughofficial spokesmen denied that this had happened, the incident fuelledthe widespread rumours of military plots against the government.5

The conversion of military plant to civilian use raised another conten-tious issue.6 Conservatives protested at the weakening of the defences ofthe USSR, whilst radicals argued that the Ministry of Defence, the GeneralStaff and the defence industries were obstructing real conversion.

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The manpower problem also posed a major dilemma for the armedforces. In July 1989 the Supreme Soviet ordered the deactivation of some176,000 former students from active service in spite of strong disapprovalby the military. Concern was voiced at draft evasion, exemption or defer-ment for students, over-dependence on worker and peasant recruits, and thelow calibre of recruits and their ignorance of Russian. As a result renewedstress was placed on maintaining the system of universal military service.7

The 1990 spring call-up for military service was seriously undermined inthe Baltic republics, Georgia and Armenia.8 This highlighted the break-down of central control over the republics, and heightened the exasperationof the military with the political leadership's ineffectiveness. The problemof military-civilian relations was dramatised by assaults on servicemen,particularly in areas of ethnic and nationalist tension. In 1989 eighty-fivemilitary officers were killed as a result of acts perpetrated by civilians. In1990 the number of such assaults and murders increased. Within the armedforces inter-ethnic conflict also resulted in deaths. Deaths of conscriptsas a result of military accidents and suicides became a source of publicconcern.9

The hasty withdrawal of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe highlightedproblems of conditions of service within the armed forces, exacerbating thehousing crisis which became a major source of discontent About 175,000servicemen and their families in 1990 were without quarters. Plannedwithdrawals from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the GDR were expectedto add to the problem.10

The political workers in the armed forces headed by the MPA weredirectly threatened by calls for the depoliticisation of the armed forces. Theparty organisation within the military remained relatively unaffected by theimpact which liberalisation had had on the rest of the CPSU. However, theemergence of elected 'officers' assemblies', based on the tsarist model, andthe convocation of an 'All-Army Officers' Assembly' in December 1989,provided a rival system of internal democratic control to that provided bythe party and political organs. Within the armed forces 'Shchit' (Shield) anorganisation of pro-reform junior officers was formed in order to protect therights of servicemen. This body came under strong attack from the Ministryof Defence and the MPA."

Relations between the political leadership and the military had becomestrained, with attempts by the latter to exert greater influence on domestic,defence and foreign policy. The lack of cohesion of the military, and theleadership's control over appointments, limited that influence. The com-plexity of the problems facing the country ruled out simple solutions, andcompelled the military itself to adopt a broader political perspective.12

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2. Parliamentary Versus Party Control

Military reform had been a source of tension between the party and thearmy since 1985.13 The attempts by the USSR Supreme Soviet andrepublican Supreme Soviets to establish parliamentary control over themilitary, combined with calls for the depoliticisation of the armed forcesmet resistance from military conservatives, resentful of interference byradical deputies, amateurs in military affairs, who wished to cut the armydown to size.

A peculiar feature of the process of democratisation in the USSR wasthat a substantial number of serving military personnel were elected to theparliamentary assemblies at the all-union and the republican level. Amongthe military representatives in the USSR Congress of People's Deputiesand Supreme Soviet the split between radicals and conservative deputiesreflected a growing politicisation of the armed forces. In July 1989 theSupreme Soviet confirmed Yazov as Minister of Defence only after heateddebate and strong criticism of his record by radical military deputies.14

The ineffectiveness of the USSR Supreme Soviet Committee on Defenceand State Security, and its dominance by military conservatives, provokedstrong criticism from reformers. Colonel V. Smirnov asserted 'Some[members of the committee] defend the interests of the military-industrialcomplex; others, the interests of the General Staff and the Ministry ofDefence.' Academician Georgii Arbatov described the committee as the'lobby' of the military-industrial complex. Lieutenant Tutov assertedthat the majority of the committee members believed that 'the Weststill threatens [the Soviet Union] and that [the USSR] may become thevictim of aggression at any time.15

At the Central Committee plenum of February 5-7, 1990 GeneralMoiseev, chief of the General Staff, severely criticised the draft partyPlatform for understating the military's contribution to Soviet nationalsecurity, and for its failure to address the housing crisis, the growth ofanti-military sentiments in the non-Russian republics, and the problem ofdraft evasion.16 Gorbachev sought to placate the military. He praised theirrole in maintaining public order in the Transcaucasus, emphasised the needfor 'well-equipped and well-trained armed forces', declared that 'a militarythreat still exists', and urged the media to adopt a more constructive attitudeto the armed forces.17

The radical military deputies, headed by Major Vladimir Lopatin,and Colonel Konstantin Kharchenko, in December 1989 produced 'TheDraft Conceptualization of Military Reform'. This manifesto for radicalreform, published by Komsomolskaya pravda, condemned the military

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High-Command for failing to carry through real reform. It urged drasticreductions in the armed forces and the establishment of a professional,volunteer army. It demanded parliamentary control over the Ministry ofDefence, the reduction of defence expenditure and the restructuring ofthe armed forces in accordance with the USSR's real defence needs. Itproposed curbing the role of the CPSU, the political and party organs -ensuring party influence in the army only through communists in positionsof command. It demanded the humanising of the armed forces, increasingthe rights and social safeguards of servicemen.18

Within the Congress of People's Deputies the military hard-liners wereled by Colonel Viktor Alksnis and Colonel Nikolai Petrushenko. Alksniswas the founder of the 'Soyuz' group of people's deputies, numberingabout 300, which campaigned for the preservation of the USSR as aunified state. Both Alksnis and Petrushenko argued for a strong armyand KGB, and the retention of their close links with the CPSU.19 Theoutspokenness of such relatively junior officers suggested that they werespeaking on behalf of more powerful military figures who preferred not tocommit themselves so publicly.

At the third session of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies in March1990 Gavriil Popov, the radical mayor of Moscow and a member of theDemocratic Platform, declared 'It seems to me that we mus t . . . adopt anorm that would prohibit the activity of any primary political organisationat state enterprises and institutions . . . It seems to me that staff membersof these institutions cannot belong to any political party. I am talking aboutour Army, about the law-enforcement agencies, the security agencies andthe police.'20

Calls for parliamentary control over the military, and for its depoliticis-ation, were echoed by radicals in the republican parliaments. The RSFSRCongress of People's Deputies resolved to make illegal the maintenanceof party organisations in the armed forces, in the law-enforcement agen-cies and industry.21 Proposals were also raised for the organisation ofterritorial armed forces under the command of the republics. DefenceMinister Yazov categorically rejected such demands as incompatible withthe 'internationalist structure' of the Soviet armed forces. However, inFebruary 1990 Chief of Staff Moiseev announced that twenty five percent of all non-Russian draftees would be allowed to serve in their homerepublics.22

The views of the radicals were sharply at variance with those of theMinistry of Defence. The proposal to abandon the system of universalmilitary service was opposed by conservatives, such as Lapygin - chairmanof the Supreme Soviet's Committee on Defence and State Security - on

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ideological, political and economic grounds. Yazov and Moiseev indicatedthat in principle a professional, volunteer army might be acceptable -but argued that the time was not yet ripe.23 However, the concept of aprofessional, volunteer navy was supported by Admiral of the Fleet V.Chernavin.24

The Ministry of Defence and the General Staff came out strongly against"The Draft Conceptualization of Military Reform'. Whilst radical journalssuch as Ogonek championed the demands of the radicals, Lizichev, headof MPA, accused radical military deputies of thinking of themselves as 'anew caste above reproach'. The press debate in the spring of 1990 becameincreasingly vitriolic.25

Major V. Lopatin, in an interview in Izvestiya on April 10, continued topress for radical reform, provoking a critical reply from Krasnaya zvezdaon April 13. As a result of pressure from the Ministry of Defence, Lopatinwas expelled from the party, but following an outcry from radicals and asympathetic article in Pravda the expulsion was rescinded.26 The Ministryof Defence submitted its own draft Law on Defence to the Supreme Sovietin June 1990. The final draft was to be considered by the Supreme Sovietat its autumn session. An unsuccessful attempt to silence Lopatin was hisappointment as chairman of a working commission on military reform - asub-committee of the Supreme Soviet's Committee on Defence and StateSecurity.

Gorbachev in his Victory Day speech, on May 9, upbraided the militaryfor the tardiness of reform of the armed forces.27 The military leadershipremained undaunted. Yazov, Minister of Defence, Moiseev, Chief of theGeneral Staff, and Colonel General N. I. Shlyaga, first deputy of the party'sMPA, argued for the retention of the party's vanguard role, condemnedthose who advocated party factions, stressed the importance of closeparty-military links and strenuously opposed proposals to depoliticise thearmed forces.28

Yazov, at the Party Conference of the Far Eastern Military District inearly June, where he was elected as a delegate to the Congress, accusedparty radicals of attempting to use current difficulties to liquidate thesocialist system, destroy the federal state and split the party:

Using the weapon of political demagoguery they are creating a situationof social tension, arbitrariness and anarchy; they are disrupting theactivities of the organs of power and management, infringing thelegal rights and interests of Soviet people, and aggravating inter-ethnictension. [They] are conducting a directed and coordinated campaign todiscredit the armed forces and the organs and troops of the MVD and

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KGB - that is, those institutions of executive power that are amongst themost important and necessary guarantees of national stability and statesecurity.29

On July 16 the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet approved a 'Declaration of StateSovereignty of Ukraine', more radical than the declaration of the RSFSRand Uzbekistan, specifically stating its right to establish its own armyand security forces.30 Meanwhile in the Baltic republics and in Moldavianationalists campaigned against service in the Soviet armed forces.31

Yazov interviewed in Pravda prior to the Congress came out resolutelyagainst 'national formations' and 'national armies'. 32 The question ofwhether the military should be organised on a national territorial basis oran extra-territoral, pan-union basis, or a combination of both, remained acontentious issue.

3. The Makashov Affair

The founding Congress of the RSFSR Communist Party in June 1990reflected a growing tide of conservative opposition to official defence andforeign policy, with Ligachev accusing Gorbachev of presiding over thedisintegration of the 'socialist community'.33

Conservative dissent in the military was voiced by Colonel GeneralAlbert Makashov, commander of the Volga-Urals Military District. Hedenounced Gorbachev's foreign and defence policy, vowing that the armedforces would never accept 'ideological surrender'. He condemned officialpolicy towards Eastern Europe, particularly on German reunification, andtowards Japan in the Far East Military communists, he asserted, wereindignant at the inaction of the Politburo and Central Committee. Heblamed Gorbachev and Shevardnadze for the loss of Eastern Europe -'[on account] of the so-called victories of our diplomacy, the Sovietarmy is being driven out of countries that our fathers liberated fromfascism'. The NATO powers continued to strengthening themselves whilstthe Warsaw Pact had disintegrated. Makashov denounced the 'ideologicalenemy' which sought to drive a wedge between ranks in the Soviet armedforces. He declared '[Those] who want to raze the state to its foundationsbegin with defaming the Armed Forces, the MVD and the KGB'.34

Gorbachev rebutted the charge of having weakened the country'sdefences. It was essential, he argued, to heed military opinion but,he stressed, defence policy had been formulated on the basis of parityand military sufficiency. Moreover, the country could not sustain asituation where 18 per cent of national income was allocated to

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(he military.35 Shevardnadze, interviewed in Pravda, without namingMakashov, denounced the conservative witch-hunt against those whoallegedly had 'lost Eastern Europe'. He defended official policy on Germanreunification and the withdrawal of forces from Eastern Europe.36

Izvestiya demanded Makashov's resignation or sacking, whilst its pol-itical commentator, Vladimir Nadein, accused him of covertly attackingperestroika, and delivering 'an ultimatum to the president, the parliament,and society which he is supposed to serve faithfully and unquestioningly'.37

Colonel Vladimir Smirnov, a delegate to the XXVIII Congress, anda supporter of the Democratic Platform, in Moscow News argued thatMakashov's speech reflected a minority view amongst servicemen, theview of conservatives perturbed by the growing crisis in the army - 'thearmy is disintegrating before our eyes'. They blamed the crisis on the'campaign of slander' against the army in the 'yellow press'. The roots ofthe crisis, Smirnov argued, lay elsewhere, in the unelected leadership of theMinistry of Defence and the State Defence Council, which were dominatedby military bureaucrats and by the 'military-industrial complex'. He calledfor the depoliticisation of the army. Military hard-liners, Smirnov argued,by equating democratisation with the growth of extremism and nationalismin the country, sought to create a climate for military intervention:

I believe that Makashov's speech is nothing but a claim by a certain partof the military on their preparedness for emerging on the political arenaas an independent force.38

The Democratic Platform's delegates at the RSFSR Communist PartyCongress appealed to Gorbachev and to the Chairman of the USSRSupreme Soviet to check the spread of such dangerous anti-democraticviews among the higher echelons of the Armed Forces.

The affair continued to rumble on in the press, with Makashovunrepentant. He denied that he had threatened the leadership with amilitary coup, but stressed that he spoke for the officer corps; the militaryfelt its obligations towards the Motherland. He stood for consolidation, butnot with anti-army elements. He denied knowledge of a rumour to transferhim to a diplomatic post in the Near East.39


The KGB's position was complicated by the growth of public unrest, thecrisis of disorder in the republics, and (he growing crime wave, whichbecame issues of major public concern. At the same time the KGB

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itself came under challenge. The revelations concerning the NKVD's pastactivities - the repression of the Stalin era, the mass executions, the Katynmassacre etc - raised demands for those responsible to be brought to trial(see Chapter 5). The fate of secret police organs in Eastern Europe raiseddisturbing precedents. The KGB's internal structure was reorganised and itsAdministration for Combating Ideological Diversion was disbanded. TheKGB's work was adapted to cope with organised crime and the threat ofterrorism. However, the agency remained outside effective parliamentarycontrol.

Media criticism of the KGB, together with the work of the Memorialgroup in uncovering the history of those repressed, provoked a counter-reaction from KGB conservatives, with appeals to Gorbachev to halt thecampaign of defamation. In Lithuania in January 1990 the KGB, threatenedby the nationalist government of Sajudis, destroyed its files or transferredthem to Moscow. To appease nationalists' sensibilities, the Lithuanian andLatvian KGB chairmen were replaced in March 1990. The KGB, however,retained an active role in the Baltic republics, particularly in developingthe policy of economic embargo against the Lithuanian government.40 Atthe Central Committee plenum in February 1990 Kryuchkov delivered asearing attack on the two most prominent radicals in the party - El'tsinand Algirdaz Brazauskas, head of the pro-reform Lithuanian CommunistParty.41

KGB sensitivity to public criticism was reflected in a public relationsexercise to explain and justify the agency's work. The KGB establishedits own Centre for Social Information for contact with the media. Itbegan publishing a monthly journal - iSbornik KGB SSSR: Sovershennosekretno\ sold on the streets of Moscow alongside unofficial papers,presenting the KGB as a patriotic, pro-reform organisation.

1. The Kalugin Affair

The new situation in which the KGB has to operate was dramatised by amajor cause celebre involving Major-General Oleg Kalugin, who emergedas an unlikely champion of perestroika. The son of a long serving butjunior NKVD officer, Kalugin joined the KGB in 1952. From 1973 to1979 he headed the KGB's External Counter-intelligence department,but was then demoted to other work in Leningrad and Moscow. On hisretirement in 1990 Kalugin launched a series of outspoken attacks on theKGB in interviews with the Soviet and foreign news media, and at publicmeetings.

Kalugin's revelations created a sensation in the USSR. He denounced

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the role of the KGB in the persecution of dissidents. He exposed KGBhigh-handedness in eavesdropping, surveillance and investigation work- including attempts to discredit or embarrass El'tsin and Ryzhkov. Hehighlighted the problem of defections by KGB agents to the West. Kaluginargued for the depoliticisation of the KGB and other state security organs,the restriction of KGB operations, and its subordination to parliamentarycontrol.42

Pravda, drawing on information supplied by the KGB's Centre forSocial Information, denounced Kalugin as an unreliable, dubious per-sonality, who had been demoted for incompetence, who had breachedthe laws on state security, and who was seeking a new political careerfor himself by attacking the KGB.43 On June 30 a Presidential decree,made 'on the submission of the KGB of the USSR', deprived Kaluginof his state awards. The Council of Ministers stripped him of his general'srank. The affair provided a prelude to the discussion of the KGB's role atthe XXVHI Congress.

2. Party Relations with the MVD

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by V. V. Bakatin, was the thirdprincipal institution which the party had at its disposal to control internaldisorder.44 The MVD controlled its own internal troops, the militia (policeforce), and specialised detachments for riot control, which were establishedin 1987. The ability of these forces to control inter-ethnic violence wasdoubted by Colonel General Yurii Shatalin, head of Operational Forces.45


Prior to the XXVIII Congress of the CPSU the issue of party- military-KGBrelations had been well ventilated. At the RSFSR Communist Party Con-gress in June 1990 Gorbachev declared: 'I am for a vanguard-type party,and not a parliamentary [party]. This is my deep conviction.'46 Implicitin this was a continuing close relationship between the party, the militaryand the KGB. Even in multi-party conditions the CPSU was to retain itsvanguard role. The party, he insisted, had to avoid a split, which wouldhave disastrous social consequences.

The most outspoken criticisms of the military and the KGB fromwithin the CPSU were voiced by the Democratic Platform group, whoseconference on June 16-17 called for the depoliticisation of the armedforces and the KGB.47 On July 3 a demonstration, organised by the

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Democratic Russia group, at Gorky Park in Moscow heard demands forthe prosecution of the CPSU and the KGB for crimes against the people,and charges that conservatives were plotting a military coup. The tokenstrike of coal-miners on July 11 had as one of its central demands thedepoliticisation of the army, the KGB, the MVD, the Procuracy and thecourts, with the liquidation of party organisations in these bodies.48

Gorbachev in his keynote speech to the XXVIII Congress blamed hispredecessors for the 'militarisation of the economy which swallowed upcolossal material and intellectual resources' and the 'irreparable humanlosses due to the war in Afghanistan'. He rejected the charge that theKremlin had 'lost Eastern Europe'. The 'new thinking' in foreign policyhad won the USSR respect around the world. He described the regimes inEastern Europe as 'a variety of the Stalinist authoritarian and bureaucraticsystem which we ourselves have abandoned'.

However, Gorbachev rejected the calls to depoliticise the army, thecourts, the Procuracy, the KGB and the MVD. Those employed in thesebodies, he asserted, like all Soviet citizens, had certain 'inalienable politicalrights', including the right of party members to set up their cells in theseinstitutions. It was difficult, he asserted, to imagine the depoliticisation ofthe state apparatus, or to find anywhere in the world an army which hadno organs for maintaining the morale and the education of servicemen. Atthe same time, he declared, the CPSU did not 'aspire to an exclusive role';other parties, which were legally registered, could organise on the samebasis.49

Whilst from a Marxist perspective it might be argued that in capitalistcountries the military and other state institutions share a common ideology,corresponding with that of the dominant economic class, in the USSRthe dominant ideology is the ideology of the ruling party. Gorbachev'sambiguous formulation was a nod in the direction of a pluralistic systemallowing other parties equal rights with the CPSU, but a nod also in thedirection of the conservatives - allowing the CPSU to maintain its positionin the armed forces, the KGB, and the MVD - without any fundamentalchange. He glossed over the restrictions which western democracies imposeon the political activities of serving military and government personnel.

Shevardnadze also denounced the waste of billions of roubles on themilitary during the 1970s and 1980s. To continue on this basis, he warned,with up to a quarter of the budget allocated to armaments, would be ruinous.He envisaged a 'peace dividend' of 240-250 billion rubles over the nextfive years. Good relations would be maintained with Eastern Europe, andan effort would be made to secure an all-European settlement which wouldensure that a united Germany presented no serious military threat.50

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The radical view was outlined by El'tsin in his call to democratise theCPSU and turn it into a real parliamentary party operating in the conditionof a multi-party system. He declared baldly: The party must free itself fromall state functions. The primary party organisations must be abolished in thearmy, in the system of state security and in state institutions.'51

V. N. Shostakovskii, a leader of the Democratic Platform, advocatedthe depoliticisation of the army, the KGB, the law enforcement agenciesand all other state bodies. He conceded that, as military conservativesargued, The army is always and everywhere an instrument of polities'.But in other states (i.e. liberal democratic states), he argued, it was aninstrument of the elected government Whilst the CPSU controlled therepressive organs of state power there could be no law-governed state inthe USSR. These bodies had to be professionalised and imbued with loyaltyto the elected government. Political activism should be permissible onlyoutside of military and state service. In principle, he asserted, the questionwas one for the elected Soviet government and parliament to resolve, notthe CPSU.52

The conservative position was outlined by Ligachev who declaredhimself against the depoliticisation of the army, the KGB and the lawenforcement agencies. Depoliticisation in the Baltic republics had meantthe repoliticisation of these bodies under the control of nationalist forces.In accepting the concept of depoliticisation, he argued 'We are simplyhaving a Trojan horse palmed off on us'. Ligachev, however, dissociatedhimself from those hardliners who sought an 'iron hand' solution to thecountry's crisis. Stories of plots by conservatives bent on overturningperestroika were fabrications spread by destructive forces who wished todeflect attention from their own subversive activities. Whilst there wereadvocates of an 'iron hand' solution they were not the principal danger.The real threat came from anti-socialist and nationalist forces who soughtthe destruction of the CPSU and the USSR.53

1. The Debate in the Press on Military Reform

Krasnaya zvezda on June 27 published a discussion headed 'Army and Mili-tary Reform', in which Major Lopatin denounced the 'military-industrialcomplex's' hold over military policy and outlined a series of demands forreform. A proper, comprehensive military budget had to be drafted by theMinistry of Defence, and approved by the Supreme Soviet. In a multi-partysystem the armed forces, the KGB, the militia and the Procuracy bad tobe depoliticised. Discussion of military reform, at present confined to theMinistry of Defence, had to be opened to public debate. It was necessary

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to move to a voluntary, professional army based on contract. The Ministryof Defence should be headed by civilians and separated from the militaryHigh Command. If the USSR was reorganised on a confederal basis, eachrepublic should have the right to establish its own armed forces.54

Komsomolskaya pravda on the third day of the Congress publisheda letter addressed to the country's leaders, entitled 'The Army needsdefending. From whom?', signed by forty-seven politicians, scientists andarmy officers. Signatories included leaders of the Democratic Platform -Lysenko and Shostakovskii, leading reformers in the military and KGB -V. Lopatin and K. Kharchenko, and a number of eminent reformers includ-ing Georgii Arbatov, head of the USA and Canada Institute, Dr.TatyanaZaslavskaya, the sociologist and early proponent of perestroika, ProfessorYurii Ryzhkov, head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, and EvgeniiAmbartsumov, a leading pro-reform intellectual. It outlined a programmefor fundamental military reform.

This sensational document warned unambiguously of the dangers of amilitary coup in a situation of deepening crisis. It raised the question 'Onwhose side was the army?' The 'military-bureaucratic elite' - particularlythose in the Political Administrations of the armed forces - were allyingthemselves with party conservatives, as manifested in the Makashov affair.Sections of the press reflected this anti-reform current It created an impres-sion that 'dictatorship is knocking at our door'. The 'military-bureaucraticleaders (verkhushki)', were obstructing reform. They were ignoring themounting tensions between the ranks, the dissatisfaction over pay andhousing, the reluctance of young men to serve in the army because ofbullying and harsh discipline - reflected in a staggering number of deathsand suicides amongst servicemen (15,000 deaths in four years, including3,000 suicides - losses greater than in Afghanistan over ten years).

The Ministry of Defence, the letter continued, was failing to adapt to cir-cumstances. Inspite of the easing of international tension 'the militarisationof the Soviet economy continues, accompanied by the politicisation andideologisation of the armed forces'. The USSR Supreme Soviet shouldexercise real control over the armed forces and the defence budget. Theletter proposed transition to a smaller professional, volunteer army. Fivehundred million roubles should be transferred from expenditure on militarytechnology to social spending on servicemen. It urged a real programme ofconversion of military plant to civilian use. All political parties should beexcluded from the army, the KGB and the MVD. Civilian reformers shouldhead the USSR Ministry of Defence, and the Supreme Soviet's Committeeon Defence and State Security. The armed forces should be released from'functions which are not in line with their real tasks', i.e. their internal

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policing roles. These measures were essential to reduce tensions withinthe armed forces and within the society.55

At the end of the Congress Krasnaya zvezda published a lengthy replyto this letter from seventy eight conservative people's deputies, delegatesto the XXVIII Congress, military figures and scholars, including GeneralA. Makashov and Colonel-General N. Moiseev, head of the PoliticalAdministration of Land Forces. They absolved the Ministry of Defenceof responsibility for the housing crisis. Measures were needed to improvepay, to safeguard the rights of servicemen from unjust treatment and attacksby hooligans and criminals. The army had to be protected from subversivesand opportunists who depicted it as a 'threat to democracy', spread falseallegations of military plots, and who sought to turn the people againstthe army, to undermine their defence awareness, and to weaken theirmilitary-patriotic spirit Draft evasion and desertion from the army hadto be halted. The authors of the letter in Komsomolskaya pravda, it alleged,were utilising real grievances for their own ends by whipping up 'anti-armyhysteria'.56

Another article in Krasnaya zvezda by Major-General L. Ivashov, amember of the Military-Legislative Committee of the USSR Ministry ofDefence, denounced Lopatin as a political opportunist, and rejected hisproposals as unrealistic. Reformers unablrto get their way in the SupremeSoviet's Committee on Defence and State Security were now appealingdirectly to the party leadership, demanding changes in the membership ofthe Committee and in the leadership of the Ministry of Defence USSR. Onthe question of the army's allegiance Ivashov replied elusively 'The armyalways was and always will be with the people'.57

In another article Colonel V. Danilov argued that military reform wasalready in progress, and was backed by the military. Those who argued thatthere was no total conception of military reform but only a series of ad hocexpedients were mistaken. Theory, he argued, lagged behind reality. As inthe past - the 'military reforms' of 1860-70s and 1905-1912 - change wasinevitably protracted, shaped by objective political, economic and externalrealities.58

2. The Military at the Congress

At the XXVIII Congress 269 delegates out of 4,657 represented the 1.1million party members in the armed forces.59 Elections to the Congress,as for the RSFSR Communist Party Congress in June, were undertakenthrough party conferences - and this ensured that the military delega-tion was dominated by conservative senior officers and party military

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workers.60 Conspicuous in their uniforms and seated in a block, themilitary delegation made their dislike of radical speakers plainly evi-dent. But as compared with the recent controversies the debate at theCongress plenary sessions was low key, concealing the tensions belowthe surface.

Yazov in a lack-lustre speech, which sought to avoid controversy,endorsed the USSR's 'qualitatively new defence doctrine'. The Soviet-USagreement of 1987 on eliminating medium and short range nuclear missiles,and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan had reduced internationaltension and created favourable conditions for military reform. The USSRhad unilaterally cut its conventional and nuclear arsenal, and withdrawnforces from Eastern Europe; over 400 enterprises of the defence complexand 100 civilian factories were being converted from military to civilianproduction; and thirty milliard roubles was to be cut from planned defenceexpenditure during the current five-year plan.

These cuts, Yazov insisted, were necessary for the needs of the economy,and were approved by the Ministry of Defence.61 However, the threatfrom the West remained and cuts in defence spending had to be imple-mented with care.62 There was, he argued, a deepening of the processof perestroika, democratisation and glasnost in the military collective.The most serious problems facing the army were desertion, conscriptionevasion (particularly in Armenia and the Baltic republics) and the growthof ethnic tensions. The Armed Forces were 400,000 men under strength.He protested at the hostility displayed towards the military by sections ofthe media, notably Argumenty ifakty and Komsomolskaya pravda.

In a flat rejection of radical demands Yazov declared that the armedforces had to be organised as a people's, multi-national, regular army,formed on the principle of universal military service and extra-territoriality.The proposition that the armed forces be depoliticised was 'theoreticallyunsound and harmful in practice'. The army was the dependable guarantorof the stability of the socialist state, and the preserver of world peace.63 Heignored the key issue of parliamentary control over the military. Yazov,unlike other Politburo members, was not required to answer questionsfrom the delegates. This was partly due to his poor health - he had tobe helped from the podium - but also perhaps a gesture towards militarysensibilities.

N. I. Shlyaga, first deputy head of MPA, represented the politicalworkers most directly threatened by calls for the depoliticisation of thearmed forces. 'Army and navy communists,' he asserted, 'are concernedby the arrogant political demands being made to the supreme bodies ofpower for deideologisation, depoliticisation and departyisation of the armed

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forces.' He echoed Yazov's concern regarding the problem of deserters andconscription evasion and the 'anti-army hysteria' which undermined thepublic's patriotic and internationalist spirit. Denouncing the 'letter of the47' in Komsomolskaya pravda as unrealistic, he insisted that the army couldnot stand outside politics. He adhered to the Marxist-Leninist tenet that thearmy should remain an instrument of the Soviet state. The advocates of thearmy's depoliticisation, he argued, were seeking 'to clear the ground tocarry out their own policy'. The party, the political vanguard of the society,could not be divorced from the army.

However, Shlyaga argued, the political structure of the armed forcesshould correspond with the principles of a law-governed state. The politicalorgans, headed by the MPA, should surrender their administrative (i.e.political supervisory) role, but should retain and develop their function ofpolitical education, extend their ideological and cultural work, strengthen-ing military discipline, and overseeing the military press. The new politicalorgans should protect the social interests of servicemen and their families.The party organs in the armed forces were also to be restructured. The partycommittees, from the regimental level upwards, were to be headed by anew All-Army Party Committee, elected by an all-army party conference,which would have the rights of a Commission of the Central Committee.The political organs and the party organs were to be separated, freeing thelatter to develop the initiative and creativity of the party rank and file, andfurther democratise party and military life. The party organs would retainthe right to elect representatives to party conferences and congresses.64

Whilst Gorbachev, Shevardnadze and Zaikov stressed the importance ofcutting defence expenditure, representatives of the military establishmentsuch as Yazov, and representatives of the defence industry such as O. D.Baklanov, minister for the defence industries, seen by radicals as a primerepresentative of the military-industrial complex, expressed scepticism ofthe economic benefits of conversion and warned of the dangers of agreeingwith the West 'at any cost' (see Chapter 3).65

The main debate on miltary policy took place not in the plenary sessionsbut in the Congress section on international relations. In his report Moiseev,chief of the General Staff, endorsed official defence policy, arguing thatmilitary parity was what had secured negotiations with the West on armsreductions. This policy, he stressed, was formulated by Gorbachev, inconsultation with the ministries, and the General Staff. There had beenheated discussions, but this was normal and natural. He supported the cutsin defence spending but warned that the western powers sought to use thesituation to turn the USSR into a 'middle-rank power', particularly overthe incorporation of a reunited Germany into NATO. NATO had failed

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to change its military doctrine. Whilst denying that the balance of powerin Europe had swung against the USSR, he argued that care was neededin the Geneva and Vienna arms talks.66

Hard-line military spokesmen in the section vigorously attacked officialpolicy. Major-General Ivan Mikulin, newly appointed head of the SouthernGroup of Forces Political Administration, blamed the 'new thinking' for the'expulsion' of Soviet forces from Eastern Europe, and the separation of theUSSR from its allies. Successes had been achieved 'only because of con-cessions', and the leadership's 'unbridled disarmament race'. Interviewedby reporters he described Gorbachev as indecisive and Shevardnadze ashasty. He criticised proposals to depoliticise the armed forces as intended'to put the army under the control of anti-socialist forces'. He condemnedthe abandonment of 'proletarian internationalism', rejected Gorbachev'sidea of a 'common European home' as a myth and warned that theVienna talks would lead to unilateral Soviet disarmament. A writer fromthe Crimea attributed Soviet foreign policy 'successes' to the Kremlin'swillingness to 'give in'. Admiral Gennadii Khvatov, commander of thePacific Fleet, a critic of the conversion programme, provided the mostpessimistic view - 'We have no allies in the West. We have no allies inthe East. Consequently, we are back where we were in 1939.'67

Evgenii Primakov, candidate member of the Politburo, defendedGorbachev's security initiatives as 'not only correct, but in truth . . . . avictory for common-sense over recklessness'. Yu. V. Kvitsinsky, deputyminister of foreign affairs, and former chief Soviet arms negotiator, arguedthat non-intervention in Eastern Europe was the only viable policy in thearea68 Valentin Falin, and A. Dzasokhov, chairman of the Committee onInternational Affairs of the USSR Supreme Soviet, stressed the need forthe military and the diplomats to cooperate closely in preparing for the nextround of arms talks.69

Gorbachev in his second speech noted the 'savage criticism' directed atthe new foreign policy. He was prepared to listen to informed criticism buthe repudiated attacks on official policy which were motivated by 'certainnarrow (vested) interests'. The USSR's new foreign policy had benefittedthe USSR and the whole world, he declared, 'I repudiate attempts to placethis in question'. What was the alternative to the changes that had takenplace in the GDR and elsewhere in Eastern Europe? he asked: 'moretanks?'. In a warning to party and military hard-liners he declared thatany thought of imposing a new dictatorship on the USSR was 'crazy'.70

Ligachev again censured the leadership's foreign policy, declaring thatGerman reunification was in reality an 'annexation or a swallowing up ofthe GDR by the Federal Republic'.71 Shevardnadze in reply declared The

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people of the GDR are deciding their own fate, no one else'. Responding tocriticism from military officers Shevardnadze emphasised that Soviet armsreductions and troop withdrawals had been worked out in consultation withthe military and offered to show the delegates documents signed by thedefence minister and the chiefs of the armed forces.72

Lev Zaikov, Politburo member and Secretary responsible for the defenceindustries, stressed the role of the State Defence Council under Gorbachevin resolving the most important military-strategic questions. The Council,he argued, provided a forum for consultation with the military: 'I don'tthink that the well-adjusted mechanism of inter-departmental preparationof military-political questions should be destroyed. Its structures must beused in the Defence Council under the USSR President'73

The NATO summit in London on July 5-6 signalled a more positiveresponse to Soviet initiatives. Its declaration stated that the two blocs wereno longer adversaries, calling for joint action with Moscow, and invitingGorbachev to Brussels to address the Western alliance. It approved awide-ranging review of NATO strategy and force levels, with moves toa defensive posture, reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, and offered tosign a joint peace statement with the Warsaw Pact.74 On July 13 NATOgeneral secretary Manfred Werner visited Moscow at the invitation ofthe Soviet leadership.75 On July 16 the visit by Chancellor Kohl to theSoviet Union put the seal on Soviet approval of German reunification andGerman membership of NATO.

The coincidence of the NATO meeting with the Soviet party Congresscannot have been entirely fortuitous. Shevardnadze seized on the NATOstatement as positive proof of the correctness of official foreign policy.76

Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadii Gerasimov acknowledged that forGorbachev the NATO declaration was timely, given the severe pressurehe was under: 'Now we can tell those grumbling generals that they arewrong'.77 However, the Congress section on foreign relations expressedreservations about 'unjustified unilateral concessions' and called for Sovietsecurity interests to be properly considered during discussions on theGerman question.78

The Response of the Military

Media coverage of the Congress and its treatment of the military drewstrong criticism from Marshall N. Ogarkov and other military delegates.79

Attempts were made to 'redress the balance'. Pravda carried interviewswith military delegates at the Congress which strongly defended the armyand its role in Soviet society. Lieutenant-Colonel A.Railyan criticised

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the excesses of media criticism of the Armed Forces. He denounced as a'hopeless affair' attempts to drive a wedge between the military and thepeople, between soldiers and officers.80 Lieutenant-General V. Plekhanovdeplored the attempts by certain 'so-called intellectuals' to slander the armyand condemned irresponsible talk of a military coup.81

In a press interview Marshall S. F. Akhromeyev, Gorbachev's militaryadviser, claimed that military discontent with the retrenchment in EasternEurope had been exaggerated, and that the military loyally supportedSoviet foreign policy. Other military officers agreed that the withdrawalfrom Eastern Europe had created housing and career problems which weremuch resented, but this did not amount to resistance to the policy itself.82

Krasnaya zvezda in its Congress feature - 'We invite to the micro-phone' - carried the views of various conservative military delegates.83

A familiar litany of complaints was aired - the disrespectful attitude ofthe mass media, the neglect of patriotic-military education, the unwill-ingness of young men to serve in the armed forces; the poor livingand housing conditions of servicemen; the need to raise the author-ity of the armed forces; the damage inflicted by inter-ethnic tensionson the military; and the problem of deserters and conscription evas-ion.

Lieutenant-Colonel N. Petrushin and Major-General V. Pomitkyn (airforce) dismissed as an 'immature idea' the suggestion that the politicaland party organs should be abolished in the Armed Forces, the KGBand the MVD. The CPSU's organs were the 'only' force capable ofcarrying through perestroika in the armed forces.84 The opposition ofparty political workers in the armed forces to depoliticisation was voicedby Lieutenant-General N.Boiko, head of the Air Defence Force's PoliticalAdministration, and Colonel-General N.Moiseev, head of the PoliticalAdministration of Land Forces.85 In an earlier interview Boiko stated thatto deprive the army of communists would mean 'flinging open its doors toother forces and weakening its combat potential', which he equated with'creeping counter-revolution'.86

Colonel Yu. Karavaev and Lieutenant-Colonel A. Shaparov dismissedthe idea of a 'threat of a military coup' in the USSR and accussed'pseudo-radicals' of seeking to impose their policies on the military.87

Marshal Ogarkov stressed the need to address the problem of militaryveterans and warned of the continuing threat to the USSR from the West.88

Colonel-General V. F. Ermakov declared that military reform should beentrusted to qualified military specialists, rather than to reform minded'dilettanti'. Reform would fail if it lacked the confidence of the military.89

Colonel-General A. Kolnichenko and Major-General P. Reutov (air force)

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rejected depoliticisation but stressed the party's role in education, ethical,social, cultural work and morale maintenance.90

A worker delegate, A. Emel'yanov, blamed local and central partyorgans for the rising tide of inter-ethnic conflict, stressed the military's rolein keeping warring groups apart and repudiated any attempts to depict thearmy as an 'anti-people force'.91 Another worker stressed the importanceof universal military service in the armed forces, and the need to attend tothe needs of the Afghantsi.92

Even Colonel-General Dimitri Volkogonov, a historian and deputyleader of the RSFSR parliament, and an ally of El'ltsin, dismissed specu-lation about a possible military coup, asserting that the armed forces had'no putschist traditions', that the USSR was not Latin America. The mainconcern within the armed forces, he argued, was social welfare. At thesame time he asserted 'The Army needs to be protected from moral andpsychological pressures from those who try to present the army as the mainthreat to democracy'.93

4. The KGB at the Congress

Vladimir Kryuchkov, chairman of the KGB, in his Congress report depictedthe KGB as a reformed organisation, which was adapting to the newpolitical situation.94 He endeavoured to disarm the KGB's critics, depictingthe agency as the guardian of the Motherland, Socialism and democracy. Itwas a professional body, indispensable to the state, and closely linked tothe CPSU as the guardian of restructuring. 'Workers of the organs of statesecurity resolutely speak out for perestroika and are its active participants',"The Chekists are the foremost members of the CPSU'. At the same timeKryuchkov, in a well-received speech, presented a sombre assessment ofthe situation facing the party and the country.

He sought to dissociate the KGB from its predecessor the NKVD.Kryuchkov himself was a member of the Politburo Commission invest-igating the repressions of the Stalin era. The commission's work wassupported by the 'collective of Chekists'. He pointed out that, on theKGB's initiative, the Supreme Soviet on January 16, 1989 approved alegal (pravoi) act annuling non-court rulings - i.e. the prison and deathsentences passed by the NKVD courts - the troiki - rehabilitating thevictims of illegal repression (see Chapter 5). But he glossed over thequestion of the legal culpability of NKVD and KGB officers for pastactions and crimes. The past heroic achievements of the communist state,he stressed, should not be denigrated.

As a member of the Central Committee's Commission on International

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Policy, Kryuchkov endorsed the 'new political thinking' in foreign policyand supported the doctrine of 'reasonable sufficiency', but stressed thecontinuing military threat to the Soviet Union. He also sought credit forthe KGB, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for thewithdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. A member of the Polit-buro Commission on Inter-Ethnic relations, Kryuchkov was also closelyinvolved in dealing with the crisis in relations between nationalities - 'ourmain front and our major concern'. The role of the KGB's anti-terroristunits in this work, however, was ignored.

Kryuchkov indicated new areas of activity for the KGB underperestroika. The KGB, the Procuracy USSR and the MVD were waginga struggle against organised crime {mafia), large-scale corruption, theftof socialist property, and against speculators and black marketeers. Thecooperative sector - with 200,000 coops employing at least 4.5 millionpeople - provided scope for increased criminal activity, and was itselfexacerbating inflation.

Relations between the KGB and CPSU, Kryuchkov asserted, had under-gone substantial change. The KGB now answered to the PresidentialCouncil and the Supreme Soviet's Committee on Defence and StateSecurity. It sought a business-like relationship with other parties, andwould inform them appropriately of its work. Members of other partieswould not be excluded from employment in the KGB. How Kryuchkovsquared this with his insistence on a continuing close link between theCPSU and KGB was left unclear.

Kryuchkov rejected calls to depoliticise the agency as politically moti-vated and erroneous. The KGB was a mainstay of the Soviet state andits social-economic basis. Depoliticisation would turn the Chekists into'artisans' devoid of any political principles. However, he stressed thatthere was no binding rule that the KGB's chairman should be a memberof the Politburo - this was the prerogative of the Central Committee.He flatly denied that the KGB gathered information on other parties,social movements and their leaders, but - a fine distinction - it onlyinvolved itself in concrete cases of illegal activities. He urged dialoguewith other pro-socialist democratic forces to resolve the crisis, lest the shipoi perestroika capsize. Kryuchkov stressed his support for the principle ofcombining the posts of General Secretary and President in the hands of oneindividual.

Democracy and glasnost, Kryuchkov argued, required the frameworkof a legal order; the KGB itself was now subject to public scrutiny andaccountability. Defects in the KGB's work had to be corrected, but theagency needed public support. He protested at 'blatant attempts to defame

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and discredit' the KGB and the armed forces, and the demands to curbthe KGB's powers, declaring 'What a painful impediment we are to somepeople!'95

The KGB's role under perestroika had to be rethought The Chekists,Kryuchkov claimed, worked strictly within the law and the constitution.A new 'Law on the KGB USSR', which for the first time formalisedthe agency's legal powers, was being prepared for the Supreme Soviet'sautumn session. The draft had been much criticised and he appealed tocommunist deputies to support its adoption. The KGB was now assumingresponsibility for safeguarding the constitution and had been active indetermining new laws governing anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.The KGB remained active in combating foreign intelligence operationsdirected against the USSR, but he stressed that not all the country'sdifficulties could be attributed to the influence of outside intervention.

Kryuchkov discoursed at length on the Kalugin affair. Kalugin outof personal malice and for opportunistic, political ends was waging avendetta against the KGB. He had caricatured the KGB as an 'all-powerfulmonster', penetrating all spheres of social life, obstructing perestroikaand democratisation. His charge that the majority of Chekists were openStalinists was a 'premeditated lie'. Kalugin had exaggerated the problem ofKGB officers defecting to the West As one who had divulged state secretsKalugin had been treated leniently. He dismissed Kalugin's claims to havealways championed democracy and liberty, and to have opposed the party'sso-called 'dictatorship' over the KGB.

Kryuchkov's account of the KGB's work was challenged in the questionand answer session. Anatolii Sobchak, mayor of Leningrad and a supporterof the Democratic Platform, in a press interview complained 'The mostimportant organs of state power - the police, the army and the KGB -are still in the hands of the party'. The Leningrad KGB submitted dailyreports on the political and industrial situation in the city to the Leningradparty first secretary, but declined to provide the same service to the electedsoviet.96

The Congress left matters unresolved. Mikhail Lyubimov, former depart-ment head in the KGB's First Main Administration, and a colonel inreserve, interviewed in Moscow News, criticised the KGB's vilificationof Kalugin, and denounced the stranglehold of conservative CPSU offi-cials over the KGB. Democracy required a renovated KGB, but publiccriticism of the KGB should become the norm. Moscow News arguedthat the KGB needed thorough renewal; Chekists could not go on pre-senting themselves as 'knights of the revolution' or heroes from YulianSemyionov's books. Kalugin - like El'ltsin and Gdlyan - was a martyr

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of perestroika, whose popular following would flourish under officialpersecution.97

The absence of a resolution on the KGB represented a major gap inthe Congress's work. However, on July 9 the USSR Supreme Soviet'sCommittee on Defence and State Security convened a meeting of itssub-committee on state security, chaired by L. B. Sharin. It discussedthe question of the KGB's work under perestroika and examined the draftlaw 'Concerning the KGB USSR' to be submitted to the Supreme SovietUSSR.98

5. The MVD at the Congress

No report was presented to the Congress by V. V. Bakatin, Minister ofInternal Affairs (MVD). This might be explained by the fact that Bakatinwas not a member of the Politburo. However, given the close involvementof the MVD's military units in dealing with civil unrest in the republics,this was a striking omission. However, Major-General V. Safonov, headof the MVD's internal forces in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia,rejected as politically shortsighted and ill-informed the calls by radicalsto depoliticise the internal security forces. In a crisis situation, he insisted,the party could not loosen its tight grip over such powerful bodies.99


The military delegation played a prominent part in the Congress' delibera-tions. Colonel-General N. Moiseev declared 'Possibly, at no previous partycongress was there such high activity of the army delegation. In discussionsat plenary sessions and in the sections there were contributions from overhalf of the tens of communists from the army and navy'. The majority,he asserted, supported perestroika, and were for a renewed party that wasunited, consolidated, and firm.100

The main Congress resolution on military reform was drafted by themilitary delegation. It was not discussed in a Congress section, but wasreferred directly to the Editorial Commission headed by the conservativeGeneral A. D. Lizichev, head of the party MPA. This exceptional treatmentaverted a damaging public debate on this most sensitive of issues. Krasnayazvezda's correspondent welcomed the resolution as something quite excep-tional (neordinarno) in the party's history.101

The Editorial Commission rejected proposals to organise the army on

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a republican basis and to depoliticise the armed forces. Two liberalamendments which declared that the military threat to the USSR haddiminished and that improvements in East-West relations were irreversiblewere heavily defeated.102 Lizichev's report, according to Pravda, produceda 'lively exchange of opinion at the session and in the interval'.103 Inter-viewed by Krasnaya zvezda, Lizichev welcomed the approved resolutionwhich the army had striven so hard to secure.104 It was commended also byVarennikov (deputy minister of defence), Shlyaga of MPA and by MarshalOgarkov.105

The resolution, 'Concerning the basic direction of military policy of theparty in the contemporary period', represented a compromise, with majorconcessions to placate the military, although it approved cut backs inmilitary spending, the reorganisation of the military, and the conversion ofmilitary plant to civilian uses. It proposed 'strengthening and maintainingthe defence potential and security of the country at a level of reliable,reasonable sufficiency'. It noted also that 'there are no guarantees ofthe irreversibility of the positive changes and the military threat to theUSSR remains'. It made no mention of the NATO declaration, but offeredto set up an 'all-embracing international security system' to broadenmilitary-political cooperation to secure world peace.

The resolution stressed the need to improve the conditions, pay andlegal rights of servicemen and called for further democratisation of thearmed forces. Legal measures were necessary to deal with the problem ofdeserters and draft evaders. The adoption of laws on military reform hadto be speeded up. The resolution, repudiating radical demands, declaredthat the Armed Forces USSR be built on the principle of single command(edinonachalie) and extra-territoriality; it should be a multi-ethnic cadrearmy, with military units staffed with recruits from different nationalities,combining general military service with voluntary entry into militaryservice on contract

The resolution declared: "The Congress comes out against the depolitic-isation of the armed forces'. However, in future the CPSU would seekto lead the armed forces through communists in command positions.The political organs, in accordance with the Constitution of the USSR,were directed to political, military, moral and legal education of militarypersonnel. Their work was to be based on a creative development ofMarxist-Leninist ideas, but adapting also western ideas and methods. Therole of the party organs in the armed forces had to be redefined.106

Major-General L. Ivashov, a member of the Ministry of Defence'sMilitary-Legislative Commitee, reported that a Law of the USSR onDefence would be presented to the Supreme Soviet in the autumn of

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182 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

1990. In the second half of 1991 more draft laws would be introducedon furthering the military reform.107 The 'Programme of Action of theCPSU' declared:

The congress does not consider it correct to deprive communists inthe army, the KGB and MVD of the right to party membershipand to create party organisations, or to engage in other forms ofpolitical activity. However, these organisations must be separated fromthe state administration, including the military-political organs, whichcarry out moral-political education of the personnel staff of the ArmedForces, the MVD and the KGB.108

The Congress section on 'Renewing the party' discussed the party Statutes.Its chairman 1.1. Mel'nikov noted that the section had rejected proposalsto suspend party membership during an individuals period of military ser-vice.109 The new party Statutes, presented to the Congress by Gorbachev,confirmed that the primary party organs and the elected party organs inthe armed forces would be retained, and would be headed by a PartyCommittee to be elected by an all-army conference. The party members inthe army and navy retained the right to elect their representatives to partycongresses and conferences. Party organs in the KGB's military units andthe internal forces of the MVD were to organised on similar lines.110

This, as Stephen Foye argues, was a first tentative step to thedepoliticisation of the armed forces. The primary party organs wouldbe retained in the armed forces. The officer corps - 75 per cent of whom atpresent are party members - will continue to ensure party influence withinthe armed forces. The political workers, whilst being required to adaptto a new educational, cultural role would still exert ideological influenceover the training of servicemen.111 However, these changes imply also astrengthening of the hierarchical chain of command in the armed forcesfrom the Ministry of Defence downwards, and increasing the autonomy ofthe officer corps. This must be seen as a restriction on the power of thepolitical organisations - a redefinition of their functions, and a decline inthe role of the party cells.

Amongst the six candidates nominated to stand against Gorbachev forthe post of General Secretary were Colonel N. S. Stolyarop from theAir Force,112 and V. V. Bakatin, Minister of Internal Affairs. Anothercandidate was T. G. Avaliani who declared that he was for the CPSUas a vanguard party, and regarding the role of the KGB, militia and thearmy stressed that they should be strong, permanent and formed by thegovernment - 'It is impossible to direct aimless attacks on these organs

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Party Relations with the Military and the KGB 183

since this destabilises (rasshativaet) the state'.113 A member of the militarydelegation - Eflmov - opposed the holding of both positions of GeneralSecretary and President by Gorbachev and compared it with the concen-tration of power achieved by Brezhnev, Ceaucescu and Honecker.114

In the secret ballot for the election of the new Central Committee A.Tsalko proposed that Yazov and M.Moiseev be excluded from the list onthe grounds that they supported restructuring only in words. The statementdrew a vigorous rebuff from military delegates.115

Following the Congress Colonel-General N. I. Shlyaga was appointedhead of the MPA, replacing A. D. Lizichev who was transferred to otherwork in the Ministry of Defence.116 Colonel-General V. F. Ermakovreplaced General D. S. Sukhorukov as deputy Minister of Defence,and head of the ministry's Main Administration for the Management ofCadres.117

The conservative nature of the party resolution on the military policy ofthe CPSU is underlined by comparisons with the radical changes in otherEast European countries in regard to the depoliticisation of the militaryin the transition to a multi-party pluralistic democracy, based on the ruleof law.118 Georgii Shakhnazarov, one of Gorbachev's closest politicaladvisers, indicated that the depoliticisation of the armed forces and theKGB was premature and that at the moment the party structures in thesebodies provided a guarantee of stability in the country.119


The debate at the XXVIII Congress on party relations with the military,the KGB and the MVD highlights the basic dilemmas facing the partyleadership, and the political constraints on the process of perestroika anddemocratisation. The logic of depoliticising the armed forces and the KGBas a necessary part of the democratisation process was avoided. The needsto secure stability and consolidation point to Gorbachev's growing relianceon the repressive organs of state to control events. The Congress resolutionon Military Policy was a partial triumph for the military lobby. The partyorganisation in the armed forces remained intact, and political workers inthe military succeeded in preventing their disbanding.

The possibility of a coalition of conservatives in the party, the military,the KGB and the MVD to impose an 'iron hand' solution to the crisiscannot be discounted. Pressure from the elected parliaments, the radicalpress, and from sections of the public for a fundamental reform of thesebodies is likely to gather strength. Internal divisions within the army, the

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184 The Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

KGB and the MVD has left these bodies in some disarray. The deepeningcrisis in the USSR sharpens the danger of such a conservative backlash,on a programme to restore social discipline and order and to preservethe Union from fragmentation. The presence of a substantial number ofmilitary conservatives in the Congress of People's Deputies suggests theway in which such a move might be legitimised.

The strategy of stabilisation and consolidation approved by the XXVIIICongress retained the links between the party, the military, the KGB andthe MVD. At the same time there was a commitment to loosening the tiesbetween the party and these organs in the field of party supervision andcadres policy, whilst stressing the need for the work of these organs tobe regulated by law and subordinated to the organs of government. Thedebate on this crucial issue points to the decline of the party Congressin determining policy. Significantly the major debate was conducted asmuch in the press as in the Congress itself. The USSR Supreme Soviet inthe autumn of 1990 will discuss the new laws on the KGB and on militaryreform. The initiative on these crucial matters is passing out of the party'shands.

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1. Decisions and resolutions of the XX VHI Congress

'Towards a Humane Democratic Socialism' Programmatic Declaration.

'Concerning the policy of the CPSU in implementing economic reform andthe transition to market relation'.

'Concerning the position of the peasantry and the realisation of the agrarianpolicy of the CPSU'.

'Concerning the basic direction of the military policy of the party in thecontemporary period'.

'For the defence of democratic rights, against the oppression of com-munists'.

'Concerning the preparation of the new Programme of the CPSU'.

'Concerning the budget and property of the CPSU'.'Concerning the policy of the CPSU in the field of education, science and

culture'.'Democratic national policy - path to a voluntary union, peace and agree-

ment between peoples'.

'Concerning the means of mass information of the CPSU'.'Concerning the youth policy of the CPSU'.

'Concerning the political evaluation of the catastrophe at Chernobyl AESand the course of work to liquidate its consequences'.

'Concerning the letters of workers, addressed to the XXVIII congressCPSU'.


2. Delegates to the XXVIII Congress

The Mandate Commission's report provided information on the composi-tion of the delegates attending the XXVIII Congress. The 4,863 delegatesrepresented just under 19.5 million party members, one delegate repre-senting some 4,000 party members. Over 80,000 possible candidates had


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186 Appendixes

been considered. The delegates were predominantly male (only 344 femaledelegates - 7.3 per cent), in their thirties and forties, mainly professionalsand largely party recruits from the Brezhnev era. Only 14 per cent hadpreviously been elected to a CPSU Congress or All-Union Conference.Party officials comprised 40 per cent of all delegates, one-fourth of whichwere secretaries of primary party organisations. 1,005 delegates (21.5 percent) were employed in industry, construction, transport and communica-tions; 483 (10.3 per cent) were employed in agriculture. About 17 per centwere economic managers. A total of 543 workers (11.6 per cent), and 255collective fanners (5.4 per cent) were elected to the Congress. In addition350 invited workers and peasants participated in the Congress' work, withthe right to speak but not to vote. Representatives of the scientific andcreative intelligentsia numbered 392 delegates, including 53 personnel ofthe news media. Representatives of the Armed Forces, the USSR Ministryof Internal Affairs and the KGB made up more than 6 per cent of thedelegates. The 1.1 party million members in the Armed Forces elected269 delegates.

In terms of length of party membership the delegates were mainlyrecruits of the Brezhnev era.

Period of joiningthe party






Nearly 99 per cent of delegates had a higher, incomplete higher orsecondary (general or specialised) education. About one-fourth had Partypolitical training, and 69 had higher degrees or titles.

The age-group breakdown of the delegates was as follows:

- to 3 0 -31 to 4 0 -41 to 50 -51 to 6 0 -61 plus-



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Appendixes 187

The average age of CPSU delegates is 46. The delegates included 52participants in the Great Patriotic War. As many as 2,737 delegates, nearly60 per cent, were People's Deputies: 276 were USSR People's Deputiesand 516 union-republican and autonomous republican People's Deputies.In all 65 per cent had received state awards or titles, 14 were Heroes ofthe Soviet Union, 64 were Heroes of Socialist Labour and 104 were Leninor USSR State Prize winners.

The size of the delegations from the fifteen Union-republic CommunistParties were as follows:



Total 4,385

The main urban and industrial centres were strongly represented: Moscowcity - 278; Leningrad oblast - 147; Moscow oblast - 126; Donetsk oblast- 87; Krasnodar territory - 81; Rostov oblast- 80; Dnepropetrovsk oblast- 67; Sverdlovsk oblast - 66; Gorky oblast - 64. Representatives of 63nationalities were delegates.1


A. Leading party organs on the eve of the XXVIII Congress

PolitburoFull members: Responsibilities:

M. S. Gorbachev General Secretary of CPSU

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188 Appendixes

V. A. KryuchkovE. K. LigachevYu. D. Maslyukov

V. A. MedvedevN. I. RyzhkovE. A. ShevardnadzeN. N. Slyunkov

V. I. Vorotnikov

A. N. YakovlevL. N. Zaikov

Candidate members:

A. P. Biryukova

A. I. Luk'yanovE. M. Primakov

B. K. PugoG. P. RazumovskiiA. V. VlasovD. T. Yazov

Secretariat CC CPSU.


M. S. Gorbachev0 . D. BaklanovA. P. Biryukova1. T. FrolovA. N. GirenkoE. K. LigachevYu. A. ManaenkovV. A. MedvedevG. P. RazumovskiiE. S. StroevG. I. UsmanovA. N. YakovlevL. N. Zaikov

Chairman of the KGBSecretary of CC CPSUFirst deputy chairman of Council ofMinisters USSR, chairman of GosplanSecretary of CC CPSUChairman of the Council of Ministers USSRMinister of Foreign AffairsChairman CC Commission on Economicand Social PolicyFormer chairman Presidium RSFSRSupreme SovietSecretary of CC CPSUSecretary of CC CPSU


Deputy Chairwoman Council of Ministers,USSRChairman of the USSR Supreme SovietChairman of USSR Supreme Soviet's Sovietof the Union.Chairman of the Party Control CommitteeSecretary CC CPSUChairman of RSFSR Council of MinistersMinister of Defence


General SecretaryDefence IndustriesLight Industry, Consumer GoodsEditor of PravdaNationalities QuestionAgricultureRussian BureauIdeologyParty OrganisationAgricultureRSFSR policiesIdeologyDefence Industries

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Appendixes 189

B. Leading party organs elected by the Central Committeeplenum, July 13-14, 1990:


M. S. GorbachevM. M. BurokyavichyusA. S. Dzasokhov

I. T. FrolovG. G. GumbaridzeS. I. GurenkoV. A. IvashkoI. A KarimovP. K. LuchinskiiK. MakhkamovA. M. MasalievV. M. MovsisyanA. N. MutalibovN. A. NazarbaevS. A. NiyazovI. K. PolozkovYu. A. Prokof'evA. P. RubiksG. V. SemenovaE-A. A. SillariE. E. SokolovE. S. StroevO. S. Shenin

G. I. Yanaev

Secretariat CC CPSU.


M. S. GorbachevO. D. BaklanovA. S. DzasokhovV. M. FalinB. V. Gidaspov


General Secretary of CPSUFirst sec. CP Lithuania (CPSU)Secretary CC CPSU-Chairman USSR SSCommission on International AffairsEditor of PravdaFirst sec. CP GeorgiaFirst sec. CP UkraineDeputy General Secretary of CPSUFirst sec. CP UzbekistanFirst sec. CP MoldaviaFirst sec. CP TadzhikistanFirst sec. CP KirgiziaFirst sec. CP ArmeniaFirst sec. CP AzerbaidzhanFirst sec. CP KazakhstanFirst sec. CP TurkmenistanFirst sec. CP RSFSRFirst secretary Moscow city party committeeFirst sec. CP LatviaSecretary CC CPSUFirst sec. CP EstoniaFirst sec. CP BelorussiaSecretary CC CPSUSecretary CC CPSU-First sec. Krasnoyarskkrai party committeeSecretary CC CPSU-Chairman of All-UnionCentral Council of Trade Unions


General SecretaryDefence IndustriesIdeologyForeign AffairsFirst sec. Leningrad party organisation

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190 Appendixes

A. N. Girenko Nationality IssuesV. A. Ivashko Deputy General SecretaryV. A. Kuptsov Chief of CPSU CC Department for Relations

with Informal Groups and Socio-politicalMovements

Yu. A. Manaenkov Russian Communist PartyG. V. Semenova Women's IssuesE. S. Stroev AgricultureO. S. Shenin Party organisational workG. I. Yanaev Foreign Affairs


V. V. AniskiiV. A. Gaivoronskii1.1. Mel'nikovA. I. TeplenichevG. Turgunova

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L. Gordon and A. Nazimova, 'Perestroika in Historical Perspective:Possible Scenarios', Government and Opposition, 1990, vol. 25, no. 1,pp. 3-15. See also the contribution by L. Gordon, Voprosy filosofii,no. 11, 1988, pp. 51-3.

1 Background to the XXVIII Congress

1. For some of what follows I have drawn upon Stephen White, Gorbachevin Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), chaps 2 and4. Several other discussions of the party's changing role are available,including Bohdan Harasymiw, 'The CPSU in transition from Brezhnevto Gorbachev', Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol. 21 (1988),pp. 249-66; Ronald J. Hill, 'Gorbachev and the CPSU', in WalterJoyce et al. (eds), Gorbachev and Gorbachevism (London: Cass,1989), pp. 18-34; Hill, 'The Party' in Stephen White, Alex Pravdaand Zivi Gitelman (eds), Developments in Soviet Politics (London:Macmillan, 1990), pp. 67-86; Donna Bahry and Brian D. Silver,'Public perceptions and the dilemmas of party reform in the USSR',Comparative Political Studies, vol. 23, no. 2 (July 1990), pp. 171-209;and Graeme J. Gill, 'Political reform in the CPSU' (paper presentedto the 4th World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies,Harrogate, July 1990).

2. Pravda, October 2, 1988.3. Pravda, October 1, 1988, p. 1; the membership was given in Pravda,

November 29, 1988, pp. 1-2.4. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 1, 1989, pp. 89-91 (twenty departments were

reduced to nine, and the staff concerned were reduced by 30 per cent).There were similar changes at the republican and lower levels.

5. Julia Wishnevsky and Elizabeth Teague, 'Press Conference Sums UpResults of the CPSU Plenum', Radio Liberty: Report on the USSR(hereafter RL: USSR), pp. 8-9.

6. Dawn Mann, 'Gorbachev Sworn In As President', RL.USSR, no. 12,1990, pp. 1-3.

7. Alexander Rahr, 'From Politburo to Presidential Council', RL: USSR,no. 22, 1990, pp. 1-5, See also Elizabeth Teague, 'The PresidentialCouncil Starts Its Work', RL: USSR, no. 14, 1990, pp. 1-3.


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192 Notes to pp. 11-18

8. Ibid., p. 2, cites Time, April 16, 1990.9. Ibid., p. 2, cites TASS, April 2, 1990.

10. Alexander Rahr, 'From Politburo to Presidential Council', RL: USSR,no. 22, 1990, p. 2.

11. On the work of the Politburo, Central Committee and Secretariatbetween the XXVII and XXVIII party congress - see Izvestiya TsKKPSS, no. 9, 1990, pp. 17-23.

12. Ibid., pp. 21-23.13. Ibid. pp. 18-19.14. Pravda, September 13, 1990, p. 2, and September 5, 1990, p. 2.

Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 8, 1990, anatomised 15 of the nationally-basedparties (pp. 145-61).

15. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 8, 1990, p. 145.16. See Sovetskaya Litva, December 21, 1989, p. 1.17. Kommunist, no. 1, 1988, p. 6.18. Moscow News, June 19, 1988, p. 2; Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 6, 1988,

p. 46.19. Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 6, 1988, p. 44: Pravda, May 2, 1988,

pp. 1,3.20. See for instance Kommunist, no. 3, 1988, p. 36.21. Pravda, July 2, 1988, p. 5.22. Kommunist, no. 3, 1988, p. 37; Partiinaya zhizn\ no. 6, 1988, p. 28.23. Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 6, 1988, p. 44.24. Partiinaya zhizn', no. 10, 1988, p. 38, and no. 5, 1988, p. 41.25. Partiinaya zhizn', no. 11, 1988, pp. 38-9.26. Moscow News, June 12, 1988, p. 8; Soviet Weekly, June 18, 1988,

p. 10.27. Moscow News, April 10, 1988, p. 8.28. Kommunist, no. 4, 1988, pp. 86-7; Partiinaya zhizn', no. 9, 1988,

p. 48.29. See for instance Kommunist, no. 5, 1988, pp. 42-5.30. Moscow News, April 24, 1988, p. 7.31. Pravda, July 1, 1988, p. 7.32. Kommunist, no. 5, 1988, p. 45.33. Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 6, 1988, p. 45; Kommunist, no. 5, 1988,

p. 45.34. Kommunist, no. 4, 1988, p. 85.35. Materialy XIX vsesoyuznoi konferentsii KPSS (Moscow, Politizdat,

1988), pp. 70-3.36. Materialy, pp. 124-7.37. Pravda, February 10, 1987, p. 2.38. Perestroika raboty partii-vazhneishaya klyuchevaya zadacha dnya

(Moscow, Politizdat, 1989) pp. 9-10.39. Pravda, January 2, 1989, p. 2.40. Pravda, July 10, 1989, p. 2.41. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 2, 1989, p. 138.

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Notes to pp. 18-23 193

42. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 2, 1989, p. 138, and no. 4, 1990, p. 113; andDialog, no. 9, 1990, p. 17.

43. Pravda, December 26, 1989, p. 1.44. Kommunist, no. 16, 1989, p. 28.45. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4, and June 15, 1990, p. 1.46. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 1, 1989, pp. 132-4; on women, compare

Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 2, 1989, p. 139, with Dialog, no. 9, 1990,p. 17.

47. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 1, 1989, p. 132.48. Soviet Weekly, April 22, 1989, p. 14.49. Moskovskaya pravda, July 11, 1989, p. 1.50. Pravda, September 18, 1989, p. 2.51. Pravda, September 1, 1990, p. 2.52. Pravda, September 18, 1989, p. 2.53. Pravda, July 23, 1989, p. 2; Moscow News, no. 1, 1989, p. 8.54. M S. Gorbachev, hbrannye rechi i stat'i, 6 vols (Moscow, Politizdat,

1987-9), vol. 3, p. 259.55. Perestroika raboty partii, pp. 45, 51-2, 58-9, 84, 100.56. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 3.57. Izvestiya, April 2, 1990, p. 2.58. Pravda, February 1, 1990, p. 2.59. Politicheskoe obrazovanie, no. 18, 1989, p. 6 (I owe this reference to

Ronald J. Hill).60. Soviet Weekly, March 22, 1990, p. 15.61. Pravda, March 3, 1990, p. 3. For a fuller discussion of the Democratic

Platform see RL: USSR, vol. 2, nos 15 (February 2, 1990), 18 (May4, 1990) and 26 (June 29, 1990), to which I am indebted for much ofwhat follows.

62. Materialy plenuma TsK KPSS 11, 14, 16 marta 1990g (Moscow,Politizdat, 1990) p. 93.

63. Pravda, April 11, 1990, p. 1.64. RL: USSR, vol. 2, no. 17 (April 27, 1990), p. 31.65. Moscow News, no. 15, 1990, p. 7.66. Argumenty ifakty, no. 25, 1990, p. 7.67. RL: USSR, vol. 1, no. 24 (June 15, 1990), p. 5.68. Pravda, June 20, 1990, p. 3.69. Pravda, June 18, 1990, p. 3.70. Pravda, May 9, 1990, p. 3.71. Pravda, April 16, 1990, p. 4.72. Pravda, June 20, 1990, p. 3.73. Pravda, June 19, 1990, p. 4.74. The Platform appeared in Pravda, February 13, 1990, pp. 1-2, and the

draft Statutes in Pravda, March 28, 1990, p. 2.75. For the revised Platform see Pravda, June 27, 1990, pp. 1-2; for the

revised Statutes, see Pravda, June 28, 1990, pp. 1-2.76. Pravda, March 12, 1990, p. 1.

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194 Notes to pp. 24-30

77. Pravda, April 16, 1990, p. 1.78. Pravda, June 30, 1990.79. Pravda, June 30, 1990.80. I. T. Frolov, editor of Pravda, reported on the publication of the

Discussion Sheets - 'I am proud that this is my idea, and we simplystarted this by analogy, with what was in Pravda during the time ofNikolai Ivanovich Bukharin' - Pravda, July 7, 1990.

81. Pravda, June 26, 1990 (E. A. Shevardnadze); June 27, 1990 (D. T.Yazov); June 29, 1990 (V. Medvedev); June 30, 1990 (E. Ligachev);

82. Pravda, June 29, 1990.83. Giulietto Chiesa, 'The 28th Congress of the CPSU', Problems of

Communism, July-August 1990, p. 27, cites L'Unita, June 27, 1990.84. Summary of World Broadcasts: BBC Monitoring, SU/0805 B/1-2.85. International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1990, p. 1.86. Rabochii klass i sovremennyi mir, no. 4, 1989, p. 87.87. Pravda, October 16, 1989, p. 2.88. Moscow News, no. 21, 1990, p. 9; Soviet Weekly, August 2, 1990,

p. 4.89. Perestroika raboty partii, p. 54.90. Moscow News, no. 27, 1990, p. 5.

2 The Politics of the XXVIII Congress

1. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 2. The findings are collected in Izvestiya TsKKPSS, no. 8, 1990, pp. 133-44.

2. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 3.3. Pravda, July 12, 1990, p. 3.4. Summary of World Broadcasts: BBC Monitoring, SU/0808 Cl /20.5. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 4.6. Giulietto Chiesa, 'The 28th Congress of the CPSU', Problems of

Communism, July-August 1990, p. 26, cites L'Unita, July 10, 1990. Inaddressing the Congress on July 9 on the new party statutes Gorbachevdeclared ' At least half the party officials are in here, and also 20 percent of the leaders. El'tsin said that ours is a congress of leaders. It'strue'.

7. Pravda, July 14, 1990, p. 3.8. Pravda, July 10, 1990. SU/0819 Cl/4. The breakdown of the costs

was as follows: delegates' salaries during the duration of the congress- 700,000 r.; transport costs - 500,000 r.; hotels, including roomreservation - 800,000 r.; radio and television broadcasting - 4.5-5.0million r ; leasing the hall and hiring telephone lines - 460,000 r.;return tickets to Moscow for delegates - 459, 000 r.; general economicexpenses - 1.88 million roubles.

9. SU/0806C1/1.10. Pravda, July 3, 1990. Congress delegates interviewed in the press

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Notes to pp. 30-37 195

expressed strong approval for reports from individual Politburo mem-bers as an 'extension of internal party democracy' - Pravda, July 4,1990, p. 5; Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2.

11. SU/0806C1/3.12. Pravda, July 3, 1990.13. SU/0820C1/3.14. Pravda, July 4, 1990.15. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 6.16. Pravda, July 5,1990, p. 2. In the question and answer session Ligachev

declared 'I see no force other than the party and the Soviets beingcapable of putting our country on the road to progress. I favourdemocratic centralism and I stress the word "democratic"'. Pravda,July 11, 1990.

17. SU/O8O5B/13.18. SU/0816C1/4.19. SU/0817C1/3.20. SU/0817Cl/3-4;SU/0817Cl/14.21. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 2.22. Pravda, July 10, 1990, p. 2.23. Pravda, July 7, 1990 (A. F. Ponomarev).24. Pravda, July 5, 1990.25. Pravda, July 4, 1990.26. Pravda, July 4, 1990.27. Pravda, July 5, 1990.28. Pravda, July 6, 1990, pp. 3-4.29. Pravda, July 6, 1990.30. Pravda, July 5, 1990.31. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 6.32. Pravda, July 10, 1990.33. Rabochaya tribuna, July 7, 1990. The meeting was attended by M. S.

Gorbachev, V. A. Medvedev, G. P. Razumovskii, A. N. Girenko, Yu.A. Manaenkov, E. S. Stroev, I. T. Frolov and I. K. Polozkov.

34. Pravda, July 6, 1990.35. Pravda, July 6, 1990 (A. A. Porutchikov); Pravda, July 7, 1990 (A. I.

Teplenichev, N. N. Sidorkin).36. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3.37. Pravda, July 7, 1990. The meeting was attended by M. S. Gorbachev,

G. P. Razumovskii, A. N. Girenko, Yu. A. Manaenkov, E. S. Stroevand I. T. Frolov.

38. Pravda, July 9, 1990.39. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2.40. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.41. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3 (V. S. Belousov).42. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 2 (V. A. Gaivoronskii).43. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.44. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 3.

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196 Notes to pp. 37-41

45. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 2.46. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4.47. Pravda, July 5, 1990, pp. 3-4.48. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 4. El'tsin's proposal to rename the CPSU

the party of Democratic Socialism was seconded by his ally, thehistorian and military-party figure, Dimitrii Volkogonov. In responseLevchenko, a delegate from Moscow, declared: 'A party that is capableof changing its name and programme overnight does not deserve thepeople's trust.'

49. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 6.50. Pravda, July 7, 1990.51. Pravda, July 11, 1990.52. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 3.53. Pravda, July 8, 1990.54. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 6.55. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 6. Similar sentiments were voiced by other

delegates - Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3 (V. S. Belousov); Pravda, July8, 1990, p. 3 (Masaliev).

56. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 3.57. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 6.58. Pravda, July 6, 1990.59. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.60. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 5.61. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 5 (Ligachev); Pravda, July 10, 1990, p. 2

(Vlasov); Pravda, July 6,1990,p.4(Nazarbaev);/)ravrfa,July 8,1990,p. 3 (Masaliev).

62. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2.63. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 2.64. Pravda, July 6, 1990.65. Pravda, July 6, 1990.66. Pravda, July 7, 1990 (A. I. Teplenichev and A. A. Popov who

insisted that the vanguard role of the party should be included in theProgrammatic Statement.) Pravda, July 9, 1990 (L. P. Rodionova).

67. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 2.68. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 3.69. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 5.70. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 2.71. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 2.72. Pravda, July 3, 1990. See also Gorbachev's second speech - Pravda,

July 11, 1990, pp. 1-2.73. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 2.74. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2 (S. I. Gurenko); Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4

(B. M. Belousov).75. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.76. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 2.77. Pravda, July 10, 1990.

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Notes to pp. 41-46 197

78. Pravda, July 6, 1990.79. Pravda, July 6, 1990.80. Pravda, July 9, 1990.81. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4.82. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.83. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 3.84. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 4.85. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 5 (Potapov); Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4 (B.

M. Belousov); Pravda, July 4, 1990 (Vorotnikov), SU/0810 C/16(Mutalibov).

86. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2.87. SU/0815C1/12.88. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 2.89. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 5.90. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 2; Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 2.91. Pravda, July 5, 1990.92. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 4.93. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 3.94. Pravda, July 4, 1990.95. Pravda, July 8, 1990.96. SU/0809C1/14.97. SU/0810 Cl/9.98. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3.99. SU/0810 Cl/17.

100. Pravda, July 14, 1990.101. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 2.102. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 5.103. SU/0810 Cl/17.104. Pravda, July 8, 1990.105. SU/0817C1/6106. SU/0813C1/5.107. Pravda, July 9, 1990.108. Pravda, July 10, 1990. The Central Revision Commission revealed

that Politbruro members received 1,200 rubles a month, and candidates1,100 rubles; and there were just 1,332 on the full-time staff of theCentral Committee, earning a modest 533 rubles a month (about doublethe national average). Only the President, the Chairman of the SupremeSoviet and Prime Minister had official dachas.

109. Pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 4.110. SU/0819C1/4-8.111. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 5; Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 5 (N. N.

Sidorkin).112. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4.113. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3.114. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 3.115. SU/0818C1/1-4.

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198 Notes to pp. 46-48

116. SU/0820C1/ 15-16.117. SU/0821C1/11.118. The work of the seven congress sections can be briefly summarised as

follows:(1) Social-economic policy: number of delegates attending - 879;

number of invited workers/peasants - 50; number of speakers - 38;leadership representatives - Biryukova, Baklanov; chairman - S. I.Gurenko.

(2) Ideological work: number of delegates attending - 350; numberof speakers - 48; chairman I. T. Frolov.

(3) Agricultural policy; number of delegates attending - 850; numberof invited workers/peasants attending - 100; number of speakers - 30;leadership representatives - Gorbachev, Ryzhkov; chairman - E. K.Ligachev (reporter V. A. Starodubtsev).

(4) Party renewal; number of delegates attending - 1,200; number ofspeakers - 85; leadership representatives - Pugo, Manaenko; chairman1.1. Mel'nikov.

(5) Party, soviet and social organisations; leadership representatives- Vlasov, Luk'yanov; chairman V. A. Kuptsov.

(6) Nationalities policy; number of delegates attending - 400;number of speakers - 39; leadership representatives - Usmanov,Girenko; chairman - A. N. Girenko.

(7) International affairs; number of delegates attending - 119;number of invited workers/peasants attending - 10; number of speakers- 32; leadership representatives - Primakov, Yazov; chairman - V. M.Falin.

119. SU/0812C1/11.120. SU/0816C1/16.121. Izyestiya, July 9, 1990.122. SU/0817 Cl/17. The number of questions addressed to each leader

was-Ryzhkov (600), Medvedev (550),Yakovlev (250), Ligachev (157),Shevardnadze ('very many questions')- Yakovlev reported 'The over-whelming majority of the questions are expressed in a sharp form, to putit mildly.' Medvedev reported that many of his questions were 'scathingand quite painful'.

123. Financial Times, July 9, 1990.124. Pravda, July 11, 1990. See also Ligachev's interview in Pravda, June

30, 1990.125. Pravda, July 4, 1990 (Vorotnikov); Pravda, July 5, 1990 (Maslyukov).126. Pravda, July 6, 1990 ( Yu. V. Arkhipov). Pravda, July 7, 1990 (N. N.

Sidorkin). Pravda, July 9, 1990 (G. A. Pershin, V. S. Belousov).127. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 2.128. See the intervention by Sobchak concerning Ligachev's involvement

in sending troops to Tbilisi, and Ligachev's apology to the Georgiansfor his role-SU/0821 Cl /6, and the report of the question and answersession-SU/0817 Cl/12-13.

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Notes to pp. 49-54 199

129. SU/0808C1/9.130. SU/0817C1/11.131. Pravda, July 14, 1990. See also Pravda, July 10, 1990. SU/0820

Cl/3-4.132. SU/0819C1/2.133. See the speech by A. Kh. Galazov - Pravda, July 6, 1990; Gurenko-

Pravda, July 6, 1990 - 'there is no force in the country other than theCPSU which would be capable of achieving a real breakthrough'; seealso M. G. Aliev - Pravda, July 7, 1990.

134. Pravda, July 9, 1990.135. In an interview with the Soviet press agency Interfax El'tsin said he was

'dissatisfied' with the Congress and condemned the Soviet CommunistParty as 'doomed to lag behind' - International Herald Tribune, July14-15, 1990.

136. On the significance of El'tsin's resignation see- Giulietto Chiesa, 'The28th Congress of the CPSU', Problems of Communism, July-August1990; P. Frank, 'The Twenty-Eighth Congress of the CommunistParty of the Soviet Union: A Personal Assessment', Government andOpposition, no. 4, 1990, pp. 479-81.

137. Pravda, July 13, 1990, p. 3.138. International Herald Tribune, July 14-15, 1990, p. 1.139. SU/0820 Cl / 13,14.140. Pravda, July 14, 1990, p. 3.141. Pravda, July 15, 1990.142. SU/0820 Cl /8-10.143. SU/0821C1/7-10.144. Pravda, July 18, 1990, pp. 1-2.145. For a fuller discussion see Stephen White, 'The revised Programme

and Rules', Journal of Communist Studies (forthcoming).146. Pravda, July 14, 1990.147. Pravda, July 14, 1990.148. Pravda, July 14, 1990.149. Pravda, July 12, 1990, p. 1.150. Pravda, July 11, 1990, p. 1.151. Pravda, July 11, 1990.152. This line was taken by Nazarbaev - Pravda, July 6, 1990; A. Kh.

Galazov - Pravda, July 6, 1990; A. F. Ponomarev - Pravda, July 7,1990.

153. Pravda, July 7, 1990.154. Pravda, July 6, 1990.155. Pravda, July 6, 1990.156. SU/0813C1/3.157. SU/O819C1/1.158. Pravda, July 6, 1990 (Arkhipov and Skorikov).159. Pravda, July, 6, 1990.160. Pravda, July 7, 1990.

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200 Notes to pp. 54-457

161. Pravda, July 9, 1990.162. SU/0819 Cl /1 . These criticisms of the Central Committee were

expressed by Luzhnikov (Kemerovo oblast), Bludov (Magadan oblast),163. Dawn Mann, 'Gorbachev Sworn In as President', RLUSSR, no. 10,

1990, p. 2.164. Pravda, July 3, 1990.165. Pravda, July 11, 1990.166. Pravda, July 11, 1990.167. SU/0820C1/12.168. The nine were E. K. Ligachev, I. N. Dyakov, O. I. Lobov, Malofeyev,

V. V. Bakatin, G. I. Yanaev, A. N. Yakovlev, N. A. Nazarbaev, V. A.Ivashko, see SU/0821 C/l.

169. Pravda, July 12, 1990, p. 2.170. The defeat of Ligachev led the staid TASS news agency to exult,

declaring that it now seemed probable that the Soviet Communist Party'will escape the fate of its East European 'junior sisters' and manageto prevent a split and preserve its influence among the grass-roots'. Itwent on 'Gorbachev's fine dream which far from everybody believedin before the congress appears to be slowly coming true' - InternationalHerald Tribune, July 14-15, 1990.

171. Pravda, July 13,1990. The candidates nominated for the post of deputyGeneral Secretary were - A. S. Dudyrev, V. A. Ivashko and E. K.Ligachev. The votes were distributed as follows: A. S. Dudyrev, 150for and 4,268 against; V. A. Ivashko, 3,109 for and 1,309 against; andE. K. Ligachev , 776 for and 3,642 against.

172. Pravda, July 13, 1990.173. Izvestiya, July 13, 1990 (article by E. Gonzalez).174. The 311 candidates on list 1 represented the republican communist

parties and the party organs in the armed forces, border troops andinternal troops as follows: CP of RSFSR - 124; CP of Ukraine - 40;CP of Belorussia - 12; CP of Uzbekistan - 18; CP of Kazakhstan -22; CP of Georgia - 11; CP of Azerbaidzhan - 10; CP of Lithuania- 6; CP of Moldavia - 7; CP of Latvia - 7; CP of Kirgizia - 8; CPof Tadzhikistan - 10; CP of Armenia - 7; CP of Turkmenistan - 9;CP of Estonia - 6; Party organisations of Soviet Army and Navy -11; Party organisations of Border Troops of USSR KGB - 1; Partyorganisation of Internal Troops of USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs- 1; Party organisations of Soviet institutions abroad - 1. SU/0818C2/2-3.

175. The fifteen candidates on List 2 who fared worst in terms of votesagainst them, and who appear to have failed to secure a majority of thetotal votes of delegates (excluding abtsentions) were - N. E. Kruchina(2,000), R. A. Medvedev (1,875 ), M. A. Ul'yanov (1,768 ), L. I.Abalkin (1,681), V. M. Zyukin (1,537), A. Ye. Chausov (1,483), G.V. Sachko (1,435), A. V. Vlasov (1,418), A. I. Volski (1,187), G. A.Yagodin (1,186), V. I. Boldin (1,186), M. F. Nenashev (1,128), V. M.

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Notes to pp. 57-65 201

Falin (1,110), A. I. Gel'man (1,109) and I. T. Frolov (1,045). SU/0818C2/3.

176. SU/0818 C2/4.177. Giulietto Chiesa, 'The 28th Congress of the CPSU', Problems of

Communism. July-August 1990, p. 37 .178. Izvestiya, July 13, 1990 (E. Gonzalez).179. Pravda, July 13, 1990. The candidates nominated for the post of

chairman of the CPSU Central Control Commission were V. A.Prokhorov and B. K. Pugo. The votes were distributed as follows:V. A. Prokhorov, 302 for and 4,131 against; B. K. Pugo, 3,959 forand 474 against.

180. The composition of the Politburo was set out in the new edition of theParty Statutes {Pravda , July 18, 1990, p. 2).

181. SU/0817C2/1.182. Argumenty ifakty, no. 32, 1990, p. 3.183. Moscow News, no. 9 (July 27, 1990), p. 7.184. Izvestiya, July 8, 1990, p. 2.185. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 1.186. Pravda, July 13, 1990, p. 2.187. Pravda, July 14, 1990, p. 1.188. SU/0817C2/1.189. Pravda, July 7, 1990.

3 Economic Policy

1. This section is based in part on R. W. Davies, 'Gorbachev's Socialismin Historical Perspective', New Left Review, no. 179 (1990), pp. 5-27.

2. Izvestiya, May 31, 1989.3. Kommunist, 17, 1988, p 17.4. Izvestiya, June 8, 1989.5. Izvestiya, May 31, 1989.6. Pravda, April 22, 1989.7. Literaturnaya gazeta, October 11, 1989.8. Pravda, October 30, 1989.9. Pravda, September 9, 1989.

10. Pravda, September 22, 1989.11. Julian Cooper, 'The Soviet Defence Industry and Conversion', RUSI

Journal, Autumn 1990, pp. 51-6. George G. Weickhardt, 'RecentDiscussion of Defense Economies', Radio Liberty: Report on the USSR(hereafter RL USSR) no. 10, 1990, pp. 9-13; William H. Kincadeand T. Keith Thomson, 'Economic Conversion in the USSR: Its Rolein Perestroyka', Problems of Communism, January-February 1990,p. 83.

12. Karen M. Brooks, 'Soviet Agriculture's Halting Reform', Problems ofCommunism, March-April 1990, pp. 29-41.

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202 Notes to pp. 65-73

13. John Tedstrom, 'Soviet Membership of GATT, RL: USSR, no. 12,1990, pp. 7-9.

14. Boris Rumer, 'The "Abalkinization" of the Soviet Economic Reform',Problems of Communism, January-February 1990, pp. 74-82.

15. Philip Hanson, 'Prospects for Reform: Three Key Issues in 1990', RL:USSR, no. 4, 1990, pp. 1-4.

16. Boris Rumer, 'The "Abalkinization" of Soviet Economic Reform',Problems of Communism, January-February, 1990, p. 78.

17. Philip Hanson, 'The Ownership Debate: Are There Any Taboos Left?',RL: USSR, no. 3, 1990, pp. 5-7.

18. Izvestiya, April 9, 1990.19. Alexander Rahr, 'From Politburo to Presidential Council', RL: USSR,

no. 22, 1990, pp. 4-5.20. Philip Hanson, 'Nikolai Petrakov: Gorbachev's New Economic Aide',

RL: USSR, no. 4, 1990, pp. 18-19.21. Peter Rutland, 'Abalkin's Strategy for Soviet Economic Reform', RL:

USSR, no. 21, 1990, pp. 3-6.22. John Tedstrom, 'What to Expect in the New Stage of Economic

Reform', RL: USSR, no. 16, 1990, pp. 1-3.23. Philip Hanson, 'Creating Private Companies', RL: USSR, no. 19, 1990,

pp. 3-5.24. Philip Hanson, 'Faster Economic Reform', RL: USSR, no. 18, 1990,

pp. 7-8.25. The Financial Times, July 11, 1990.26. Pravda, July 11, 1990 (Ligachev).27. Pravda, July 3, 1990.28. Summary of World Broadcasts: BBC Monitoring, SU/0820 Cl/15-16.29. Pravda, July 10, 1990.30. Pravda, July 5, 1990.31. Pravda, July 5, 1990.32. Pravda, July 5, 1990.33. Pravda, July 5, 1990.34. Pravda, July 5, 1990.35. Pravda, July 6, 1990.36. Pravda, July 3, 1990.37. Pravda, July 4, 1990.38. Pravda, July 4, 1990 (Vorotnikov); Pravda, July 6, 1990 (E. E.

Sokolov and Yu. V. Arkhipov); Pravda, July 9, 1990 (G. A. Pershinand V. S. Belousov).

39. Pravda, July 9, 1990.40. Pravda, July 5, 1990.41. Pravda, July 6, 1990.42. Pravda, July 6, 1990.43. Pravda, July 5, 1990, pp. 2-3.44. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4.45. Pravda, July 8, 1990.

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Notes to pp. 73-81 203

46. Pravda, July 7, 1990.47. SU/O817C1/3.48. Pravda, July 7, 1990 p 4 (N. N. Sidorkin); Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 5

(V. I. Potapov).49. See the comments by factory directors - Yu. Peskov, B. A. Kustov and

brigade leader V. S. Belousov - Pravda, July 6, 8, 9, 1990. See thecomments by factory party secretary A. I. Teplenichev-Provda, July 7,1990, and worker delegate Yu. V. Arkhipov - Pravda, July 6,1990.

50. Pravda, July 9, 1990 (L. P. Rodionova).51. Pravda, July 7, 1990 (A. V. Shutyleva, G. Yagodin); Pravda, July 8,

1990 (M. A. Ulyan'ov).52. Pravda, July 7, 1990 (O. D. Baklanov); Pravda, July 6, 1990 (Yu.

Prokof'ev).53. Pravda, July 9, 1990.54. Pravda, July 9, 1990.55. Pravda, July 8, 1990 (V. A. Gaivoronskii).56. SU/0809 Cl/12; SU/0818 Cl /1 ; SU/0812 Cl/19.57. Pravda, July 3, 1990.58. Pravda, July 5, 1990.59. Pravda, July 4, 1990.60. Pravda, July 6, 1990.61. Pravda, July 5, 1990.62. Pravda, July 6, 1990.63. Pravda, July 5, 1990.64. Pravda, July 3, 1990.65. Pravda, July 4, 1990.66. Pravda, July 11, 1990. SU/0817 Cl/11.67. Izvestiya, July 12, 1990.68. Pravda, July 6, 1990.69. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 3.70. Pravda, July 7, 1990 (A. F. Ponomarev).71. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 3 (L. D. Zakovryashina).72. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 2 (A. I. Skornikov).73. Pravda, July 6, 1990.74. Pravda, July 11, 1990.75. SU/0817 Cl/4.76. Pravda, July 3, 1990.77. Pravda, July 4, 1990.78. Pravda, July 5, 1990.79. Pravda, July 9, 1990.80. Pravda, July 3, 1990.81. Pravda, July 6, 1990.82. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 3.83. Pravda, July 12, 1990.84. Pravda, July 4, 1990.85. Pravda, July 9, 1990.

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204 Notes to pp. 81-93

Pravda, JulyPravda, July

9, 1990.4, 1990.

SU/0814C1/11.Pravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, July

12, 1990, p. 2.11, 1990.11, 1990.5, 1990.

SU/0811C1/9.Pravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, July

10, 1990.8, 1990.8, 1990.7, 1990.8, 1990.8, 1990.8, 1990.8, 1990.3, 1990.5, 1990.5, 1990.8, 1990.8, 1990.Herald Tribune, July 9, 1990.

Moscow News, July 15-22, 1990, p. 3.Pravda, JulyPravda, July

14, 1990.4, 1990. The other candidates were E. I. Sizenko and V

A. Starodubtsev.Pravda, JulyPravda, July

9, 1990.14, 1990.

Izvestiya, July 14, 1990 (article by P. Gutionov).Pravda, JulyPravda, JulyPravda, July

6, 1990.9, 1990.13, 1990.

4 Nationalities Policy

1. 'Draft Nationalities Policy of the Party Under Present Conditions,adopted by the CPSU Central Committee Plenum, Sept. 20, 1989'.

2. Pravda, July 10, 1990 (report by A. N. Girenko).3. Ann Sheehy, 'Is Moscow Considering a New Treaty of Union?' Radio

Liberty: Report on the USSR (hereafter RL: USSR), 1990, no. 7,pp. 9-11.

4. Stephan Kux, 'Soviet Federalism', Problems of Communism, March-April 1990, pp. 3-5.

5. Julia Wishnevsky, 'Shevardnadze Said to Have Threatened to Resignin Dispute over Tblisi Commission', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 5, pp. 1-3.

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Notes to pp. 94-101 205

6. Saulius Girnius, 'Gorbachev's Visit to Lithuania', RL: USSR, 1990.no. 4, pp. 4-7.

7. Ann Sheeny, 'Is Moscow Considering a New Treaty of Union?', RL:USSR, 1990, no. 7, pp. 9-11: Ann Sheehy, 'Moves to Draw Up NewUnion Treaty', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 27, pp. 14-17.

8. Alexander Rahr, 'From Politburo to Presidential Council', RL: USSRno. 22, 1990, p. 4.

9. The texts of these laws were published in Izvestiya, 3/5.90; 10.4.90;6.4.90; 4.5.90; 1.6.90. Ann Sheehy, 'Supreme Soviet Adopts Law onMechanics of Secession', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 17, pp. 2-5.

10. John W. R. Lepingweil, 'Military Deputies in the USSR Congress',RL: USSR, 1990, no. 20, pp. 19-20.

11. Pravda, June 13, 1990.12. Pravda, June 21, 1990.13. Anne Sheehy, 'Moves to Draw Up New Union Treaty', p. 14, cites

TASS, 17. 6. 90.14. Anne Sheehy, 'Moves to Draw Up New Union Treaty', pp. 15-16.15. Pravda, June 26, 1990.16. See the speeches by A. V. Vlasov, candidate member of the Politburo

- Pravda, July 10, 1990; and Medvedev - Pravda, July 4, 1990.17. Kathleen Mikhalisko, 'Ukraine's Declaration of Sovereignty', RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 3O, pp. 17-19. Roman Solchanyk, 'Ukrainian PartyCongress Supports State Sovereignty', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 29, pp. 21-22.

18. Stephan Kux, 'Soviet Federalism', Problems of Communism, March-April 1990, pp. 10-12.

19. Paul Goble, 'Central Asians Form Political Bloc', RL: USSR, 1990no. 28, pp. 18-20.

20. Pravda, July 3, 1990.21. Pravda, July 8, 1990.22. Pravda, July 11, 1990.23. Pravda, July 11, 1990.24. Pravda, July 8, 1990.25. Pravda, July 8, 1990.26. Pravda, July 5, 1990 (report by N. E. Kruchina on the party budget).27. Pravda, July 5, 1990.28. Pravda, July 7, 1990.29. Pravda, July 5, 1990. See also Kryuchkov's replies to delegates ques-

tions - Pravda, July 12, 1990.30. Pravda, July 8, 1990.31. Pravda, July 10, 1990.32. Dawn Mann, 'Leading Bodies of CPSU Transformed', RL: USSR,

1990, no. 29, pp. 19-20.33. Pravda, July 4, 1990 (Nazarbaev); July 12, 1990 (Karimov).34. The republican first secretaries were interviewed in the press

centre forum - Pravda, 4/7/90 (Gurenko); 5/7/90 (Sokolov);

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206 Notes to pp. 101-109

6/7/90 (Rubiks); 7/7/90 (Polozkov); 8/7/90 (Nazarbaev); 10/7/90(Luchinskii); 11/7/90 (Gumbaridze); 12/7/90 (Karimov); 14/7/90(Burokyavichyus).

35. Pravda, July 9, 1990.36. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 3.37. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4.38. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 4.39. Pravda, July 8, 1990.40. Pravda, 10/7/90 (Luchinskii); 11/7/90 (Gumbaridze); 12/7/90

(Karimov).41. Pravda, July 6, 1990. See also Medvedev's report and reply to

criticisms of his leadership of ideological work - Pravda, July 11,1990.

42. Pravda, July, 8, 1990, p. 3.43. Pravda, September 5, 1990, p. 2.44. Pravda, July 6, 1990, pp. 4-5.45. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4.46. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 4.47. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4.48. Pravda, July 8, 1990.49. Pravda, July 10, 1990.50. Saulius Girnius, 'Lithuanian Parliament Declares Moratorium', RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 28, pp. 25-26.51. International Herald Tribune, July 3, 1990, p. 8.52. Pravda, July 7, 1990.53. Pravda, July 7, 1990.54. Pravda, July 8, 1990.55. Pravda, July 9, 1990.56. Pravda, July 10, 1990.57. Alexander Rahr, 'A Pyrrhic Victory for Gorbachev', RL: USSR, no. 29,

1990, p. 7.58. Pravda, July 11, 1990. See the attack on Yakovlev by Kachanov from

Lithuania - SU/0817 Cl/10.59. Pravda, July 11, 1990. Medvedev's constructive role in trying to

resolve the crisis in Lithuania was praised by one delegate - Summaryof World Broadcasts: BBC Monitoring, SU/0817 Cl /7-8 .

60. Pravda, July 9, 1990.61. Pravda, July 10, 1990.62. Pravda, July 11, 1990.63. Pravda, July 10, 1990.64. Elizabeth Fuller, 'Azerbaijani Central Committee Elects New First

Secretary', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 5, p. 16.65. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 4.66. The same point was made in a question by an Armenian delegate to

Ligachev - see Pravda, July 11, 1990.67. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990.

Page 216: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Notes to pp. 110-116 207

68. SU/0821C1/13-14.69. Pravda, July 7, 1990.70. Pravda, July 4, 1990.71. /Vawfa, July 9, 1990.72. Pravda, July 10, 1990.73. Pravda, July 9, 1990.74. Izvestiya, July 5, 1990. V. Karpenko a supporter of the Democratic

Platform, declared that left and right of the Ukrainian CommunistParty supported strengthening the republics sovereignty, adding - 'Ifwe are speaking of parliament, the majority inclines towards a renewedfederation and some deputies advocate confederative relations whileothers advocate the Ukraine's resolute separation from the SovietUnion.'

75. International Herald Tribune, July 9, 1990, p. 5.76. Pravda, July 6, 1990.77. Pravda, July 12, 1990.78. Pravda, July 8, 1990.79. Pravda, July 8, 1990.80. Pravda, July 4, 1990.81. Pravda, July 9, 1990.82. Pravda, July 7, 1990.83. Pravda, July 4, 1990.84. Pravda, July 14, 1990.85. Pravda, July 8, 1990, p. 4.86. Pravda, July 6, 1990, p. 3.87. Pravda, July 8, 1990.88. Pravda, July 11, 1990.89. Pravda, July 6, 1990.90. Pravda, July 4, 1990.91. Pravda, July 6, 1990 (section report).92. Pravda, July 6, 1990 (section report).93. Pravda, July 9, 1990.94. Pravda, July 9, 1990.95. International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1990, p. 4.96. Pravda, July 12, 1990. Alksnis also raised this question in the section

on the nationalities question. See the report by Girenko - Pravda, July9, 1990.

97. Pravda, July 13, 1990.98. Ann Sheehy, 'New Party Rules Give Republican Communist Parties

More Autonomy', RL: USSR, no. 29,1990, pp. 12-13. SU/0821 Cl /13reports 'Annus's proposal was voted on and received 2,126 for and1,930 against; not enough to be adopted; after commotion in the hall,there was a second vote, and the amendment was adopted by 2,771 to1,343, with 63 abstentions'.

99. Pravda, July 9, 1990 (report by Mel'nikov).100. Pravda, July 13, 1990.101. Pravda, July 11, 1990.

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208 Notes to pp. 116-125

102. Pravda, July 15, 1990.103. Pravda, July 15, 1990.144. Pravda, July 15, 1990.105. Pravda, July 10, 1990 (discussion of the new party Statutes).106. Pravda, July 15, 1990. In the election of the new Central Committee

a significant vote was cast against certain republican first secretaries- the reformists Gumbaridze (Georgia) (653); Luchinskii (Moldavia)(402), and the conservative Polozkov (RSFSR) (606) - see SU/0818C2/2-3.

107. Pravda, July 12, 1990.108. Melanie Newton and Vera Tolz, 'The USSR This Week', RL USSR,

1990, no. 30, p. 23.109. Pravda, July 15, 1990.110. Pravda, July, 14, 1990.

5 History and Perestroika

1. For developments in 1987-88, see A. Nove, Glasnost in Action (1989),chs. 2 and 3; and R. W. Davies, Soviet History in the GorbachevRevolution (1989), and sources there cited.

2. Soviet News, February 12, 1986 (interview dated February 4).3. Nauka i zhizn\ no. 11 (November), 1988, pp. 45-55; no. 12, 1988,

pp. 40-8; no. 1, 1989, pp. 46-56; no. 2, 1989, pp. 53-61.4. Rodina, no. 7, 1989, pp. 80-4; another article by Khanin on the same

theme appeared in EKO, no. 10, 1989, pp. 66-83.5. For this controversy see R. W. Davies (ed.), From Tsarism to the New

Economic Policy (1990), where both views are represented.6. Rodina, no. 10, 1989, pp. 66-70; the editors explained that Soloukhin's

article had previously been published in the e'migre' journal Posev andthen widely sold in mimeographed form in Moscow on the Arbat andin Pushkin Square. A well-argued reply by G. Bordyugov, V. Kozlovand V. Loginov appeared in ibid., pp. 71-76.

7. The Guardian, November 30, 1988 (from AP in Moscow).8. Moscow News, no. 29, July 16, 1989.9. S. Novikov, in Literaturnaya gazeta, June 20, 1990. The author

incorrectly claimed that in 1913 foreign investment 'constituted 40per cent of all capital invested in the economy of the country', andwrongly gave the impression that foreign concessions played a majorrole in industrial development in the 1920s.

10. Literaturnaya gazeta, July 28, 1989; Yu. Polyakov is not the historianof the same name.

11. Pozitsiya (Tartu), no. 1, 1989.12. Sovetskaya Moldaviya, cited in Radio Liberty: Report on the USSR,

no. 30, July 28, 1989.13. Cited by G. L. Smirnov (director of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism),

Page 218: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Notes to pp. 125-132 209

Pravda, February 1, 1990.14. The letter appeared in Izvestiya TsK, no. 4,1990, pp. 190-5, with exten-

sive annotations, and accompanied by several previously unpublishedLenin documents from this period. According to the party archivists(ibid., 174), the letter was published 'from a copy not known to usin the newspaper Russkaya mysV (Paris), of April 1, 1971, whichstated that it was reprinted from Vestnik russkogo studencheskogodvizheniya, no. 98'; the latter journal was also published in Paris. Themass-circulation Young Communist weekly Sobesednik, no. 16, 1990,and the Russian nationalist journal Nash sovremennik also publishedthe letter. See Radio Liberty Report on the USSR, no. 18, May 4, 1990(V. Tolz).

15. Sovetskaya Rossiya, September 19, 1989.16. See for example the article by G. Bordyugov, V. Kozlov and V.

Loginov in Kommunist, no. 14, 1989, and their reply to critics inibid. no. 5, 1990, and the commemorative but not uncritical articleby the respected Leningrad historian V. Startsev 'We are with Lenin',published on the occasion of the 120th Anniversary of Lenin's birth inPravda, April 3, 1990.

17. The most important are N. I. Bukharin, Izbrannye proizvedeniya(1988), Put' k sotsializmu (Novosibirsk, 1990), and Problemy teorii ipraktiki sotsializma (1989); his plenum speech appears on pp. 253-308of the latter volume.

18. 'Evgenii Alekseevich Preobrazhenskii: shtrikhi k portretu' (ms. 26).19. Molodoi kommunist, no. 8, 1989; Voprosy istorii, nos. 7, 8 and 9,

1989.20. EKO, no. 1, 1990, pp. 47-62; the same number contains (pp. 63-6)

an article by A. V. Pantsov, 'Trotskii i Preobrazhenskii'. The full textof the notes on Trotsky's speech by Bazhanov (who later emigrated),with full explanatory notes, was later published by V. P. Vilkova andV. P. Danilov in Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 5, 1990, pp. 32-43.

21. Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 3, 1990.22. M. M. Gorinov, NEP: poisk putei razvitiya (1990) - Znanie, Istoriya

series, no. 2,1990. In another article Gorinov even more pessimisticallycomments that 'a realistically acceptable "alternative" variant was notproposed in the party' (Voprosy istorii KPSS, no. 1, 1990, p. 18).

23. Yu. I. Korablev, I. A. Fedosov, Yu. S. Borisov, Istoriya SSSR: uchebnikdlya desyatogo klassa srednei shkoly (1989).

24. Spravochnik dlya postupayushchikh v vysshie uchebnye zavedeniyaSSSR v 1990 godu (1990), p. 388.

25. Dialog, no. 11, 1990, pp. 22-3 (note by V. I. Startsev).26. See Harold Shukman's account of history lessons which he attended

in Moscow schools in September 1989 (The Times Higher EducationalSupplement, March 2, 1990).

27. See Izvestiya TsK, no. 9, 1990, pp. 29-31.28. Pravda, June 6, 1990.

Page 219: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

210 Notes to pp. 133-141

29. Pravda, May 31, 1990.30. For the proceedings, see BBC Summary of World Broadcasts SU /O65O,

December 30, 1989, and Izvestiya, December 1989; for the Congressresolution, see Pravda, December 28, 1989.

31. TASS statement, December 23, 1989 (see ibid., SU/0650, C/7).32. Izvestiya, November 6, 1988 (V. Anan'ev, a chief inspector of the

Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR).33. Moscow News, no. 18, 1990 (this account by a journalist has

several important inaccuracies); Mezhdunarodnaya zhizn', no. 5,1990, pp. 112-30 (in Russian) and International Affairs, June 1990,pp. 98-115, 144 (in English).

34. Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 6, 1990, pp. 47-9 (Yu. N. Zorya);this is followed on pp. 49-57 by the texts of relevant documents,with specific references to file numbers, prepared for publication bythe Director of the Central State Special Archive A. S. Prokopenko.

35. TASS Report, April 13, 1990, cited in Radio Liberty: Report on theUSSR, no. 16, April 20, 1990.

36. Radio Liberty Research, RL 412/88 (conversation in Krasnoyarskrelayed on Soviet TV).

37. Pravda, November 26, 1989 (this statement appears in Gorbachev'slengthy article 'The Socialist Idea and Revolutionary Perestroikd1).

38. Pravda, November 16, 1989 (speech of November 15).39. Pravda, February 6, 1990 (report of February 5).40. The Sunday Telegraph, February 11, 1990.41. Pravda, April 11, 1990.42. Pravda, April 21, 1990 (address of April 20).43. The Guardian, June 20, 1990 (report by Paul Quinn-Judge).44. Izvestiya TsK KPSS, no. 6, 1990, pp. 69-70 (speech of December 25,

1989).45. Pravda, April 16, 1990.46. Diskussionyi listok 11, Pravda, March 3, 1990 (Platform adopted

January 20-21, 1990).47. Disk listok 4, Pravda, January 24, 1990 (V. Varfolomeev, Rostov

region).48. Disk listok 27, Pravda, April 28, 1990 (L. I. Sukhov, non-party, from

Khar'kov; he agreed not to resign because the electors told him 'goback to the Kremlin and fight'.

49. Disk, listok 3, Pravda, January 17, 1990 (A. Evtushenko, Novocheb-oksarks).

50. Disk listok 37, Pravda, May 26, 1990 (S. Maksimovich, Pushchino).51. Pravda, June 29, 1990.52. Pravda, July 3, 1990.53. Pravda, July 4, 1990.54. Pravda, July 4, 1990.55. Pravda, July 7, 1990.56. Pravda, July 5, 1990.

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Notes to pp. 142-152 211

57. Pravda, July 11, 1990.58. Pravda, July 8, 1990.59. Pravda, July 8, 1990. See also the speech by the author Chingis

Aitmatov (a member of the Presidential Council) in ibid., July 9,1990; he implicitly rejects the whole course of development since1917.

60. Pravda, July 6, 1990.61. Pravda, July 6, 1990.62. Pravda, July 7, 1990.63. Pravda, July 11, 1990.64. Pravda, July 15, 1990.65. Kommunist, no. 10, 1990, pp. 7-8.66. See Vestnik Akademii Nauk SSSR, no. 6, 1987, pp. 61, 68-70. For

extracts from this report, see Davies (1989), p. 131.67. Reminiscences of Andrei Belyi, written just after Blok's death in

August 1921; the sentence about 'The Twelve' is crossed out in theoriginal (Literaturnaya gazeta, August 1, 1990).

68. Literaturnaya gazeta, August 22, 1990 (Karen Khachaturov).69. Literaturnaya gazeta, July 4, July 18, 1990 (V. Golovanov).70. Literaturnaya gazeta, August 29, 1990.71. Chas pik (Leningrad), July 23, 1990.72. See reports in Pravda, August 11, 16, 1990.

6 Foreign Policy

1. Pravda, July 3, 1990.2. Speech, 3 July 1990: Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FB1S) -

Daily Reports: The Soviet Union. Supplement: 28th CPSU Congress,July 5, 1990.

3. For my version of these developments: The Soviet Union and thePolitics of Nuclear Weapons in Europe, 1969-87 (London, 1989;Ithaca, 1990).

4. 'Nauchno-prakticheskaya konferentsiya MID SSSR, "XDC Vsesoyuz-naya konferentsiya KPSS: Vneshnaya politika i diplomatiya", 25-27iyulya 1988g\ Vestnik Ministerstva Inostrannykh Del SSSR, no. 15,August 15, 1988, pp. 27-46.

5. Pravda, August 6, 1989, 'Za delo-bez raskachki'.6. Information obtained orally.7. See, for example, Brezhnev's much-quoted outburst recorded in Z.

Mlynaf, Night Frost in Prague (London, 1980), p. 240.8. Pravda, February 7, 1990.9. Pravda, February 8, 1990.

10. Izvestiya, February 19, 1990, 'V mire vse menyaetsya s golov-okruzhitel'noi bystrotoi: Interv'yu na bortu samoleta'.

11. Information obtained orally.

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212 Notes to pp. 152-160

12. G. Charodeev, 'V arkhivakh nachat poisk dokumentov: Ot nashegokorrespondenta v press-tsentre MID SSSR', Izvestiya, April 5, 1990.Do not be misled by this innocuous title.

13. For the text of the briefing paper, dated April 18, 1989: 'EnormerSchadenfur Moskau: Eine sowjetische Denkschrift uber die Honecker-DDR: Gefahrfur die "Lebensgrundlagen der UdSSR"', Der Spiegel,no. 6, February 5, 1990.

14. Information obtained orally.15. Sovetskaya Rossiya, June 21, 1990; S. Foye, 'Military Hard-Liner

Condemns "New Thinking" in Security Policy', Radio Liberty: Reporton the USSR, 1990, no. 28, pp. 4-5.

16. Pravda, June 26, 1990.17. Pravda, July 11, 1990.18. FBIS, July 5, 1990.19. Reported by TASS, July 7, 1990.20. FBIS, July 5, 1990.21. FBIS, July 9, 1990.22. FBIS, July 9, 1990.23. FBIS, July 13, 1990.24. As footnote 1.25. FBIS, December 20, 1990.26. Pravda, July 3, 1990.

7 Party Relations with the Military and the KGB

1. Viktor Yasmann, 'The Internal Security Situation in the USSR and theDefense Council', Radio Liberty: Report on the USSR (hereafter RL:USSR), no. 35, 1989, p. 11.

2. Stephen Foye, 'US Congressional Report on Soviet Committee forDefense and State Security', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 19, pp. 6-8.

3. William E. Odom, 'The Soviet Military in Transition', Problems ofCommunism, May-June, 1990, p. 67.

4. Stephen Foye, 'Domestic Role of Soviet Armed Forces Debated', RL:USSR, 1990, no. 3, pp. 7-9.

5. Stephen Foye, 'Gorbachev and His Generals', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 20,p. 15.

6. John Tedstrom, 'Managing the Conversion of the Detense Industries',RL: USSR, 1990, no. 7, pp. 11-18.

7. Stephen Foye, 'The Soviet Armed Forces in 1989', RL: USSR, 1990,no. 4, p. 14. Stephen Foye, 'Deputy Chief of General Staff DiscussesMilitary Manpower Problems', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 20, pp. 22-23.On the low calibre of recruits to the military academies see Krasnayazvezda, July 5, 1990 (Major-General Yu. Rodionov).

8. Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990. See also Stephen Foye, 'StatisticsShow Low Military Draft Turnout in the Republics', RL: USSR, 1990,

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Notes to pp. 160-162 213

no. 3, p. 4. Provisional figures for the 1990 spring call up according torepublics, showed a serious shortfall in enlistment compared to 1989.The following table shows the 'Fulfilment of plan for spring call-up tothe Armed Forces (in percentages)'.

Republics 1989 1990

RSFSRUkrainian SSRBelorussian SSRUzbek SSRGeorgian SSRAzerbaidzhani SSRLithuanian SSRMoldavian SSRLatvian SSRKirgiz SSRTadzhik SSRArmenian SSRTurkmen SSREstonian SSR









The figures for Azerbaidzhan and Moldavia must be regarded withscepticism. Shlyaga in his speech to the Congress noted that there weredifficulties in recruitment in Moldavia.

9. Stephen Foye, 'Murders of Soviet Military Officers', RL: USSR, 1990,no. 26, p. 11.

10. Stephen Foye, 'Soviet Armed Forces Face Housing Crisis', RL: USSR,1990, no. 13, pp. 5-7.

11. Mikhail Tsypkin, 'The Committee for Defense and State Security ofthe USSR Supreme Soviet', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 19, p. 9.

12. Stephen Foye, 'Gorbachev and His Generals', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 20,pp. 15-16.

13. William C. Green and Theodore Karasik, Gorbachev and His Generals(Westview Press, Oxford, 1990).

14. Summary of World Broadcasts: BBC Monitoring, SU/0506 A1 / 1 .15. Mikhail Tsypkin, 'The Committee for Defense and State Security of

the USSR Supreme Soviet', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 19, p. 10.16. Stephen Foye, 'Chief of the General Staff Criticizes Draft Party Plat-

form', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 9, pp. 1-3.17. Ibid., pp. 1-2.18. Stephen Foye, 'Radical Military Reform and "The Young Turks'", RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 15, pp. 8-10.19. John W. R. Lepingwell, 'Military Deputies in the USSR Congress',

RL USSR, 1990, no. 20, pp. 19-20.20. Pravda, July 6,1990, cited in the speech by A. A.Porutchikov.

Page 223: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

214 Notes to pp. 162-167

21. Alexander Rahr, 'A Pyrrhic Victory for Gorbachev', RL: USSR, no. 29,1990, p. 8.

22. Izvestiya, March 12, 1990 (Yazov); Trud, March 13, 1990 (Moiseev).23. Stephen Foye, 'Is the Soviet Military Leadership Yielding on an

All-Volunteer Army?' RL: USSR, 1990, no. 13, pp. 3-5.24. Mikhail Tsypkin, 'Will the Navy Become a Volunteer Force?', RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 5, pp. 5-7.25. Stephen Foye, 'Radical Military Reform and "The Young Turks'", RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 15, pp. 9-10.26. Stephen Foye, 'Defense Ministry Moves to Silence Reformer', RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 20, pp. 17-19.27. Pravda, May 9, 1990.28. Ibid., pp. 2-4.29. Krasnaya zvezda, June 5, 1990, 2.30. Kathleen Mikhailisko, 'Ukraine's Declaration of Sovereignty', RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 30, pp. 17-19.31. Krasnaya zvezda, July 5, 1990.32. Pravda, June 27, 1990.33. International Herald Tribune, July 3, 1990, p. 8.34. Sovetskaya Rossiya, June 21, 1990, pp. 3-4. See also Stephen Foye,

'Military Hard-Liner Condemns "New Thinking" in Security Policy',RL: USSR, 1990, no. 28, pp. 4-5. See also the earlier attack byMakashov on reductions in Soviet armed forces in Izvestiya, March16, 1990, p. 6.

35. Pravda, June 26, 1990. Gorbachev in an interview shown on Vremya atthe close of the conference responded to Makashov's charges, assertingthat the political leadership was not made up of 'simpletons', andthat the doctrine of 'reasonable sufficiency' had not weakened Sovietdefence capabilities - cited in Stephen Foye, 'Military Hard LinerCondemns "New Thinking" in Security Policy', RL: USSR, 1990,no. 28, p. 5.

36. Pravda. June 26, 1990.37. Izvestiya, June 20, 1990.38. Moscow News, July 15, 1990.39. Izvestiya, July 4, 1990 (article by V.Malukhin) and July 8, 1990, see

also SU/0810 B/l; Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990.40. Viktor Yasmann, 'Role of KGB in Lithuanian Crisis', RL: USSR, 1990,

no. 25, pp. 22-24.41. Alexander Rahr, 'KGB Attack on Gorbachev and His Reforms,' RL:

USSR, 1990, no. 15, pp. 4-6.42. Komsomolskaya pravda, June 20, 1990.43. Pravda, June 28, 1990 (article by V. Ivanov). See also the statement

issued by the KGB's Centre for Social Information attacking Kalugin- Pravda, June 23, 1990.

44. At the third Congress of People's Deputies in March 1990 LieutenantV. Alksnis and Colonel N. Petrushenko criticised Gorbachev's role as

Page 224: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Notes to pp. 167-174 215

President and nominated Bakatin for election to the post of President.See John W. R. Lepingwell, 'Military Deputies in the USSR Congress',RL: USSR, 1990, no. 20, pp. 19-20.

45. Mark Galeotti, 'Police and Paramilitaries: Public Order Forces andResources', RL: USSR, 1990, no. 23, pp. 6-9.

46. Pravda, June 26, 1990.47. Peter Rutland, '"Democratic Platform" Prepares for CPSU Congress',

RL: USSR, 1990, no. 26, p. 3. The conference was attended byMajor-General O. Kalugin, who denounced the KGB as a 'Party policesystem', which remained unreconstructed under perestroika.

48. Izvestiya, June 30, 1990. See the resolution adopted by the Vorkutaminers - SU/0818 B/3.

49. Pravda, July 3, 1990. Gorbachev, taking issue with El'tsin, repeatedthis formulation in his speech on his nomination as General Secretary-Pravda, July 11, 1990.

50. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 2.51. Pravda, July 8, 1990.52. Pravda, July 8, 1990.53. Pravda, July 11, 1990. See also the speech by another conservative A.

A. Porutchikov - Pravda, July 6, 1990.54. Krasnaya zvezda, June 27, 1990.55. Komsomolskaya pravda, July 4, 1990, p. 2.56. Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990,p. 4.57. Krasnaya zvezda, July 14, 1990.58. Krasnaya zvezda, July 7, 1990.59. Krasnaya zvezda, July 3, 1990. On the make up of the military

delegation see Krasnaya zvezda, July 5, 1990.60. Stephen Foye, 'The Soviet Armed Forces: Lead-Up to the Party Con-

gress', RL USSR, 1990, no. 28, pp. 1-2.61. See also the interview with Yazov in Pravda, June 27, 1990 where

he stressed agreement on reducing military expenditure between theMinistry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: 'Incidentally,in yesterday's Pravda article E. A. Shevardnadze quite rightly notedthat all decisions to cut armed forces and armaments are thoroughlyworked out with the participation of all interested departments. There isnot a single issue in this sphere that is not coordinated with the DefenceMinistry.'

62. Pravda, July 5, 1990, p. 4.63. Pravda, July 4, 1990: Krasnaya zvezda, July 4, 1990. Yazov's report

appeared in Krasnaya zvezda under the heading 'An Authentic People'sArmy' (Podlinno Narodnaya Armiya).

64. Krasnaya zvezda, July 5, 1990. Shlyaga's report appeared under theheading 'The party cannot be outside polities'.

65. Pravda, July 7, 1990, p. 5.66. Krasnaya zvezda, July 6, 1990.67. Stephen Foye, 'Defense Issues at the Party Congress', RL: USSR,

Page 225: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

216 Notes to pp. 174-181

1990, no. 30, p. 2. International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1990, 4.International Herald Tribune, July 7-8, 1990, p. 1, 5, The Guardian,July 6, 1990, p. 9.

68. Stephen Foye,' Defense Issues at the Party Congress', p. 2, cites TASS,5/7/90. SU/0812. Cl/4-5.

69. SU/0812 Cl/6; SU/0812 Cl/20.70. Pravda, July 11, 1990.71. Pravda, July 11, 1990. p. 6.72. Pravda. July 11, 1990, p. 7.73. Pravda, July 4, 1990.74. International Herald Tribune, July, 7-8, 1990, p. 5.75. Krasnaya zvezda, July 14, 1990.76. Pravda, July 11, 1990. See also the interview given by Shevardnadze

reported by TASS- SU/0811 Al/1-2.77. International Herald Tribune, July 7-8, 1990, p. 1 (Michael Dobbs).78. Pravda, July 9, 1990, p. 5 (I. T. Frolov).79. Pravda, July 10, 1990.80. Pravda, July 8, 1990.81. Pravda, July 11, 1990.82. International Herald Tribune, July 9, 1990, p. 5.83. 'We invite to the microphone' was a feature which appeared daily in

Krasnaya zvezda, July 4-13, 1990.84. Krasnaya zvezda, July 7, 1990.85. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990, July 8, 1990.86. Krasnaya zvezda, June 22, 1990, p. 2.87. Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990, July 11, 1990.88. Krasnaya zvezda, July 13, 1990.89. Krasnaya zvezda, July 14, 1990.90. Krasnaya zvezda, July 4,1990; July 5, 1990.91. Krasnaya zvezda, July 8, 1990.92. Krasnaya zvezda, July 6, 1990.93. Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990, cited in The Financial Times, July 13,

1990.94. This section is based on Krychkov's report to Congress - Pravda, July

5, 1990, and his replies to the questions of delegates - Pravda, July12, 1990.

95. Pravda, July 5, 1990.96. International Herald Tribune, July 6, 1990, pp. 1,4.97. Moscow News, July 15, 1990.98. Krasnaya zvezda, July 12, 1990. The meeting was attended by G. F.

Kharchenko-chairman of the sub-committee for State Security of theSupreme Soviets Committee for Defence and State Security, and deputychairmen of the KGB - V. F. Grushko and V. A. Ponomarev.

99. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990.100. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990.101. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990.

Page 226: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Notes to pp. 181-187 217

102. International Herald Tribune, July 10, 1990, p. 1.103. Pravda, July 10, 1990. This unusual procedure was noted also by

Krasnaya zvezda, July 7, 1990.104. Krasnaya zvezda, July 10, 1990.105. Pravda, July 12, 1990. Pravda, July 10, 1990.106. Pravda, July 11, 1990. Krasnaya zvezda, July 11, 1990.107. Krasnaya zvezda, July 14, 1990.108. Pravda, July 15, 1990. Ivan Frolov, chairman of the section on Ideo-

logical Work, reported that 'Delegates emphasised the impossibilityand unnaturalness of depoliticising and deideologising the ArmedForces, the organs of state administration'. - Pravda, July 9, 1990.

109. Pravda, July 9, 1990.110. Pravda, July 18, 1990. See Gorbachev's comments on party - military

relations in his report to the Congress - Pravda, July 13, 1990.111. Stephen Foye, 'Defense Issues at the Party Congress' RL: USSR, 1990,

no. 30, p. 3. Stephen Foye asserts 'Under the new Rules, the MPAwill cease to be an arm of the Communist Party and will instead besubordinated to the government'. However, the party Statutes (Rules)make no mention of any change in the position of MPA.

112. Pravda, July 11, 1990.113. Krasnaya zvezda, July 11, 1990.114. SU/0814C1/9.115. Pravda, July 13, 1990.116. Stephen Foye, 'Defense Issues at the Party Congress', RL: USSR, 1990,

no. 30, pp. 4-5. On Shlyaga's career see - Krasnaya zvezda, July 15,1990.

117. Krasnaya zvezda, July 14, 1990.118. Krasnaya zvezda, July 15, 1990. Lieutenant-General P. Ilievym in an

interview described the process whereby the Bulgarian army had beendepoliticised.

119. New York Times, July 6, 1990.

Appendix 2

1. Pravda, July 5, 1990.

Page 227: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Name Index

Abalkin, L. I. 32, 42-3, 56, 65-7,73.83,88,113

Afanas'ev, Yu. A. 20-1, 38, 125,133, 139

Aganbegyan, A. G. 63, 65Aitmatov, Ch. 10, 42, 211 n.59Akhromeyev, S. F. 176Aliev, M. G. 20,42,112Alksnis, V. 33, 94, 107, 115, 155,

162, 215 n.44Ambartsumov, E. A 170Andreeva, N. 119, 121, 126-7Andropov, Yu. V. 7, 47, 149Anikiev, A. 158Annus, L. 115-6Arbatov, G. 161, 170Arkhipov, Yu. V. 35Arutyunyan, S. 19Avaliani, T. G. 55,182-3Azimov, O. 44

Bakatin, V. V. 10, 167, 180, 182,215 n.44

Baklanov, O. D. 33, 39. 54, 74, 76,85, 173

Bazhanov, B. 129Belousov, B. M. 41-2, 76Belousov, V. S. 44, 81Berdayev, N. 147Biryukova, A. P. 33, 72, 74Bludov, 30Blok, A. 146Bogomolov, O. 66, 150Borisov, Yu. 131-2Burokyavichyus, M. M. 100, 103-5,

107, 115Boiko, M. 176Boldyrev, Yu. 30, 50Boldin, V. I. 10Brazauskas, A. 166Brezhnev, L. I. 6,15-6,18,34,

55, 149Bronshtein 96

Brovikov 151Broue, P. 129Bunich, P. 56, 67, 71-2, 88Bukharin, N. I. 120, 129-30, 136,

194 n.80Buzgalin, A. V. 38, 83-5Burlatskii, F. M. 26

Chebrikov, V. M. 9, 93Chebukin, I. 126-7Chernavin, V. 163Chernenko, K. U. 7Chiesa, G. 57-8Cohen, S. F. 129Chubais, I. 21

Danilov, V. P. 129-30Danilov, V. 171Dashichev, V. 150, 152Denisov, A. 19Dzasokhov, A. 174

Efimov, 183Eidel*man, N. 124El'tsin, B. N. 20, 24, 26, 37-8, 50,

67,73-4,84,95,98,110, 113,118, 166-7, 169,177, 179

Emel'yanov, A. 177Engels, F. 23, 40, 137, 145Ermakov, V. F. 176, 183

Falin, V. M. 47, 154-5Foye, S. 182Frolov, I. T. 33, 45, 47, 57, 60, 194

n.80, 217 n.108

Galazov, A. Kh. 39, 144Gdlyan, T. 48, 179Gel'man, A. 19Gerasimov, G. 175Gidaspov, B. 35, 39Girenko, A. N. 33, 47, 92, 100, 104,

107-8, 112-5, 117


Page 228: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Name Index 219

Gisikhin, T. 18Gorbachev, M. S. 1, 2, 6-10, 13-4,

16-9, 23-7, 29-36, 40-1, 43-4,46-52, 54-60, 61-2, 64, 66-72,74_7, 79-82, 85-9, 90-5, 97,102, 104-5, 109, 111-3, 115-8,119-21,136-8, 141-2, 144-5,148-53, 155, 157, 161, 164-5,167-8, 173-5, 182-3, 214 n.35

Gordon, L. 2-3, 89Gorinov, M. M. 129,131Gromyko, A. A. 9Grossman, V. 123-4, 126Gumbaridze, G. G. 42, 100-2,

110, 112Gurenko, S. I. 39,41,44,47,79,81,

86, 100,102-3, 110, 114Gutionov, P. 78

Il'in, A. N. 29Ivashko, V. A. 29, 56-7, 82, 111,

117, 200n.l71Ivashov, L. 171, 181-2

Kalugin, O. 166-7, 179-80,215 n.47

Karavaev, Yu. 176Karimov, I. A. 54,81,100-1,111,

114,115Kauls, A. E. 10Kautsky, K. 122, 145Kerensky, A. F. 130Khanin, G. 122-3, 126Kharchenko, G. F. 158, 216 n.98Kharchenko, K. 161, 170Khrushchev, N. S. 6-7, 15, 18, 20,

68, 120, 122Khvatov, G. 174Kohl, H. 175Kolganov, A. I. 22Kolnichenko, A. 176-7Korablev, Yu. I. 131Kosygin, A. N. 68Krasin, L. B. 138Kravchenko, L. N. 45Kruchina, N. E. 45, 56Kryuchkov, V. A. 10, 11, 33, 48, 56,

57,83,99-100, 142, 157, 166,177-80

Kuptsov, V. A. 47Kvitsinsky, Yu. V. 174

Landesbergis, V. 93Lapygin, V. L. 158, 162-3Latsis, O. 56Lebedeva, N. 135-6Lenin, V. I. 15-6, 23, 40, 116,

120, 123-9, 131, 133, 137-8,140-5, 147

Ligachev, E. K. 9, 21, 25-6, 33-4,38-9,47-8,56,61,64,68,70, 76, 78, 82, 86, 98, 107-8,121, 138-9, 142, 145, 149-51,153, 164-5, 169, 174, 195 n.16,200 n. 171

Lizichev, A. D. 158, 163, 180,181, 183

Lopatin, V. 161,163,169-70Luchinskii, P. K. 40, 42-3, 94,

100-2, 111, 116Luk'yanov, A. I. 11, 30, 33, 35,

57, 70, 95Lysenko, V. N. 21,33,46,50Lyubimov, M. 179

Makashov, A. 153, 164-5, 170, 171,214 n.35

Makhkamov, K. 44, 100-1,111, 113-5

Manaenkov, Yu. A. 29-30, 33, 110Marx, K. 22, 40, 137, 140, 144-5Masaliev, A. M. 19, 38-9, 41, 83,

100, 102-3Maslennikov, A. 95Maslyukov, Yu. D. 10, 33, 48, 66,

70-3,80, 113Medvedev, R. A. 56Medvedev, V. A. 9, 25-6, 32-3,

41-5,48, 55, 61-2, 103, 107, 115,123, 140, 143

Mel'nikov, I. I. 42, 47, 182Mikulin, I. 174Moiseev, M. 159,161-3,173-4,

183Moiseev, N. 171,176,180Molotov, V. M. 107,125Movsisyan, V. M. 42, 100-2, 109,

112, 114

Page 229: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

220 Name Index

Mutalibov, A. M. 42, 44, 100, 102,108-9, 114

Nadein, V. 165Nazarbaev, N. A. 39, 41, 81, 100,

102-3, 111, 113, 115, 143Nazimova, A. 2-3, 89Niyazov, S. A. 42, 44, 100-2,

111, 114Nizotevaya, A. A. 45

Ogarkov, N. 175-6, 181Onikov, L. 17-8Osipyan, Yu. A. 10

Pershin, G. A. 36, 46, 54, 81Perov, V. I. 42, 54, 73, 75Peskov, Yu. A. 39, 41-2, 54Petrakov, N. 66-7Petrushenko, N. 155, 162, 215 n.44Petrushin, N. 176Pinsker, B. 66Piyasheva, L. 66Plekhanov, G. V. 145Plekhanov, V. 176Polozkov, I. K. 24, 26, 73, 100,

102, 110Polyakov, Yu. 125Pomitkyn, V. 176Popov, A. A. 112Popov, G. Kh. 20, 26, 50, 63, 125,

139, 145, 162Porutchikov, A. A. 39, 44, 78-9Preobrazhensky, E. A. 122, 129,

131, 134Preobrazhensky, L. 129Primakov, E. M. 10, 33, 97-8,

100, 113Prokof ev, Yu. A. 33, 36-7,

40, 42, 74Pugo, B. K. 33, 39, 57, 70, 141-2,

201 n.179

Railyan, A. 175-6Rasputin, V. G. 10Razumovskii, G. P. 9, 33-5, 37,

70Reutov, P. 176-7Revenko, G. I. 10, 94-5

Rubiks, A. P. 83, 100, 103-4,106-7, 112

Ryzhkov, N. I. 10, 32-4, 36, 40,46,48,57,61-2,67,70-4,77, 79-80, 84, 86, 88, 108,113-14,167

Ryzhkov, Yu. 170

Safonov, V. 109, 180Selyunin, V. 63, 66Sergeev, A. A. 33, 44, 84, 85Shafarevich, I. 127-8Shakhnazarov, G. Kh. 183Shaparov, A. 176Sharin, L. B. 180Shatalin, S. S. 10, 56, 63, 66-7, 88Shatalin, Yu. 167Shatrov, M. 20Shevardnadze, E. A. 10, 11, 32-4,

43, 48, 55, 57, 75, 85, 93-4,149-55, 164, 168, 173-5,215n.61

Shlyaga, N. I. 99, 163, 172-3,181, 183

Shmelev.N. 85-6,124-5Shostakovskii, V. N. 20, 33, 38,

42-4, 50, 84, 143, 145, 169Shved, V. 44, 60, 105-7Shutyleva, A. V. 38,41,46Sidorkin, N. N. 45-6, 54Sillari, E-A. A. 43, 57, 100-1,

106-7Simonov, M. 158Simonov, N. S. 130-1Sirotkin, V. 124Slyunkov, N. N. 9, 33Smirnov, I. N. 134Smirnov, N. S. 130-1Smirnov, V. 161,165Sobchak, A. 50, 147, 179Sokolov, E. E. 41,72-3,79,81,100,

103-4, 111, 114-5Soloukhin, V. 123, 126Solzhenitsyn, A. 91, 123-4, 127Stalin, I. V. 16,43,48,52,112,115,

119-22,126-7, 129-31,134,136, 138, 141, 144, 146, 154

Starodubtsev, V. A. 79, 87Stolyarov, N. S. 182

Page 230: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Name Index 221

Stolypin, P. A. 65, 124-5, 130, 146Sukhorukov, D. S. 183

Teplenichev, A. I. 44, 54, 144Trotsky, L. D. 122, 129-30, 134,

136, 145-6Tsakunov, S. V. 129Tsalko, A. 183Tsipko, A. 121-2, 126Tsyulkin, V. 87Tsyurupa, A. D. 138Tvardovsky, A. 127

Ul'yanov, M. A. 42, 56, 142-3Usmanov, G. I. 33, 80, 110, 112, 115

Vagris, J. 94Valjas, V. 94Varennikov, V. I. 159, 181Velikhov, E. 158Vlasov, A. V. 33-5,39,41,70,

83, 110

Vorotnikov, V. I. 33-4, 42, 48, 72,110, 112

Volkogonov, D. 177, 196 n.48

Werner, M. 175

Yakovlev, A. N. 9-10, 32-3, 43,48-9, 55, 103, 107-8, 115, 121,133-5, 141, 145-6, 154-5

Yakovlev, V. 83Yanaev, G. I. 44, 49, 68, 74-5Yarin, V. A. 10Yazov, D. T. 10, 11, 25, 33, 55-7,

75-6,99, 157-9,161, 163-4,172-3, 183, 215 n.61

Yurchenkova, V. L. 49, 81

Zaikov, L. N. 33-4, 75, 149,173, 175

Zaslavskaya, T. 170Zyukin, V. 33, 40, 84, 99

Page 231: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Subject Index

Academy of Science 93, 146Academy of the National

Economy 71Academy of the Social Sciences 21,

58,93Afghanistan 148, 151-2, 158, 168,

172, 177, 178Agriculture 34, 39, 64-5, 76-80, 84,

87Stolypin reforms 65, 124-5,

130,146All Union Council of TU 68,

74-5, 84AlmaAta 96,111,114Anti-semitism 91, 127-9Argumentyifakty 45,121,159,172Armenia 90-3, 100-1, 108-10,

114, 118Azerbaidzhan 90-3, 100, 102,

108-10, 114, 159

Baku 93, 108, 159Baltic republics 13-4, 19, 49, 73, 80,

90-3, 96-7, 99, 104, 107, 142,147, 160, 164, 166, 169

Belorussia 81, 88, 92, 96, 100,103-4, 111, 113

Bolsheviks 120, 124, 131

Central Asia 96,113,118Central Committee CPSU 7, 9, 11,

14-5, 21, 23, 27, 30-1, 41, 45-6,54-7, 63, 68, 76-9, 105, 107,109, 114-7, 123

Membership 56-7Plenums; (March 1989) 64-5,

87; (July 1989) 17; (Sept1989) 64, 92-3; (Dec1989) 138; (Feb 1990) 10,94, 137, 151, 161, 166; (June1990) 25

Commissions 9, 34, 78, 123, 158,173, 177-8

Central Control CommissionCPSU 57

China 25, 148-9Civic Forum 91Coal industry 9-10, 46, 50, 64, 75,

111, 114, 160Committee of Party Control

CPSU 39,70Communist Party of the Soviet Union

(CPSU) 1,6-8,9-33,35-6,39-45, 49-50, 52-4, 58, 90,97-9, 138, 141-2, 145, 151, 157,168-9, 176-7, 181

budget 45-6cells 12, 36, 103democratisationl4-25, 36-7, 52-3factions 20-24membership 18programme 25, 51-2, 115-6, 132,

141-2, 144-5, 182property 21,30,37,53-4statutes 23,25,37,51,52-3,99,

101, 103, 115,181vanguard role 14-20, 23, 151

Conferences CPSUXDC 7, 9, 15-17, 30, 70, 106, 120

Congresses CPSUXX 6, 120, 140XXII 6XXVII 7,11,19,30,61,64,158XXVIIIdelegates 22, 25, 29, 30, 171,

appendix 2sections 47-9cost 30

Congress of People's DeputiesUSSR 9-11,17,65-6,70,87,94-5, 157, 161-2, 184

Congress of Soviets USSR 62, 134-5Soviet German Non-Aggression Pact

Commission 92, 107, 134-5Council of Ministers USSR 8, 57,

65-7, 73-4, 96, 112-3, 135, 167


Page 232: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

Subject Index 223

Commission for EconomicReform 66-7

Council of the Federation USSR 11,67, 94-5

Czechoslovakia 91, 107, 151,154, 160

Democratic Platform 20-2, 24, 30,33, 38, 42-3, 46, 49-54, 58-9,61, 64, 75, 84, 88, 139, 143, 145,157, 162, 165, 167, 169, 170, 179

Democratic Russia 168

Ecology 81, 87-8Economic Policy 61-89

all-union market 113-14foreign trade 65, 85-6see also agriculture, coal industry,

military budgetEdinstvo 49Education Policy 53EKO 129Ekonomika 45Estonia 91. 93-5, 100-1, 106-7, 135

Foreign policy 12-3, 32, 43, 85-6,148-56

Eastern Europe 13,37,47,91,148-50, 151-3, 155-6, 158,160, 164-6, 168, 172, 174-6

German reunification 109,151-3,164-5, 174-5

Third World 13, 85, 149-51, 156French Revolution 124, 128

GDR 154, 160, 174-5General Secretary 7,8,11,15-6,

54-5,56, 105, 111, 139, 178, 183General Secretary (Deputy) 56, 117Georgia 90, 92-4, 100-1, 104, 110,

155, 160Gorbachev, M. S.

criticism of 68,105,115General Secretary 56, 182-3military 161, 164, 165, 175organisation of congress 29,

30,31-2,35,36,47,48,49,52, 56, 57

political position 25, 26, 27, 33, 34

President 9, 10, 94, 183support for 54, 111policy Issuesagriculture 64, 76-7, 79, 87all-union market 80,113Baltic republics 93, 97, 104, 108CPSU 14, 16, 17, 19, 23, 36, 44,

59, 167democratisation 31-2Eastern Europe 150, 152, 153,

168, 174ecology 81economic reform 67, 68-70,

71,72,74foreign policy 148,149,151,168international economy 85, 86Leninism 76, 97, 137, 138, 141military budget 75, 164-5,

168, 173miners' strike 46, 75national rights 112October revolution 40, 120,

137, 141ownership rights 62, 82political consensus 40, 102republican communist parties 24,

97, 116, 117socialism 40-1,55,64,82socialist market 61,81-2Stalinism 31,69,119,136-7Union Treaty 93, 95, 97, 118

Gosplan 70-1,73,80,113Group of Seven 50, 85-6

History 43-4,119-47October revolution 40-1, 83,

120-2, 124-5, 130-3, 137-9,141, 146

civil war 121,122,128,131,134, 145

NEP 7, 120, 122-3, 130-2,138, 142

Left Opposition 122, 129, 134collectivisation 43, 87, 119, 120,

121, 131, 136, 146repression 43, 119, 121, 133-4,

136, 166Orthodox church 125-6, 128Katyn' massacre 135-6, 166

Page 233: Soviet Communist Party in Disarray

224 Subject Index

Hungary 63, 151, 160

Initiative Congress CP RSFSR 38,44, 83, 84, 87

Institute of General History 135Institute of Marxism-Leninism 93,

128, 130, 133Institute of the Economics of World

Socialist Systems 150Institute of the History of the

USSR 131International Conference of Historians

(Moscow, 1990) 125, 133Inter-regional Group of Deputies 10,

61, 63, 84Iran 122Izvestiya 20, 44, 47, 52, 78, 144, 152,

163, 165Izvestiya TsK KPSS 11

Japan 85, 164

Kazakhstan 91, 96, 100, 102,111, 113

KGB 11,12,36,38,52,57,83,94,99-100, 106, 118, 133,142, 157-8, 162, 164-70,176-80, 182-4

Kirgizia 100,102,111,113Kommunist 15, 45, 145Kommunist vooruzherwykh sil 159Komsomol 26, 33, 49, 99, 138Komsomoloskaya pravda 44, 144,

159, 161-2, 170-3Krasnaya zvezda 159,163,169,171,

176, 181

Latvia 87, 91, 93-5, 98, 100, 103,106-7, 112, 135, 166

Literaturnaya gazeta 131Lithuania 14, 90, 91, 93, 94, 96, 98,

100-1, 103-8, 135, 166Mafia 83, 178Main Political Administration of

the Soviet Army and Navy(MPA) 99, 158, 160, 163,172-4, 181

Marxism-Leninism 6, 20, 23, 26,32-3, 35, 38, 40-2, 62, 83, 84,

92.97, 102, 116,120-3, 125,127-9, 132, 137-8, 140, 142-6,152-6, 173, 182

Marxist Platform 20, 22-3, 30, 33,38,49,52,61,81,83-4,85,88,139, 145

Memorial 166Military 12,36,38,53,94,99,118,

148, 157-65, 167-77, 180-4military budget 64, 75-6, 159,

164-5, 168-70, 172-3military reform 161-2see also MPA, Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence 11, 57, 81, 93,157-65, 170-2, 178, 182-3

Ministry of Defence Industries 76Ministry of Foreign Affairs 11, 57,

149-50, 152-3, 158, 174-5, 178Ministry of Health 81Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD)

99,106, 109, 118, 164, 167,170,176, 178, 180, 182-4

Moldavia 90-2,100-2,111,147, 164

Molodaya gvardiya 91Moscow News 45, 136, 152, 159,

165, 179Moskva 91

Nagorno-Karabakh 90, 108-10Nash sovremennik 91,127- 8Nationalities policy 90-118

anti-Russian nationalism 92,110, 112

national minorities 112right-wing Russian nationalism 91,

126-7, 139see also Union Treaty (proposed)

NATO 50, 148, 152-3, 159, 164,173-5, 181

Nauka i zhizn' 121Novymir 119,121,128,131

Ogonek 44-5,119,121,144,159, 163

OGPU/NKVD 128, 133, 166, 177-8Open Letter 21, 23-4Opinion polls 26-7, 58-9, 147Osh 111,115

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Pamyat' 91, 128Peasants' Union 78-9Poland 63, 67, 73, 91, 135-6, 150-1Politburo CPSU 1,6,7, 9-29, 33-6,

54-7, 68, 70, 93, 97, 99, 103,108, 111, 117, 119, 123, 126, 138,141, 143, 152

Commission on Repression 43,133-4, 177

Commission on Inter-EthnicRelations 99, 178

Political parties 9-10, 14, 33, 121Pravda 17-9, 22-3, 25, 45-6, 139,

144, 163-7, 175, 181President USSR 8, 10, 11, 33, 55, 56,

83,94, 105, 107-9, 111, 136, 157,167, 178

Presidential Council USSR 8, 10-11,34-5,57,66-7,70,77,94, 117,145, 157-8, 178

Press/media 29, 44-5, 53, 115,119-20, 131, 144, 166, 170, 175

Procuracy USSR 106, 133-4,168-9, 178

Rabochaya tribuna 45Republics

rights of secession 94, 97-8, 108sovereignty 94-6

Rodina 123RSFSR 91-2, 96, 100, 102, 110, 112,

114, 116, 118Supreme Soviet 24, 67, 80, 96,

110, 114, 177Congress of People's Deputies 76,

95, 110, 162Communist Party RSFSR 73, 103Congress CP RSFSR 21-6, 33, 95,

97, 153, 164-5, 167, 172Rukh 90-2

Sajudis 90, 93-4, 104-5, 159, 166Sbomik KGB SSSR 166Secretariat CPSU 7, 9, 11,16, 25, 29,

33-4, 54, 56-7, 70, 106, 117, 147Sel'skaya zhizri 45Shchidt 160Socialism 13,25,31-2,38,40-3,

48,55,82, 103, 122-3, 125,

126, 128-30, 137-8, 142-6,153, 156

Solidarity 91Sovestkaya Rossiya 126,159Soviets 19, 22-3, 35, 70Soyuz 94, 107, 162Stalinism 6, 7, 17-8, 31, 42, 49, 52,

69,91, 102,112, 115-6, 119-24,126, 131-3, 136-41, 145-6, 162,168, 179

State Defence Council USSR 157-8,165, 175

Sumgait 93, 109Supreme Court USSR 133,134Supreme Soviet USSR 8, 9, 70, 78,

87-8, 94-5, 108-9, 157, 160-1,163, 165, 170, 177, 179-80,184, 187

Committee on Defence and StateSecurity 158, 162-3, 171,178, 180

Committee on InternationalAffairs 174

Tadzhikistan 100, 101, 104,111, 113-4

TASS 155Tblisi 48,93,98,110,155,159Trade unions 64Transcaucasus 13, 90, 104, 115,

161, 180Turkmenistan 100-1,111,113-14Tyumen 96

Ukraine 41, 73, 81, 90-2, 96, 100,102-3, 110-11,114, 118

Supreme Soviet 80, 96, 110-11,164

Communist Party 39, 64, 92,96, 147

Union Treaty (proposed) 80-1, 87,92-5, 97-8, 100, 106-9, 113-15,117-18

United Front of the Working People ofRussia 20, 64

United Nations 158USA 85, 149, 154, 157Uzbekistan 48, 90, 96, 98, 100-1,

104, 111, 113-14

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226 Subject Index

Vekhi 147 Yakutiya 96Youth policy 53

Warsaw Pact 50, 154, 158, 164, 175

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