Viktor Mikhailovich Chebrikov

(b. 1923)

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(b. Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, 27 Apr. 1923; d. Moscow, 2 July 1999)

Russian; chairman of the KGB 1982–8 Of Russian working-class origin, Chebrikov served in the Red Army during the Second World War, joining the CPSU in 1944. Like Brezhnev, his career began in the Dnepropetrovsk region, where he trained as an engineer at the famous Metallurgical Institute, and from 1951 to 1967 he held a succession of party posts. From 1961 to 1971 he was a candidate member of the Ukrainian Party's Central Committee. He joined the KGB in 1967 when Andropov became its chairman—possibly appointed by Brezhnev as a check on Andropov—and from 1968 to 1982 was a deputy chairman of the KGB. In December 1982 he became chairman of the KGB. Andropov, now General Secretary, regarded him as a reliable supporter. From 1983 to 1985 he was candidate member of the Politburo. In March 1985 he lent vital support to Gorbachev in his succession struggle by providing compromising information about his rivals, Romanov and Grishin. A month later he became a full member of the Politburo. Chebrikov turned against Gorbachev when he realized how radical his reform programme was. In 1988 Gorbachev replaced him as head of the KGB and in September 1989 removed him from the Politburo.

Subjects: Politics.

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