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Party Control

Although the security police was always a government rather than a party institution, the party considered this agency to be its own vital arm and sought to maintain the closest supervision and control over its activities. Nikolay Mesyatsev related: "They told me that besides the eavesdropping service, which obeys Semichastny as the chairman of the KGB, there is still a special service that overhears Semichastny himself..."

In his memoirs, V.V. Grishin wrote: "I think that the KGB kept a dossier on each of us, members, candidates for members of the Politburo of the Central Committee and other leading workers in the center and in the field" [2008]. Suspicions did not deceive Viktor Vasilyevich. As Irina Grishina told the journalist Felix Medvedev, when, after the death of her husband, their son Alexander took his father's notebook, a miniature "transistor and microphone" fell out of her spine.

As for the KGB, everything that Grishin wrote was, of course, correct, especially after Semichastny's dismissal and the appearance of Andropov in the KGB, but Arkady Volsky, secretary of Andropov, who was more experienced in surveillance and listening, described this widespread practice differently: "I knew for sure that all my telephone conversations, including those with my home, are being recorded. Unlike the post-perestroika time, they did not make a secret of this. " When asked, who was listening to the phones of the staff of the CPSU Central Committee apparatus ("KGB guys?"), Arkady Ivanovich answered: "Why from the KGB. Internal service of the Central Committee " [ Zavada M., Kulikov Yu. " Try to tear me from the century ... ". Dialogues with Arkady Volsky. M., 2006. P. 67-69 ] .

About this internal service of the Central Committee, or rather the special department that was created under Stalin, in 1982 Konstantin Chernenko spoke quite clearly: "The general department (and hence the employees of the General Department) is the successor of the Special Division and the special sectors of the party committees" and that "only the name of the divisions has been changed, but the essence of special tasks and special techniques in the work has not changed" [Volkogonov DA Seven chiefs. Book. 2. P. 220.].

Under Brezhnev, the general department, or rather its subdivision headed by Bogolyubov played the role of party intelligence and counterintelligence [Sinitsyn, E.I. Andropov is near. Pp. 101-102.]. Under Brezhnev, Chernenko restored a system whicho had been started by Stalin, when he became First Secretary of the Central Committee, "an apparatus with which one could listen to the conversations of the highest dignitaries in the Old Square, including those located on the fifth floor of the main building of the Central Committee - the dwelling of the main members Politburo: General Secretary, party inquisitor Mikhail Suslov, other most influential regime "[Pavlov M. The penultimate secretary general].

It is clear that beginning to use the channels and equipment of the general department more and more with the loyalist Konstantin Chernenko, Brezhnev easily overplayed Shelepin, Egorychev, Mesyatsev and other Komsomol members in advance knowing about all their plans and conversations.

The KGB was nominally subordinate to the Council of Ministers. But the CPSU, not the government, exercised control and direction. Aside from the Politburo, which probably issued general policy directives, another vehicle for such party control was, according to Western specialists, the State and Legal Department of the Central Committee Secretariat. This department supervised all government agencies concerned with legal affairs, security, and defense, including the Ministry of Defense. It implemented party control by approving personnel appointments and exercising general oversight to ensure that these agencies were following party directives.

From 1968 to 1988, the chief of this department, which probably had a staff of fifty to sixty employees, was Nikolai Savinkin. From the available evidence, it appears that the department did not involve itself as deeply in KGB affairs as it did in the activities of other state agencies, such as the MVD. Given the sensitive nature of KGB functions, the party leadership may have been reluctant to allocate to the State and Legal Department the most important decisions about KGB personnel and policy. Rather, the Central Committee secretaries charged with oversight responsibilities for the State and Legal Department probably made the key decisions. Such a portfolio was an important source of political power for a Central Committee secretary and was therefore a highly coveted responsibility.

In January 1987, Anatolii Lukianov was brought into the Secretariat to supervise the State and Legal Department. He was, however, only a junior secretary, so Gorbachev or another senior secretary may have had the ultimate responsibility. Lukianov, an apparent ally of Gorbachev, had attended Moscow University's Law Faculty when Gorbachev was there in the early 1950s.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2018 13:08:58 ZULU