Bakatin, Vadim Viktorovich
BAKATIN, VADIM VIKTOROVICH
(b. 1937), Russian and Soviet political and Communist Party figure, Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs, 1988–1990; last chairman of KGB, 1991; first chairman of Inter-Republic Security Service from 1991.
Vadim Bakatin was born in Kemerovo Oblast. Educated at the Novosibirsk Construction Engineering Institute, he worked as an engineer in construction in Kemerovo from the early 1960s until the early 1970s. He joined the Communist Party in 1964 and in the mid-1970s served as a local party official, rising to the position of Secretary of the Kemerovo Oblast Committee in 1977. Bakatin attended the High Party School and in 1985 joined the Inspectorate of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). In 1986 he served on the Central Committee. After brief service as First Secretary of the Kemerovo Oblast Committee, Bakatin was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs in 1988, and he served in that post until 1990. In 1991 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of Russia, warning about the dangers of overly rapid reform. Campaigning in May 1991 he stated that "Making capitalism out of socialism is like making eggs out of an omelette." Bakatin opposed the August 1991 coup attempt and then was appointed director of the KGB. He undertook the purge of the KGB senior leadership that had supported Vladimir Kryuchkov, the former director and coup plotter. With the collapse of Soviet power in the fall of 1991, Bakatin oversaw the breakup of the KGB and then briefly served as the first chairman of the Inter-Republic Security Service. In 1992 he published a personal memoir of his role in the break-up of the KGB under the title, Izbavlenie ot KGB: Vremya - sobytiyalyudi (Deliverance from the KGB: The time, the events, the people). Later he went into business and became the director of the Baring Vostok Capital Partners, a direct investment company. He remained loyal to Mikhail Gorbachev and has spoken favorably of his efforts at reform.
See also: state security, organs of
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Jacob W. Kipp