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Chebrikov, Viktor Mikhailovich


(b. 1923), Soviet party and police official; head of the KGB from 1982 to 1988.

Born in Ukraine, Viktor Chebrikov, an ethnic Russian, served at the Soviet front during World War II as a battalion commander. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1944 and earned a higher degree in engineering at the Dnepropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute after the war. In 1951 Chebrikov moved from engineering into full-time party work and served in various party administrative posts in the Ukrainian city and region of Dnepropetrovsk, rising to become second secretary of the Dnepropetrovsk Obkom (regional party committee) in 1964. In 1967 Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev, a native of Dnepropetrovsk, appointed Chebrikov to the post of head of personnel for the KGB (Committee of State Security) the Soviet security and intelligence apparatus. In 1968 Chebrikov became a deputy chairman of the KGB, and in early 1982 first deputy chairman, serving under Yuri Andropov. A Brezhnev loyalist, Chebrikov was elected to full membership in the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party at the Twenty-sixth Party Congress in 1981. In December 1982, with Andropov having succeeded Brezhnev as party leader, Chernenko took over as chairman of the KGB. He served in this post for the next six years, becoming a full member of the Politburo in 1985, where he remained until party leader Mikhail Gorbachev edged him out in October 1988. Chebrikov moved back into the party apparatus, serving as party secretary responsible for police and legal affairs, but his political conservatism put him at odds with Gorbachev, who had embarked on a program of far-reaching reforms, including limitations on the powers of the KGB. Chebrikov represented the Brezhnevite old guard of the Soviet bureaucracy, and although he apparently favored some sort of economic restructuring to increase the efficiency of the Soviet economy, he was not an advocate of any democratic political reforms. Less than a year later, in September 1989, Chebrikov was abruptly dismissed from his party post; from there he faded into obscurity.

See also: brezhnev, leonid ilich; intelligence services; state security, organs of


Knight, Amy. (1988). The KGB: Police and Politics in the Soviet Union. Boston: Allen and Unwin.

Knight, Amy. (1990). "The KGB and Democratization: A New Legal Order?" In The Soviet Empire: The Challenge of National and Democratic Movements, ed. Uri Ra'anan. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Amy Knight

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