Lukyanov, Anatoly Ivanovich

views updated


(b. 1930), chair of the USSR Supreme Soviet during the August 1991 coup attempt.

Anatoly Lukyanov studied law at Moscow State University, graduating in 1953. While at the university, he chaired the University Komsomol branch, and Mikhail Gorbachev was deputy chair. Lukyanov joined the Party in 1955 and began a career within the Party apparatus. He was appointed to the Central Committee Secretariat in 1987. By 1988, Lukyanov was named a candidate member of the Politburo and first deputy chair of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

The first USSR Congress of People's Deputies elected Lukyanov chairman of the newly reconfigured Supreme Soviet in 1990. This post allowed him to control the parliamentary agenda. He was repeatedly accused of stonewalling legislation he did not like and putting bills he supported to vote multiple times if they were voted down.

Despite his close personal links with Gorbachev, Lukyanov sided with opponents of Gorbachev's policies. The hard-line Soyuz faction particularly favored Lukyanov over Gorbachev. During his December 1990 resignation speech to the Congress, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze specifically criticized Lukyanov for interfering in Soviet-German relations and for his desire for a dictatorship.

As Gorbachev's new Union Treaty neared ratification in summer 1991, hard-line members of the Soviet leadership hierarchy staged a coup to overthrow Gorbachev and prevent adoption of the treaty. Though Lukyanov was not a member of the State Committee for the State of Emergency that briefly seized power August 1921, 1991, he supported their efforts. Lukyanov was arrested following the coup's collapse, then amnestied in February 1994 and elected to the Russian Duma in 1995 and 1999, where he chaired the parliamentary committee on government reform.

See also: august 1991 putsch


Wishnevsky, Julia. (1991). "Anatolii Luk'yanov: Gorbachev's Conservative Rival?" RFE/RL Report on the USSR 3(23):814.

Ann E. Robertson