Fedorchuk, Vitalii Vasilyevich
- (1918– )Born into a Ukrainian peasant family, Fedorchuk entered the security service in 1939. During World War II, he worked in Smersh and in 1946 was transferred to the Third (Military Counterintelligence) Chief Directorate. Fedorchuk rose quickly in the KGB and in 1970 was made chair of the Ukrainian KGB. After the Prague Crisis of 1968, Moscow apparently feared that Ukrainian nationalism was a threat to the Soviet system, and Fedorchuk was given wide latitude to stamp out all religious or political dissent.The Ukrainian émigré press reported that the KGB murdered a number of dissident Ukrainian Catholic leaders in an effort to quash political opposition in the western Ukraine during the 1970s, when Fedochuk headed the service. As chief of the Ukrainian KGB, Fedorchuk earned a reputation in Moscow for toughness and ideological orthodoxy. In May 1982, when Yuri Andropov entered the Central Committee Secretariat, Fedorchuk was brought to Moscow to head the KGB. According to most scholars, Fedorchuk’s appointment represented a compromise within the aging Leonid Brezhnev leadership; Fedorchuk apparently had no political ambition and was seen as a competent and loyal senior KGB officer.In December 1982 Fedorchuk was replaced by Viktor Chebrikov and transferred to the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs). As MVD chief with rank of army general, Fedorchuk worked first with Andropov and then with Mikhail Gorbachev to purge and reform the police. His efforts were not successful, though a number of senior MVD officers were arrested and tried for corruption and malfeasance. In 1986, Fedorchuk was offered honorable retirement and assigned to the Group of General Inspectors of the Ministry of Defense.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.