Pugo, Boris Ivanovich

(1942–1991)
   Born into a family of Latvian Old Bolsheviks, Pugo had a successful career in the Komsomol, the KGB, and the party. He joined the KGB and rose to head of the Latvian KGB in the mid-1980s. As Latvia’s chief Chekist, Pugo had a reputation for prosecuting religious and ethnic dissidents. Even within the KGB, he was known as a hardliner. Recognized as a tough, efficient bureaucrat, he was removed from the KGB and promoted to head of the Latvian Communist Party in the late 1980s. In 1990 Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev made Pugo minister of internal affairs, responsible for the police and the MVD’s paramilitary Internal Troops. The appointment was one of the most disastrous the reformist leader ever made; it left an ideological enemy in charge of a key power ministry. Pugo, who did not accept Gorbachev’s reforms, repaid his mentor by joining the cabal planning the August putsch. Following the failure of the putsch, Pugo and his wife committed suicide.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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