Semichastniy, Vladimir Efimovich

   Semichastniy entered the Komsomol (Young Communist League) apparatus and then the Communist Party, where he rose quickly as an ally of Aleksandr Shelepin. He proved his ideological credentials as chief of the Komsomol by leading a merciless attack on Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak in 1958, accusing Pasternak of writing Doctor Zhivago at the behest of Western intelligence. In January 1961 Semichastniy was appointed KGB chair—the youngest leader of the security service ever. He worked closely with Shelepin in carrying out the October 1964 coup. When Nikita Khrushchev returned from the Crimea, Semichastniy escorted him personally to the Central Committee meeting that stripped him of his power and position. Semichastniy never enjoyed the respect of KGB professionals, and he was removed from his position in 1967, as Leonid Brezhnev moved to strengthen the KGB. Semichastniy held only minor public posts after this demotion.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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