Uzbek Cotton Scandal

   The greatest single financial crime in Soviet history involved the massive underreporting of cotton production in the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan. Uzbek party boss Sharaf Rashidov, who ruled the republic from 1959 to 1983, treated Uzbekistan as his own fief and created a massive criminal family to run it. Cotton was Uzbekistan’s most important crop, and every effort was made to grow it. The Uzbek government beginning in the 1970s massively overreported the amount of cotton delivered to mills in Russia. These figures were never challenged by Moscow, and the Uzbek political machine received billions of rubles for imaginary cotton.
   Rashidov’s tactics were well known in Moscow, but his close friendship with party boss Leonid Brezhnev protected him from punishment. Following Brezhnev’s death in November 1982, Yuri Andropov ordered the KGB to begin a massive investigation of the Uzbek party. Rashidov either committed suicide, died of a heart attack, or was murdered, and the KGB began to roll up his subordinates. Hundreds of party and police officials were tried, and a number were sentenced to death and shot in 1985–1987. Brezhnev’s son-in-law, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yuri Cherbanov, was tried and imprisoned for his role in protecting Rashidov. The Soviet press devoted thousands of pages to the story, heralding the punishment of the Rasdidov gang as a triumph for law and order.
   The MVD and KGB’s investigation of the “Uzbek mafia,” as it was called in the Soviet press, caused major problems for Moscow in the long run. Many Uzbeks believed that their nation had been singled out for racial or religious abuse, and that worse crimes had been committed in the European parts of the Soviet Union. Rashidov had tolerated Islam, and the investigation of corruption led to the arrest of a number of religious figures. In 1988–1990, there was ethnic violence in Uzbekistan, as the Uzbeks sought to maintain control of ethnically divided areas of their republic, resulting from the fear that Moscow was again seeking to minimize Uzbek interests.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Andropov, Yuri Vladimirovich — (1914–1984)    The most important post Stalin chief of the KGB, Andropov rose quickly in the ranks of the Communist Party during the years of purges. During World War II, he worked with partisans on the Finnish front and continued his rise in the …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

  • Inomjon Usmonxo‘jayev — Inomjon Buzrukovich Usmonxo‘jayev (in Cyrillic Uzbek: Иномжон Бузрукович Усмонхўжаев ; in Russian: Инамджан Бузрукович Усманходжаев Inamdzhan Buzrukovich Usmankhodzhayev ) (born on 21 May 1930) served as the eleventh General Secretary of the… …   Wikipedia

  • History of Uzbekistan (1876-1991) — In 1865, Russia occupied Tashkent and by the end of the 19th century, Russia had conquered all of Central Asia. In 1876, the Russians dissolved the Khanate of Kokand, while allowing the Khanate of Khiva and the Emirate of Bukhara to remain as… …   Wikipedia

  • Sharof Rashidov — Sharof Rashidovich Rashidov (in cyrillic Uzbek: Шароф Рашидович Рашидов ; in Russian: Шараф Рашидович Рашидов Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov ) (OldStyleDate|6 November|1917|24 October 31 October 1983) was a Communist Party leader in the Uzbek Soviet …   Wikipedia

  • India — /in dee euh/, n. 1. Hindi, Bharat. a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950.… …   Universalium

  • Kyrgyzstan — /kir gi stahn /, n. official name of Kirghizia. * * * Kyrgyzstan Introduction Kyrgyzstan Background: A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved… …   Universalium

  • Pakistan — /pak euh stan , pah keuh stahn /, n. 1. Islamic Republic of, a republic in S Asia, between India and Afghanistan: formerly part of British India; known as West Pakistan from 1947 71 to distinguish it from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).… …   Universalium

  • May 2005 — was the fifth month of that year. It began on a Sunday and ended after 31 days, on a Tuesday. May 2005: ← – January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September –… …   Wikipedia

  • Sumo — For other uses, see Sumo (disambiguation). Sumo (相撲) A sumo match (tori kumi) with komusubi Kotoshōgiku in January 2008. Focus Grappling Hardness Full contact …   Wikipedia

  • Kazakhstan — Republic of Kazakhstan Қазақстан Республикасы Qazaqstan Respublïkası Республика Казахстан Respublika Kazakhstan …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.