Chebrikov, Viktor Mikhailovich

(1923–1999)
   Chebrikov, an old political ally of Leonid Brezhnev, was promoted from a position as a director of an industrial institute in Dneprepropetrovsk to KGB deputy chair for personnel in 1967. The move was an effort by Brezhnev to ensure his control of the KGB. Following Semyon Tsvygun’s death in January 1982, Chebrikov was made first deputy chair of the KGB. Apparently well thought of by Yuri Andropov, he was made KGB chair that December and continued the prosecution of religious and political dissidents in 1982–1985. Mikhail Gorbachev, following his promotion to lead the Communist Party, brought Chebrikov into the Communist Party Politburo in 1985. Chebrikov never fully supported Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika. In 1987 he took issue with public disclosure of the historic and present abuses of the KGB and began quietly to sabotage Gorbachev’s policies. In his 1987 and 1988 top secret reports to the Politburo, Chebrikov blamed Western agents and Trotskyite saboteurs for the growing level of civil disobedience in the Soviet Union. Chebrikov reportedly believed the Soviet Union was the victim of a CIA plot.
   In 1988 Gorbachev replaced Chebrikov with Vladimir Kryuchkov, shuffling Chebrikov into the Communist Party bureaucracy, where he continued to oppose Gorbachev. In 1989 Gorbachev forced his retirement, apparently concerned about his ability to effect policies in the security service. Even in retirement, Chebrikov continued to oppose Gorbachev’s policies, often speaking to traditionalist and conservative party chapters about Gorbachev’s “treason.”

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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