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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Boris K. Pugo

Soviet Minister of Interior Affairs from 1990-1991.

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Biography

b. February 19, 1937 - d. August 22, 1991

Boris Karlovich Pugo was a Latvian Communist political figure who was a leader of the failed 1991 August Coup.

Minister of Interior Affairs, USSR, 1990-1991

Pugo was born in Kalinin, USSR (now Tver, Russia) in a family of Latvian communists who had left Latvia following the loss of Communists in the Latvian independence war of 1918-1920. His family returned to Latvia after Soviet Union annexed it in 1940.

Pugo graduated from Riga Polytechnical in 1960 and worked in various Komsomol, Communist Party and Soviet government positions since then, both in Latvia and Moscow. His positions between 1960 and 1984 included the first secretary of the Central Committee of Komsomol of Latvian SSR, a secretary of the Central Committee of Komsomol of USSR, the first secretary of Riga City Committee of Communist Party and the chairman of KGB in Latvia.

Between 1990 and 1991, he was the Minister of the Interior Affairs of the USSR. He was a member of the August Coup in 1991. He soon after committed suicide, although some reports cast doubt on the circumstances of his suicide, suggesting he might have been murdered.