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Andropov, Yuri Vladimirovich 1914- 1984

Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov was a Soviet politician and General Secretary of the CPSU from November 12, 1982 until his death in 1984

Biography

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Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov's place of birth and parentage is uncertain, but he was probably born in Nagutskoye near Stavropol in southern Russia. He was briefly educated at the Rybinsk Water Transport Technical College before he joined Komsomol in 1930. He graduated to the full party in 1939 and was first secretary of the Komsomol in the Karelo-Finnish Republic from 1940 to 1944. After the war, he moved to Moscow in 1951 and joined the party secretariat.

Following Stalin's death in March 1953, Andropov was demoted and "exiled" to the Soviet Embassy in Budapest by Georgy Malenkov. He played an important role in the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

Andropov returned to Moscow to head the Department for Liaison with Socialist Countries (1957-1967) and was promoted to the Central Committee Secretariat in 1962, succeeding Mikhail Suslov, and in 1967 he was appointed head of the KGB. In 1973 Andropov became a full member of the Politburo, and he also remained as head of the KGB until 1982.

A few days after Brezhnev's death on November 10, 1982 Andropov appointed as General Secretary over Konstantin Chernenko. He was the first head of the KGB to become General Secretary. He quickly added the posts of President of the USSR and chairman of the Defense Council.

During his rule he made attempts to improve the economy and reduce corruption. He was also remembered for his anti-alcohol campaign and struggle for enhancement of work discipline.

His rule was marked by the deterioration of relations with the US, due to the strongly anti-Soviet stance of Ronald Reagan. International relations were also exacerbated when Soviet fighters downed a civilian jet liner that strayed over Russia on September 1, 1983, and the deployment of American Pershing missiles in Europe.

After several months of deteriorating health Andropov died of Kidney failure on February 9, 1984. Andropov was succeeded by Chernenko.

Popular Documents

April 2004

KGB Active Measures in Southwest Asia in 1980-82

Materials provided by former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin to CWIHP, following the publication of the Working Paper No. 40, "The KGB in Afghanistan." As with all Mitrokhin’s notes, his compilation on Soviet “active measures” in South and Southwest Asia is based on other smuggled-out notes and was prepared especially for CWIHP. Please read the Notes on Sources for information on the nature and limitations of these documents.

November 1, 1956

Andropov Report, 1 November 1956

Andropov reports that Imre Nagy has threatened a scandal and the resignation of the government if the Soviet Union continues to send troops into Hungary. In his meeting with Nagy, Andropov is told that Hungary is withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact and will further request a UN guarantee of Hungarian neutrality if Soviet troop movements into Hungary do not stop. The report notes that after the meeting the Hungarian government informed the Embassy of its decision to leave the Warsaw Pact.

February 21, 1979

Yu. Andropov, 'Shortcomings in the Construction of the Chernobyl AEhS [Atomic Power Station]'

Yuri Andropov, then Chairman of the KGB, reports concerns about the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Serious flaws in the construction "might lead to failures and accidents."

July 11, 1981

Stasi Note on Meeting Between Minister Mielke and KGB Chairman Andropov

KGB Chairman Andropov and East German Minister for State Security Mielke meet to discuss ongoing Stasi/KGB cooperation and international affairs. Topics of conversation include the Ronald Reagan administration, the Polish Solidarity Crisis,

April 1, 1979

Memo on Protocol #149 of the Politburo, "Our future policy in connection with the situation in Afghanistan"

The following CPSU Central Committee document, dated 1 April 1979 and signed by Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, Defense Minister Dmitrii Ustinov, KGB chief Yurii Andropov, and CC International Department head Boris Ponomarev, provides a strikingly candid assessment of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan that the Soviet Politburo confronted in spring 1979. The report attributes the increasing success of the Islamic opposition (i.e., the Afghan Mujaheddin) to the “miscalculations and mistakes” of the PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) regime that seized power following the April 1978 “revolution.”