Gorbachev's Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika 0890968926, 9780890968925

Glasnost, most commonly translated into English as "openness," was a key concept of Mikhail Gorbachev's a

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Table of contents :
Series Editor’s Statement
1 Introduction
The Leninist Legacy
How Glavlit Worked
The Role of Editors
The Consequences of Reform
The Influence off Ideology
2 Assessing “Openness”
Gorbachev’s Interpretation
The Role of Advisors
Gorbachev and the Media
Media Impact and Collateral Effects
3 The First Phase
The Media and the Apparat
Korotich and Ogonëk
Criticism from Below
Framing the Limits
4 Charging the Barricades
The Party Congress: Gorbachev and Yeltsin
The Ugachev Riposte
Post-Congress Messages and Yevtushenko
5 From the Cultural Debate to the Yeltsin Affair
The Culture War Begins
Glasnost Under Fire
The Case for “Constructive Glasnost”
The New Media Style
A Turning Point
The Yeltsin Affair
Impermissible Avant-Gardism
6 Devolution of Control in an Era of Transition
The Party-State Shift and Its Consequences
Receding Authority
National Stirrings
Affronts to Ideology
7 Action and Reaction
‘it's Necessary to Keep This Line”
The Gorbachev Response
Bolstering the “Response from Above”
Ligachev’s Downfall
8 The Nineteenth Party Conference
Pre-Conference Glasnost
Defining Moments
The Conference
The “Conservative" Counterattack
Party Justice
9 Definition and Dissonance
10 Conclusion
Glasnost, the Party, and the Media
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Selected Bibliography
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Eastern European Studies Stjepan G. MeStrovic, Series Editor


Norman Cigar Vladimir Shlapentokh Bronislaw Misztal James Sadkovich Keith Tester

Gorbachev's Glasnost


GLASNOST The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika JOSEPH GIBBS Texas A& M University Press COLLEGE STATION

Copyright © 1999 by Joseph Gibbs Manufactured in the United States of America All rights reserved First edition

The paper used in this book meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, Z39.48-1984Binding materials have been chosen for durability.

© ,

F o r a co m p lete lis t o f books in p r in t in th is series see th e b a ck o f th e book.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gibbs, Joseph, 1965GorbacheVs glasnost : the Soviet media in the first phase of perestroika / Joseph Gibbs. p. cm. — (Eastern European studies ; no. 9) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-89096-892-6 (cloth) I. Mass media—Political aspects—Soviet Union.

2. Glasnost.

3. Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeevich, 1931- . 4. Freedom of information—Soviet Union. government—1985-1991.

5. Soviet Union—Politics and

I. Title.

II. Series : Eastern European

studies (College Station, Tex.) ; no. 9. P9582.S65G53


3 0 2 .2 з'0 9 4 7 '0 9 0 4 8 —dc2i

99-18495 CIP

Contents Series Editor’s StaÄtfttiwvitf Preface xi CHAPTER


Introduction 3


Assessing “Openness” п


The First Phase: O f Kritika and Distsiplina 21


Charging the Barricades: The Twenty-seventh Party Congress and Chernobyl 32


From the Cultural Debate to the Yeltsin Affair 43


Devolution o f Control in an Era of Transition S9


Action and Reaction


The Nineteenth Party Conference 74


Definition and Dissonance


Conclusion Notes




Selected Bibliography 131 Index 139


Series Editor’s Statement

This book pulls no punches in making the central claim—with which I agree—that glasnost was never the full “openness” that some analysts in the United States claimed it was. I agree with Joseph Gibbs that Gorbachev was a Communist Party ideologue who meant to reform, but never abolish, the So­ viet system. After retiring from political life, Gorbachev did several Pizza H ut commercials under the same rationalization: pizza is good for the common Russian people. The apparent irony that a former Communist leader would be endorsing capitalist consum erism can be resolved by focusing on Gorbachev’s inner-directed commitment to socialism for the masses and elite status for himself. Gibbs does an excellent job o f analyzing the ambiguities, ambivalence, paradoxes, and ironies o f glasnost and o f its chief architect, Gorbachev. Another strength o f the book is that all this is documented exten­ sively with Western as well as Russian sources. Why glasnost and not freedom o f speech? The author is right to ask this question. I suspect that in addition to the answers he uncovers, there are many other possible replies. Gorbachev was always the inner-directed man of yester­ year who simply could not comprehend the more other-directed, and Ameri­ can, notion o f freedom of speech, a notion that presupposes tolerance. And despite the overstated case for the germination o f Russian democracy in the present fin de siècle, it should be evident that Russian culture has tended for many hundreds o f years, and still tends, toward autocracy. The best that Gorbachev and Russian culture could do was to promote glasnost, a term de­ rived from the Russian word for “voice.” Glasnost gave the Russian people a voice, at long last, and the opportunity to express themselves loudly. But glasnost had no impact on typically Soviet and “closed” responses to Chernobyl, the ouster of Boris Yeltsin, the top-down responses to dissent, and the crack­ down in the Baltics. Even after Gorbachev was replaced by Yeltsin—the alleged democratic reformer who would bring the Russian people to the promised land—the secretive and autocratic leanings of Russia became evident in its crack­ down in Chechnya, its support o f Slobodan Milosevic and his slaughter of Bosnian Muslims, and its belligerent attitude toward the democratization of Eastern Europe, among many other events. In this regard, Gibbs is a better

prognosticator than, for example, Jeffrey Goldfarb, author o f Beyond Glasnost: The Post-Totalitarian M ind (University o f Chicago Press, 1989). The allegedly post-totalitarian cultural mind-set o f Russia may still invent a new form o f to ­ talitarianism in the future. On the other hand, Gibbs makes it clear that despite Gorbachev’s inten­ tions to make glasnost less closed than the systems established by Lenin and Stalin, glasnost took on a life o f its own. Glasnost had a trickle-down effect in Eastern Europe and did lead to very real, democratic reforms in many Eastern European nations, among them Poland and the Czech Republic. At the same time, it should be noted it hardly had any effect in others, such as Serbia. It will be an interesting and important problem for future analysts to resolve how and why glasnost worked in some nations and not in others. Finally, one should avoid the common prejudice that Western journalism and civil society are unequivocally more open than formerly Communist soci­ eties. It may be true that one cannot compare Western freedom o f the press with Soviet or post-Soviet glasnost. But as Noam Chomsky, Douglas Kellner, and other cultural analysts have found, the West suffers from its own, distinc­ tive forms of “mind-control”: postmodernist journalism has abandoned the notion o f seeking truth in reporting; the U.S. government seeks to control coverage o f wars such as the Gulf War; corporations have a stake in how news is reported because they pay for the news through advertisements; there are many vested interests in the particular “spin” that is put on the news. It would be interesting to link this excellent analysis o f the vicissitudes o f glasnost in Soviet society with future efforts to trace the development o f a kind o f West­ ern “glasnost” and its vicissitudes. Western society is not totalitarian in the Soviet sense, but it could certainly be more honest and open. Formerly com­ munist societies have not yet developed the freedom of the press that is taken for granted in the West, but neither have they developed the “spin control” mechanisms and public relations expertise that distorts the news in the West.

x ■



This work seeks to interpret a single concept—glasnost—as enunciated by Mikhail Gorbachev and trace its development and use over a finite period of time. The latter runs from just before Gorbachev’s election as general secre­ tary o f the Communist Party o f the Soviet Union (CPSU) in early 1985 to the first reorganization o f the CPSU apparat—the large bureaucracy which con­ trolled party and state affairs—following the Nineteenth Party Conference in the summer o f 1988. While I try to place glasnosfs progress in a political context, to keep the book focused there is little here about Gorbachev’s other important initiatives, such as economic decentralization, or about issues such as foreign policy or the role o f the Soviet security organs. Accordingly, many crucial topics in Rus­ sian and Soviet history are touched upon only in passing or are ignored alto­ gether.

Transliteration Several different systems (with variants) exist for transliterating Russian words into English, and each has affected what English readers perceive as the “cor­ rect” spelling of certain Russian names and words. Is it perestroyka 01perestroika? Izvestiya or Izvestiia? Another issue is whether to omit or retain the diacritical marks ’ and ” often used to denote Russian’s soft and hard grammatical signs. Once a system has been chosen, what happens when a quotation or excerpt from another text includes transliterations from a different method? And in this book’s case, how to address the Russian word ßlasnos? itself, already sub­ sumed into the English language minus the diacritical mark? Throughout this work, an attempt has been made to standardize translit­ eration using the system devised by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. As a result, the appearance of Russian names and words in some excerpts, quota­ tions, and reference notes derived from English-language sources (and there­ fore already transliterated once) may have been altered from their original form. I have compromised on the diacritical marks, omitting them in the main text when dealing with names and words deemed familiar to most English-language

readers: e.g., Yeltsin (instead o f YePtsin), Chernobyl (instead o f Chernobyl’), Bolshevik (instead o f Bol’shevik), etc. In this spirit, I have retained the com­ mon transliterations o f “glasnost” and “perestroika” in the main text except when I felt they merited citation as italicized Russian words; in several cases, this involved a judgment call.

Acknowledgments Many people helped bring this work to print. I am especially grateful to the staff o f Texas A & M University Press for their confidence in accepting and working with my manuscript. Sincere thanks also goes to the publisher’s anonymous peer reviewers, who offered constructive feedback liberally utilized in streamlining and further crafting parts of this book. Several academic institutions allowed me access to their holdings o f primary sources utilized herein. These include the Russian Research Center at Harvard University; the Lamont Library o f Harvard University (special thanks to John Collins); the Goldfarb and Färber libraries o f Brandeis University (special thanks to Jim Baillie); and the Institute for the Study o f Conflict, Ideology and Policy, Boston University (special thanks to Kate Martin). The Interna­ tional Security Studies Program o f the Fletcher School o f Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University granted access to transcripts o f interviews conducted in the 1980s with former Soviet and East Bloc officials as part o f a six-year oral his­ tory project. Although care had to be taken with their statements—all of which, incidentally, involved pre-1985 events—several contained useful background information on how Soviet media functioned before glasnost. During my studies at Boston University, Professor Uri Ra’anan oversaw my work involving a study o f Soviet censorship and the concept o f glasnost; he gave me intellectual carte blanche, along with much patient encouragement. Boston University professors Joseph Fewsmith, William C. Green (now at California State University-San Bernardino), Ernst Halperin, Igor Lukes, and Phyllis Zagano also deserve my thanks for their insight, feedback and support. I am also grateful to Professor Lucian W. Pye, o f the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who granted me a highly constructive interview in which he outlined the development o f content analysis techniques in relation to closed societies. Several Russian journalists teaching or doing research in the United States gave freely o f their time for interviews I conducted, both face-to-face and via telephone, in the early 1990s. Their input and answers were invaluable to flesh­ ing out my understanding o f how Soviet censorship worked, as well as the impact of glasnost. They were: past Ojjonëk editor Vitaliy Korotich; Moscow State University Professor o f Journalism Yelena Androunas, a former contribuxii


tor to Leninskoye znamya; Vladimir Vesenskiy, formerly o f KßmsomoVskaya prcwda and, at the time o f interview, a correspondent for Liternaturnayagazeta; and Izvestiya political correspondent Melor Sturua. My friend and Boston University research colleague Gordon M. Hahn (now connected with the Hoover Institution, Stanford University) provided access to his translations from Russian-language publications along with learned and invaluable input on the Gorbachev years. Another Boston University friend, Helen Martikainen, helped me translate portions o f Aleksandr Yakovlev’s

Predisloviye, obval, poslesloviye. My wife, the former Tat’yana Petrovna Skomarovskaya, was most helpful o f all, providing much-needed emotional support and finding the energy to help me work my way through Russian texts, all while gently and patiently tutoring me in the many fine points o f her native tongue. With those thanks given, it seems appropriate to remind the reader that any errors, misinterpretations, or omissions herein are the sole responsibility o f the author.



Gorbachev’s Glasnost


Once the exchange o f information between people anywhere progresses to a point where media start to exist, a measure o f control and manipulation enters the mass communication process.1A given society’s mass media can be characterized by understanding how direct those influences are and to what extent journalists and “gatekeepers” collaborate, voluntarily or otherwise. In this light, much o f the Soviet Union’s seven-decade existence saw an extreme example o f highly organized communication control. Media con­ straints were so centralized and thorough that serious alternatives to the offi­ cial line o f the ruling Communist Party o f the Soviet Union, on even a small scale, did not exist. The picture changed significandy, though slowly and chaotically, with the emergence o f Mikhail Gorbachev as the Communist Party’s general secretary in 1985. What specifically affected the Soviet mass media was Gorbachev’s pro­ motion o f a concept (eventually an actual CPSU policy) calledjjlasnost*, a Rus­ sian word commonly translated in English as “openness.” Gorbachev aggressively prom oted glasnost as a com ponent o f his program o f reconstruction, or perestroika, o f the USSR’s sagging economy and inefficient governmental system. M uch o f perestroika targeted an entrenched party bureaucracy, and Gorbachev’s efforts frequendy met resistance from officials at all levels, even up to the CPSU Politburo.2The internal discord, which often revolved around the scope and substance of glasnost, helped to accelerate the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Given the emotions built up during the forty-plus years o f the Cold War, a generation may have to pass before observers, Western and Russian, are able dispassionately to assess Gorbachev himself. Along the way, we can begin to make interpretive assessments o f the substance o f his initiatives. And o f all the slogans, watchwords, and program statements seen during this era, glasnost probably stands most in need o f clarification, particularly in Western eyes.

The Leninist Legacy Glasnost was remarkable because o f how it affected pervasive Soviet patterns of communication control. Before glasnost, Soviet mass media were expected and required to perform what Western content analysts termed “goal-oriented” or “instrumental” communication: messages were systematically formulated to influence the receiver in certain ways—to persuade, to elicit a particular re­ sponse, and sometimes to deceive.3 Large-scale state media control and influence is not, o f course, unique to the former Soviet Union.4 Indeed, it can be argued that most modem mass communication is o f the “goal-oriented” variety.5And the mass media in the United States have their critics, too.6 Even so, in the Soviet case, the control situation was no accident. The writings o f the USSR’s founder, Lenin, advo­ cated that the party-directed state exercise total command o f the press. H e also sought to prohibit contents that did not serve the interests o f socialism. In this way, Lenin created the theoretical basis for Soviet press restrictions. His era in power saw the creation o f central organs to direct the news and cultural media and to regulate their contents.7 Lenin was aware of Western concepts o f free speech and press freedom but considered them bourgeois notions to be debunked. Elements o f what would become his argument for censorship appeared in his writings well before the October Revolution—as early as his tract Chto delaf? (What Is to Be Done?), written in 1901-1902.8 Another early Lenin theme was the injection o f class struggle and ideologi­ cal identification into journalistic professionalism—he wrote extensively about “party journalism” and “party literature.” If at one point, in 1905, he wrote that “freedom of speech and the press must be complete,” the problem lay in how Lenin defined this liberty by 1917.9 A few weeks before the Bolshevik seizure o f power, Lenin had begun to present economic-oriented definitions o f press freedom which associated afree press with a public press maintained by a socialist government. The real issue of press freedom, Lenin claimed, revolved around “the exploiters’ sacrosanct ownership of the printing presses and stocks o f newsprint they have seized.”10 H e emphasized his point in another speech late in 1917. “What kind o f ffee4


dom do these [bourgeois] newspapers want?” Lenin asked. “Isn’t it freedom to buy rolls o f newsprint and hire crowds o f pen pushers? We must escape from the freedom o f press dependent on capital. This is a matter o f principle.”11 Theoretically, then, if organs o f the mass media all were controlled by the state, which answered to a revolutionary party o f workers and peasants, the proletariat already had attained complete freedom o f communication. The concept itself was embodied in Article 14 o f the Soviet Constitution o f 1918 and repeated in later versions.12The argument remained a favorite Soviet ideo­ logical theme.13 With this thesis in place, Lenin saw the mass media as tools to be used in helping the Bolshevik Party, the CPSlfs forerunner, create the new world or­ der.14They would be primarily an organizer, and in this context Lenin consid­ ered the press a tool for socialization and indoctrination.15To put such theory into action, the Bolshevik daily, Pravda, provided a general model for the rest o f the press to follow;16 eventually the Telagrafhoye agentsvo sovetskogo soyouza, or TASS, came into being, along with republic-level counterparts, to distribute news and information and sometimes to pass along guidelines for media coverage.17 Two other closely linked control measures were added in the Lenin period. The first o f these was the Central Committee’s Department o f Agitation and Propaganda, or Agitprop, which emerged in late 1920.18Its initial responsibil­ ity—promotion o f political, cultural, and educational themes throughout the country—soon was supplemented by the creation o f a subsection authorized to “direct and guide” the press. Separate units eventually came to exist for news­ papers, magazines, broadcasting, etc. Similar Agitprop press subdepartments were created at lower party levels.19Individual newspapers or groups o f them often had Agitprop officials—kumtory, or monitors—assigned to them.20Other Central Committee departments interacted with Agitprop to ensure its com­ petent understanding o f their individual policy concerns, and their officials sometimes served media directors direcdy in advisory capacities.21 The second, related control institution was Glavlit, a resurrection of a Tsarist censorship agency first created in 1865.22 Recreated under Bolshevik control in June 1922, Glavlit worked closely with the secret police, possessed many local bureaus, and was organized along the lines o f Soviet political administration.23 Besides the central Glavlit, based in Moscow and operating under the party leadership’s supervision, subordinate offices were attached to republic (respublik), province (oblast"), district (rayon), and city (gorod) administrations, overseen by corresponding party committees (the reskom, obkom, raykom, mdgorkom). Rep­ resentatives were attached to individual newspapers and publishing houses and could halt publication o f any printed matter which contained material fitting IN T R O D U C T IO N


“state secret” categories. They also were on the lookout for “anti-Soviet” or pornographic content, or items which used “false information” to arouse public opinion or inflame “nationalistic and religious fanaticism.”24

How Glavlit Worked Glavlit did its job through a precise inspection regimen. Every publication, at whatever level, was to be checked and approved by a Glavlit representative before final printing. Censorship directives were embodied in the special Glavlit perechen] or list, detailing information which censors were to ensure never made its way into print or broadcast content. Factories, enterprises, and coopera­ tives had their own “Secret Sections,” which were supposed to be familiar with the control list. Specific controls were established for communications outside the realm of print. Public lectures, unless given by the local party committee’s cultural pro­ paganda sections, required checks to be made beforehand on the speaker’s theme. Broadcast material had to be filed with the censor at least an hour be­ fore air time. Broadcasts “were required to follow the exart text as approved or changed by the censor.. . . Transgressions o f the censorship rules were to be reported at once to higher censorship authorities who were instructed to under­ take administrative or court proceedings against the transgressors.”25 In the 1960s, one former Soviet journalist recalled details o f a visit to the central offices o f Glavlit. H e estimated that the central office then employed only about a hundred people; however, large numbers o f censors were located in branch offices and in media oudets themselves.26 Despite their authority, under “no circumstances will [Glavlit censors] have personal contact with the author of a work submitted to them. According to the rules o f the game, the author must not even know that his article, commentary, or novel has to be submitted to the censor. Any instructions about altering or deleting material at the censor’s behest must be communicated to the writer as if they came from the editor of the publishing house.”27 Glavlit’s existence was, o f course, largely an open secret, and under this system, an editor who felt uncomfortable about a story’s content could conversely attribute his own deletions to Glavlit.28 By Gorbachev’s time at least, a newspaper’s chief censor was reportedly better paid than its editor-in-chief.29 Glavlit worked closely with Agitprop. Writer Vladimir Vesenskiy, formerly of KomsornoVskayapmvda and then with Literwmrnayagcizetci, recalled in a 1991 interview that, rather than contact an editor directly, censors sometimes routed their objections to an article through Agitprop, which then would contact the relevant editorial board.30Another Soviet journalist, Izvestiyafs Melor Sturua, offered examples regarding the censor’s: “You write a small piece about a mili6


tary orchestra in a town and the representative o f Glavlit says, cNo, you can’t do it, because if you mention the military orchestra it means that there is a military unit in this city.5But it was, o f course, rubbish, because in almost every city there is a military unit, and that’s why it was just foolish.”31 The list o f topics subject to censorship swelled in size during the Stalin years. In the 1920s, th tperecben3reportedly was a public document only a single page long.32By 1934, crop data could not be published unless first printed in Pmvda or Izvestiya; grain deliveries could be classified only as “good” or “bad.” Rail­ road construction and related hiring, outbreaks o f catde diseases, data on So­ viet bond sales, loans, export losses, and savings bank withdrawals also were controlled topics. Also to be suppressed were “distorted” pictures o f Lenin or Stalin, details on crime, court cases, and the workings o f the secret police. Censors were also “to guard against exaggerating the incidence of kulak ter­ ror, arson, the murder o f Soviet officials, election disorders, or other phenom­ ena calculated to emphasize ‘internal instability.’”33 Vitaliy Korotich, editor o f the magazine Ogomk during much o f the Gorbachev era, described the contemporary perechen? book’s bulk by raising his hand six to seven inches from a table top. Recalling an episode that hap­ pened before he came to Qgonëk, Korotich said he had considered writing a book about gold. “Gold in medicine, gold in banking, gold in crime—it’ll be interesting,” he said. H e began to do research on the subject. “Then I came to the censor. The censor opened the book.” All details about gold, including production, cost, and storage, were forbidden topics.34

The Role of Editors Despite the control mechanisms, the Soviet press was not completely uniform. Many media outlets were targeted to different audiences, often distinguished by profession or demographics. It was understood that there were several lev­ els of “authoritativeness” below Pmvda, with correspondingly greater degrees o f editorial latitude in matters o f style.35 A key factor in appreciating how glasnost worked was that, even with cen­ sors and monitors beside them, chief editors enjoyed varying amounts of dis­ cretion over political content.36Thus an element o f ideological diversity existed among different periodicals, although frequently the distinctions were subtle.37 Evidence o f this situation came from former Soviet journalists who told the authors o f a 1982 RAND Corporation study that chief editors had great power over political items—greater even than that o f the Glavlit censor, whose ac­ tions were “confined to the specific task o f deleting whatever appears on his list o f forbidden details.”38 This situation apparently was fluid. In late 1988, the chief of Glavlit, Vladimir IN T R O D U C T IO N


A. Boldyrev, told an Izvestiya reporter that, in the 1960s, editors and publish­ ers had enjoyed wide authority, but over time Glavlit had become involved in larger-scale content review.39 In Gorbachev’s era, in late 1985 and mid-1986, Glavlit reportedly was told quiedy to cede some authority to editors. In their accounts given several years later, however, Soviet editors disagreed on exacdy when they could start to show unfettered initiative.40 Also playing a role was the patronage system, which existed at many Soviet administrative levels and which affected the selection o f Soviet editors.41 The latter, as a rule, were members o f party bodies or organizations whose mem­ bership received their respective periodicals.42 Sometimes they were chosen on the basis o f management qualifications rather than journalism background. Many had previous experience in various Propaganda Department units.43 If offered a high level o f discretion and if sure o f protection by patrons or highly placed figures who concurred with their views, an editor had a relatively free— albeit still a careful—hand in how his publication addressed political subjects.44 If the reins were being held more tightly, the editor would need direct inter­ vention with Glavlit or Agitprop, via that agency’s officials, to get certain con­ troversial items published and still remain in a given post.45

The Consequences of Reform Gorbachev’s glasnost was not a case o f abolishing the control system. The number o f officially forbidden topics was reduced, however, and in many cases editorships (controlled by Agitprop) changed hands, while the measure o f discretion allowed the new editors was broadened. Glasnost was set forth most clearly in the resolutions of the Nineteenth Party Conference in 1988 but even then was of such character that the party leaders remained its architects. Working through his ally Aleksandr Yakovlev, named head o f Agitprop in 1985 and made Central Committee secretary responsible for propaganda a year later, Gorbachev could influence the list o f prohibited categories and have a hand in selecting and promoting the right brand o f editors. Agitprop also could direct publications to take up a certain line, usually one favorable to Gorbachev. Indeed, Yakovlev’s active role at Agitprop rankled Politburo member Yegor Ligachev, who, as the Central Committee Secretary holding the ideology port­ folio, technically and traditionally was in a senior position overlooking the media sphere; the pair frequently clashed over media personnel and content issues.46 Such political delicacies help explain why, in its formative years, glasnost seemed like a moving target. Official pressure or guidance on the coverage o f key events—the Chernobyl crisis o f 1986, the “Yeltsin affair” o f 1987, the twen­ tieth anniversary o f the invasion o f Czechoslovakia in 1988—shows that the 8


level o f press openness usually corresponded to either Gorbachev’s own senti­ ments or how he read the political risks. He was conscious o f what media con­ tent and/or direction would promote his efforts while helping to isolate his opponents.47 He clearly also was wary o f pushing glasnost so far as to alienate his more cautious supporters, who grew apprehensive as the Soviet Union slipped further into disorder. Regardless o f the consistency o f its application, glasnost dealt with a politi­ cally and socially explosive area. One result was that it progressed to a point at which Gorbachev’s rivals started to take advantage o f the breakdown of what had been, on the surface at least, a largely homogenous press structure. By 1988, some media oudets (Sovetskaya rossiya, for example) had begun to print openly partisan articles against Gorbachev and perestroika, publicly underscoring the political turmoil over the pace and substance o f the reforms. Although Gorbachev frequendy said that there should be “no zones closed to criticism,” he was highly sensitive when he himself came under fire. But glasnost proved to be hard for him to reel in while still pursuing a course differ­ ent from that o f his rivals. The turmoil snowballed as open partisanship among central organs demonstrated that traditional controls no longer were enforced or enforceable.

The Influence off Ideology If glasnost, along with other reforms, helped to fuel Western portrayals of Gorbachev as a “realistic” or “pragmatic” (i.e., less “ideological”) politician, he still clung to many standard CPSU affinities. In the grand Soviet tradition, he established legitimacy by presenting himself as an orthodox interpreter of Lenin. H e justified his ideas ideologically, even those at some variance with established methods. Like Soviet leaders before him, he argued that his initia­ tives were correct because his rivals or predecessors had overlooked the real meaning of Leninist concepts.48And, although the USSR’s founder had helped to create the Soviet system o f press controls, Gorbachev had no trouble link­ ing glasnost with the revered Lenin period.49 Gorbachev, o f course, could not have risen to power or retained it for any length o f time in the Soviet political environment had he refused to function within established norms.50 Indeed, he came up in what was ideologically a hard school. Stalin ruled the country during his formative years. Gorbachev himself rose to prominence during the short general secretaryship of his po­ litical mentor, onetime KGB boss Yuriy Andropov, a stem Leninist.51 Many of glasnoSt’s modem roots, in fact, lie in the Andropov era. Like Andropov, who stressed distsiplina in his course o f refining the Soviet system, Gorbachev’s more ambitious reform efforts had to address Soviet problems in a way that conINTR O D U C TIO N


formed with the USSR’s inherent Leninism. Yet Gorbachev’s glasnost eventu­ ally transcended (or was allowed to transcend) Andropov-era examples o f the same concept. Andropov cited the need for candor in official reporting but not in the informational and cultural media in general. Moreover, Andropov, who appointed Gorbachev to the Politburo, never spoke o f a general media liberal­ ization, o f publishing long-suppressed or ideologically suspicious works, or o f permitting public criticism to touch vital places within the CPSU itself. Glasnost under Gorbachev eventually had pronounced effects in these ar­ eas, and they underscore its initiator’s enigmatic approach. By 1988, not only had he let glasnost expand dramatically, but also he had begun transferring the foundation o f authority from the publicly revered “Party o f Lenin” toward the state apparatus. At the same time, he never lost touch with at least a nominally Leninist outlook on politics and what the press was supposed to do.52 If his new media direction was a dramatic departure, Gorbachev still spoke o f glasnost* and not svoboda sbva (freedom o f speech).53 In many ways, glasnost echoed Gorbachev’s tenure at the CPSU’s helm—an era when reforms were marked by insecurity, lack o f focus, and frequent con­ tradictions. Yet glasnost had effects which, before being outrun by events, as­ sumed a political life o f their own.



Assessing “Openness”

Part o f the challenge in understanding glasnost as a modem phenomenon is determining what the term meant when Gorbachev used it. Within a short time after its promotion by Gorbachev, dissident Zhores Medvedev called the term “rather ambiguous. It conveys the idea o f publicity rather than of frankness. The publication o f selective reports about the weekly Politburo meeting is an example of glasnost, but the very fact that the reports are selective and brief show the limits o f the meaning and how far it is from open government.” 1 In this remark, he echoed the thoughts o f a dissident voice from the previous century, Nikolay Chemyshevskiy, who, in commenting on Tsar Aleksandr IPs reforms, charged, “Glasnost is a bureaucratic expression, a substitute for free­ dom o f speech.” 2 Many (but not all) English-speaking observers relied upon the common translation o f the word as “openness .” 3 Some developed wordier and some­ times more critical estimates. In a 1987 article in Foreign Affairs, former Ameri­ can diplomat William H. Luers translaxeAgîasnos? as “public airing.” 4 In early 1988, the New York Timers Bill Keller wrote that the concept meant “providing the public with information it needs to make the economy work better.” 5 A 1987 conference paper astutely argued that, “for Gorbachev, glasnost meant enlisting the nation’s huge mass media apparatus to outflank the entrenched party and government appamtcbiki who had profited from the existing system.” 6 The authors o f the latter paper also felt that glasnost was designed “to mobi­ lize the mass o f ordinary citizens who had never known individual responsi-

bility and who, quite sensibly, saw dangers in getting too enthusiastic about a reform that could be withdrawn as quickly as it was introduced.”7 The term actually has a fairly long history in Russian statecraft. Its political introduction came during the later years ofTsar Nikolay I (1825-55). It was used then to refer to a purely internal discussion about social and economic reform.8 This glasnost was not meant for the public press, as Nikolay Fs reign saw the birth of an official set of censorship guidelines known to history as the “Iron Code.” Glasnost surfaced again under the reign o f Aleksandr II, when “liberal officials tried to extend the practice o f glasnost and turn it into an open politi­ cal debate.”9 Lenin used the Russian word ßlasnos? in discussing a qualified kind o f pub­ lic criticism.10If he, in Chto delà??, branded as opportunism demands for “free­ dom o f criticism” within the budding revolutionary party, he also wrote frequendy of kritika i samokritika (criticism and self-criticism)—a concept fre­ quently invoked alongside glasnost in the Gorbachev years.11 Lenin’s writings contain numerous references to a need for open, critical discussion o f ideas within party ranks. As the Chto delaf? attacks indicate, he differentiated this from broader criticism o f what he deemed fundamental party tenets. H e did not cross this internal party mechanism with the strictly regulated role o f the state-con­ trolled press. If it was acceptable, in Lenin’s view, to publicly chastise the per­ formance of sectors o f the government or economy, the media controls he instituted were so tight that such criticism would have to be authorized at se­ nior party ranks rather than being undertaken on any individual journalist’s or editor’s initiative.12 Despite the Lenin citations, the concept o f glasnost seems to have carried, for most of the Soviet period, some implication o f dissidence. Dissident au­ thor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote in 1969 that “glasnost, honest and full glasnost—this is the first condition o f a healthy state in any society.”13Another dissenter, Andrei Sakharov, used the term nine times in his 1970 “memoran­ dum” to Leonid Brezhnev.14Interestingly, Brezhnev himself, in 1974, spoke o f the need for “the raising o f the political culture o f the workers and the widen­ ing of glasnost in the work o f party, soviet and economic organs.”15And Ar­ ticle 9 of the 1977 “Brezhnev Constitution” guaranteed “greater glasnost” as part o f the “basic direction o f the development o f the political system o f So­ viet society.”16

Gorbachev’s Interpretation The term’s resurfacing in the Andropov era was linked to a general campaign for administrative reform. In early 1983, the internal party journal Partiynaya, zhizn’ carried several articles aggressively criticizing a “paper avalanche” and a 12 ■


“paper carousel.”17The word glasnost? began to appear in articles and titles in the same journal, as part o f efforts to encourage frankness in party reports and discussion.18 The term played no immediate role following Andropov’s death and the ascension o f Konstantin Chernenko to the post o f general secretary. During the latter’s illness, Gorbachev, increasingly prominent, reintroduced it to the Soviet lexicon at a December, 1984, meeting o f ideological workers; it became a watchword as Gorbachev revived the Andropovian attack on the BrezhnevChemenko bureaucracy. Glasnost at this stage was linked strongly with standard—though partisan— kritika i samokritika; it is difficult to differentiate any mass-communication di­ mensions o f glasnost from the criticism accompanying the personnel changes that marked Gorbachev’s early tenure.19 Glasnost did progress, though with many bumps in the road. After the Twenty-seventh Party Congress in early 1986, Gorbachev began to discuss it in a broader cultural context and eventually with reference to the news media; perhaps not coincidentally, Gorbachev at the same time was accelerating his attack on reform-resistant party personnel. References to glasnost in relation to party decisions gradually elevated the term from a simple concept promoted for its own sake to actual CPSU policy.20A Central Committee resolution from late 1987 described it as “an instrument for shap­ ing political and labor activity and encouraging popular creativity.”21 A few months later, the CPSU organ Pravda emphasized glasnost as a component o f perestroika when it described the former as “a powerful weapon o f restruc­ turing.”22 While it was always clear that strings were attached to glasnost, its method­ ology was harder to divine. In his memoirs, Gorbachev frankly admits that it was a restricted freedom: “Glasnost broke out o f the limits that we had ini­ tially tried to frame and became a process that was beyond anybody’s control.” 23 Gorbachev did not offer a solid definition o f these boundaries in his major speeches o f 1984-87.24 N or did he provide one in his book Perestroyka i novoye myshleniye (Restructuring and New Thinking), although a discussion of the topic does occupy several pages in the Russian-language edition .25 Firmer guidelines as to what constituted glasnost did not begin to appear until the summer of 1988, after a major political reorganization was well under way. Many of these, such as the resolutions o f the Nineteenth Party Conference, closely linked glasnost with the promotion o f Gorbachev’s agenda.26 An entry in the 1989 edition of a Soviet political reference work acknowledged ideological qualifiers: “Glasnost—Maximum openness and truthfulness in the activity o f state and public organizations. Glasnost presupposes the absence o f zones closed to criti­ cism___But at the same time glasnost is not synonymous with universal perA SSESSING “ O P E N N E S S ”


missiveness, the undermining o f socialist values; it is invoked to strengthen socialism, the socialist code o f morals.” 27

The Role of Advisors If such definitions affirmed the conditions that Gorbachev set on glasnost, there is also speculation that glasnost should not be attributed to him at all. Some observers have argued that Gorbachev’s political vocabulary, and his reform policies, likely were innovations o f his advisors, such as former Georgian Re­ public party boss Eduard Shevardnadze and Agitprop head (and, after 1986, Central Committee Propaganda Secretary) Aleksandr Yakovlev. These men, well versed in Russian history and Marxism-Leninism, were “also well acquainted with the writings o f Soviet dissidents and with modem Western political cul­ ture.” The reform courses they advocated, therefore, stemmed from a synthe­ sis of this knowledge.28 Evidence regarding Shevardnadze’s early influence comes from Gorbachev himself.29 During a talk given in late November, 1990, to cultural workers, Gorbachev mused about how the reform course had come about. On vacation during Chernenko’s waning days, Gorbachev and Shevardnadze (then a can­ didate member o f the Politburo, o f which Gorbachev was a full member) shared their experiences in the Soviet bureaucracy and concluded that, while they were com m itted to socialism, the system wasn’t being properly applied. By Gorbachev’s account, “We began to search for an answer to the question: H ow can we live? The concept which we called perestroika appeared for the country and for the world, touching the internal problems. We proposed a simple for­ mula—more democracy, more glasnost, more humanity.” 30 O f all those in the Gorbachev clique, Yakovlev perhaps had the most “West­ ern” background, including a stay at Columbia University in New York City and a ten-year posting as ambassador to Canada . 31 Yet, like Gorbachev, he seemed to struggle to make a reform course fit Leninist ideology. In his 1992 book, Predisloviye, obval, poslesloviye (Preface, Collapse, Conclusion), Yakovlev presents an examination of, and a justification for, perestroika. By his account, Gorbachev’s glasnost had immediate implications for the mass me­ dia .32 He described it as an important “link in the evolution o f perestroika” and “the first natural step toward analysis o f the state o f [socialist] society that had been begun, and [the analysis] would be complete, valid and would be under society’s control.” Yakovlev viewed glasnost as the component missing from previous thaws. “Taken into consideration was the experience from the collapse of limited reforms o f the 1950s and 1960s,” he wrote, “when the prob­ lem of glasnost was not raised because it was in contradiction with the authori­ tarian character of [Soviet] power.” 33 14 ■


If glasnost, in Yakovlev’s words, “revolutionized and politicized society”34 he, like Gorbachev, was able to shift tack. Former Ogonëk editor Vitaliy Korotich, who worked closely with Yakovlev, described him as, for the most part, a pragmatic “liberal.”35 Recounting a meeting between Yakovlev and se­ nior editors, apparently in 1989, Korotich recalled that some o f those present complained about Eastern Europe falling out o f the Soviet sphere of influence. “I remember how Yakovlev said, ‘Well, yes, we are losing it, and in what way are you going to capture it back? Maybe you want to send tanks there. What kind o f solutions are you proposing now?’ H e said this loudly” But Korotich said, too, that he encountered another side o f Yakovlev fol­ lowing publication o f an article in late 1987 which cited opinion poll figures in Novosibirsk. The story said, in passing, that the figures showed “30 percent were for perestroika, 50 percent were neutral, and 20 percent—against.”36 The story was published in an issue which appeared shortly after the seven­ tieth anniversary o f the 1917 October Revolution. According to Korotich, “I thought it was quite good, because perestroika had just started two years be­ fore, and [the poll figure in support o f restructuring] even sounds like democ­ racy, because it’s not one hundred percent.” However, on the same seventieth anniversary, Gorbachev gave his report at an official meeting, and he said that all Soviet people—one hundred percent— supported perestroika. The next day [after the article’s publication], Yakovlev told me that Gorbachev called him early in the morning and told him that in Siberia there is a plot against him, a conspiracy. . . . They sent a strong [investigating] commission there, and Yakovlev called me and asked me to fire this guy [writer Dmitriy Biryukov] from our staff immediately, because he is an enemy who published such a terrible thing—that Siberia’s against perestroika! /Laughs] I never fired this guy—I hid him somewhere in our staff. But Yakovlev, liberal Yakovlev, pressed me. Maybe three or four times he called me . . . and asked if I fired this guy and if he’ll never be published [again]. It shows simply the level o f Gorbachev’s own consciousness about those things.37 This account contrasts with assertions in Gorbachev’s memoirs that he ex­ tended personal protection to many journalists who were delving into contro­ versial areas.38 And while Yakovlev wrote that glasnost “abolished forbidden themes, and gave opportunities to ask any questions and suggest all thinkable variants o f answers,” British journalist Angus Roxburgh received quite the opposite impression at a press conference on November 3,1987. According to him, Yakovlev, when asked about the so-called Yeltsin affair (discussed later in ASSESSING “ O P E N N E S S ”


this book), “clammed up and even lied: what happened at the [October 21, 1987] plenum, he said, was ‘nothing special, a normal internal Party affair,5Yeltsin had not complained about a ‘personality cult5or about the pace o f perestroika.55 When asked “whether it was not millions that died in Stalin’s purges, rather than the ‘thousands5referred to in Gorbachev’s [recent de-Stalinization] speech, Yakovlev said that the figures bandied around in the West were ‘on the con­ science of those who think them up.5Was it not time to publish Khrushchev’s secret 1956 report about Stalin’s crimes, someone asked. Yakovlev replied cyni­ cally: ‘What difference does it make to you? It has been published in the West!5 Finally, asked why TASS had banned publication inside the country o f [Anatoliy] Lukyanov’s statement about Yeltsin, Yakovlev replied, ‘You shouldn’t be read­ ing TASS’s internal memos’ Western reporters were horrified. Many left the hall shaking their heads: ‘If this is “Mr. Glasnost,” God help them!’”39

Gorbachev and the Media Another factor to consider is that Gorbachev recognized the potential power he might gain as a “media presence.” Just as Lenin felt that the print media’s influence was so powerful that it had to be controlled and denied to perceived enemies, Gorbachev understood that the visual media helped him while dev­ astating his often aged opponents.40Leonid Kravchenko, a Gostelradio official at the time o f Gorbachev’s rise, recalled that Gorbachev paid special attention to his television style, practicing his delivery in extended sessions and paying attention to his appearance on a monitor.41 In the Gorbachev years, video cam­ eras followed the general secretary; his appearances at Soviet factories or re­ gional meetings became television events. This coverage helped promote an approachable and accessible image, something unheard o f under his predeces­ sors. The print media sometimes underscored the message.42 Gorbachev clearly understood partisan media use before becoming general secretary. In the summer o f 1984, as “second secretary”—the post immediately under General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko in the CPSU hierarchy—he silendy extended support to Ivan Laptev, then Izpestiya editor, when that news­ paper wanted to publish a story embarrassing to Viktor Grishin, one o f Gorbachev’s major political rivals at the time.43According to Laptev, Izvestiya obtained, in the summer o f 1984, information about corruption at a major Moscow food store. This involved theft and black-market sales to officials o f Moscow’s gorkom, which Grishin headed. To print it, Laptev turned to Gorbachev for intervention with Glavlit and/or Agitprop.44 Laptev later told an interviewer: “Once after a meeting in Gorbachev’s office, I stayed behind and spoke to him quite frankly. I said, ‘We’ve got to publish this, to show that

16 ■


justice is being done.5He looked at me and said, ‘Is the article accurate?51 said, Tes, it is,5and vouched for the authors. H e said, ‘Go ahead and publish it, but it’s your own responsibility.55545 The article ran the next day, embarrassing Grishin and provoking angry accusations and phone calls to Izvestiya. But Laptev stood by the story, accepted responsibility for running it, and remained unharmed, thanks to Gorbachev. Gorbachev often seemed to court mass media figures because they were con­ sidered to be among the intelligentsiya—a group o f which he appeared enam­ ored .46 In speeches and remarks to journalists in 1987 and 1988, Gorbachev seemed openly to solicit their support. Having already experienced a warm reception by foreign news media, Gorbachev curried similar favor with the domestic press. But he remained extremely sensitive to restrained support, even slighdy negative indicators, and publicity given his rivals.47 By early 1989, the Soviet press had outpaced glasnost to the point that Gorbachev seemed to turn from the intellectuals and chart new directions for his policies. In 1993, Yegor Yakovlev, Moskovskiye novostfs progressive editor during the perestroika era, observed that Gorbachev indeed had shown remark­ able tolerance, but Soviet journalists came “to understand that freedom pre­ sented from above, in that same political system and accepted from those same hands, cannot be freedom.55By 1991, he observed, glasnost “was increasingly reminiscent o f a fetus from the womb o f aborted liberties.5548

Media Impact and Collateral Effects Yegor Yakovlev’s comments underscore the controlled nature of Gorbachev’s glasnost, and there is evidence o f direct censorship and intimidation through­ out the era. Gradually, however, periodicals such as Moscow’s illustrated bi­ monthly Ojjonëk, the multilingual weekly Moskovskiye novosti, Litem atum aya gazeta, and even the government organ Izvestiya became identified with seri­ ous criticism and change. Magazines like Znamya mdNovyy m ir published longbanned works. Eventually (after initial official rebuffs), Novyy m ir even serialized works by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The process accelerated to a point when, somewhat after the time frame analyzed herein, the Soviet media began openly to attack the CPSU as a whole, the military, and even Gorbachev himself. Some media oudets began courting dissidents, and vice versa. Dozens o f newly formed organizations promoted everything from environmental issues to nationalism and received coverage. Live television coverage in 1989 o f vigorous debates on the floor of the country’s first popularly elected representative body, the Congress o f People’s Deputies, came as a shock to viewers accustomed to the filtered official news of Vremya,



which itself livened up during the next year. Meanwhile, the weekly show Vzgflyad drew viewers to a mixture o f produced stories and live interviews with controversial guests. A critical internal assessment o f the Soviet media’s past methods accompa­ nied the official support for media change. Letters questioning the poor cover­ age o f negative domestic news began appearing within a few m onths o f Gorbachev’s election as general secretary. Within a few years, the passive, me­ chanical functioning o f the pre-glasnost press was acknowledged openly. Glasnost also saw an explosion of hitherto “unofficial” materials appearing in once-authoritative periodicals. By early 1988, some media sources no longer spoke as the voice o f their representative institutions .49 Many Soviet editors ultimately broke free o f official direction and began openly espousing political lines. 50 Some periodicals, including KomsomoVskaya pm vda, Ogomk, Liternaturnayagazœta, Sovetskaya kul’tum , and eventually Izvestiya, formed a more or less “liberal” bloc. Others began to reflect more “conservative” opinions. The army daily Krasnaya zvezda gave voice to an increasingly politicized mili­ tary. Sovetskaya rossiya, Molodayagvardiya, and Nash sovremennik were consid­ ered aligned with Yegor Ligachev, the chief figure opposing Gorbachev until late 1988.51 Sovetskaya rossiya was reprimanded for printing the infamous, antiperestroika Nina Andreyeva letter in early 1988; later, however, the publica­ tion shook off its punishment and continued a course independent o f Gorba­ chev, serving as the organ o f the Russian Federation’s hard-line Communist party; it later served the “brown-red” nationalist-Communist “united opposi­ tion .” 52 As Pravda’s credibility as a Gorbachev organ slipped, Gorbachev cashiered its editor in October 1989.53 Glasnost had pushed factionalism into the open, destroying the monolithic image cultivated by the CPSU since the early 1920s.54This development paved the way for broader expression o f political opinions and hastened the break­ down in party authority.

Backtracking Though outside the time frame of this work, glasnost ultimately encountered a period o f official reversal. By 1989, the USSR was in deep trouble economi­ cally, socially, and politically, the latter exemplified by chaos in NagornoKarabakh and secession efforts in the Baltic states. Hard-liners viewed glasnost as responsible for this situation, and there was serious talk o f applying the old constraints in a more consistent fashion.55 By the summer o f 1990, despite passage o f a much-heralded “Law on the Press,” it became apparent that the new freedoms were not necessarily permanent. “Conservative” politicians, with their own media supporters, continued to advocate a return to the old ways— 18

G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

which included keeping the more “liberal” oudets in their place. And all So­ viet media felt increasing pressure to once again conform to Moscow’s will. Impetus for the shift came, in part, from Gorbachev himself. Stung by press criticism, increasingly challenged and threatened by political opponents, and reportedly under the sway o f “hard-line” cronies such as KGB head Vladimir Kryuchkov, Gorbachev repeatedly compromised his reform course. At times, Gorbachev gave the impression o f trying to appease “conservative” members o f the apparat while still hoping to maintain the support o f democratic forces. The “Law on the Press” itself was far from a guarantor o f media liberty. It ostensibly forbade censorship, yet Glavlit, the central agency for media con­ trol, simply was renamed by a resolution o f the USSR Council o f Ministers. The new organization maintained many o f Glavlifs original functions and even re­ tained its last chief as its head.56The news agency TASS continued to send official editorial instructions throughout 1990, which some papers ignored but others followed.57 The newspaper Zatya vostoka, for example, reprinted one of these directives specifying procedures for covering the Moscow military parade on November 7,1990, adding that the instructions were “supposedly mandatory”58 There were other signs o f a return to state intervention in media affairs. Coverage o f events in the Baltic republics in early 1991 elicited strong reaction; reports from Lithuania, in particular, were said to have outraged the leader­ ship. The Defense Ministry attacked Komsomol’skayapravda, by now one of the country’s most progressive papers, for reporting that demonstrators had been crushed under tanks.59 Izvestiya’s Baltic coverage sparked an attempt to force the dismissal o f its managing editor. At the same time, some newspapers ran up against registration difficulties (imposed by the new press law) and a mys­ terious official shortage o f newsprint.60 Television coverage was more seriously affected, because broadcasting had remained mostly centralized and thus was easier to control. Gorbachev’s ap­ pointment o f Kravchenko as head o f Gostelradio, in late 1990, heralded a sub­ sequent change in the tone and content o f the broadcast media. Vremya swung back hard to the party line, and more independent-minded producers and news­ casters found themselves under attack.61 In December, 1990, Vzglyad was can­ celed when it devoted an episode to the resignation o f Foreign Minister Shevardnadze, whose exit speech hinted that Gorbachev’s policies were lead­ ing to dictatorship .62 In mid-March, 1991, the three anchors of a central televi­ sion news program were dismissed for contradicting the official version of the Baltic crackdown, relayed on Vremya; Komsomol’skayapravda reported that the revived censorship office forced the same show’s producers to cut 80 percent of the script for an episode dealing with Boris Yeltsin, now Gorbachev’s major political rival.63 A SSESSING “ O P E N N E S S ”


Ultimately, a return to pre-glasnost days seems to have been contemplated within some levels o f the CPSU. Besides calling for more order, “conservative” Soviet newspapers such as Glasnost3 (not to be confused with the publication set up by dissident Sergey Grigoryants) and Pmvitel3stvennyy vestnik, as well as Soviet central television, began coordinated attacks upon Western radio broad­ casts to the USSR.64 Gorbachev himself by now seemingly had dropped even the mask o f reform—he termed the Lithuanian raid, in which fifteen people died, a “protective action.”65 At one parliamentary appearance following the Baltic raids, Gorbachev argued that the new law on the press should be sus­ pended and that what remained o f glasnost should be dropped in favor o f what he termed “greater objectivity”66Glasnost, even as legally codified and qualified, had gone beyond the limits envisioned for it.



The First Phase O/Kritika an d Distsiplina

The first twelve months o f Gorbachev’s glasnost—from his réintroduction of the term in late 1984 through his March election as general secretary and to the end o f 1985—saw the word used largely in the context o f kritika i samokritika. During this period, the mass-media aspect o f glasnost reached the limits apparendy envisioned for it by Andropov. There was more candor about short­ comings and problem s and, im portantly, more details about who was responsible for them. The latter point was key, because Gorbachev’s course of change was essen­ tially a long struggle against bureaucratic excesses within the Communist Party apparat.1Since the party directed all operations of government at all levels, its own internal administration was a formidable obstacle to any large-scale re­ forms. The apparat also was the great battleground for the factions within the CPSU leadership. If Andropov and his allies had wanted to shake things up, their Brezhnevite rivals wanted the bureaucracy to be stable. These latter, more “conservative” members o f the Politburo felt so threat­ ened by Andropov’s housecleaning efforts that, when Andropov died in 1984, leaving Gorbachev as heir apparent, they succeeded in installing an ill, aging Brezhnev lieutenant, Konstantin Chernenko, as general secretary. 2 Gorbachev, however, retained enough power to be clearly in the front ranks o f those seek­ ing Chernenko’s job at the end o f 1984. He displayed his prominence particu­ larly during a series o f appearances after the ailing general secretary took to his sickbed for the last time.

Gorbachev invoked the term “glasnost” during this period at a party ideo­ logical conference, held in Moscow in early December. Glasnost here was set in the context o f a discussion o f socialist democracy, a common Soviet theme open to various interpretations. “Glasnost” he said, “is an inseparable aspect o f socialist democracy and o f norms o f all social life,” and more o f it was needed. “Widespread, timely, open information is evidence o f trust in people, respect for their reason and feel­ ings, and their ability to sort out these or those events for themselves.” There were other practical considerations. Glasnost “raises the activity o f the masses,” he said, adding that “glasnost in the work o f party and state organs is a real means o f struggle with bureaucratic distortions.” Such candor “obliges the bu­ reaucracy to approach the adoption o f decisions, the organization o f control for their fulfillment, and the correction o f shortcomings and omissions more thoughtfully” Furthermore, “the persuasiveness o f propaganda, the effective­ ness o f education, and the guaranteeing o f the unity o f word and deed depends to a great degree on this,” he said.3 The speech was largely overlooked in the West, but in fart constituted a major policy statement. More proof o f the seriousness o f glasnost came in a January commentary in Izvestiya, the government daily, whose editor, Laptev, already had a relationship with Gorbachev dating at least from the Grishin episode.4The piece, by Anatoliy Druzenko, ïhcnlzvestiycûs staff editor for law and ethics, introduced a new letters colum n, to be called “Speaking o f Glasnost.” Explaining the need for the new column, Druzenko started by noting the “surprisingly wide” range o f themes discussed in letters to the editor—all o f which should be aired publicly. H e observed: “Once, they didn’t broadcast details about natural disasters, thinking that it might darken the people’s mood. But was that true? The years have passed, natural disasters still do their worst. Newspapers, the television screen, and radio waves vividly report about storms, hurricanes, and floods—and no problem!”5 As Druzenko put it, after a disaster people got on with their lives, and if they were surprised by something, it was about the event’s magnitude or the lack o f preparation for it, “but not the fart that it was reported.” The lesson imparted by such candor, Druzenko wrote, was that “everything changes for the best. And with that, in my view, comes a formula which may be expressed like this: As we get more glasnost, we sense the sharper need for even more glasnost. Why is it needed so m uch?. . . The knowledgeable person is strong. The ignorant person is weak. Information is order. Disinformation is disor­ der. The oriented person goes straight, by the shortest route. The person with­ out orientation strays off the mark. 22

G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

Druzenko acknowledged that some information, such as state secrets, should not come before the public. But he observed that the Soviet press often an­ nounced criminal investigations or the removal of officials in terse statements which caused mystery rather than enlightenment. This hinted at glasnosds use as an antibureaucratic whip, although the ar­ ticle did not mention Gorbachev or his December speech. It did, however, offer a long quotation from a piece which ran in the authoritative CPSU ideological journal Kommunist—over Chernenko’s signature—on kritika i samokritika. “The freedom of discussion and criticism—one o f the required norms o f the party’s life—offers comparing and contrasting opinions on certain questions. That view is exacdy what is needed to assist and be conductive to the lively, productive discussions o f current problems. Even in ancient times it was said that if there were no different opinions, there was no way to choose the best course.” The Chernenko excerpt ended with the admonition that, while “we are for comradely discussions and arguments . . . it is understood that we are for ar­ guments which are smart, businesslike, and which are crowned with practical suggestions.” The new letters section was to operate in that vein, Druzenko wrote, as an effort “to lead a discussion o f problems affecting people in every­ day life.”

The Media and the Apparat Gorbachev’s tone prior to and for months after his March n election as gen­ eral secretary centered on an Andropovian battle against corruption.6 In his first speech to the Central Committee in his new role, Gorbachev again en­ couraged the release o f m ore administrative inform ation to the public. Gorbachev also emphasized a “decisive breakthrough” in production and the promise o f “resolute measures” against bureaucracy.7 The housecleaning started soon. Turnovers in administrative personnel began with the retirement o f the party’s first secretary in Kirov oblast on March 22, one day after Gorbachev’s first Politburo meeting as general secretary. The first announced retirement o f a government minister came two days later.8 Significantly, Izvestiya during this period published a follow-up piece by Druzenko about the new openness campaign. Druzenko wrote that many letters to Izvestiya’s editorial offices following his initial January article were pessimistic, but all declared that a critical period of discussion had begun. Importandy, he affirmed that glasnost was an idea in flux. He wrote at one point, “I think some pessimists make the mistake (or maybe are under the delusion) o f not viewing the concept o f glasnost as some­ thing in development; rather they see it as something finite, that can’t be changed.” But that, he asserted, was not the case. “At the platform o f the spef i r s t phase


cial March Central Committee plenum it was stated: W e are obligated to ex­ pand glasnost further. . . 5Notice, first, that the thesis was formulated not like a wish or even a goal, but as a responsibility o f the party, the Soviet state and social organizations. Moreover, it mentioned widening glasnost, which shows the process growing and developing.”9 The theme was still largely one o f reforming bureaucracy.10The first discus­ sion o f the role the media were expected to play under Gorbachev mentioned exposing corruption. This discussion appeared in Pmvda on April 6, in a front­ page editorial which called on journalists to help in “establishing a realistic, sober and creative approach, intensifying the economy, raising work produc­ tivity and the effectiveness o f socialist competition—these and other impor­ tant themes are reflected in the press ” The editorial went further, citing the past distortion o f statistics and reports.11 Guided by principles, party committees must evaluate the efforts o f some managers to hold back pieces o f information about the work o f their groups; they say it is not a matter for the press. Especially trying to thoroughly avoid publicity are those whose work is not going well, where a display o f mismanagement is being tolerated. We have to remember that efforts, un­ der various pretexts, to prevent a correspondent from doing his duty are nothing less than a strangling o f criticism, and cannot be allowed.12 The second page o f the same issue reported on a plenum o f the Belorussian Central Committee, noting that “the main theme flowing throughout every discussion was that the level o f organization and political work o f many cadres o f this republic doesn’t always correspond with what is needed.. . . A special emphasis was placed on the need for competence in those who lead cadres, and their ability to solve all o f the growing problems in the condition o f the scientific-technological revolution.” The piece, by two Pmvda correspondents, said that the plenum had em­ phasized the need for careful selection o f party officials within the local appara­ tus. Moreover, there were worries about corruption. Officials, previously cashiered for “using their position to further their own ends,” again had at­ tained leadership roles. The article asked rhetorically: “What are the principles o f the party committee if some o f them again attained guiding positions?”13 Another article on the same page discussed a plenum in Dnepropetrovsk, where serious shortcomings were discussed. “In the work o f cadres, there are still many weaknesses,” the article noted, and these problems were reflected in poor eco­ nomic figures.14



Ligachev Perhaps not coincidentally, at the same time the Dnepropetrovsk party plenum was taking a critical look at its own work, Central Committee Secretary Yegor Ligachev was visiting that particular Ukrainian oblast.15 Already in charge of personnel, ideology, and administrative affairs, he would rise higher still. In April, at the CPSU Central Committee plenum (Gorbachev’s first as general secretary), as part of a partial changing o f the executive guard, Gorbachev would make Ligachev one of three new full Politburo members.16The other two were KGB Chief Viktor Chebrikov and Nikolay Ryzhkov. The latter was then head o f the Central Committee’s Industrial Department, and Andropov previously had teamed him with Gorbachev and others in an apparent effort to coordi­ nate in military and civilian industrial efforts.17 Ligachev and Chebrikov were older, though also identified with Andropov’s tenure, and were seen as politi­ cal allies.18 Their ties ultimately presented a problem, as Ligachev came to loom as a potential threat to Gorbachev. He was, in fact, generally considered the latter’s “second” in 1985-88. In the transition in 1985, Ligachev had retained his Cen­ tral Committee secretary portfolio for cadres—controlling party personnel is­ sues—and also assumed Gorbachev’s previous mantle of Central Committee secretary for ideology.19 Kremlin watchers had recognized that the Secretariat and the Politburo worked along parallel and overlapping lines, and they had theorized that membership on both these bodies signified a particularly strong political position. Moreover, they felt that a Politburo member who was also the secretary holding the ideology portfolio was indeed the “second secretary.”20 Whether this logic played a role or not, Gorbachev confirms in his memoirs that he deliberately put Ligachev in the “number two” position.21 Such a reward shows how crucial Ligachev’s support was for Gorbachev during the succession batde. Like Gorbachev, he had risen under Andropov; the latter had given Ligachev his Secretariat position. Indeed, in the early stages o f Gorbachev’s tenure, when perestroika seemed to be on a more easily con­ trolled course, Ligachev was a strong reform promoter. His article in Kommunist in August, 1985, urged improved cadre work and more bureaucratic candor. He underscored his admonitions with examples o f anticorruption work. He observed at one point that, “in a situation o f laxity and unscrupulousness, toady­ ing, servility and conceit can sometimes blossom like wild thisdes, consigning party principles to oblivion when it comes to issues o f cadres and state inter­ ests.” Citing a recent incident in which an obkom first secretary was fired for abusing power, Ligachev said such a disciplinary example “proves again how important, urgent, and Bolshevik-like it is to correct a stumbling leader to pre-



vent his further moral collapse. At every meeting and conference, we have to create a certain atmosphere, in light o f the April plenum, in which every party member can fully utilize their statutory rights to give proposals and express reproach, and allow no criticism to be stifled.”22 But Ligachev held definite feelings about the scope o f the reform process, and especially about the role o f the mass media in a Leninist society. At a meet­ ing with broadcasters in November, 1985, for example, he emphasized the pro­ paganda function o f the press.23 H e maintains throughout his memoirs that media freedoms were needed but were abused by radicals who were intent upon destroying the USSR. His open opposition to the course o f glasnost can be traced at least to the Twenty-seventh Party Congress in early 1986, when Gorbachev was widening the scope o f public criticism. This apparently stemmed from several interrelated factors. First was his obvious concern for the party’s prestige, coupled with a solidly Andropovian oudook on reform. Another was his apparent realization that glasnost was making him, as secretary in charge o f ideology, along with the cadre that made up his base of support within the apparat, politically vulnerable. A related ele­ ment was that Ligachev and Aleksandr Yakovlev occupied overlapping areas of authority. Yakovlev, first as Agitprop head and then as Central Committee secretary for propaganda, theoretically fell under Ligachev’s direction, but he seems to have answered to Gorbachev. This situation was predestined to cause a turf war.24

Korotich and O gon ëk In his 1993 memoirs, Ligachev noted that Yakovlev promoted most o f the “radi­ cal editors.” But Ligachev conceded that “the blame” rested on his own shoul­ ders for making Vitaliy Korotich head o f the fortnighdy magazine Ogonëk.2* The tale of how Ligachev elevated Korotich illustrates the role political lead­ ers had in making media personnel decisions. It is difficult to give an exact chronology o f the events based on interviews with Korotich.26 But it appears that, early in 1986, Korotich, then head o f the Ukrainian Writers Union, heard rumors that he was going to Moscow to head a central publication.27 By Korotich’s account, at a meeting with Ukrainian writers in the spring o f 1986, Ukrainian Communist Party First Secretary Vladimir Shcherbitskiy “looked at me and said, ‘Vitaliy, I know that you are preparing to go to Moscow. Gorbachev said to me, “Give me Korotich.”’ I [Korotich] said to him [Shcherbitsky] honesdy, T know nothing o f this.’ Nobody believed me.” Korotich, in fact, wanted to stay in Kiev because o f his comfortable apart­ ment—no small matter, given Soviet housing problems. H e had succeeded in avoiding an earlier Moscow assignment as editor o f a magazine devoted to 26


foreign literature. This time, however, Ligachev and Yakovlev had pegged Korotich to take over Ojjonek, whose editor, Anatoliy Sofronov, Gorbachev had targeted for replacement.28 Korotich was invited to meet Yakovlev, who, Korotich recalled, “strongly pressed me to take over Ogonëk. H e said it was the most right-wing Soviet magazine,” that it needed a newer, more liberal direction, and that Korotich had been highly recommended for the job.29 Korotich remained reluctant. Yakovlev spoke to him again following the All-Union Writers Congress in mid1986. Again Korotich hesitated. “I was like a nice girl,” he said, “who says, ‘N ot now, not here, maybe next time .5 1 didn’t refuse, I didn’t agree. I played this kind o f game.” Finally, he was summoned to Politburo member and ideology chief Ligachev. “The discussion with Ligachev was very short,” said Korotich. “H e asked me what I wanted. I said: ‘Nothing. I am living in a good apartment, I am doing what I like.’ H e said: ‘We’U. give you the same size apartment in Moscow.’ I said: ‘But my mother . . . ’ And he said: ‘We will give an apartment to your mother, too.’” Korotich finally told Ligachev o f his medical problems, including hyper­ tension. But Ligachev responded, “You had one attack o f hypertension two years ago.” According to Korotich, that clinched it. “They had even looked through my medical records,” Korotich said o f the episode. “It was impossible to fight, because they prepared from all sides.” The end o f the story, as Korotich related it, shows Ligachev in his “standin” role vis-à-vis Gorbachev. H e bustled Korotich down the hall to a Politburo meeting about to begin. Korotich recalled: “[Ligachev] took me down the hall, we came to a door, and I saw all the Politburo. He invited me in, five minutes before the Politburo meeting was due to start. Gorbachev was out, but the others were in place. N ot even proposing that I should sit down, he said: ‘Com­ rades, here is Korotich, you know him. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev has proposed to make him editor-in-chief o f Oßonek. Anybody against? Nobody. Oh, fine. [Turning to Korotich] You are free to go.’”30

Criticism from Below Korotich’s promotion was about a year away at the time o f the April, 1985, ple­ num, where Gorbachev clearly was strengthening his position. If glasnost was not yet a discernible mass-communications policy, there was a noticeably new, more practical cast to Gorbachev’s dealings with the media. Reportedly he had “told newspaper editors to stop the personal adulation.”31 The new style of leadership, coupled with Gorbachev’s relative youth and vigor, played espe­ cially well on television. One correspondent noted that “the nationwide evening f ir s t



news program on May 17 showed something Russians had not seen since Nikita S. Khrushchev: there was their leader, mingling and bantering with a jostling crowd in a Leningrad street.” The correspondent continued: аГ т listening to you,” Mr. Gorbachev told the people. “What do you want to say?” Someone shouted back, “Continue as you began!” A little later a woman’s voice broke in: “Just get close to the people and we’ll not let you down.” Mr. Gorbachev, hemmed in tightly, came back with a smile, “Can I be any closer?” The crowd loved it.32 Four days later, a video o f that night’s speech to Leningrad party members, apparently carefully edited, was broadcast. It included threats aimed at those who adhered to the old ways: “Those who do not intend to adjust and who are an obstacle to solving these new tasks must simply get out o f the way,” Gorbachev said. “Get out o f the way. Don’t be a hindrance.”33 Such sentiments were picked up by the central media, presumably via Agit­ prop. In May, Pmvda, on its front page, urged adoption o f a “Leninist work style” throughout the country, the key to which was effective criticism and re­ moval o f lax officials. The newspaper charged that poor leaders were being tolerated in some party committees and singled out specific offenders in Ukraine. “We have to prioritize the reality o f criticism,” the Pravda editorial noted at one point, adding that the newly disciplined officials had been ousted “for serious negligence,” though only after having been reprimanded first and given a chance to change their ways. “They didn’t draw the correct conclusion from that criticism, and it became understood that something serious had to be done.”34 Sovetskaya rossiya echoed this call, now promoting a new value—“criticism from below.” It cautioned against weak and “misdirected criticism, usually di­ rected upward and couched in general, stereotyped forms, [which] will hardly be of any use, nor will criticism used just for the sake o f appearances and form.” Instead, “criticism from below,. . . its sharpness, and its character are an accu­ rate indicator o f a party organization’s political health.”35 Emphasis came in mid-June, in coverage o f Gorbachev’s meeting with se­ nior mass-media officials at the Kremlin. “Stress was made on the important role to be played by the press,” TASS observed, “in the psychological reshaping of public mentality in the spirit o f the new demands made by life and the party’s policy.. . . It is essential to give broader coverage to the advanced experience



o f reorganizing the national economy. The criticism o f shortcomings should be open, specific and constructive.”36 The sense o f critical mission even worked its way into KGB boss Chebrikov’s June jKommunist piece calling for a “Leninist work style” among the secret police. Their special task, Chebrikov emphasized, involved opposing external, imperialist forces seeking to create manifestations o f internal discord.37 This antidissent tone was, ironically like glasnost, an Andropov-era characteristic, and would be echoed later in the year in pieces linked more clearly to media issues.

Framing the Limits References to “criticism” and the media continued through the summer. An interesting example came in August, in a front-page editorial in Sovetskaya rossiya. This kept glasnost, like the “criticism from below” slogan the paper had intro­ duced a few months earlier, in a disciplinary context. The editorial called for stronger, more pointed criticism on the part o f local party committee news organs, while simultaneously chiding party committees which did not coop­ erate satisfactorily with the administrative discipline and reform process. Dis­ cussing the “nationwide stock-taking operation. . . now under way in our vast economy as a whole,” the piece acknowledged that “special attention must now be paid to kritika i samokritika.” Press organs at levels lower than the large na­ tional dailies—Pravda, Izvestiya, Sovetskaya rossiya, etc.—were expected to be­ come part o f the perestroika process: “One reason why this [special attention] has to be mentioned is that sometimes the atmosphere o f exactingness gives way to a mood o f laissez-faire. Regrettably, even the press organs of certain party committees are sometimes affected by this disposition.” The piece included evidence o f how corruption in some party committees had been reported. Names, dates, places, and incidents were described, sup­ porting the editorial’s contention that “only businesslike, pointed, and specific criticism deserves attention.” The author decried the fact that “vague discus­ sions about shortcomings in general are sometimes presented as criticism.” Sovetskaya rossiya made it clear that more kritika was on the way.38 “Criti­ cism,” it stated, “reflects our intolerance o f everything that has outlived its use­ fulness; it is by no means simply a desire to denigrate.” Those who stood in the way o f perestroika faced disgrace as well as removal: “The party approach to criticism is incompatible not only with articles which do not name names. It also presupposes ensuring the broadest publicity.”39 This message—with serious qualifications added—was reinforced a week later in a front page editorial in Pravda. It commented on the new atmosphere

f ir s t phase


in which writers about current affairs were working, noting that they did their job best when they showed “greater initiative and energy” But if giasnost had widened the horizons for writers o f domestic news, it also posed risks. The article echoed portions o f Chebrikov’s antidissent piece in Kommunist in June: The tasks and responsibilities o f international journalists today are diffi­ cult ones. Under conditions o f the sharp confrontation o f two sociopolitical systems, and the psychological war being waged against the socialist union by imperialist reaction, we demand that our journalists present knowledge and facts intelligibly and convincingly in order to bring the truth to people about the great accomplishments o f socialism, the advantage o f the new social system, and about the peace-loving foreign policy o f the CPSU and the Soviet Union. We have to give a very resolute rebuff to the insinuations o f lying bourgeois propaganda, and the sabotage attempted by our ideo­ logical adversaries.40 Ostensibly aimed at foreign coverage, the message seemed to apply to all So­ viet journalists as well: keep criticism o f the Soviet system within acceptable limits. This warning was underscored in a Ligachev article in October’s Kommunist, which frequently invoked the word distsiplina. Part o f the article put the new media direction following the April plenum in the context o f Western threats. While samokritika should be seen as a sign o f confidence in the Soviet system, Ligachev acknowledged that the West was using it for its own ends: [The new party program has] opened a discussion o f social, political, ideological, and moral values; today, in objectively looking at what we reached, we can openly discuss our problems. In the West, they don’t miss the chance to interpret our Communist self-criticism as convincing testi­ mony o f our failure to fulfill long-range plans, and they use it to negate our historic accomplishment.. . . The sharpness and boldness with which we criticize what gets in the way o f our moving ahead, is a show o f our strong, resolute confidence in the realization o f planned party goals.41 Open discussion in a nationwide forum was a manifestation o f “socialist democracy,” Ligachev maintained. “Popular self-government,” he wrote, “is led under socialism through the state, through the soviets, and is connected with forms of democracy such as elections, nationwide discussions, the widening o f giasnost, and the inclusion o f the working class in creating and approving state decisions.”42There was an ideological responsibility, and urgency, as well: 30


“The pre-congress discussion o f documents allows us to demonstrate the un­ arguable advantages o f socialism against a background o f the incurable defects of capitalism. A large role in that will rest on the organs o f mass information and propaganda.5543 Ligachev praised Pmvda, Izvestiya, and Sovetskaya rossiya for publishing bits of “interesting enlightenment,55but observed that there were many “overlooked possibilities55on the propaganda front. “The goal is that all newspapers, televi­ sion, and radio will provide depth and analysis which will present the advan­ tages of socialist life to Soviet and international audiences, and along with that will show those ulcers o f capitalism, the coarse violations o f people’s rights in bourgeois society.55Events that focused popular attention on social problems, he wrote, “have to be shown only from a class position, from a position of Marxism-Leninism.44 These articles suggest the parameters o f glasnost as o f 1985. Soviet media were to accelerate restructuring by helping to disseminate disciplinary criti­ cism through the lower administrative strata, while avoiding attacks on the Soviet system and presenting all communications in a proper ideological light.

f ir s t phase


Charging the Barricades The Twenty-seventh P arty Congress an d Chernobyl

The Twenty-seventh CPSU Congress in early 1986 gave Gorbachev the oppor­ tunity to make a serious case for updating economic management. Detailed criticism of economic failures and discussions o f telling statistics appeared as the congress approached, all supporting Gorbachev’s assaults on recalcitrant bureaucrats. But glasnost now was taking the media in directions distinct from simple kritika, and Gorbachev’s talk at the congress underscored this trend.1

New Zones for Kritika The forum for some o f this pre-congress discussion was Sovetskaya rossiya, a newspaper founded in 1956 and published six times per week.2 This publica­ tion played an interesting and, especially after early 1988, controversial role in the history of glasnost.3Its editor in the period immediately before the Twentyseventh Congress was Mikhail Nenashev. He, like Izvestiytfs Laptev, steered a pro-Gorbachev editorial course. Articles in Sovetskaya rossiya in the summer o f 1985, for instance, published details which further discredited Moscowgorkom head Viktor Grishin.4 (Grishin eventually was replaced with Boris Yeltsin, brought to Moscow from Sverdlovsk late in 1985.5) Apparendy in return, on the eve of the Twenty-seventh Party Congress, Gorbachev named Nenashev to head the USSR State Committee for Publishing.6 Partisan campaigns aside, Sovetskaya rossiya under Nenashev offered support for a more informative stance by the media. A piece in November, 1985, for example, cited the experiences o f a well-read Kaluga resident who consistently

followed central and local press organs and broadcast reports. Still, as he told a Sovetskaya rossiya writer, even with all this attention, he received almost no real information about local issues or events.7A letter to Sovetskaya rossiya ap­ pearing on January 4,1986, treated the subject o f information dissemination even more bluntly. It contrasted the extensive Soviet print and television cov­ erage o f the 1985 Mexican earthquake with the brief, print-only statement given about a subsequent earthquake in Tadzhikistan.8 Sovetskaya rossiya could also bang the antibureaucracy drum. An editorial in mid-December, 1985, clearly was aimed at the apparat. Naming state officials found guilty o f corruption and poor work, it scored “cheerful reports of work badly done, distortion o f the actual state o f affairs, [and] attempts to dull the vigilance of higher organs and monitoring organizations.” Pointedly, it observed that “sometimes, unfortunately, even party organizations are guilty o f insin­ cerity” and detailed problems with the Moscow rayon committees.9 Another Sovetskaya rossiya article in early February, 1986, argued that more details about the removal o f officials would help to dispel rumors that otherwise would dam­ age the Party’s image.10And, in an article published a few days later, a writer who had “behind me many years o f work as a raykom andgorkom secretary and CPSU obkom section chieP linked candor directly to personnel issues: without “a Leninist frankness” he noted at one point, the “Leninist principles for the selection, placement, and education o f cadres are distorted.”11The writer praised coverage about those officials ousted for wrongdoing; although he foresaw “heated objections,” he urged broader reporting o f the problems in their ad­ ministrative districts.12 Izvestiya continued the theme. An article published just before the Twentyseventh Party Congress emphasized glasnost as the means by which perestroika was to be accomplished—and added a subtle hint at its kritika functions. The article featured a dialogue between the writer and “a long-time acquaintance on the street next to a newspaper stand.” It began by citing some of the recendy published statistics that had helped bring about Grishin’s downfall. — Have you read this? The citywide numbers—the volume o f building and assembly work for the five-year plan wasn’t fulfilled. And 36 percent of the work was done by manual labor—that got published, too. What do you think o f that? — What do you mean, what do I think o f that? — Why drag such things into the newspaper? — But these are facts. Truth. — That is true. But not all truth is beneficial to us. — Who do you mean by “us”? C H A R G IN G B A R R IC A D ES


— O h well. All o f us. Thirty-six percent o f the work was done manually— why write that? What is there to be proud où — But even in that bitter statement there is something to be proud of. — That’s interesting. And what is that? — These numbers show that people are being spoken to trustingly, which means they are being taken seriously. As a wise man once said: "Truth heals the pain it causes’5 [Pravda sama lechit bol’ kotoruyu ina prichinyayet].13

The Party Congress: Gorbachev and Yeltsin Such signals were underscored when, at the congress, Gorbachev discussed glasnost in the context o f its administrative uses and cited the role o f mass media in promoting enhanced criticism. Although Gorbachev issued qualifications on the latter process, events at the congress indicated that kritika already had become a divisive issue am ong the leadership. W idening glasnost was, Gorbachev said in his marathon speech, "an issue o f principles” and, significandy, “a political question” linked to adjustments in personnel. "W ithout glasnost, democracy does not and cannot exist, nor can political creativity by the masses, or their participation in government. It is, if you will, a pledge o f a statesmanlike attitude, filled with a sense o f responsibility toward work, on behalf of tens o f millions o f workers, collective farmers, and intelligentsia, and the beginning stage o f the psychological restructuring in our cadres.”14 Gorbachev restated that glasnost was a license for expanded criticism o f the old and a disciplinary rod for new, nonproductive aspects o f party and state administration. There was significant opposition to such candor, he acknowl­ edged, adding that, "because o f this, we have to make glasnost a flawlessly working system.”15 Moreover, he said, if glasnost was needed in the center o f government, it was needed just as much, and perhaps even more, in the re­ publics and provinces. At a later point, discussing the role o f the CPSU, Gorbachev touched upon kritika i samokritika. From the recent past, we know that where criticism and self-criticism dies away, where party analysis o f the actual situation is replaced with con­ versations about successes, all party work becomes distorted and a situa­ tion is created o f placidity, all-permissiveness, and impunity, which leads to the most serious consequences. In some places, even in the center, many workers have appeared who take criticism painfully when it is directed at them, and who even persecute the people who criticize them.


Go r b a c h e v ’s

g la sn o st

The problem, by Gorbachev’s account, was that special zones—whole re­ publics, regions, districts, and cities—had developed which were protected from criticism. “From all this,” Gorbachev said, ccwe have to draw a firm conclusion: In the party, there are not, and cannot be, organizations without control or that are closed off from criticism, nor are there leaders who can be fenced off from party responsibility.”16 After a discussion o f ideology, Gorbachev moved on to changes in party journalism. H e noted that the role o f the mass media “substantially grows during our time full o f dynamic changes.” He praised “editorial groups [who] bravely took on difficult, and in many ways new, questions.” And Gorbachev reminded the media that they were charged with being “a creative instrument, a spokesman for the party’s point o f view, which is incompatible with depart­ mentalism and provincialism.” There was, however, a footnote o f kritika: “And all [media content] which is dictated by the consideration o f principles, by the interests o f improving work, will be further supported by the party. The work of the mass media is more productive if it shows more thoughtfulness and time­ liness, and less outreach for the accidental and sensational.”17 It is hard to determine what Gorbachev felt was “accidental and sensa­ tional”—the words may have been intended to reassure his allies who already were nervous about glasnost. But this talk about candor was indeed serious, as the speech by the recendy elevated Yeltsin showed. His talk in support of glasnost was remarkably frank in assessing problems within the apparat, and may have been encouraged by Gorbachev.18 ‘T h e unquestionable power of authorities, the infallibility o f leaders, and ‘double standards of morality’ are, in today’s conditions, intolerable and inadmissible. It is time for the Central Committee o f the CPSU to draw up a system for the periodic reports of all leaders at all levels. I feel that this must extend to the reports of CPSU Central Committee secretaries to the Politburo or plenums o f the party’s Central Com­ mittee.” In his next sentences, Yeltsin offered some unusual self-criticism: “Delegates may ask why I didn’t speak about this at the Twenty-sixth Party Congress. Very well then. I can answer and answer candidly. At that time, I evidently lacked enough courage and political experience.”19

The Ugachev Riposte Yeltsin’s apparent target was Ligachev, who evidently already was in conflict with the new Moscow party chief or his patron, or both, over the substance of glasnost. Ligachev’s own remarks at the congress reveal that he and his sup­ porters felt threatened by the openness campaign. Indeed, his memoirs under-



score how important an issue this was to him, in part because o f Aleksandr Yakovlev’s role in Agitprop. As noted earlier, Ligachev saw Yakovlev as responsible for much o f the So­ viet Union’s turmoil in the late 1980s. Ligachev argued that “Yakovlev’s brand o f radicalism [helped to] distort the perestroika course” and said that Yakovlev exerted an unusually profound influence on Gorbachev.20Tension between the two apparendy began in 1985, when they came into close contact shortly after Gorbachev’s election as general secretary. When Gorbachev promoted Ligachev to full Politburo membership, Ligachev as “second secretary” reigned supreme on ideological issues. However, at about the same time, Gorbachev oversaw Yakovlev’s election to the Central Committee Secretariat, where he—like Ligachev—dealt with ideology and communications issues. Although Ligachev held a much more senior post, he wrote in his memoirs, “Soon an unspoken division o f duties took shape. I dealt with questions o f culture, science, and education, while Yakovlev concentrated on work with the mass media. This happened spontaneously, but with the approval o f the general secretary” The main problem, Ligachev wrote, “was that Yakovlev was in charge o f replacing editors-in-chief”21 In this regard, Yakovlev promoted “radical” ones, accord­ ing to Ligachev.22 The issue was as much one o f prestige and power as it was one o f ideological viewpoint: after all, nomenklatura, status—elite position within the leadership—often revolved around the power to appoint.23 The evident tension seeped into Ligachev’s Twenty-seventh Congress speech. Delivered two days after Gorbachev’s, it referred to problems arising from Gorbachev’s reliance on kritika and its expanded scope. Initially, Ligachev praised “constructive criticism and self-criticism,” saying that these played a major role in educating cadre leadership. H e also cited instances o f certain bureaucrats—in the N izhnevartovskgorkom, the Ministry o f Civil Aviation, and the Ministry o f the Maritime Fleet—wrongfully punishing newspapers for publishing critical articles. But there were other things, he told the audience, which he felt he had to say. In the pre-congress period, the press, television, and radio were active in the struggle against everything unsuitable for the establishment o f the So­ viet way o f life. That, so to speak, is on the positive side o f the balance [scale]. But unfortunately, some newspapers have allowed disruptions [dopystili sryvy], and Pravda cannot avoid being included in that category. Criticism must be aimed at eradicating what is obsolete, and used for the overall strengthening and developing o f socialist democracy and our social system.24



His specific target here apparently was a piece that ran in Pravda on Febru­ ary 13, entitled “Cleansing: A Frank Discussion.”25The article—a compilation of letters to the editor which ran on the third page, as part o f the paper’s pre­ congress coverage—contained attacks on party officials and suggested that a purge might be needed to cleanse CPSU ranks o f those who, while enjoying many privileges, showed a lack o f interest in solving problems.26 Ligachev underscored his point by borrowing from Gorbachev’s speech the theme of “zones closed to criticism” and then offering a classic veiled warning. ‘T ruth­ fully, I have had the opportunity to talk about this in a narrow circle. Today, I want to say it to the faces o f all delegates. All ministries and departments— including the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Trade, any other min­ istry, all organizations in Moscow, Leningrad, Ukraine, Kazahkstan, Stavropol, Tomsk, or Sverdlovsk—all o f them must be in the zone o f criticism and within the reach o f party criticism.”27 The ministers Ligachev referred to —Internal Affairs head Aleksandr V. Vlasov and Foreign Trade head Boris I. Aristov—were both Gorbachev ap­ pointees.28And Ligachev’s recitation o f place names also sent a pointed signal: Gorbachev (from Stavropol) and his supporters (such as Yeltsin from Sverdlovsk, now in Moscow) might find themselves targets o f the same kind of kritika, courtesy of glasnost and perestroika, that Ligachev (from Tomsk) and his allies already faced.29

Post-Congress M essages and Yevtushenko Despite Ligachev’s warning shots, Gorbachev’s speech to media officials in midMarch, a meeting which Ligachev attended, showed him holding to his course. The front-page coverage given by Krasnaya zvezda offered no details about Ligachev’s participation, but Gorbachev told the assembled editors that “the main enemy is bureaucratism, and the press must castigate it without backing off.” H e framed his argument, at a later point, in strong ideological terms. “Class opponents are doing everything in order to plant disbelief in the real accom­ plishment of our plans,” he said.30 Pravda’s post-congress editorial on the broadening o f glasnost in the mass media was less strident, stressing that “the strength o f the press is in its party leadership” and repeating the Gorbachevian line that “everything that is dic­ tated by principled considerations and the interests o f improving work, as was noted at the congress, will be further supported by the party.”31 The signals were uncertain. Yet some periodicals, perhaps with support from above, felt secure enough to test the waters. The newspaper Sovetskaya kuftura invoked the Twenty-seventh Party Congress as justification for beginning a new



feature, “Direct Speech.” Poet Yevgeniy Yevtushenko wrote the first installment, remarkable for its candor. H e praised “the constructive-critical approach, the condemnation o f exaggeration and showiness, and the development o f demo­ cratic publicity.” H e added: If personal opinion is mistaken, it can and must be corrected by collec­ tive opinion, but w ithout crude administrative methods, without suppres­ sion—by means o f conclusive comradely conviction. But the collective opin­ ion o f the people does not exist without the right to personal opinion. The opinion o f the people is not a circular released “from the to p ” but actually [is] the sum total o f personal opinions. This idea was brilliantly expressed in the past by Andrey Platonov: “Without me, the people is incomplete.”32 Yevtushenko went on to note Lenin’s “administrative tolerance and respect for personal opinion, even when he either did not share it or shared it only partially.” Interestingly, the poet even cited Stalin, whose “famous address to the people at the most dangerous period o f the Great Patriotic War had a some­ what unexpected and human beginning—‘Brothers and sisters’—and it touched the multitude o f hearts that still suffered from so many unhealed wounds in­ flicted by undeserved losses and insults.” But Yevtushenko added that, following the victory[,]. . . the opinion o f yesterday’s “brothers and sisters” seemed to become immaterial.. . . Had the peasants been asked their personal opinion at the time, they would have said that family grain must not be appropriated just for the sake o f plan showiness, that domestic livestock must not be seized, and that payment must not be based on working days earned only on paper because all this would undermine our agriculture which had already suffered much.33 Yevtushenko was careful to note that “the newborn socialism did not have at hand any ready-made manual according to which it could build itself?5There was, additionally, “no doubt that our new leadership wants to do everything to help the people live better.” But, he added, the people must also help the leadership both by their labor and by the frank openness o f their personal opinion, expressed not for the sake o f effect but for the sake o f the common cause which cannot be split between opin­ ion “from above” and opinion “from below?5The “suppose-something-goeswrongers” threaten us that publicity could turn into anarchy.. . . [But now] that our state has matured and grown stronger, we must be even less afraid 38


of our own critically frank personal opinions because this frankness is a sign o f our maturity and strength, while the smoothing over o f sharp comers is a sign o f weakness.34 By its boldness, the Yevtushenko piece was a remarkable burst of glasnost. Indeed, the situation o f literary writers, as opposed to news journalists, seems to have changed significantly by the end o f the previous year. According to Mark Frankland, the London Observer's Moscow correspondent from 1982-85, it was said privately in the autumn o f 1985 that individual editors o f literary journals and publishing houses would assume more o f the duties o f content control hitherto exercised by Glavlit. True, those editors usually were picked direcdy by CPSU officials, so the party remained prominent in the literary process.35But the Eighth USSR Writers Union Congress in June, 1986, also saw attacks, led by Yevtushenko and others, upon the long-standing leadership of the union’s editorial board, which controlled Liternaturnayagaizeta. The editorial board was headed, incidentally, by Georgiy Markov, who hailed from Tomsk, where Ligachev had served as party boss. Moreover, Yevtushenko, at one point in his writers congress speech, alluded to patronage links between well-placed writ­ ers and party leaders: “Wouldn’t it be a joy for any o f us to go to see such highly principled and important masters. . . in order to share [our] projects with them or, when necessary, to request their authoritative protection!”36 Reports o f another censorship shakeup, affecting the news media more di­ rectly, may have been making the rounds at that time as well. According to the BBC’s Angus Roxburgh, during the summer o f 1986, Glavlit was ordered to back off on restricting political contents. “It was now up to editors to exercise their own judgment on political and social matters.”37If this represented a swing back to the more liberal procedures o f earlier times, a problem presumably still lay in how Glavlit differentiated political contents from other news, since events described in many stories presumably had political overtones. In hindsight, it is in fact unclear just when Soviet editors felt that they could break through the control system successfully on their own. In a 1993 article, Moshovskie novostPs Yegor Yakovlev said that his first end run around Glavlit took place when he was writing about the Tbilisi unrest o f April, 1989.38 While no official announcements o f the change in Glavlit policy appear to have been made in the Soviet media in 1986, QßoneVs Vitaliy Korotich did recall that rumors originating from the Central Committee (presumably from Agitprop) did cir­ culate then about an easing o f press restrictions. In the case o f Ogonek, access was granted to some previously prohibited materials; Korotich noted that the chief censor assigned to Ogonëk “said he would permit me to publish some books by émigrés.” 39 But the censorship mechanism andperechen’ remained in place. C H A R G IN G B A R R IC A D ES


Chernobyl If writers with the clout o f a Yevtushenko were able to expand such tenuous openings, glasnost seemed to be quite a serious innovation in Gorbachev’s second year as general secretary. Yet it certainly was compromised by the acci­ dent, during an unauthorized test, in Reactor Number Four at the nuclear power complex in Chernobyl, Ukraine, shortly after one o’clock in the morn­ ing on Saturday, April 26,1986. The Soviet leadership’s handling o f the acci­ dent, in which massive radioactive contamination spread across much o f Ukraine and Belorussia, was the first serious test for glasnost in the mass me­ dia. The accident was reported on, but, from a hard-news perspective, its han­ dling was a failure.40 The fact is that the Soviet media, previously urged on to new heights of candor and openness about administrative shortcomings, were quiet—or were forced to be so—about the event. They probably would have stayed silent longer than they did had not Swedish nuclear technicians, two thousand kilometers away at a plant in Forsmark, detected high levels o f radiation on workers’ boots. The radiation had not come from the Forsmark plant but had been carried there by northerly winds. The news spread in the West; as the contamination source was pinpointed, outside demands for information escalated.41 In his memoirs, Gorbachev concedes that the accident “severely affected our reforms by literally knocking the country off its tracks,” but he pleads ignorance, at the time, of just how bad the situation was.42 However, according to thenPremier Nikolay Ryzhkov, the Soviet leadership was informed o f the extent and scope of the disaster after its occurrence. Ryzhkov maintained that members of the Politburo also were told of the accident’s probable consequences. The inci­ dent was discussed by the full Politburo on Monday, April 28, prior to which an emergency Politburo commission already had been formed. Ligachev and Ryzhkov personally visited the affected area within a few days.43 A member o f the Politburo at the time, Gaydar Aliyev, told Roxburgh that a chief topic o f the April 28 meeting was how much information to release.44 “A majority were against the idea of releasing any,” Aliyev said. “I said we should release some, but Ligachev was totally against it. The decision was taken that only TASS would issue reports.”45 Gorbachev’s account differs: “There were two opinions in the Politburo” about how the story should be handled. “One was that information should be given out gradually so as not to cause a panic and even greater h arm . . . Never­ theless, a different point of view prevailed in the Politburo—information should be released completely, as it arrived, without limitation, so long as it was reli­ able. This was my view. Ryzhkov, Ligachev, Yakovlev, Medvedev, and Shevardnadze supported me .” 46 40


Whatever the case, TASS’s first, brief dispatch, issued some sixty-five hours after the accident, said only that an accident had occurred at the reactor. It was followed within forty minutes by a TASS release about nuclear accidents in the United States. Pravdtfs terse initial coverage ran on the lower right comer of page two o f its May Day edition, headlined simply “From the USSR Council o f Ministers.” 47 A counterpropaganda campaign soon got under way, evidently intended to diminish the impact o f the Soviet accident. A Radio Moscow commentary paraphrased a long-standing Soviet propaganda line: Nuclear reactors presented some dangers, but these paled in comparison with the dangers presented by the Reagan-era nuclear buildup in the West. Subsequent stories attacked West­ ern “sensationalism” about the Chernobyl incident, the latter presumably beamed to Russian listeners via short-wave radio .48 TASS released a letter from Gorbachev to six world leaders “criticizing continued American nuclear test­ ing.” Even Yeltsin, visiting West Germany, played a part in the damage control.49 Gorbachev, who only recendy had elaborated upon the merits of glasnost— and o f leaving no zones closed to kritika—stayed largely silent on the matter for more than two weeks.50 Only a handful o f sources, all highly placed and centralized {Pravda, TASS,Izvestiya, and central television) reported the story; TASS dispatches were used by all lower-level organs.51 Stories often prominendy featured the statements o f local officials to the effect that nothing serious had happened .52 Pravda’s Vladimir Gubarev later maintained that Aleksandr Yakovlev sent him to Kiev in early May with a request that he describe the scene and the situ­ ation; Gubarev was convinced that Yakovlev and Gorbachev knew party offi­ cials in Ukraine were sending back misleading information on the disaster and its aftermath .53 This contention is supported by Ryzhkov, who wrote that he and Ligachev discovered on their fact-finding mission that none o f the senior Ukrainian Communist Party leaders had bothered to visit the disaster scene: “H ad they been waiting for us ?” 54 An on-location piece, co-authored by Gubarev, appeared in the May 6 Pravda; according to Gubarev, it passed the censors only with Yakovlev’s intervention . 55 Yakovlev then called Gubarev to the Kremlin to give a personal briefing to Gorbachev and himself. 56 What appeared in the media shows that, while Chernobyl was not completely under wraps, its domestic news handling was carefully controlled and coordi­ nated. Thomas Remington wrote o f Chernobyl coverage: Further evidence o f the centralized nature o f the story’s management is provided by the consistent omission or distortion o f several points. For C H A R G IN G B A R R IC A D ES


example, on May 8, Kiev radio announced that schools were being closed early and young children were sent out o f the city; the same news was given by a Kiev official to visiting journalists on May 9. Yet on that day, Pmvda carried a comment specifically denying that schools were being closed early and children evacuated from Kiev. N ot until May 13 did the central media acknowledge this decision. At no point did the Soviet media disclose the effects o f Chernobyl’s radiation on the environment o f neighboring coun­ tries. N o data were given that would allow comparison o f the scale o f the disaster with other nuclear accidents, though the constant reference to past accidents in the West created the impression that Chernobyl was no worse. . . . The absence o f a containment vessel enclosing the Chernobyl reactor was never mentioned in Soviet reports, nor did Soviet media discuss the sequence o f steps in the operation o f the reactor that led to the explosion.57 Meanwhile, during the summer o f 1986, glasnost remained viable on paper and in propaganda. O n Soviet Press Day—May 5—Pmvda promoted it in a front-page editorial which, appearing under a portrait o f Lenin at work in his Kremlin office, continued the theme o f “competent” and “principled” journal­ ism exposing deficiencies.58 Inside features cited several examples o f the new candor at work in the bureaucratic context.59 If glasnost officially was still at work, the forced handling and hesitant flow o f information on the Chernobyl disaster highlighted its limitations.



From the Cultural Debate to the Yeltsin Affair

Discussing glasnost in his book, Perestroyka i novoye myshleniye (Restructuring and new thinking), Gorbachev wrote, ‘T he main thing is truth. The words right­ fully belong to Lenin: Light, more light, let the Party know all!” 1 The handling o f Chernobyl showed that the reality was less lustrous. Yet, if the accident clarified the limits o f domestic news reporting under glasnost, openness continued to be promoted on paper throughout 1986. More importandy, in the cultural and statistical fields, it actually was implemented in a general way. Literary journals announced plans to publish controversial works, such as writer Anatoliy Rybakov’s new novel o f the Stalin years, Deti arbata (Children ofthe Arbat). Sobering numbers on crop yields and infant mortality were printed in the party’s statistical yearbook.2 Against this background, the New York Timefs Moscow correspondent. Serge Schmemann, observed that glasnost “is still a policy ordered and defined from on high, channeled through media that remain very much the monopoly of the state. In a system in which authority flows top to bottom, it is notable that the glasnost banner has been carried largely, so far, by major newspapers and cultural institutions with close ties to Mr. Gorbachev’s Kremlin. Smaller news­ papers often maintain a timid deference before local party authorities.” Pravda even intervened in one case, reproducing the front page o f a Pskov newspaper which local authorities had seized for criticizing a cultural exhibition . 3

The Culture War Begins The Pskov example shows that, in an atmosphere o f such mixed messages, lowlevel confusion or dissonance continued to exist as to what glasnost meant and how it was to be implemented. And the cultural sphere itself provided the batdeground as the Gorbachev-Ligachev rift played out in the summer o f 1986. The issue concerned the directions being taken by some professionals in the Soviet artistic and literary media. With the stormy congress o f the USSR Writ­ ers Union as a backdrop, USSR Defense Minister Marshal Sergey Sokolov spoke to a June meeting o f what was described as the “leaders o f the country’s organs of culture, mass information media, and creative unions, as well as with repre­ sentatives of the artistic intelligentsia working in the sphere o f the heroic-pa­ triotic theme .” 4 He said at one point: Military-patriotic works must be an active weapon in the ideological confrontation with our enemies and must be an effective means o f educat­ ing patriots and internationalists. This is particularly important now[,] when our ideological opponents are becoming more active precisely in the sphere of culture. The duty o f the artistic intelligentsia and o f the mass informa­ tion media is actively to counter alien influences and to form in young people a precise class approach to the evaluation o f various manifestations o f reality.5 The emphasis on counterpropaganda and the reference to class approach echo the previous year’s Chebrikov-Ligachev line and indicate where the de­ fense minister stood on glasnost. Ligachev and Chebrikov themselves were heard from on cultural issues during a Politburo meeting on October 27,1986, the transcript o f which was published following the USSR’s collapse. Ligachev observed at one point, “We can’t help but notice that some people of the arts are trying to pull us into dealing with such issues that, if we go into them, could prevent us from seriously advancing perestroika.” In his view, perestroika had serious ideological limits directly connected to the Party. He also demanded the censorship o f Rybakov’s Children oftheArbat, even though a Soviet journal had announced it would publish it. “The meaning of this 1500-page manuscript boils down to exposing Stalin and the whole o f our pre-war politics,” Ligachev railed. “It’s clear that such a novel must not be published, even if Rybakov is threatening to send it abroad.” Tellingly, his next sentences added a question about press patronage: “And what I would like to know is who gave the journal Druzhba narodov permission to announce the printing of Children of the Arbat? Who’s behind it?” In his memoirs, Gorbachev indicated that he indeed was the culprit. Rybakov had sent a copy o f the manuscript to him —and apparently to many other offi44


cials as well. Its readers “began to flood the Central Committee with letters and reviews calling the book ‘the novel o f the century.5 It became a social phe­ nomenon even before it was published .55 Remarkably, given Ligachev’s tone in the Politburo transcript, Gorbachev maintained that the ideology chief supported the general secretary’s decision to allow the book to be published.6 Moreover, the meeting transcript, as pub­ lished, shows Gorbachev discreetly avoiding the issue o f “Who’s behind it?” while seeming to concur with Ligachev: “If, as was done at the Twentieth Party Congress, we venture to unmask ourselves, expose our mistakes, this would be the most valuable gift we could give our enemy, while we ourselves would get stuck in work that prevents us from moving ahead.” Later in the session, Gorbachev also agreed with Premier Ryzhkov and KGB head Chebrikov when they argued that a popular television interview show called The Twelfth Floor should be canceled: “Why should we give the floor to such scum?” Gorbachev asked at one point, “If we do let them speak we must select people who can answer any question from our Soviet, Party position. For this we need a well-balanced dose o f Soviet chauvinism, if I can put it that way. . . . The theme o f patriotism must find expression first and foremost in actions.”7 Yet Gorbachev either could not or would not put things aright to Ligachev’s satisfaction in the cultural sphere, and the struggle continued. At the Novem­ ber 6 celebration marking the anniversary o f the October Revolution, Ligachev attacked bureaucracy, prômoted restructuring in the common terms o f the day, and even praised glasnost. But, presumably with Children oftheArbat in mind, he cautioned that the new openness was under intense scrutiny: At the center o f discussions at the moment is the issue of the truthful­ ness with which reality is reflected in art. Soviet people are in favor of truth, but this must be the whole truth and not a one-sided truth; the truth of life in all its variety. . . . Naturally, this means that masters o f culture and our creative young people must have, first and foremost, a precise political ori­ entation in their world outlook, a responsible attitude both toward them­ selves and toward their cause, and a genuine spirit o f the people and party.8

Glasnost Under Fire A few months later, the CPSU plenum o f January, 1987, saw a reshuffling of the Politburo and provided the setting for the next clash over glasnost. The catalyst seems to have been the anti-Russian rioting in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, on December 18. The rioting came in reaction to the Kazakh Party Central Committee’s ouster o f First Secretary Dinmukhamed Kunayev. Approaching C U L T U R A L DEBATE TO Y ELTSIN A F F A I R


seventy-five years o f age, Kunayev was an extremely powerful figure, appointed to the Politburo by Brezhnev in 1966.9 But what apparendy sparked the tur­ moil was less his removal, arranged by Gorbachev, than his replacement with an ethnic Russian. It was noted immediately that reporting o f the riots—in a short TASS brief read at the end o f an evening news broadcast—was unprecedented in the So­ viet Union.10The broadcast seems to confirm the legitimacy o f glasnost; care­ ful inclusion o f this information, particularly by the tightly controlled broadcast apparat, must have been authorized somewhere. At the same time, the leader­ ship may not have recognized fully the volatility o f nationalities issues.11 Gorbachev was relatively slow to perceive the depth and potential consequences o f nationalities problems throughout the Soviet U nion—something to which previous Soviet leaders had devoted great attention.12 Gorbachev later con­ ceded that the Politburo responded in a way that “was not so much an attempt to get a grip on what had occurred and learn a lesson from that, as to teach a lesson to Kazakhstan and the others.”13 Glasnost or not, other CPSU members had still more cause to reflect upon the consequences o f the new candor. Rumblings came at the January plenum, itself postponed because o f internecine difficulties. The first order o f business to rearrange the Politburo. Kunayev was retired on pension; significantly, Aleksandr Yakovlev became a candidate member in his place. There also was a shakeup in the Central Committee’s Secretariat: seventy-three-year-old Mikhail Zimyanin, another Brezhnevite and a former Pravda chief editor, joined the retired list, ostensibly for health reasons. Sug­ gesting a more likely stimulus, Gorbachev’s plenum speech attacked the en­ trenched opposition by criticizing old ways within the party, including evidence of corruption. Emphasizing that high-level officials still were subject to removal, Gorbachev repeated the line that there were no zones protected from kritika. Amplifying this, he noted that “the principle o f equality among Communists was frequently violated” by previous leaders. “Many party members holding leadership posts were not subject to supervision or criticism, which led to fail­ ures in work and serious violations o f party ethics.” Invoking his now-com­ mon populist tone, Gorbachev said, “We cannot fail to m ention the just indignation o f working people at the behavior o f those executives, invested with interests o f the state and its citizens, who themselves abused their authority, stifled criticism or reaped personal gain, while some o f them even became ac­ cessories to, or organizers of, criminal actions.” A later section o f Gorbachev’s address, discussing the cultural situation, seemed to be a direct response to Ligachev’s November speech. “The ideology and mentality o f stagnation,” said Gorbachev, “were also reflected in the state 46

G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

o f the sphere o f culture, literature, and the arts. Criteria for assessing artistic creativity declined.” This has caused, he said, “a situation in which, along with works that raised serious social and moral problems and reflected real-life con­ flicts, there appeared a good many mediocre, faceless works that provided nothing for either the mind or the senses.” This led directly to criticism o f cre­ ative unions—presumably he had the USSR Writers Union in mind—where, among other things, “excessive ambitions began to gain the upper hand over realistic evaluations and self-evaluations.”14 If this seemed like a surrogate attack upon Ligachev, Gorbachev and glasnost did not get a free ride at the session either. In an article published in Liternatumayagazxta for February 4, USSR Writers Union head Vladimir Karpov reported a remarkable instance o f party turmoil: glasnost had been attacked at the plenum. Its chief opponent had been Ivan Polozkov, the formidable first secretary o f the Krasnodar kraykom,15 who would head the hard-line Russian Republic Communist Party upon its later creation.16 Karpov wrote: In the course o f discussion o f political, social, and economic problems, many o f the speakers at the plenum spoke about the great significance of the press and literature in carrying out perestroika. Particularly important discussion took place on this occasion. I recorded a summary, and I con­ sider it very important for an understanding o f the mission o f writers under present conditions. About this, the first secretary o f the Krasnodar kray party committee, I. V. Polozkov, said that sometimes a correspondent arrives at a factory or a collective farm, spends several days, and an abusive article appears in a news­ paper. Is it possible that those who have worked in this oblast many years, and know about people and every production problem, understand less than that correspondent? Several speakers supported this thesis and added to it. Isn’t there too much in our press that talks about negative affairs? At times, authors simply savor deficiencies, and they particularly love to speak ironically when ad­ dressing leading workers. Doesn’t it cause problems, and doesn’t it stimu­ late a desire for malevolent information about negative aspects o f our lives? There were other such opinions: not pertaining to the extent o f sharp criticism, but dealing with the competitiveness o f authors and the accuracy o f facts. It is necessary that authors assume responsibility for their accusa­ tions if they turn out to be groundless. I emphasize that I do not quote the plenum speakers word for word, but in summary form —I pass on the essence.17



The Karpov piece affirmed that influential figures were leading attacks against new media liberties. More details emerged in coverage o f Gorbachev’s meet­ ing, a few weeks later, with media representatives. “Preparing for the plenum, as you all know, turned out to be difficult business,” he said at one point. “The prevalent mood throughout much o f society has been: has there not been too much severity, shouting out about our problems, not noticing anything posi­ tive? And what does the current leadership o f the Soviet state see as a strength?” Calling for a broad dialogue on the issues o f restructuring, he observed that “all o f our society is on the same side o f the barricades.” Yet, in his next line, he acknowledged that at least a small faction existed which was opposed to his efforts: “It is a different question if some people have their own understanding o f restructuring itself, and o f their own role in it. There are not many direct, open opponents o f restructuring.”18 Gorbachev repeated parts o f this message at another February meeting, a labor union convention. Addressing the group, he acknowledged that his re­ form efforts already had created “a revolution o f expectations” in many minds. Accordingly, he observed, perestroika—and glasnost especially—had critics. Such problems, he conceded, caused the January plenum to be postponed three times. “Greater democratization may prom pt some people to ask whether we are not disorganizing society, whether we shall not weaken management and lower the standards for discipline, order and responsibility^ he said at one point. But Gorbachev emphasized that he would stay the course: “Nothing will come o f it if we do not fully break the forces o f inertia and deceleration, which are dangerous in their ability to draw the country back again into stagnation and dormancy, threatening a freezing up o f society and social corrosion.”19 Ligachev did not respond at once. However, he may have played a role in pressuring Liternaturnayagazeta to announce, the day after Gorbachev’s speech to media workers, that it had canceled plans to publish an interview with dis­ sident Andrey Sakharov. The journal’s official explanation was that Sakharov, following his exclusive interview with Litematumaya ß&zeta, in December, subsequently spoke to reporters elsewhere—the original article was no longer fresh. But, as a Western correspondent noted, “It is clear that the publication of this interview, scheduled for early February, was regarded as a casus belli and the last straw by some senior CPSU officials.”20 Ligachev may have spelled out his arguments against its publication during his February 23 visit to the Ostankino television center, where he made a pitch for brighter contents in the mass media. “Comrade Ligachev,” said the official account of the event, “noted the active help given by Soviet television and ra­ dio broadcasting to the party in restructuring all aspects o f life.” But he stressed that “these are still just shifts toward activating work in a modem manner.” 48


The mass media, according to Ligachev, had not taken advantage o f their op­ portunities, “without slackening criticism and revealing shortcomings, to ac­ tively conduct propaganda for the new and positive things which are appearing in life . . . and to engage skillfully in propaganda for restructuring in all its di­ versity and complexity” There was a counterpropaganda element as well: “Great attention was paid to improving the elucidation of international issues and to propaganda for the advantages o f socialism.” Soviet journalists were reminded that they “have opportunities to show more fully and interestingly affairs in our country, the life o f our people and their genuinely guaranteed rights.” Si­ multaneously, Ligachev noted, “it is necessary to unmask the machinations of mendacious bourgeois propaganda, which has devoted considerable resources to undermining the faith o f Soviet people in the correctness o f the Commu­ nist Party’s course.”21 A similar theme was enunciated during Ligachev’s March 5 speech in Saratov. Here, he addressed the issue o f creative unions, the same topic Gorbachev had mentioned in his speech at the January plenum. It was true, Ligachev said, that much o f the literature and art produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s was affected by stagnation and conservatism; still, not everything of that era de­ served opprobrium. And, while many newspapers deserved credit for publish­ ing articles that exposed past errors, the CPSU also deserved praise for its many accomplishments—gains which needed more coverage. Moreover, Ligachev seemed to target Aleksandr Yakovlev’s meddling in the media control system. “Sometimes attempts are made to lower the leading role of state administration o f the cultural sphere,” said the Central Committee sec­ retary responsible for ideology—and therefore nominally in charge of Agitprop. “The deficiencies o f some workers are carried over into state organs. There is a need to widen the rights and authority and heighten the activity o f creative organizations, but don’t weaken the government organs’ responsibility for the state o f work in artistic creativity.”22

The Case for “Constructive Glasnost” In addition to other things, Ligachev’s speech may have reflected some of his newfound problems with Qfjonëk. Korotich had begun working closely with Aleksandr Yakovlev and found himself given a remarkably free hand. Accord­ ing to Korotich, the Agitprop head told him when he took over the journal: ccNever come to me with your articles. I don’t want to know what you are doing, and don’t tell me.”23 Korotich’s first problem with Ligachev came from a story Ojjonëk published just before the plenum convened in January, 1987. It dealt with street toughs who victimized some o f Moscow’s young people. The piece provoked a negaC U L T U R A L D E B A T E TO Y E L T S I N A F F A I R


tive response. “I was invited to the Politburo,” Korotich recalled. “I remem­ ber the first question Ligachev asked me. H e asked me, W ith whom are you? Whose team are you on, Korotich ?51 answered that T m on our joint team, I’m fighting for joint, common aims’” Ligachev was not satisfied with his an­ swer. According to Korotich, Ligachev and many “conservative” party mem­ bers were incensed with the article because o f its negativity toward Soviet youth.24 It was not surprising, then, when Ligachev reinforced the themes o f praise, propaganda, and counterpropaganda at the editorial office o f Sovetskaya kuVtura in early July.25A possible cause o f Ligachev’s ire on this occasion was Sovetskaya kul’tum ’s mid-June coverage o f remarks by Izvestiya editor Ivan Laptev before a meeting o f the USSR Journalists Union.26 Laptev (who had benefited from Gorbachev’s early partisan use o f media kritika in the Grishin corruption scan­ dal o f 1984) had urged a critical examination o f Soviet history. Presumably Laptev knew that Gorbachev was planning a serious new de-Stalinization effort; it would debut with Gorbachev’s November speech marking the seventieth anniversary o f the Bolshevik Revolution. If Laptev’s comments touched upon this blank spot in Soviet history, Ligachev’s July remarks indeed seem to have been aimed at stalling deStalinization and the expanded party criticism foreseeable under it.27Ligachev was clear regarding the role he expected journalists to play in upcoming events. Central Committee documents directed the media to demonstrate Soviet achievements. “But the waves o f perestroika and renewal, as was to be expected, have brought scum and garbage to the surface,” he said. “ ‘Energetic’ people have appeared who now and then try to replace our spiritual values with their own questionable ideas and intentions. Recendy I had a visit from [Russian nationalist writer] V. G. Rasputin. During our talk he expressed his anxiety at the aggressiveness that is rising within so-called mass culture and the flood o f shallow musical compositions. I heard the same view expressed during my m eeting w ith [conductor] Ye[vgeniy] F. Svedanov.” Ligachev offered a solution. We need constructive glasnost. Every one o f us strives to learn, live and work in a condition o f democracy, and that is not just a slogan but an essen­ tial demand o f our day. But speaking plainly, there are still a considerable number o f workers in the party, in the Soviet apparat, and in organs o f culture, who don’t get this. What should concern members o f creative unions is that it’s not enough to issue cultural polemics; one also has to maintain a respectful attitude toward the opinions o f others. Glasnost is what the in­ telligentsia is all about (Glasnosf—eto eshche i intelligentnos?).28 50


Another familiar Politburo voice joined the fray in September. KGB head C hebrikov, speaking o n the n o t h anniversary o f th e b irth o f Felix Dzerzhinskiy—who founded the KGB’s antecedent organization—was strongly supportive o f Ligachev’s line. The contents o f Chebrikov’s talk were not far removed from his article published in Kommunist in June, 1985: a recital of Western crimes against Soviet progressiveness, with an emphasis on bourgeois attempts to find new avenues o f attacking the Soviet domestic front. H e noted at one point: All strata o f our country are being targeted by imperialist special ser­ vices. The Soviet creative intelligentsia does not constitute an exception. The production of writers, cinematographers, artists, musicians, theatrical agents—in short, o f all creative workers—has a great strength o f emotional influence with the people. It must be understood that our opponents try to provoke individual representatives o f the artistic intelligentsia into areas of fault-finding, demagoguery, and nihilism, slandering certain stages o f his­ torical development o f our society, and denying the main purpose of so­ cialist culture—the inner elevation o f the worker.29

The New Media Style The Soviet media in 1987 had shaken off the post-Chernobyl news chill.30 Edi­ tors also were admitting—to foreign journalists at least—that now they were able to exercise a much freer hand vis-à-vis Glavlit and Agitprop. As Korotich told a French interviewer early in November, looking back on a year in which Offonëk had almost doubled its circulation: “Je suis là pour faire mon travail. Alexandre Yakovlev me l’a dit très clairement. Je n’ai pas à faire antichambre dans son bureau avec les articles proposes à Ogoniok. C’est à moi de prendre mes décisions.” [“I am here to do my job. Aleksandr Yakovlev told me this very clearly. I do not have to wait outside his door with proposed Ogonëk articles. It is up to me to make the decisions.”]31 To readers, the livelier content o f newspapers represented a remarkable phenomenon. Ivan Laptev told an Austrian interviewer that Izvestiya’s cover­ age o f official abuses and its criticism o f party officials had earned the paper three million new subscribers.32 In a September, 1987, interview, Vitaliy Ignatenko, Novoye vremycCs chief editor, remarked at the “long lines of people in front o f newsstands all over the Soviet Union at dawn; people are waiting for morning papers.” The interest was not “because o f foreign news and ar­ ticles in the newspapers,” he noted, “but to get information on the progress of restructuring in the country and the latest developments in certain republics, districts, and towns.” He added that journalists covering domestic events “have C U L T U R A L D E B A T E TO Y E L T S I N A F F A I R


nowadays outrivaled their colleagues who write about foreign events and have achieved greater prestige, although it used to be precisely the other way round.”33 All the same, however, Ignatenko, unlike Korotich, described his wing o f the new Soviet journalism as still dependent upon government control. When asked about “press management” in the Soviet Union, he replied, “It is carried out nowadays in a very democratic way.” There were certain understandably taboo subjects. “It is forbidden for the Soviet press to incite war, hatred against other peoples, and to conduct propaganda aimed at overthrowing the Soviet power.” But “even in the most sensitive issues, like defense or the special inter­ est o f the state and the party, with joint forces, we try to find a solution that permits the issue to be published.” While “there is no direct guidance or regu­ lation” there were “thorough discussions and consultations.” His description o f this process indicated who still held the leash. “Facts, evaluations, and in­ formation are supplied to us,” he said. “The leadership is ready to provide us all the necessary help.”34 The Soviet media could return such favors. One nationality issue arising in 1987 concerned the Tatars, ousted by Stalin from the Crimea for collaboration with the Nazis. The burgeoning de-Stalinization campaign permitted some early press accounts o f their plight and made public talk that the Tatars might be returned to their former homes. The issue escalated beyond central control, however, when Tatars actually massed in Moscow’s Red Square in late July and demonstrated for such a return. The militia did not oust them immediately, perhaps because o f their visibility before Western reporters. A negative Soviet press campaign, however, attacked the Tatar demonstrators as extremists. Moscow radio reported receiving telegrams and letters, prompted by “wide interest around the country.” These, it said, indicated that “the Soviet people are stressing that they are very concerned about strengthening . . . friendship and unity” At the same time, Moscow radio condemned “the behavior o f all those who, through their poorly-thought-out actions in Moscow, are hinder­ ing the work being carried out.”35 When the group finally was dispersed, dur­ ing a rainstorm, MVD troops kept foreign reporters clear from the demon­ strators’ location, ostensibly “because o f bad weather.”36 In another serious incident, the magazine Glasnosf, run by former political prisoners, lost its permit to publish after running an article condemning the destruction o f Stalin-era KGB archives. N o less a figure than Novosti news agency head Valentin Falin charged the magazine with slandering the Soviet state.37 The KGB seized the periodical’s eighth and latest issue, and TASS an­ nounced that the magazine’s publishers would be charged with a crime for having used a state-owned photocopier to produce the seized issue. Sergey Grigoryants, the magazine’s editor, told a French newspaper that the journal’s 52


contributing writers were under surveillance; one had applied for several jobs, including night cleaning work on the metro, but had been rejected systemati­ cally. The editor laid the responsibility for the situation at Gorbachev’s feet. “Gorbachev is going back on his promises” he said. “It is a bad sign.”38

A Turning Point Ligachev states in his memoirs that Gorbachev did cross a threshold during the summer o f 1987, but it was in a direction that would not be sympathetic to the more “conservative” leaders.39Gorbachev and Yakovlev had begun to openly enlist the media as “independent” supporters. Yakovlev, speaking in Kaluga on July 14, emphasized that, whatever tensions glasnost had caused, the new open­ ness was meant to be permanent. H e also stressed that, in light o f what had been exposed, “the main thing is to act, to operate on the basis o f this knowl­ edge and understanding, not to engage in mutual indulgences at society’s ex­ pense nor in compromises with oneself?’40 The next day, Gorbachev hosted a meeting with press officials in the Central Committee headquarters and indicated how much he needed media support. H e cautioned that “ours is not a class or antagonistic struggle, but a search, a discussion: H ow do we get to the most direct route o f restructuring, how do we speed up the pace and keep it steady, to make our forward movement irre­ versible?”41 H e made it clear that there was a political urgency in answering this question and that the media were involved. “Certain comrades,” he said at one point, invoking the classic Soviet euphemism for party rivals, “are prob­ ably already saying, well then, we have had enough criticism. But I don’t think this is the case.”42 This leads into a puzzling incident involving official criticism of the mass media, in which Ligachev claims he was the victim o f a plot designed to hu­ miliate him. In his memoirs, Ligachev wrote that Gorbachev asked him, apparendy in early September, 1987, officially to express the Politburo’s displeasure with Moskovskiye novosti, a periodical published in several separate foreign lan­ guage editions, including the English Moscow News.43 This weekly, edited by Yegor Yakovlev, had recendy published a complimentary obituary o f writer Viktor Nekrasov, who had been expelled from the party in 1972 and who had died in exile in Paris.44The article, according to Ligachev, “distressed the Cen­ tral Committee___ The Politburo criticized Moscow News, and Gorbachev, on vacation in the Crimea, called and assigned me the task o f announcing our position at one o f our usual meetings with newspapers and magazine editors. A memo from Sergey Slobodenyuk, deputy head o f the newspaper division [of Agitprop], was also made public at that meeting.”45 That the obituary had run at all was remarkable. According to Ligachev, C U L T U R A L DEBATE TO Y ELTSIN A F F A I R


news o f its upcom ing publication (in Liternaturnaya gazeta, as well as Moskovskiye novosti) actually had reached the Central Committee before the press run. Slobodenyuk informed Aleksandr Yakovlev, who reportedly told Slobodenyuk to have both papers kill the piece. Liternaturnayaga-zeta obeyed, but Yegor Yakovlev claimed later not to have received such instructions.46 The result was that, during a mid-September meeting with editors, Ligachev, chairing the session, denounced Moskovskiye novosti and, for good measure, Ogonëk as well. TASS quoted Ligachev as saying, in his attack on Moskovskiye novosti, “It is really going beyond the bounds o f democratic practice when items are published according to the editor’s personal decision, w ithout examina­ tion by the editorial board o f the newspaper or magazine.” H e added a refer­ ence to Nekrasov’s unflattering works regarding Stalin: “One should not permit a disrespectful attitude to those generations who built Socialism and defended it in the mortal combat with Fascism.”47 But, remarkably, within a few days, Ligachev received what he described as a written, formal complaint from Yegor Yakovlev, the latter apparendy feeling strong enough to bite back at the second secretary.48Although he indeed had chaired the session at which he admonished the press, Ligachev admitted to being surprised because “I had expressed not just my own opinion, but also that of Gorbachev. And the obituary had been banned by Aleksandr Yakovlev, not by me.”49 H e was further perplexed to learn that Gorbachev had sent cop­ ies of the complaint to the rest o f the Politburo. Ligachev took this as “clearly support for Yegor Yakovlev—and a slight slap for me. I could see someone’s hand behind this”—apparendy Aleksandr Yakovlev’s.50 This was followed by what Ligachev described as his “first open clash” with the latter Yakovlev. Gorbachev asked Ligachev, Yakovlev, and several other Politburo members to prepare a resolution on the “range and pace o f pere­ stroika.” Ligachev authored it and handed it over to the General Department (responsible for administrative affairs and paperwork) for distribution to the rest of the Politburo. Evidendy the original memo was harsh, because Ligachev’s complaint is that, when he finally saw a copy, “the draft’s criticism o f the mass media and condemnation o f people who blackened our history had been de­ leted.” Ligachev alleged that Yakovlev, “without telling anyone, had changed the resolution’s text, and on the m ost fundamental issues.”51 Once again, Ligachev’s position as the Politburo member in charge o f ideology was being undermined by Gorbachev’s intrepid man from Agitprop.

The Yeltsin Affair But if Gorbachev and Aleksandr Yakovlev were engaged in machinations on behalf o f the “liberal” media, the circumstances surrounding the resignation, 54

Go r ba che v ’ s g l a s n o s t

ouster, and disgrace o f Boris Yeltsin—just before the seventieth anniversary of the October Revolution—signaled that glasnost’s boundaries had been over­ stepped once again. Indeed, the central media’s initial silence about Yeltsin’s outburst against Ligachev during the October Central Committee plenum was followed by such vitriolic press coverage that some readers were reminded of “the grimmest period o f Stalin’s purges.”52Ligachev emerged from the encoun­ ter victorious—ironically, with Gorbachev’s apparent support. It is unclear just how much Yeltsin had to lose when he requested the floor during the October 21,1987, meeting and launched a verbal attack on Ligachev. A candidate Politburo member and chief o f the Moscow gorkom since Grishin’s ouster, Yeltsin had been a strong Gorbachev ally but had become disillusioned by the slow pace o f restructuring. By his own account, Yeltsin, about a month before the plenum, had submitted to Gorbachev his resignation from the Po­ litburo.53 In any case, Yeltsin, in the official version o f his speech, blundy criticized the pace o f reform and the style o f leadership.54 H e complained, for example, that, although the June, 1987, plenum had prioritized the restructuring o f party bodies—especially the Secretariat, which Ligachev oversaw—“five months have passed since then [and] nothing has changed in the style o f work o f either the secretariat o f the Central Committee or o f Comrade Ligachev. Despite the fact that Mikhail Sergeyevich [Gorbachev] said here today that bullying reprimands are not permissible at any level, they are still being used.” And, while the party’s leadership had spoken o f relying upon cooperation rather than coercion in the relations between party bosses and government bodies or enterprises, “There is no sign o f any such revolutionary energy or party comradeliness in the Cen­ tral Committee’s attitude toward grassroots party committees and many indi­ vidual party members.”55 Yeltsin pressed deeper, into stranger and more dangerous waters. H e claimed that excessive adulation o f the general secretary was leading to a new , Gorbachevian, “cult o f personality.” This was grow ing at the same tim e that, ironically, more democratic means were being prom oted in the CPSU. “I real­ ize that this has not yet reached the point o f a certain degree o f falsity and dis­ tortion, which m ust not be permitted,” he said, “but even so, the first traces o f such an attitude are there, and it seems to me that it must be prevented from going any further.”56 It was Yeltsin, o f course, not Ligachev, w ho, w ith Gorbachev’s blessing, received censure. H is resignations from the Politburo and the Moscowgorkom were accepted. Gorbachev, w ho greeted his plenum remarks w ith official cold­ ness, led part o f the charge.57 According to TASS, Gorbachev m et w ith the M oscow party leaders to discuss Yeltsin’s fate. To them he confided that the C U L T U R A L D EBATE TO Y E L T S IN A F F A I R


Politburo at times had reprimanded Yeltsin—a nonvoting candidate member— for disrupting its meetings “by insisting that his personal concerns be con­ sidered.”58 The way publication o f Yeltsin’s speech was handled indicates that glasnost was not a license to report on such open dissent within the Politburo or about criticism of such highly placed officials as Ligachev and Gorbachev. News trav­ eled mosdy by rumor. “A TASS dispatch about [the Yeltsin affair] on October 31 was withdrawn by the agency minutes after reaching Soviet newspapers, and comments by several top Soviet officials at news conferences were never re­ ported inside the country.”59 A subsequent TASS dispatch, eleven days later, announced Yeltsin’s dismissal from the Moscow city post, adding that the Moscow committee had “fully endorsed” a Central Committee resolution that found Yeltsin’s words “politically erroneous.”60 Additional coverage even frightened some observers. Pravda’s November 13 story about the Moscow gorkom meeting which denounced and ousted Yeltsin emphasized party unanimity against Yeltsin, and repeated his colleagues’ de­ nunciations verbatim. “The newspaper account detailed how Mr. Yeltsin’s col­ leagues turned as a pack to destroy him[,] with the rhetorical edge flashed foremost by Mikhail S. Gorbachev.. . . [The disclosures] shocked many read­ ers for the image presented o f the hierarchy turning so on one o f its own after he had demanded faster government changes.” Adding to the discomfort, Pmvda painted the scene as one in accord with glasnost and perestroika—Yeltsin was depicted as a bullying adventurist suffering from “big boss syndrome.”61 As had happened at the time o f the Chernobyl crisis, the contemporary cen­ tral media were full o f pieces affirming glasnost. TASS, for example, circulated political scientist Fyodor Burlatskiy’s October 31 speech to journalists on the role o f glasnost in perestroika and democratization. In it, Burlatskiy pinned the blame for societal difficulties on “conservatism and traditionalism.” H e added, “The age-old legacy o f an authoritarian and patriarchal political cul­ ture has still not been eliminated.”62 Izpestiya on October 29 attacked oppo­ nents o f glasnost in Armenia who were obstructing local reporters’ coverage o f deficiencies there.63 Pravda’s front page on November 11 (the date when Yeltsin was replaced in the Moscow gorkom) featured a Central Committee resolution “On glasnost in the work o f party, professional organizations, and soviet organs in Vladimirskoy oblast.” The problem there with glasnost, the resolution said, was that there wasn’t any.64The same page carried an editorial praising those who supported glasnost, criticizing areas where restructuring had not begun, and observing that “it is impossible to overlook the definite stiffening of resistance by conservative forces, perceiving in restructuring a threat to their own selfish interests and goals.”65 In an interview appearing the same 56

G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

day in Prague’s Rude pravo, Politburo member Vitaliy Vorotnikov said that Soviet glasnost needed “permanent support and an exploration o f new forms and methods of informing the public.”66As a media policy, however, the pub­ lic handling of the Yeltsin affair betrayed more o f glasnosfs limitations.67

Im permissible Avant-Gardism Ligachev emerged from the October incident more secure than ever. This was evident when he traveled to Paris to the Twenty-sixth French Communist Party Congress and found time to sit for an interview with Michel Tatu and Daniel Vernet o f Le Monde. The interview, published on December 4, is best remem­ bered for Ligachev’s remarks overdramatizing his role in the leadership; he stated that his Secretariat prepared and organized the agenda for Gorbachev’s Politburo, an indiscretion that made Ligachev sound as if he himself were run­ ning the USSR.68 But if Ligachev was provocative in describing the power struc­ ture, he sounded frank and reasonable on glasnost. On reform matters, he stressed that he and Gorbachev were in harmony. Moreover, “Il n’est pas possible d’etre pour la ‘perestroika’ et contre la ‘glasnost”’ [It is im possible to be for “perestroika” and against “glasnost”]. Attempts to portray him as an enemy o f glasnost reflected a misunderstanding, Ligachev said. Yes, he had criticized MoscowNews and Qgonëk, “mais nous avons critiqué aussi la Pmvda, les Izvestiya, la Russie soviétique et d’autres. . . . Et puis, si la presse peut critiquer tout le m onde, pourquoi ne pourrait-on pas critiquer la presse?” [but we have also criticized Pmvda, Izvestiya, Sovetskaya rossiya and others___ And besides, if the press can criticize everything, why can’t we criti­ cize the press?]69

But the delicate issue still seemed to be high-level criticism o f powerful offi­ cials. Ligachev was asked during the Le Monde interview—“pour respecter la ‘transparence’”—why Yeltsin’s October 21 speech was not published. Ligachev’s response was that many plenum speeches were not made public: “Nous avons beaucoup de plenums dont les matériaux ne sont pas publiés” [We have a great many plenums o f which the materials are not made public].70 The Yeltsin episode was clearly unsettling. During one foreign radio inter­ view, Izvestiya’s Laptev, w ho had run afoul o f Ligachev during the summer, seemed especially intimidated: ‘T h e fact is that Comrade Yeltsin did not give any particular speech at the CPSU Central Committee plenum,” he maintained. “All that he said, and I stress once more down to the last word, was recounted by Comrade Gorbachev at the M oscow plenum.”71 Laptev was even less can­ did in an interview w ith Vienna’s Die Presse, when asked if Ligachev and Chebrikov could be considered “brakers” at high level. ‘T h e idea that som e­ one in the leadership is braking the reforms is simply not correct,” Laptev said. C U L T U R A L D E B A T E TO Y E L T S I N A F F A I R


tcThese are speculations that are made outside the USSR. I know Ligachev per­ sonally. To call him a braker is unjust and unfair.”72

Meanwhile, at about the same time Ligachev was granting the Le Monde interview, Aleksandr Yakovlev was reminding editors that the process o f re­ structuring was threatened not only by “conservatism” but by “avant-gardism” as well.73Yeltsin’s performance had come to be categorized as adventurist folly— it was being described as “Bonapartism.”74The contents o f the infamous Oc­ tober speech would not be discussed publicly in the USSR until after Yeltsin’s plea for rehabilitation at .the Nineteenth Party Conference in 1988.



Devolution of Control in an Era of Transition

In May 1988, the literary journal Novyy mir published an article which looked at perestroika historically, as one in a series o f Russian reform efforts.1In a dis­ cussion o f early Bolshevik policies, such as the appropriation of food from the countryside, the piece detailed Lenin’s role in the development of Soviet ter­ ror and examined how concentration camps were initiated in his era.2 Paola Garimberti o f Rome’s La Bxpublica subsequendy pressed Novyy mir editor Sergey Zalygin for political background on the piece: “Chi lo ha ordinato?” [Who ordered it?] he asked. When Zalygin said that he published it on his own initiative, and that it was part o f the normal everyday Soviet discussion o f political and historical issues, Garimberti remarked: “ . . . о lei è un kamikaze; oppure oggi i direttori di giornali in Urss godono di una straordinaria libertà; o, ancora, la confusione nel dibattito storico-politico è tale che puo succedere di tutto, anche di prendere a colpi di piccone il piedestallo di lenin” [ . . . either you are a kamikaze; or editors in the USSR now enjoy extraordinary liberty; or the confusion of the historical-political debate is such that anything can happen, even attacks on the pedestal o f Lenin].3 The latter explanation seems especially on target. If 1987 had ended on a sour note with the “Yeltsin affair,” the atmosphere within the USSR still was one o f remarkable political confusion, and journalists were finding this confu­ sion progressively easier to exploit.4

The Party-State Shift and Its Consequences The major catalyst for confusion was Gorbachev’s effort, begun in late 1987, to address the effects of Stalin and Stalinism upon the Soviet Union. This clearly was a dramatic and serious undertaking: Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 “Secret Speech” denouncing Stalin’s crimes still remained unpublished in the USSR. But setting history straight was not the only issue. Gorbachev encouraged open discussion of Stalin’s crimes because he now was attacking Stalinist “bureau­ cratic centralism” within the CPSU. This, Gorbachev argued, had supplanted true Leninist democratic centralism. Aggressive perestroika was needed to re­ store the latter.5This attitude made it “open season” on the Stalin years. As the editors of the journal Voprosy istorii wrote in their February, 1988, issue, “Solv­ ing the problems o f perestroika and achieving a qualitatively new state o f so­ cialist society urgently requires the truthful, complete, responsible, and scientific analysis of all stages o f our history, without any kind o f‘blank spots’ and ‘closed zones’ and the open discussion o f the dialectics o f past ways.”6 As Novyy mir showed, a cautious reassessment o f Lenin was being undertaken as well. De-Stalinization was accompanied by other Gorbachev initiatives meant as responses to his opponents. These, too, helped to erode established patterns o f control and coercion. Most important, in 1988 Gorbachev began to pro­ mote the transition to a “law-based” state, rather than one directed by a CPSU increasingly divided over his reforms. Gorbachev advocated separating the party and its subordinate organs from the soviets—the state administrative councils that were in charge o f local government bodies. H e felt that such a move would help free government from domination by the apparat. In theory and propa­ ganda, the soviets already were democratically elected bodies, but party-con­ trolled commissions long had enjoyed great discretion in screening candidates and vote counts.7At the Nineteenth Party Conference, Gorbachev would call for “mandatory multi-candidate, secret-ballot elections at all levels” o f the soviets.8 If such a move echoed a slogan from the early Lenin era, “All power to the soviets,” other ghosts o f the period began reappearing as well. Nikolay Bukharin, a prominent victim o f Stalin’s purges, resurfaced posthumously in the second of Kommunisfs two January numbers for 1988.9 By the end o f the year, even the chief of Glavlit, Vladimir A. Boldyrev, was granting interviews. He told Izvestiya that the list of forbidden topics had been reduced by almost a third—although certain foreign and dissident books still were banned on an ideological basis.10 Books that slipped through the net during the first months o f 1988 also con­ stituted clear evidence that glasnost still meant something. In its first four is­ sues of the year, Oktyabr* serialized Vasiliy Grossman’s long-banned Zhizn’ i sud’ba (Life and Fate) ; 11Novyy mir did the same for Boris Pasternak’s once-con60


troversial Doktor Zhivago.12Novyy mir also announced plans to publish George Orwell’s içH -13Planning for publication probably began after the Yeltsin fiasco in the autumn o f 1987—circumstantial evidence that glasnost was working in the cultural arena, if not necessarily in the party news organs. More important, even before the Yeltsin affair, a serious political division among mass media outlets had begun to develop. This was an open indication that the CPSU5s ostensibly monolithic character had been decisively fragmented. “The press organs differ from each other greatly,” Korotich said late in 1987, describing what by then was a wide-open media landscape. “Such papers that have taken a stance against us are, for example, Molodaya£fvardiya, Pravda, [Nash] savremennik. We consider this necessary, for everyone must have their opposite. We were given great support by Izvestiya, Znamya, Turns?, Nedelya, and Sovetskaya kul’tum. I think this is a natural phenomenon in the course of debates, and we now are learning to debate.”14 Evidence o f liberalization and change was balanced by signs of hesitancy. Foreign travel without exit visas was permitted, for example, but only to East Bloc states.15By May, 1988, some Soviet citizens were trying to understand “why one dissident is welcomed in from the cold while another is sent to jail, why George Orwell but not Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is published now, why Pravda can call for limits on the powers o f the Communist Party but a ragtag band of political amateurs that proclaims itself an opposition party [the informal “Democratic U nion”] encounters the fierce indignation o f the police and press.”16A writer to Izvestiya from Vladivostok complained about a party lec­ turer who, after urging the audience to talk freely about past history, was strangely quiet about his own opinions, kept a tape recorder running nearby, and frequently reminded those who wished to speak that they needed to an­ nounce their names.17 Journalists were speaking their minds about the quality o f the Soviet me­ dia. “Let’s call a spade a spade ” Izvestiya^ managing editor, Igor Golembiovskiy, told a Tbilisi newspaper in early 1988. “For a long time, until just recently, the Soviet press was a staggering phenomenon: it was one o f the least informative and, at the same time, it had tremendous circulation.”18 But many letters to the editor reflected disapproval o f the disruptions caused by perestroika. An Izvestiya writer noted that the atmosphere o f glasnost had produced many missives demanding to know who was responsible for publishing some sto­ ries. While the reaction usually signaled a victory for journalists over the au­ thorities, “the wider glasnost becomes, the larger the stream o f letters from those who are seeking, instead o f truth in argument, a mediator, a supreme judge, who will make all arguments cease.”19A week later, in introducing a new column (“Letters . . . N ot for Publication”) featuring particularly provocative D EV O LU T IO N OF CO N TR O L


entries, the daily acknowledged that “editorial staff working with the mail some­ times see something that makes them wonder: should this be published?”20 Readers who took pen in hand sometimes feared reprisals. A tour guide from Dnepropetrovsk oblast, writing o f his experiences in a letter to Sovetskaya kuPtura in mid-February, 1988, noted that, while the press was a good arena for discussion, zealous bureaucrats still could punish letter writers after read­ ing their thoughts in the newspaper.21 Some officials argued for more and bet­ ter counterpropaganda, particularly at the local level. An oblast first secretary from Ukraine, writing in Sotsialisticheskaya industriya in January, 1988, com­ plained about the contents o f foreign broadcasts, accused Canadian tourists of spreading ideological indoctrination in Ukraine, and castigated the local media for failing to print anti-Western articles.22

Receding Authority A long w ith a relaxed hand when it came to partisanship, journalists were also discovering that the penalties for crossing boundaries no longer were as severe as they had been conditioned to believe. Korotich provided an illustrative ex­ ample in discussing how one Ogomk article in early 1988 again jangled nerves in the Ligachev w ing o f the party. The incident concerned an Ogonëk piece which criticized the state o f Soviet youth literature.23 According to Korotich, the real fallout came because o f a small but ironic reference to Georgiy Markov, longtim e head o f the USSR Writers U nion, and a figure with close ties to Ligachev; both had risen to promi­ nence in Tomsk. The result was that, a few days after the issue appeared, a Pmvda article attacked Ogonëk?s coverage as disrespectful.24 There was more com ing. In his account o f the event, Korotich said, “In the m orning I received Pmvda. At noon, I received a call from Kozlovskiy, chief o f the sector o f magazines in the [Propaganda Department o f the] Central Com ­ m ittee o f the Communist Party. H e told me: Tn the next issue [o f Ogonëk] you have to reprint the article from Pmvda w ithout commentary.’” Korotich let the matter sit for tw o days before calling Kozlovskiy back. “I told him I had met with my editorial board, that it’s not my private magazine, and that they refused to print it. H e started to shout at m e, but I said I cannot do it against the w ill o f my people___ And o f course I reprinted nothing, and nothing happened? [emphasis added].25 Korotich, o f course, may been counting on the protection o f Aleksandr Yakovlev, w ho was not one to defend Ligachev’s interests. Regardless, news o f incidents like this traveled through editorial staffs and helped to break down media constraints for good. Speaking about later episodes (around 1989-90) involving Gorbachev personally, Korotich said, “W hen it became clear that 62


[when you overstepped the boundaries o f glasnost] Gorbachev w ould shout at you and do nothing more, they [journalists and editors] started to do what they liked.”26

The control system might have weathered Agitprop’s inconsistency. But the other essential mechanism o f press oversight—Glavlit—also began to disinte­ grate. According to Korotich, some censors started to become personally in­ volved in the USSR’s political struggle. Ojjonek’s chief censor actually began tacidy to support the journal against others. “H e still looked through all of our materials,” Korotich said. “But somewhere in the depths of his soul, he supported us. H e eventually showed us materials [prepared in advance for publication] in Nash sovremenniky Molodaya £fvardiya. H e let us look at them and prepare responses.”27 In early 1988, then, the tw o principal m ethods o f CPSU media control were falling apart.

National Stirrings The domestic situation was also darkened by ominous signs on the periphery of the Soviet Union. The rebirth o f ethnic nationalism had become a serious threat. Some serious incidents received press coverage, such as the anti-Rus­ sian rioting in Alma-Ata in December, 1986. The next year saw the growth of unofficial, independent organizations and associations, now tolerated under intellectual glasnost. Several neformaly [informal groups] emerged that would bring long-range consequences for the Soviet leadership. N ot all o f the пфгпийу were threatening to Moscow. “Hundreds of small political groups sprang u p . . . mainly sympathetic to Gorbachev and urging a more radical version o f perestroika.”28 But troublesome issues arose with the formation o f fledgling human-rights groups in the Baltic states. Their appear­ ance tested both official tolerance and the abilities o f regional media to subvert their corresponding party committees. In time, ethnic Russian пфгпийу would emerge in the Baltic states as counterweights to the independence movements. A new, violent form o f Russian nationalism emerged in the Russian Federa­ tion as well. This was embodied in the 1987 appearance o f Pamyat [Memory], a self-styled populist organization with an explicitly anti-Semitic philosophy. The organizers o f Pamyat were shrewd enough to package their group as a byproduct o f the new freedoms. Pamyat, one Western correspondent noted in May, 1987, “is the first grassroots organization to invoke the official watchword o f glasnost, or openness, in support o f a decidedly unofficial political agenda, in which a yearning for a return to traditional Russian values has become inex­ tricably intertwined with a darker nationalism that sees the Russian homeland beset by enemies, chiefly ‘international Zionism.’” A division within the D EV O LU T IO N OF C O NTROL


political leadership may have been reflected in the fact that, w hile the more independent-minded publications such as KomsomoPskaya pmvda and Ogonëk condem ned Pamyat, the Interior M inistry made no attempt to break up the group’s Red Square dem onstrations.29 Other chauvinistic organizations, such as Russia’s Otechestvo and Rus’ emerged alongside, and in apparent coopera­ tion w ith, Pamyat. These groups got tacit support from a number o f Soviet publications: Sovetskaya rossiya; Russian republic writers union journals Nash sovremennik and Liternaturnaya rossiya; Moskva, published by the USSR Writ­ ers U nion’s M oscow chapter; the Kom som ol publication Motodaya£fvardiya; and the army journal Sovetskiy voin, among others.30

Even more problematical were the violent ethnic clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, which escalated in early 1988. A new political disturbance in February centered on Armenian demands that a predominantly Armenian area of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, be incorporated into the Armenian repub­ lic. Adding to the tension, these calls were spearheaded by the Armenian Com­ munist Party Central Committee; worse, this Armenian committee refused to be silent when the CPSU Central Committee rejected its initial request. These events received litde dom estic coverage. As democratic movem ents began to emerge even in som e tighdy controlled Eastern European satellites, Pravda editorials continued to extol the virtues o f glasnost.31 But many ob ­ servers long since had begun to link openness w ith the breakdown in order.

Affronts to Ideology As noted above in discussing the May, 1988, Novyy mir article, the threat posed by greater glasnost extended to ideological realms. Gorbachev’s de-Stalinization campaign sparked scholarly interest in party history o f the 1920s and 1930s, and it now became politically viable for materials on that era to be released. Gorbachev foresaw such a release and even enlisted Glavlit’s help. A TASS re­ port o f April, 1988, stated that an “inter-departmental com m ission” was set up w ithin Glavlit during 1987 “for transferring books by Soviet and foreign au­ thors from the so-called ‘special stocks’ to the general use stocks.” Soviet li­ braries began receiving and making available “works b y . . . victims o f the period o f Stalin’s personality cult.” Vladimir Solodin, a member o f Glavlit’s presidium, told an interviewer that “only provocative, openly nationalistic and anti-Semitic books, books calling for war and violence, [and] pornography have been left in the special stocks.”32 There were signs o f controversy over how to handle the anticipated power transition and still retain the CPSU’s “vanguard” status. N ovosti organized a briefing for dom estic and foreign journalists at its M oscow headquarters on the subject o f “blank spots o f history—concerning the emergence o f a one64

Go r b a c h e v ’ s


party system in the USSR.” H owever, much o f the conference, which featured three Soviet historians, was devoted to debunking claims that “the one-party system . . . is evidence o f the absence o f democracy in our country,” according to radio coverage. A N ovosti spokesman described the situation as “the result o f the rejection by the leaders o f the parties o f Russian petit bourgeois democ­ racy . . . o f the Bolsheviks’ proposal that a multiparty Soviet Government be formed.” C iting Western intervention in the Russian Civil War, the N ovosti spokesman asserted that the “West m a y . . . regard itself as a co-author o f our single-party system.” It was emphasized that non-com m unist socialist and other revolutionary parties collaborated w ith the invaders. “The irreconcilable hos­ tility o f the Russian and international bourgeoisie to the new system, and the attempt to stifle it w hile still an embryo, forced us, as Lenin said, to embark on a desperate and merciless struggle, and forced us into an immeasurably greater breakup o f old relationships than w e wanted.” The broadcast’s final point was that “democracy does not depend on the number o f parties but on the devel­ opm ent o f internal party democracy. We have many reserves in this respect and they have by no means been exhausted.”33 M eanwhile, w ith the N ineteenth Party Conference loom ing ahead in this troubled atmosphere, the stage was set for a new, unsettling use o f the newly partisanized press, and Sovetskaya rossiya w ould provide the launching pad for such a use.



У Action and Reaction

Nina Andreyeva was just an obscure Leningrad chemistry teacher until, alarmed at the course o f perestroika, she put her political thoughts down on paper early in 1988. She sent her long essay to several newspapers, Sovetskaya rossiya among them. Publication o f her essay in that periodical threw the USSR into a political frenzy that lasted for several weeks. Coming only a few months after the chaos of the Yeltsin affair and the subsequent de-Stalinization effort, this period con­ tinued to be characterized by enormously mixed messages about glasnost and the responsibilities of the mass media. Such lack o f clarity showed how con­ fused the program o f top-down media liberalism had become. Briefly put, the Andreyeva essay attacked the new liberalism o f the Gorbachev era and called for a defense o f the traditional Soviet system. It praised Stalin’s memory, which the writer argued had been unjusdy maligned since late 1987. Ominously, it carried anti-Semitic overtones and hinted that Stalin’s critics— and the supporters o f perestroika—were the political descendants o f those overthrown by the October Revolution and o f those class enemies (justifiably, the author implied) purged by Stalin.1 The timing o f the missive was as delicate as its subject. Sovetskaya rossiya published it prominendy on March 13,1988, as Gorbachev was leaving for a four-day official visit to Yugoslavia.2 The piece instandy was viewed as more than just a long discourse by a teacher from Leningrad. Contemporary writers referred to “the article by N. Andreyeva

and those behind her.”3 Some felt that it was a sign that the power balance had already shifted. Others saw it as a call to arms by “conservative” forces in prepa­ ration for the Nineteenth Party Conference. H ow the letter came to be published is a complex story with many contra­ dicting assertions by its principal characters. And, while Gorbachev, in his memoirs, recalled telling the Politburo that “the publication o f Nina Andreyeva’s article was only made possible by perestroika and glasnost”—i.e., it was a posi­ tive sign of democratization and liberalization—circumstantial evidence indi­ cates this event constituted another transgression o f the kind o f openness Gorbachev had in mind.4

‘i t 's N ecessary to Keep This Line” If nothing else, the letter proved that Ligachev, like Gorbachev, had friends in the media. In this case, the ally was Sovetskaya rossiya chief editor Valentin Chikin.5According to Angus Roxburgh, who interviewed several members of Sovetskaya rossiya staff, the paper’s culture department received the unsolicited letter sometime in February. Chikin and Ligachev allegedly met to discuss it; Roxburgh wrote that second-hand reports o f this meeting could not be verified, but he felt that it was “unlikely that Chikin would have proceeded as he then did without Ligachev’s consent, for his actions were as covert and calculated as in any conspiracy.”6 Rather than go through the usual editorial channels re­ garding letters, Chikin turned the polemic over to Science Editor Vladimir Denisov. H e “knew Ligachev well, having previously worked as Sovetskaya rossiya’s correspondent in Tomsk while Ligachev was party chief there.” Andreyeva herself was contacted to make revisions; she told Roxburgh that no additions or distortions were made in her text.7 Near the end o f an editorial meeting on March 12, Chikin arranged to in­ clude the letter in the next day’s edition. Few editors read the piece. Managing Editor Vladimir Pankov later asserted that the copy had been set and proof­ read without his knowledge. “Chikin also left the building, having taken the decision to publish without waiting for any objections from his staff.”8 The Andreyeva missive, “I cannot waive principles” [Ne mogu postupafsya printsipami], bore large headlines; it was accompanied by a photograph of Andreyeva talking with her students.9 Gorbachev later wrote that he first saw the article while on the plane to Yugoslavia.10 Meanwhile, Ligachev was run­ ning things in the Kremlin, and he promoted the wisdom o f the chemistry teacher’s views during an unscheduled meeting with leading media officials. N ot all o f Moscow’s leading editors were invited: According to Vitaliy Korotich of Ogonëk, he and hisMoskovskiye novosti counterpart, Yegor Yakovlev, were not included. Korotich said he learned that Ligachev “collected all the editors-inA C TIO N AND R EA C TIO N


chief, inform ing them that it [the Nina Andreyeva letter] was a great article and that it’s necessary to keep this line.”11 IzvestiycCs Laptev, w ho did attend, later recalled Ligachev’s words as: “I read an excellent article yesterday in Sovetskaya rossiya, a wonderful example o f party political writing. I hope you have all read it. I w ould ask you, comrade editors, to be guided by the ideas o f this article in your work.”12 For his part, Ligachev acknowledged that he did in fact m ention the letter at the meeting. “I see nothing shameful here,” he wrote in his memoirs. “We were talking about our treatment o f history, a topic that was acutely polem ical at that moment. It was in this context, and this context alone, that I spoke about the article in Sovetskaya rossiya. And I certainly did not give any instructions to have it reprinted everywhere.”13

If Ligachev did not order its reprinting, the director o f TASS nonetheless sent out a recommendation to that effect.14The piece was, in fact, reprinted by several newspapers, sometimes on their own initiative but sometimes on or­ ders from local party officials. An Izvestiya writer recounted that “here and there it became disseminated by photocopies. Some raykoms organized wide discus­ sions of the article at assemblies and department meetings, which were sup­ posed to express support for the ideas contained in the publication.”15 As photocopier use was still regulated in 1988, such activity must have been under­ taken with the cooperation o f party or security authorities.16 Meanwhile, in Leningrad, “conferences were organized which were clearly supportive o f the article by N. Andreyeva. One was even shown on television.”17

The Gorbachev Response Even though the Andreyeva polem ic fundamentally offered an anti-perestroika view, the episode—which eventually resulted in tw o high-level party organs taking openly opposing view s—could be seen as a serious sign o f glasnost at work.18 Once Gorbachev returned to M oscow, however, the political damage control he initiated reveals that he still thought o f media issues along different lines. Gorbachev sought a highly organized response. In the aftermath o f the polem ic’s appearance, som e “liberal” editors prepared to denounce and refute the Andreyeva letter. By Korotich’s account, the staff o f Ogonëk organized a roundtable discussion. But as soon as the journal’s plans were made known, Korotich received a call from Aleksandr Yakovlev, w ho told him to postpone it. “H e said: ‘The answer to Nina Andreyeva must be from the official level,’” Korotich recalled, “‘because if you decide to answer her [in Ogonëk] it w ill be very bad, because they [Ligachev’s supporters] w ill discuss it w ith you at a lower level. It’s necessary to strike back from the highest level.’”19 Gorbachev, even 68


after many months o f promoting “criticism from below” still subscribed to a top-down, instrumental philosophy o f mass communication when a crisis arose. To Gorbachev and Yakovlev, “grassroots” indignation and opposition would not register effectively with their opponents within the Party—or perhaps with their supporters there either. In a system which had manufactured spontaneity for so long, genuine support was to be suppressed in this case. Preparing the response was complicated by Ligachev’s high standing. Gorbachev previously had announced that Ligachev would address the upcom­ ing Nineteenth Party Conference. For these and other reasons, some three weeks passed between the Andreyeva letter’s appearance and the full-page es­ say representing the high-level response, which was printed on the second page o f Pravda on April 5. Because o f the time lag, “many Russians concluded that Mr. Gorbachev’s programs had been reversed and that his opponents had seized control o f the Party?520 The TASS directive that recommended reprinting the Nina Andreyeva letter was itself not rescinded until March 29, when Ligachev left Moscow to visit Vologda. Even then, TASS made only a partial concession. It “said that papers should reprint the Nina Andreyeva article only ‘in agree­ ment with the local Party authorities’ thus indicating that it no longer had toplevel approval as a ‘guideline? ”21At least one Soviet journalist took Gorbachev to task for the delay, citing the fear that gripped the country and the fact that “conservative” forces seemed free to organize their own media discussion in support o f the polemic.22 The Pravda essay cited the Andreyeva piece by title, though it did not refer to the author by name.23 The new article, a long, ideologically tinged mani­ festo in defense o f perestroika, charged that the supporters o f the Andreyeva missive were motivated by a desire to “revise party decisions.” It slammed “false patriotism” and stated that the problem faced by the reform process lay with bureaucratic methods o f management and government.24 The essay called for “more glasnost,” but also sharply criticized the editorial board o f Sovetskaya rossiya for its handling o f the Andreyeva letter. This seems to be a defining moment in the progression o f glasnost as Gorbachev envi­ sioned it. The Andreyeva polemic was politically threatening to Gorbachev. It offered a defense o f Stalinism replete with anti-Semitic overtones, was promoted by his chief rival as a solid political line, and appeared at a time when Gorbachev was out o f Moscow and therefore quite vulnerable.25Yet its publication would seem to reflect the kind o f “socialist pluralism o f opinion” that Gorbachev fre­ quently had invoked. Sovetskaya rossiytfs actions were clearly deemed outside the framework of glasnost. More punishment came swiftly to the newspaper. Chikin kept his job but was obviously pressured into immediately reversing his editorial stance. A C TIO N AND REA C TIO N


Politburo member Vitaliy Vorotnikov presumably laid dow n the law during a visit to the paper’s editorial offices just prior to Pravda’s publication o f the counterpolem ic. Sovetskaya rossiya itself announced this m eeting w ith the edi­ tors; it also announced an internal editorial conference “about making new s­ paper items more topical and deepening our analysis o f the changes now being made in party work and in the econom ic, social and cultural spheres.”26 Sovetskaya rossiya reprinted the Pmvda counterpolemic in full on April 6.27About a week later, it acknowledged that the paper shared the counterpolem ic’s “ar­ guments and conclusions and the essence o f its criticism.” Below this, Sovetskaya rossiya ran three lengthy “reader responses” offering careful criticism o f the Andreyeva piece, supported by philosophical and ideological tenets. Each voiced support for the CPSU and acknowledged pain in confronting past abuses, and one attributed those abuses to Stalin alone.28 Three days later, Sovetskaya rossiya ran a full-page feature on page three, based on readers’ letters. At its end, a boxed segm ent, headlined “From the Editorial Office,” offered som e internal savnokritika: “It was recognized that a lack o f re­ sponsibility and considered approach was displayed while the letter T Cannot Waive Principles’ was being prepared for press, even though it leads us all away from the revolutionary renewal o f society on the basis o f dem ocracy and glasnost.’”29 In his memoirs, Ligachev made several remarks about this press campaign. These should be evaluated cautiously, however, because Ligachev is unclear about dates and events. H e alleges that Chikin “was categorically forbidden to publish letters in support o f Andreyeva and ordered to print only condem na­ tory letters. M oreover, the approving letters were taken from the editorial offices. Scandalously, the true picture o f readers’ opinions was hidden from the public, and the idea im posed o f a unanimous condem nation o f the article.”30

Ligachev further charges that unspecified “editorial offices” (.Pravdays>) re­ ceived 380 letters about the Andreyeva piece between April 5 and April 20. Only 80 were unfavorable to Andreyeva, according to Ligachev, citing an official report commissioned by the Central Committee on public opinion regarding the polemic.31 Lasdy, Ligachev charges that an anti-Andreyeva editorial—apparendy the April 5 counterpolem ic—was forced upon Pravda’s editorial board. H e wrote that the piece arrived late during a Politburo session so it could be rushed through w ithout the customary Politburo review. H owever, the date o f this session is unclear. H e does, however, quote Pravdd*s Afanas’yev as saying “bit­ terly” that Gorbachev and Yakovlev “twisted my arm and forced me to put the article into the paper. I w ill never in my life forgive m yself for that.”32All this, according to Ligachev, follow ed a private conversation in which Gorbachev 70


told him he was convinced that Ligachev had nothing to do with publication o f the Andreyeva letter.33 But, as Roxburgh observed, Ligachev’s offense lay in promoting the letter after it was printed.

Bolstering the “Response from Above” Extended discussion o f the Nina Andreyeva letter and the Pravda retort occu­ pied much o f the Soviet media’s attention for several weeks. Pravda and other publications noted the April 5 editorial’s endorsement by various republican and regional party m eetings.34 A front-page essay by Izvestiya's Nikolay Bodnaruk, printed on April 10, attacked “impostors o f restructuring” and called for their unmasking.35A long letter to Izvestiya, printed three days later, com­ pared the anti-perestroika forces’ attitudes with Stalin’s hostility toward intel­ lectuals.36 Pravda, meanwhile, offered an editorial on journalistic professionalism that could be read several different ways in light of the rough handling meted out to Sovetskaya rossiya. Party and media organizations were admonished to be freely critical o f dishonest or untruthful reporting, and the final paragraph noted that “perestroika is also going on in the press”: “It means cleaning out the negative burdens o f the past . . . the uplifting o f responsibility and competency and the decayed professional skills o f journalists. The party again and again reminds current affairs journalists about their duty o f sacrificial participation in social renovation in that area in which they are called on to devote their intellect and talents: strengthen the spirit o f the people, support their struggle for pere­ stroika.”37The message seemed to be: the only acceptable use of glasnost was in promoting restructuring as Gorbachev directed it.

Ligachev’s Downfall Ligachev’s punishment came swiftly following publication o f the counter­ polemic. In his memoirs, the errant ideology chief recounts the official media campaign against him. On April 14,1988, Pravda wrote: “It must be said that the opponents o f perestroika are not only waiting for the m om ent when it chokes----- They

are now getting bolder and raising their heads.” Again on April 18, Pravda noted: “The full-scale program o f open and hidden opponents of perestroika intends the mobilization o f conservative forces.” And Sovetskaya kul’tura put it even more sharply on April 16: “Has the time not come to remove the quotation marks and call by their own names those who, on the thresh­ old o f the 19th All-Union Party Conference, endeavor to unite their forces for a batde against the ideas o f the 27th Party Congress and landmark CenA C T IO N AND R EA C TIO N


tral Committee plenums? Having regrouped after the shock o f the first years after April [a reference to the April, 1985, plenum], the adepts o f the ‘heavy hand9concept are trying. . . to sow uncertainty within our ranks.”38 N ot all high-level messages kept to this line. The same April 14 Pravda quoted above by Ligachev allotted coverage on its second page to KGB head Chebrikov’s speech in Cheboksary. Much o f his talk was devoted to machine build­ ing, housing, and other industrial topics. But Chebrikov emphasized that, while criticism was all well and good, it was only a small part o f the picture: The process o f widening democracy and glasnost creates very favorable conditions for the developm ent o f initiatives and the creativity o f the mass o f the working classes. But along w ith that, recently w e have com e into contact with attempts by som e individuals to use the growth o f sociopolitical activity o f the people to harm the state and society. Putting in m otion an arsenal o f m ethods o f social demagoguery, substituting bourgeois liberal­ ism for the concepts o f social democracy, those people are in reality trying to bring to naught the vast work o f the party in deepening perestroika and in renewing all facets o f our life. Som e o f them do it consciously; in som e cases, w e are talking about a display o f elementary political ignorance. So under the present conditions, the issue o f political education acquires a special, tim ely significance and every underestim ation o f it can bring about the start o f very undesirable phenom ena.39 Chebrikov’s remarks are especially interesting because he was, by som e ac­ counts, the only Politburo member to defend Ligachev during that body’s cli­ mactic session devoted to the problem o f the loose-cannon secretary o f the Central Com m ittee.40 This unscheduled m eeting took place in O ld Square— Staraya Ploshchad, the Central Com m ittee’s headquarters—rather than in the Kremlin. According to Ligachev, the m eeting ran for tw o days, each session lasting six or seven hours.41 “A single issue was on the agenda,” Ligachev re­ calls, “discussion o f Nina Andreyeva’s letter.”42 Ligachev describes him self as a man caught in a w itch hunt. Yakovlev, ac­ cording to Ligachev, set the tone o f the Politburo m eeting. “Expressions never used before were unleashed,” Ligachev writes; “‘manifesto o f antiperestroika forces,’ ‘opposition to perestroika’ ‘forces o f deceleration’—the w hole set o f labels the radical press then started to exploit.” Ligachev asserts that Yakovlev’s commentary was echoed by Vadim M edvedev, the man w ho shortly w ould succeed Ligachev as ideology head.43 W ithout m entioning Chebrikov’s part in the discussion, Ligachev maintains that the other Politburo members were less 72


harsh, while Gorbachev “came out unequivocally on the side o f Yakovlev in expressing his dissatisfaction with those Politburo members who had been conciliatory. There is no reason to name names here, but I will say that several participants in the session were forced to change their point o f view during the course o f the discussion under the pretext that they had initially read Andreyeva’s letter without sufficient care.”44 The result was that a process had begun to strip Ligachev o f his high-pow­ ered ideological portfolio. Though Vadim Medvedev stepped into Ligachev’s former role, Aleksandr Yakovlev not only retained Agitprop oversight but also kept a significant hand in ideology issues. By the end o f April, Pravda was re­ porting that Yakovlev had spoken at a meeting focusing on ideological issues for CPSU officials in the media, and had attended the opening o f a history con­ ference. Both areas were ones in which Ligachev normally would have been preeminent. Ligachev was not listed as a participant at either meeting but was not ill, as he met with South African Communist Party boss Joe Slovo.45 Ligachev exited quietly. In the fall, he formally would be transferred to the important but politically less high-profile agricultural arena. This transfer came during the general reshuffling o f the Politburo which followed the retirement of long-standing member Andrey Gromyko, who also had chaired the Pre­ sidium o f the USSR Supreme Soviet. As Gorbachev remarked in his Memoirs: We had to respond to the section o f public opinion that had been un­ w illing to accept Ligachev as the guardian o f the ideological sphere. And w e also had to respond to another group, especially in the party, that w ould not accept Yakovlev. H ence w e had to make a maneuver that w ould defuse the situation.

Sometimes people ask: shouldn’t we have got rid o f Ligachev at that time? So soon after the recent party conference, such a decision might have unnecessarily aggravated the situation on the eve o f political reform. It would also have been unfair to him and to those people whose attitudes he ex­ pressed. . . . Ligachev had to be moved away from ideological work, but kept in the leadership.46 At the September 30 plenum o f the Central Committee, Ligachev rose from his seat to recommend that Gorbachev be named to replace Gromyko as Pre­ sidium chair. H e based his recommendation “on the fact that ‘both internally and internationally the general secretary represents our state.5”47 Gorbachev’s victory over Ligachev was complete.



The Nineteenth Party Conference

Even apart from the Ligachev-Gorbachev conflict, the N ineteenth A ll-U nion CPSU Conference was a dramatic event, providing the setting for a sea change in the party’s relation to the running o f the state. H ere, Gorbachev introduced several radical initiatives which, though they m et vocal opposition, ultim ately were reflected in the conference resolutions. As they constituted attacks on the party structure which long had called the shots for the mass media, Gorbachev’s course o f action is worth summarizing briefly. Gorbachev again stressed the urgency o f separating the functions o f the ubiquitous party com m ittees from the government’s administrative functions and those o f the various soviets. The apparat was to be reduced, in part by elim i­ nating redundant econom ic management departments. Party bodies them ­ selves were to be democratized via m ulti-candidate, secret-ballot elections.1 Gorbachev argued for this in terms which made it clear that this was targeting a stubborn apparat.2

H e also proposed constitutional changes reestablishing the role o f state— rather than party—bodies as high authorities. The most important such change created a new “Congress o f People’s Deputies” as the highest body o f state power, with the existing Supreme Soviet, itself to be reconstituted, subordi­ nated to it. The new Supreme Soviet was to be elected from the membership of the congress and was to meet more regularly than before in order actively to discuss legislative issues. Further underscoring democratization, the congress’s 2,250 members were to be elected. Two-thirds o f its composition would come

from popular, general elections; the other third—not quite enough to block any vote on its ow n—was to be provided via “mandates” from CPSU-affiliated “social organizations” The chairman o f the new Supreme Soviet elected by this congress—and Gorbachev him self had his eyes on this position—w ould be an active policy maker, much more than a ceremonial head o f state, as previously had been the case.3 W hile Gorbachev continued to talk o f further separating party and state func­ tions, he stressed that the CPSU w ould keep its m onopoly on power and said that “as a rule,” a district or regional party first secretary should be “recom­ mended” to head the corresponding, newly empowered soviet.4 Even with such qualifications, many construed the unprecedented changes as setbacks for the party. Vague “conference theses” were circulated only a m onth before the con­ ference was supposed to decide these serious issues, and the lack o f data and short tim e frame contributed to an increasingly tense political situation. The party, which once had seemed m onolithic, now appeared to be at war with itself.5

Pre-Conference Glasnost Though being gradually downgraded, Ligachev at this tim e allegedly still was able to flex his muscle w ith dissident media. Sergey Grigoryants, whose dissi­ dent magazine Glasnost* previously had been subjected to KGB seizure, was arrested a few weeks prior to the conference. “According to what I know,” he told a Yugoslavian journalist after his release, “Yegor Ligachev, Politburo mem­ ber and secretary o f the Soviet Party Central Com m ittee, was the m ost critical o f our activities and glasnost in general.” Grigoryants blamed Ligachev for his arrest “because he is closer to the politicians o f the past in his way o f thinking and he is not for such openness nor for a quick perestroika.”6 There were blunt calls for greater glasnost. A party ideologist, writing in Sovetskaya kul’tum in early June, urged an end to the practice o f keeping CSPU affairs and history classified. The categorization o f even well-known or trivial details as state secrets had reached an absurd point, he argued, noting that Khrushchev’s “secret speech” denouncing Stalin remained unpublished twentytwo years after the Twentieth Party Congress and almost a year into Gorbachev’s de-Stalinization effort. “If the party hides som e pages o f its history from com ­ munists . . . it is altogether clear that this does not serve the party’s stability and authority,” he asserted. H e added that such efforts caused needless embarrass­ ment when painful details eventually came to light.7 The central media seem to have reflected a situation where Gorbachev was counting on a populist elem ent to help pressure the delegates into accepting his proposals. A few weeks before the N ineteenth Party Conference, Izvestiya N I N E T E E N T H PA R T Y C O N F E R E N C E


noted that “the press, including Izvestiya, is called on not only to explain the concepts [contained in the conference theses] to readers but also to take into consideration their opinions and desires on this account.”8More authoritatively, Pravda observed on May 29 that “a special role in the discussion [of the the­ ses] belongs to the organs o f mass information. It must give maximum effort to showing the course o f discussion and different viewpoints which lies ahead.” The mass media, Pravda noted, needed “to concentrate our attention on indepth, multifaceted solutions to local problems” and (in an apparent reference to Gorbachev’s initiatives) use “bright journalistic conversation” to highlight “fresh ideas and approaches and extraordinary creative thoughts.” The paper also offered an apparent caution against Yeltsin-style actions: “At the same time, excessive haste, running ahead, and enthusiasm for secondary issues or those which obviously are presendy unrealistic, will not be profitable.”9

Defining Moments Pravda carried other authoritative pieces regarding the substance and limits o f glasnost. A long June 19 article included the views o f legal expert Yuriy Baturin, who offered a five-point definition o f just what glasnost meant. Linking it to the development o f “socialist pluralism,” he asserted that “the meaning and content o f glasnost consists of: •

freedom and publicity o f speech, freedom o f the press, real socialist pluralism o f opinion, open com parison o f ideas and interests;

allowing citizens and their organizations inform ation necessary for partici­ pating in the discussion and solution o f questions o f state and social life o f nationw ide, republic, and local im portance, and also those affecting their rights, responsibilities, and legal interests;

openness on the part o f and access to all organs o f pow er and m anagem ent and civic officials, including the unim peded right o f citizens to address proposals and statem ents to them ;

revelation, study, and consideration o f public o pinion in the process o f decision m aking;

the publication o f decisions and bringing them to the atten tio n o f the people and organizations concerned by th e m .10

Other observers quoted in the piece offered supportive commentary linking glasnost to the Lenin era. One, party worker Leon A. Onikov, noted that glasnost hit its peak during the Lenin years, while the Stalin era had seen its curtailment. While there were some references to a need for a press law to “guarantee glasnost,” Onikov was quoted as saying that there still existed a need to be vigilant about 76


state secrets, although he felt that, from a Leninist point o f view, the list of restricted items itself should again be made public, as it was in the 1920s.11The conditions o f glasnost, therefore, still seemed to affirm the role o f Glavlit.12 Glasnost was not the only conference issue addressed in the media at this point. Another campaign that began in June attacked “demagoguery” within the party. The tone seems to be a continuation o f the post-Nina Andreyeva media effort, intended to draw comparisons between the discredited Stalin era and contemporary CPSU “conservatives.” Liternaturnaya,gazeta,, in its June 15 issue, prominendy (on the top left o f the front page) featured an essay assault­ ing the country’s Stalinist past, citing the Nina Andreyeva letter, and promot­ ing the basic human need for “freedom o f thought.”13Pmvda, on its June 20 front page, printed a letter to the editor from a Stalin-era labor camp survivor, who knocked past “party autocracy.”14

The Conference The Nineteenth All-Union CPSU Conference was well covered by the Soviet media. Highly divergent opinions were expressed; Pravda's coverage included speeches remarkable for their directness. Glasnost itself was discussed widely, attacked, defended, and elaborated upon in a conference resolution. Gorbachev’s opening speech credited perestroika with inducing a kind of Soviet spiritual rebirth. Glasnost, he noted, played an important part in this. Perestroika brought glasnost out onto the front edge o f life, and it can be recognized in very different forms—in the work o f state and social orga­ nizations, mass meetings, scientific and creative conferences, and citizens assemblies. The organs o f mass information today project strong platforms o f social opinion. They have done a lot to restore historic truth and justice, criticism o f deficiencies and negligence, spreading the experience o f perestroika, and drawing out from people their ability to think and act in a new, creative, and purposeful style. But now we have to go further. We need a new quality o f party press, a new quality in its politically educating and organizing role. Now, for our press not to lower the level o f criticism o f everything that stands in the way o f perestroika’s movement, it needs to go into the depth o f the processes, analyze difficult dialectics and contradictions related to the rebirth o f all spheres o f our life. And for that, it needs to act with great knowledge, com­ petence, constructiveness, and responsibility. The press can perform this task only by attracting wide circles o f society, extolling the experience of the real foremen o f perestroika. . . . Glasnost presupposes pluralism o f opinions in any questions of inN I N E T E E N T H P A R TY C O N F E R E N C E


ternal and international politics, free comparison o f different points o f view, and discussions. And only in such an approach can it [glasnost] carry out its social role, to serve the interests o f the people and socialism .15

Gorbachev emphasized that glasnost also “presupposes high responsibility.” It was, for instance, “incompatible with pretensions o f a monopoly o f views,” promoting old-fashioned dogmas serving only the interests o f special groups, “and specifically with distorting facts and settling private accounts.”16 While the press bore much o f this responsibility, Gorbachev stressed that the party had its share as well: “Party organizations and party committees at all levels must stand guard on the development o f kritiki i samokritiki, to speak with principled positions.” H e added that “categorically,” he would not agree with those in the party who suggested that reestablishing truth and justice via glasnost was a denigration o f the CPSU.17

The “Conservative" Counterattack Even with this defense o f glasnost as an affirmation o f socialism, Gorbachev’s initiatives and the course o f restructuring itself came under unprecedented fire. Krasnodar kraykom boss Ivan Polozkov, already on record at the plenum o f January, 1987, as being critical o f glasnost, now was just as critical o f attempts to remove the party from the state process. Already, Polozkov said, his kraykom was swamped with citizen requests for action, but it had lost the ability effectively to direct the local administrative organization. Polozkov stressed the basics o f Leninist democratic centralism and emphasized that “democratization and discipline never were and never will be exclusive of each other. And as the process o f democratization develops more widely, then the party must be more organized and monolithic and Commu­ nists more disciplined when the majority reaches a decision.”18 Kirghiz First Secretary A. M. Masaliyev chided the media more directly. While the press was doing its part in the “active struggle with negative phe­ nomena, bureaucratism, and irresponsibility . . . at the same time, and I want to say this in particular, comrades, some of these journalists display incompe­ tence in covering problems, not infrequently misconstrue events, and in their pursuit of sensationalism are occupied in garbling facts. Unobjective and im­ provable material has begun to be published in the articles o f central and re­ public newspapers and journals.” When the applause which greeted these remarks ended, Masaliyev argued that the situation had descended to the point at which journalists had begun to pass judgment on entire party organs. More­ over, they refused to admit their mistakes and saw themselves as the main force behind perestroika.19 78


In further contrast to Gorbachev’s remarks, Yuriy Bondarev, the national­ ist-leaning deputy chairman o f the Russian Republic’s Writers U nion, argued that the unrestrained press had caused a kind o f moral degeneration. H e also charged that, in som e cases, “objective glasnost” [ob’yektivnoy ßlasnosti] had turned into “one-sided glasnost” [vglasnostf odnostoronnyuyu]. H e added: “The immorality o f the press cannot teach morality to others. Immorality in ideol­ ogy results in perversion o f the spirit. It may be that not everyone in the offices o f the chief editors o f our newspapers and journals realizes, or wishes to real­ ize, that glasnost and democracy are about lofty moral and civic discipline.”20

The mood was so volatile that Gorbachev had to intervene three days later to allow ZnamycCs editor, Grigoriy Baklanov, to continue speaking at the con­ ference in favor o f glasnost. Znamya had stirred up controversy in its January, 1988, issue by publishing a new play by Mikhail Filippovich Shatrov, entided Dal’she. . . dal’she. . . dal’she (Onward, onward, onward). This work contained and-Stalinist (and therefore politically timely) dialogue, but it also implied that Lenin failed to check Stalin’s rise; thus readers could interpret the play as hold­ ing Lenin responsible for Stalin’s excesses.21

Novyy fair's recent piece on Lenin (see chapter 6) probably rekindled resent­ m ent toward Baklanov, w ho repeatedly was interrupted by disruptions in the hall. H e argued that a law on the press was needed. “The press cannot exist at your pleasure—today for glasnost, but tomorrow against glasnost.” A law would codify journalists’ responsibilities, Baklanov said, but he also urged delegates to acknowledge that “w e do not yet have democracy, we are only starting to learn it.” M oreover, he charged that the upper echelons o f CPSU power still felt they were beyond the pale o f laws, while those beneath them thought, “Democracy—that means that I can do anything.” Shortly afterward, Baklanov was shouted dow n, and Gorbachev restored order. When Baklanov continued, he announced that he and fellow writer Yuriy Chemichenko had received a telegram that day from Kharkov University: “Its contents are these: Ts it pos­ sible, Comrade writers, that nobody is going to reply to Nina Andreyeva and Yuriy Bondarev?’”22 Party Justice Another set o f events involving the media took place at the N ineteenth Party C onference, as a controversy arose concerning an Ojyonëk article. V italiy Korotich recalled that, “just before this conference, two investigators came to me, [Telman] Gdlyan and [Nikolai] Ivanov.23They told me that they had started to investigate corruption on a high level in the Communist Party Central Com­ m ittee.” Their investigation allegedly revealed that several members o f the party—delegates to the N ineteenth Party Conference, in fact—had been takN I N E T E E N T H PA R TY C O N F E R E N C E


ing bribes from the Uzbek Mafia. However, the USSR Prosecutor’s Office le­ gally was unable to bring criminal charges against them because o f their party rank. According to the Soviet statutes, party members had to be expelled from the CPSU before they could be prosecuted. Ogonëk published the story, which Gdlyan and Telman them selves authored. The piece, called “R esistance” [Protovostoycmiye], appeared in an issue published im m ediately before the con­ ference.24 The resulting controversy was predictable. Candidate Politburo member Georgiy Razumovskiy, a member o f the conference’s Credentials Com m ission, stated that “the information presented in the article . . . needs to be carefully checked. In the opinion o f the Credentials Com m ission, this should be done by the USSR Procurator General and the Party Control Com m ittee o f the CPSU Central Com m ittee. They should report the results, but this w ill o f course take tim e. Q uite thorough investigations m ust be carried out.”25 If Razumokskiy seemed to concede the legitim acy o f the investigators’ di­ lemma, there were also shouts for Korotich to explain why such “unverified facts” had been printed. H e was invited to the m icrophone to speak amid som e shouts o f derision. After offering background on the case and the article, he said that, “as a rule, the case o f a com m unist, especially a fairly highly placed com m unist, does not go to court w ithout the party bodies having examined the question o f his party position.” H e added: “During the last few years, thé people in charge o f the investigation have made reports on more than one occasion to the CPSU Central Committee in this connection, and m ost recendy letters about this were sent on the eve o f the conference____ W hat w e have is a vicious circle. People w ho cannot be made answerable cannot be condemned; and since they have not been condem ned they cannot be accused o f anything; and so on.”26 Korotich endured the hostility o f the conference delegates; but, by his ac­ count, the decisive m om ent was when Gorbachev and Yakovlev approached him afterward. “They told me: T ou know that you have destroyed this party conference. Why are you publishing those things?’” R ecounting the incident four years later, Korotich said that this incident marked the end o f his confi­ dence in glasnost, as enunciated by Gorbachev. Several tim es already, Ogonëk had crossed lines drawn by Gorbachev’s opposition. N ow Gorbachev was muddying the waters on party criticism. As Korotich explained: “It shows how uneasy this process was----- Ogomk was still far ahead, but w e [had com e to realize] that to fight against this was im possible w ithout [also] struggling against Communist Party ideas, and [for] real independence.”27 Perhaps not coincidentally, the incident seemed to be echoed subdy in an intriguing Moscow News essay about a week later. The piece has the same tone 80

G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

as pre-conference articles against demagoguery, yet it can be read as a “liberal” attack upon Gorbachev. The article appeared in the July io issue. In the con­ text o f supporting the idea o f term lim its, broached in the theses o f the N ine­ teenth Party Conference, the article examined Soviet leaders’ personality cults. It noted that those o f Khrushchev and Brezhnev arose follow ing initial prom­ ises o f reform. “There was a thaw under Brezhnev,” the writer noted. “Wasn’t this an inspiring start for the epoch which later became known as the stagna­ tion period?” The next lines seem ed pointed at Gorbachev. “The new leader always has a three- to five-year reserve in which he can refer back to the insur­ mountable consequences o f the errors com m itted by his predecessor. But as the years go by, the argument about the past loses its punch, and the leaders in charge m ust answer for the country’s state o f affairs; herein the insidious m o­ m ent lies. In order to make themselves look good, they begun hushing up fail­ ures and mistakes, while any achievements are greatly exaggerated.” The next sentence, given in parentheses, seemed to invoke Korotich’s di­ lemma vis-à-vis the conference delegates: “The beauty o f the mass media is that they’re not just a bunch o f freelancers; they must submit to party discipline.”28 For Yegor Yakovlev’s part, the Moscow News editor a few months later made supportive remarks about Gorbachev to an Italian newspaper.29 In two years, however, his publication would issue one o f the first “liberal” calls for Gorbachev’s resignation.30



Definition and Dissonance

The N ineteenth Party Conference’s resolution “On Glasnost” was the m ost comprehensive docum ent yet on the controversial Gorbachev initiative. It affirmed glasnost as a policy approved by the CPSU. “Glasnost in all spheres o f life is one o f the m ost important conditions o f further deepening o f the process o f perestroika and its irreversibility,” it noted at one point.1Yet “a considerable mass o f information still remains inaccessible to much o f the public, and is not used for the goals o f accelerating socioeconom ic and spiritual developm ent, or uplifting the political culture o f the masses and cadres o f management.”2 The text set forth the “basic principles o f glasnost: the inalienable right o f every citizen to receive on any vital question o f social life full and authentic information, which is not classified as a state or military secret; the right to open and free discussion o f significant issues.”3 It further observed that “the conference assumes it is necessary to bring existing instructions and regula­ tions about the work o f the party com m ittees and organization into line w ith the demands o f democratization o f party life.”4 In this regard, members o f party organizations were to have free access to documents and reports, and all party com m ittees, including the Politburo, were accountable for regular reports. Such bodies “should systematically publish data about their work, as well as statistical reports about conditions o f wrongdoings and methods to prevent them.”5 The role o f the mass media in this effort was singled out, but so were their responsibilities.

The conference acknowledges the important role o f the organs of mass information in the widening o f glasnost. They are called upon to reflect, in a multifaceted way, the work o f party, state, and social organizations; to serve consolidation o f socialist society; to actively propagandize accumu­ lated experience; and to be an instrument o f popular control of positions of work in the country. The conference deems the obstruction of critical speech by the press inadmissible, as is the publication o f unobjective information which affects the honor and dignity o f a citizen. Glasnost presumes the social, legal, and moral responsibility o f organs o f mass information. The indispensable demands in this sphere must be high ideals and morality, com­ petency, stria observance of professional ethics, the unconditional authen­ ticity of information, as well as the right o f every citizen subjeaed to criti­ cism to the publication of well-grounded responses in the same organ of the press. Candor and criticism should be independent o f cliquishness, displays of demagoguery, and national, religious or corporate egotism. Organs of mass information should reflea objectively, without distortion, the opin­ ions of all arguing sides. As no one has a monopoly on truth, there also should be no monopoly on glasnost.6 If the text indicated that citizens had the right to obtain any information that did not constitute a state or military secret, this freedom arguably always had been in existence alongside a vast control list. However, the resolution went further in stating that legal codification was needed to define how glasnost in­ terfaced with the need to pro tea state secrets. That having been said, glasnost was not to be used “to harm the interests o f the Soviet state, society, [or] indi­ vidual rights; to incite war and violence, racism, [or] national and religious intolerance; to propagandize cruelty; or to disseminate pornography.” It also was impermissible “to manipulate glasnost.”7Yet this last idea seems applicable to almost anything viewed as being in opposition to reform as the leadership articulated it; the resolution noted earlier that “glasnost must serve to promote the consolidation o f all social forces around the ideas and principles of perestroika.”8

Challenges Pmvda underlined the resolution’s importance with a front-page editorial on July ii. The piece frequently quoted the document, noting: Those who attentively read it [the resolution] could not have failed to notice the words “inclusion o f glasnost in social life.” Inclusion—that means we did not have it, and we did not know what it means to live in conditions D E F IN IT IO N AND D ISSO N A N C E


o f glasnost. W ithout it—glasnost—people were afraid to talk, to speak the truth out loud, during what later was called the phenom enon o f stagnation [i.e., the Brezhnev era]. If people tried to speak truth which undermined the “authorities” or cast light on the fake heroes, rogues, liars, and toadies in the ranks o f ministers, everything was covered up in the name o f the party.9

Three days later, Izvestiya followed suit with a front-page editorial, with key words set in capital letters for emphasis: “So glasnost is ultimately TRUST, trust in the intellect, common sense, and political and civic maturity o f people. Glasnost is RESPECT for them. Thist and respect, these are the main nonma­ terial driving forces o f our social mechanism.”10 Still, Gorbachev seemed wary o f what he considered media excesses. H e may have feared a backlash if the accelerated pace o f glasnost after the confer­ ence gave the impression o f a lack o f control. Aleksandr Yakovlev’s cautionary mid-July remarks to media workers support this notion. Sometimes, he said, people drew the wrong conclusion from media criticism—that it was a license to ignore law and to regard all authority as oppression. Such a biased view, he emphasized, corrupted the public’s awareness and appreciation o f legality. The media’s mission, he said, had to be a pragmatic and helpful one. “Let us atten­ tively analyze new processes,” he said at one point, “and take a concrete, nononsense look at how the practice o f perestroika works in different regions of the country.” In his next paragraph, Yakovlev seemed to be heading off many o f glasnosfs “conservative” critics. “Perestroika,” he said, “needs patriotism [spelled] with a capital letter: Socialist patriotism, which stands firmly on the ground o f knowledge, realism, and practical deeds which are measured by their results.”11 O leg Shenin, the Krasnoyarsk kmykom boss, voiced similar thoughts a fort­ night later.12“People used to believe the press,” he observed in an essay printed on Komsomol’skaya pravda’s front page in late July. “W hat kind o f im pact unobjective information has on their trust! But such examples exist—examples o f the display o f demagoguery, insults to people’s honor and dignity. N obody has abolished criticism. But I am for criticism which honors work, and for the constructive words o f journalists.”13

Other signs point to Gorbachev’s unease over the pace o f political events, especially as the late September plenum o f the Central Committee approached. There was an authoritative attempt to prevent discussion o f the 1968 invasion o f Czechoslovakia. Korotich recalled a meeting held a few weeks before its anniversary. “We were collected at Communist Party headquarters and [told that] it was forbidden to write even a line about [the anniversary] o f the So­ viet tanks in Prague. From one point it was strange, because we were in such a 84


period o f democracy. From another point, in all the Soviet press [until then] there [had not been] even a line about those events.”14N ot all publications took as gospel the ban Korotich described. Moskovskiye novosti organized a “round­ table” feature on the era, featuring input from Soviet correspondents who had covered it: Several were critical o f the use o f force against Czechoslovakia. Yet some media-oriented remarks by the moderator rcprescntingMoskovskiye novosti seemed—perhaps ironically—to compare the Czechoslovak press during the era o f Prague Spring unfavorably with glasnost after April, 1985, because the former had failed to use its freedom in the interests o f socialism, opting in­ stead to spread “disunity” However, at least one participant—former Pmvda correspondent Vasiliy Zhuravskiy—flatly stated that the Soviet press o f 1968 had failed to provide enough information for the public to adequately assess the leadership’s decision to invade.15 August also saw the mutinous Baltic populations rally to mark the anniver­ sary o f the M olotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In Moscow itself, the small group “Democratic Union” rallied on Pushkin Square. Definitions o f glasnost began to appear emphasizing what the concept did not include. A front-page Pmvda story featured readers’ letters expressing indignation at neformaly and loose culture. One eighty-year-old “veteran o f war and labor” commented on the appearance o f rallies by those who “pervert glasnost and democracy. They plant disbelief in the leading organs o f the state, and they call for creation o f new parties. Who allowed these meetings? Do democracy and glasnost mean let­ ting everyone do what they want without looking back at the law?”16Another writer living in Sverdlovsk, a member o f the CPSU since 1945, stated: I can’t be silent. Leningrad is the cradle and heart o f revolution, and on its street well-fed hooligans with fascist swastikas on their sleeves discuss sterilizing people. Is this a dream? Yurmala. A song competition. And a wiggling, almost naked singer with a cross around his neck on TV. What is this? Armenia. Strikes. Absenteeism without reason. And where is the law? Why is it silent? The people who are responsible for its enforcement are also silent. The roots o f it all are, I think, not only in the past. They are in the all­ permissibility which some people disguise as democracy.17 A lengthy editorial response cited the dramatic changes o f three years and pondered why readers made the connection between wider democratization with “growing antisocialist hooliganism.” It noted that there was no single good D E F IN IT IO N AND D ISSO N A N C E


answer to the question. However, it was certain that som e citizens felt there was too much liberty; people now felt they were free “to disregard the law and resist the authorities. Elements w ith anti-Soviet and antisocialist attitudes. . . cover themselves with [the] slogans o f restructuring.” It stated that the “D em o­ cratic U nion” rally w ent “beyond socialist pluralism o f opinion to provoke violations o f law and involvem ent o f the militia.” Such episodes, the editorial response noted, constituted a “violation o f socialist law.” Furthermore, “de­ mocracy w ithout legality can turn into anarchy.”18

Overt political censorship still occurred, initiated by senior officials close to Gorbachev. Agence France Presse reported that a “high-level” telephone call allegedly foiled Novyy mips attempt, in its issue o f October, 1988, to announce the forthcoming publication o f Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, First Circle, and Cancer Ward. The planned announcement consisted o f one sentence printed on the contents page: “The editorial board has received the permis­ sion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn to publish a number o f his works?19Novyy mir editor Sergey Zalygin subsequently told Agence France Presse that the call had come from Vadim Medvedev, the new ideology chief who had been promoted to the Politburo in September.20 Material factors also affected the media. The USSR M inistry o f Com m uni­ cations told editors about a paper shortage—Izvestiya reported that it was about 5 percent below acceptable levels—which was affecting centrally controlled newsprint supplies.21 A quota system was organized for subscriptions. Som e suspected that the shortfall m ight not be real, but the first 1989 issue o f Izvestiya TsK reproduced an Ideology Department survey showing huge circulation rises in 1985-88 for those publications which had led the glasnost charge. Those on the rise 'mduàzàArgumenty ifakti (1.4 m illion to 20.4 m illion), Komsomol’skaya pravda (12.8 m illion to 17.5 m illion), Liternatumayagazeta (2.7 m illion to 6.2 m illion), Trud (16.6 m illion to 19.8 m illion), and Sovetskaya kul’tura (376,000 to 671,000). M eanwhile, in 1988, Pravda lost several hundred thousand read­ ers, while other “conservative” losers for the year included Krasnaya zvezda, Sel’skayazhizn and Sotsialisticheskaya industriya. Interestingly, Sovetskaya rossiya’s figures grew from 3 m illion to 4.2 m illion overall in the 1985-88 period, but it, too, lost readership in 1988, apparently coinciding w ith the N ina Andreyeva letter and its aftermath. “Liberal” literary and news magazines also saw sub­ scription increases, am ong them Druzhba naroda (119,000 to 1.1 m illion), Znamya (151,000 to 955,000), Ogonëk (596,000 to over 3 m illion), and Novyy mir (379,000 to 1.5 m illion). The big losers were party propaganda journals like Agitator (from 1.5 to 1.2 m illion) and Partiynaya zhizn ’ (from slightly over a m illion to 811,000). The redoubtable Kommunist show ed a tiny overall in­ crease (about a thousand new readers) but lost significant circulation in 1988.22 86


The figures were as dramatic as the political shocks that were greeting the Soviet system . In a sense, glasnost had com e full circle. In 1984-85, openness had been prom oted as a way to end an “anything goes” atmosphere in govern­ m ent arid party bodies. By 1988, the critics o f glasnost—and quite a few o f its supporters—were charging that its indiscreet use had made society com pletely permissive. Although its course had been erratic and its use selective and often partisan, glasnost had altered Soviet life irreversibly.




The events o f 1985-88 show that glasnost, as Gorbachev promoted it, was a conditional reform allowing broader—but still carefully monitored—public and mass media discussion o f selected topics. The full picture must include several factors: • Glasnost was a top-down process, steered by highly placed CPSU individuals (namely, Gorbachev and Aleksandr Yakovlev). In non-media applications (where, in fact, it originated under Andropov), glasnost was meant to stir up discussions of alternative directions in party activity and encourage criticism o f state and party officials who were obstructing initiatives by the top echelons of the CPSU. • Glasnost was a political tool as well as a refinement in Soviet communication policy, a factor which clouded its conceptual development. Glasnost was part of a general plan for reconstructing Soviet government and society. For this to succeed, Gorbachev sought to eliminate or isolate an entrenched bureau­ cracy. The latter was strongly protected by patrons in the Soviet hierarchy who constituted Gorbachevs principal rivals for power, and against whom Gorbachev ultimately opted to use glasnost as a weapon. • W hen applied to the mass media, glasnost functioned not by eliminating standard control mechanisms such as Glavlit and Agitprop, but by making their usage more selective, while editors (many appointed at the behest o f Gorbachev or Yakovlev) gradually secured greater discretion over content.

(By early 1988, due to internal political turmoil, Glavlit and Agitprop had lost their effectiveness in controlling the media.) •

O f new contents and topics permitted under glasnost, Gorbachev was most approving o f those which favored the reform course or which highlighted problems associated with his political adversaries. The latter data often were presented in the context o f Leninist kritika i samokritika. This was depicted as a contribution to healthy, mature, public discussions o f shortcomings. Gorbachev was highly sensitive to media use he considered counterproduc­ tive to his aims.

• W hat Gorbachev felt politically comfortable with constituted the measuring stick for allowable criticism and content. He could not afford to forfeit much support within the CPSU, which could allow his opponents to call, perhaps successfully, for his ouster by the Central Committee.

Glasnost progressed through phases marked by conflict. Its first era (1985) mainly involved detailed public criticism, including the release o f negative data and figures concerning poor government performance and comments concern­ ing the corresponding party committees. Gorbachev simultaneously introduced a new and more approachable political style, which was captured and dissemi­ nated broadly by the Soviet media. This phenomenon complemented glasnost’s effect at this incipient stage. At about the time o f the first serious Gorbachev-Ligachev clash, a broader form o f glasnost (early 1986 to mid-1987) was applied in the mass media (mainly the cultural media). Some literary works which previously would have been banned were published, and editors and publishers at least theoretically were allowed to exercise more discretion over content. Although coverage o f the Chernobyl accident o f early 1986 was centralized and handled with a heavy dose o f spin control, nonetheless the event was reported upon. And riots in AlmaAta at the end o f that year were discussed, if briefly, in the Soviet media. Gorbachev’s de-Stalinization campaign opened a new era o f glasnost (late 1987 to early 1988). The range o f historical topics officially was broadened, but ensuing developments betrayed increasing opposition from within the CPSU. Even if the foibles o f past party leadership could be discussed, when Boris Yeltsin delivered a speech at the October, 1987, party plenum attacking Ligachev and the pace o f reform, as well as alluding to a Gorbachev personality cult, he ex­ ceeded the limits o f glasnost. The Nina Andreyeva manifesto o f early 1988, al­ though arguably a manifestation o f just the kind o f “socialist pluralism” glasnost was meant to stimulate, led Gorbachev to squelch further such efforts on the part o f the Ligachev-aligned Sovetskaya rossiya. Glasnost’s final phase within this time frame began at about the time of the c o n c lu sio n


Nineteenth Party Conference in mid-1988. Here, efforts were afoot both to affirm glasnost as a CPSU policy and to define its limits. But Gorbachev also had initiated a reorganization effort meant eventually to subordinate the party to the state apparatus; the party, though ostensibly at the heart o f the glasnost effort, was withering in status and influence. Accordingly, Glavlit censorship and Agitprop direction were losing ground to a factor long absent in the USSR—unrestricted initiative on the part o f individual editors and journalists. At this point in history, glasnost, a concept Gorbachev presented as Leninist, had been superseded. A transition away from a Leninist state, and a Leninist mass media, had begun.

Glasnost, the Party, and the Media Loosening the reins o f the mass media was a sensitive experiment. It seems fair to ask if glasnost was necessary in order to conduct perestroika. Previous Soviet leaders had purged the CPSU (sometimes in bloody fashion) o f oppo­ nents, real or alleged, without a corresponding influx o f dissident literature or breakdown in content control. Gorbachev needed glasnost because he had embarked on a serious, if er­ ratic, course of reforms. These faced tremendous opposition from the BrezhnevChernenko gerontocracy.1To overcome this opposition, he needed not only to present an acceptable redefinition o f Leninism, but also to secure support from beyond the party institutions which controlled his political fate. Glasnost helped him to do this, by giving him a public forum, first, to state what fac­ tors—and which officials—were wrong with Soviet society and, second, to affirm the correctness o f his own efforts. Yet glasnost—indeed any alteration o f the traditional controlled media sys­ tem —was a double-edged sword. H ad the course o f economic reforms gone more smoothly or seen positive effects quickly, it conceivably could have stayed within Andropovian limits. But as the economy sagged and discord swelled, a treacherous cycle developed. Gorbachev responded to his opponents by broad­ ening the swath cut by the media. The effect was to tear off bigger and bigger chunks of CPSU prestige. If the party posed roadblocks to perestroika, it also provided Gorbachev’s own power base—as well as the monolithic public im­ age, sustained in pre-glasnost years by the Soviet media, that underpinned much o f his authority. At the time of his swing to a harder line in 1990, Gorbachev had realized that the haphazard use o f glasnost eroded his ability to command and direct the country. By then, it was too late to reverse course. Although its progress was erratic, the historic importance o f glasnost can­ not be overstated. The intelligentsiya—who, as writers, film makers, and play-


G o r b a c h e v ’s g l a s n o s t

wrights, filled the ranks o f Soviet mass m edia—had a reputation for dissent, but decades o f Leninism and Stalinism tempered their ability to enunciate it. It is unlikely that, short o f revolution, they could have broken loose from their traditional constraints w ithout a sanctioned effort. Reforms had appeared be­ fore, but, as Aleksandr Yakovlev noted, they had been m issing the elem ent that glasnost provided.2

c o n c lu sio n



Chapter 1 1 M edium (the singular form o f media) has been defined as “any object or device used for communicating a message: that is, for moving information over distance or preserving it through time.” Melvin L. DeFleur and Everette E. Dennis, Under­ standing Mass Communication, 8. 2 The Politburo (Political Bureau), which the general secretary chaired, was the ex­ ecutive, decision-making body o f the Central Committee o f the Communist Party o f the Soviet U nion (CPSU). The Central Committee, elected at each party con­ gress, was comprised o f leading CPSU and government figures. It held two an­ nual meetings, or plenums, as well as occasional special or “extraordinary55 ple­ nums. 3 Examples o f this discussion in the field o f content analysis include Alexander George, “Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Content Analysis” in Trends in ContentAnalysis, ed. Ithiel de Sola Pool, 7-32; and Stephen M. Walt, “Interpret­ ing Soviet Military Statements: A Methodological Analysis” (pamphlet). 4 See, e.g., essays in L. John Martin and Ray Eldon Hiebert, eds., Current Issues in International Communication. 5 See, e.g., Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation o fM en’s Attitudes (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965). 6 For examples from a variety o f viewpoints, see Ben H . Bagdikian, The Media M o­ nopoly (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983); L. Brent Bozell and Brent H . Baker, eds., A nd Thafs the Way I t Is (n’t): A Reference Guide to M edia Bias (Alexandria, Va.: Media Research Center, 1990); and Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, M anufacturing Consent: The Political Economy o f the Mass M edia (New York: Pan­ theon, 1988). 7 See, e.g., Merle Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 364-77; George N. Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism in Russia: Mass M edia under Gorbachev and Yeltsin (Commak, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 1992); Antony Buzek, How the Communist Press Works; James Markham, Voices o f the Red Giants: Communications in Russia and China; and Mark W. Hopkins, Mass M edia in the Soviet Union. 8 Here he dismissed the agenda o f a faction (the “Bernsteinian” wing) within the Russian Social-Democratic Party, which urged democratic reform rather than so­ cial revolution. Lenin termed their demands for “freedom o f criticism” within the Party as opportunism, and likened his take on the revolutionary concept to a sci­ entific truth: “ ‘Freedom5 is a grand word, but under the banner o f freedom for

industry the most predatory wars were waged, under the banner of freedom of labor, the working people were robbed. The modem use of the term ‘freedom of criticism’ contains the same inherent falsehood. Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old.” V I. Lenin, “What Is to Be Done,” in Selected Works, by Vladimir Il’yich Lenin, 1:979 Lenin in this case was addressing “party literature.” H e wrote: “Everyone is free to write and say whatever he likes, w ithout any restrictions. But every voluntary as­ sociation (including the Party) is also free to expel members who use the name o f the Party to advocate anti-party views. Freedom o f speech and the press must be complete. But then freedom o f association must be complete too.” V. I. Lenin, “Party Organization and Party Literature,” in Lenin about the Press, by Vladimir Il’yich Lenin, 14910 “The capitalists,” he wrote in Rabochiypuf (Worker’s Path—one o f the names Pravda wore in 1917), “ . . . call ‘freedom o f the press’ a situation in which censorship has been abolished and all parties freely publish all kinds o f papers. In reality it is not freedom o f the press, but freedom for the rich, for the bourgeoisie, to deceive the oppressed and exploited mass o f the people.” V. I. Lenin, “O n Freedom o f the Press” from “H ow to Guarantee the Success o f the Constituent Assembly,” in Lenin, Lenin about the Press, 186. и V. I. Lenin, “Speech on the Press” in Lenin, Lenin about the Press, 191. This speech was delivered at meeting o f the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, vol. 4, no. 17 (Nov., 1917), and originally was published in Izvestiya, no. 218 (Nov. 7, 1917). Lenin later came to argue, as author Mark Hopkins noted, that freedom o f the press was “not a matter . . . o f everyone’s right to say what he would in the press, but o f management o f the economic structure o f the press. . . . H e who owned the means o f producing newspapers determined who said what to whom.” Hopkins, Mass M edia in the Soviet Union, 55. 12 For the 1918 article, see Andrei Vyshinskiy, The Law o f the Soviet State, 615. Article 125 o f the Soviet Union’s 1936 “Stalin Constitution” enshrined “freedom o f speech; freedom o f the press; freedom o f assembly, including the holding o f mass meet­ ings;” and “freedom o f street processions and demonstrations.” The code added: “These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal o f the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks o f paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise o f these rights.” Constitution (Fundamental Law) o fthe Union o f Soviet Socialist Repub­ lics, as Amended by the Seventh Session o f the Fifth Supreme Soviet o fthe USSR (Mos­ cow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962), 102. Article 50 o f the 1977 “Brezhnev Constitution,” which was in force during the perestroika era, essen­ tially restated these freedoms in the context o f a society which already had devel­ oped socialism and was on the “road to communism.” Constitution (Fundamental Law) o f the Union o f Soviet Socialist Republics (Moscow: Novosti, 1977), 14. 13 See, e.g., Nikolay Bukharin, The ABCs o f Communism, 175-76; and Vyshinskiy, Law o fthe Soviet State, 614-16. 94

N O T E S T O PA G E S 4 - 5

14 Lenin wrote in 1918, “We must convert—and we shall convert—the press from an organ for purveying sensations, from a mere apparatus for communicating politi­ cal news, from an organ o f struggle against bourgeois lying—into an instrument for the economic reeducation o f the masses, into an instrument for telling the masses how to organize work in a new way.” V. I. Lenin, “Original Version o f the Article ‘The Immediate Tasks o f the Soviet Government’” in Lenin, Lenin about the Press, 333. 15 “Publishing and distributing centers, bookshops, and reading rooms, libraries and similar establishments—must all be under party control,” he wrote. “ . . . Every newspaper, journal, publishing house, etc., must immediately set about reorga­ nizing its work, leading up to a situation in which it will, in one form or another, be integrated into one Party organization or another.” V I. Lenin, “Party Organi­ zation and Party Literature,” in Lenin, Lenin about the Press, 149,150-51. 16 Pravda emerged from the revolution as the nation’s chief publication. The role established for it by the Bolsheviks, as a model for the rest o f the Russian press, began after the Eighth Party Congress late in 1919. Despite its long-institutional­ ized masthead proclamation—“Founded by V I. Lenin on May 5,1912”—Pravda actually was begun in St. Petersburg in April, 1912, by Social Democrat Nikolai Poletayev, the publisher o f Zvezda, “the semi-Bolshevik weekly publication o f the Social Democratic D uma fraction,” as well as “a leading exponent o f a daily news­ paper” for workers. Lenin’s initial role in the paper was an undistinguished one. Ralph Carter Elwood, “Lenin and Pravda, 1912-1914,” 355-80 (citations from 356, 358). 17 For more on TASS, including details on its origins, see Theodore E. Kruglak, The Two Faces o f TASS, and Hopkins, Mass M edia in the Soviet Union, 70. By the Gorbachev era, TASS employed some 500 reporters in the USSR itself and had foreign correspondents in 126 countries. Its “daily output [was] estimated at over 2.5 million words.” Thomas Remington, The Truth o fAuthority: Ideology and Com­ munication in the Soviet Union, 109-10. At some point before Khrushchev’s ouster, TASS began to produce several different kinds o f daily news reports, their secrecy and authority level classified according to paper and ink color. Leonid Vladimirov, The Russians, 91-92. A highly restricted version also existed, containing exclusively foreign news. Uri Ra’anan and Igor Lukes, Inside the Apparat, 117. 18 Although eventually it became known simply as the Department o f Propaganda, the moniker Agitprop remained in general use. 19 These later became full Central Committee “Press Departments” and had exten­ sive authority; by August, 1926, they handled everything from staff hiring to su­ pervising content and distribution. Hopkins, Mass M edia in the Soviet Union, 77. 20 “One o f the functions o f the kurator is to give an advisory opinion on whether a given topic or line is discussion is likely to be acceptable. O n potentially accept­ able articles, editors can consult the kurator, who either resolves the question or refers it to other C entral C om m ittee departments.” Lilita Dzirkals, Thane Gustafson, and A. Ross Johnson, The M edia and Intra-Elite Communication in the USSR, 16-17. 21 Ibid., 19. N O T E S TO P A G E 5


22 The acronym stood for Glavnoye upravleniye po delam literatury i izdateVstv (Main Administration for Literary Affairs and Publishing). The designation “Glavlit” was retained after the bureau’s original name was altered around 1966 to Glavnoye upravleniye po okhrane gosudarstvennykh tayn v pechati (Main Administration for Safeguarding State Secrets in the Press). Directory o f Soviet Officials: N ational Or­ ganizations (June, 1987), 19123 In the 1930s, Glavlit was only one o f several state organs interested in content control; besides the secret police, others included the OVTs (the military censor­ ship office), the “special collection” department o f O G IZ (the State Publishing House), and Oblit (the State Central Book Chamber). Each apparently had its own hierarchical administration. Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 367-68. By the 1960s, additional censorship units had been created to safeguard the atomic and space programs. Vladimirov, The Russians, 9724 Hopkins, Mass M edia in the Soviet Union, 79. 25 Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 368-69. 26 Vladimirov, The Russians, 95~9727 Ibid., 97-98. 28 See the remarks by Glavlit chief V. A Boldyrev in E. Parkhomovskiy, “Bol’she demokratii—men’she tayn: Otkrovennyy razgovor s nachal’nikom Glavlita SSSR,” Izvestiya, Nov. 3,1988, p. 3. 29 Vitaliy Korotich, interview by author, Boston, Mass., Apr. 9,1992. Notes in author’s collection. 30 Vladimir Vesenskiy, interview by author, Boston, Mass., Feb. 18,1991. Notes in author’s collection. 31 Melor Sturua, interview by author, Boston, Mass., Mar. 19,1991. Notes in author’s collection. 32 Mikhail Fedotov, “The More Freedom, the Greater the Responsibility: Will Cen­ sorship and Glasnost Get Along ?” Moscow News, no. 43 (Oct. 30,1988), 13. See also V. Kerimov, “Glasnost5i demokratiya,” Pravda, June 19,1988, p. 2. 33 Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 365-66. 34 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 35 Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Communication, 15-16. 36 For example, Liternaturnaya gazeta, the organ o f the USSR Union o f Writers, long held particular interest for media observers because it was viewed as a rela­ tively liberal, intellectual voice within the Soviet press. But it also was highly re­ sponsive to the official line: under editor Aleksandr Chakovskiy (b. 1913), at the helm during the early perestroika era, it had been “among the first to reflect the new conservative trend in cultural affairs in 1963, publishing a negative review o f one o f Solzhenitsyn’s short stories at a time when the writer still appeared to enjoy official favor.” Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Communi­ cation, 118, citing Liternaturnayagazeta, Aug. 31,1963. 37 For examples, see Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Com­ munication, 15-16 and 115-29. A measure o f cautious editorial initiative was per­ missible even in Stalin’s time. Ogonëk’s Vitaliy Korotich recalled a conversation he had with writer Konstantin Simonov, who served as one o f LiternaturnayagazetcCs 96 ■




40 41




postwar editors. Simonov quoted Stalin as telling him to make Litem atum aya gazeta into a kind o f cultural “opposition newspaper” saying, “We need some place to put the hot air from our intellectuals.” Vitaliy Korotich, interview by author, Boston, Mass., Feb. 23,1993. Notes in author’s collection. Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Communication, 44-45. “Casualties do occur among chief ed ito rs. . . but the interesting thing, in view o f the difficulties o f the job, is the length o f time that most chief editors manage to survive . . . This suggests that chief editors, at least in the Brezhnev period, have not been a major independent force in setting the individual style o f a newspaper; rather, they maintain their positions by their adaptability” Ibid., 45. E. Parkhomovskiy, “Bol’she demokratii—men’she tayn: Otkrovennyy razgovor s nachal’nikom Glavlita SSSR,” Izvestiya, Nov. 3,1988, p. 3. Boldyrev (b. 1930) was appointed to head Glavlit in March, 1987. Unless otherwise noted, biographical details presented throughout this book are drawn mainly from the following sources: Alexander G. Rahr, ed.,v4 Biographic Directory o f100 Leading Soviet Officials (editions o f Mar., 1986; Aug., 1988; and Oct., 1988); “Biographies” appendix, in Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs; Theodore William Karasik, ed.. The CPSU Central Commit­ tee: Membersj Commissions, and Departments; Directory o f Soviet Officials: National Organizations (June, 1986; June, 1987); and entries (many based on Izvestiya TsK KPSS) in the Soviet and post-Soviet computer database maintained by the Institute for the Study o f Conflict, Ideology and Policy, Boston University, Boston, Mass. Discussed in ch. 4. Officially, factionalism had ceased to exist in the CPSU since Lenin’s time, but the reality was quite different. See, e.g., Gavriel D. Ra’anan, International Polity For­ mation in the USSR: Factional *Debates9 during the Zhdanovschina; Robert Con­ quest, Power and Policy in the USSR: The Study o f Soviet Dynamics; and Franz Borkenau, “Getting at the Facts Behind the Soviet Façade,” 393-400. “Thus the chief editor o f a republic-level newspaper will typically be a member o f the Central Committee o f that republic’s party. The editor o f the Latvian Komsomol new spaper in Riga is a m em ber o f the Central C om m ittee o f the Latvian Komsomol, and the same protocol system appears to hold all the way down to the local level.” Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Communica­ tion, 45Besides their daily contacts with Glavlit and the Agitprop kuratory, senior editors attended “biweekly instructional conferences” at the Propaganda Department to obtain coverage guidelines. Ibid., 15. Korotich recalled that, after being named to head Ogonek, “I came to [Central Committee Propaganda Secretary Aleksandr] Yakovlev and told him that I am ready to work in the magazine if nobody will interfere: I want to be independent. Yakovlev promised me I would be, and [that] they would give me direct lines to Gorbachev and to other leaders, a high-frequency phone.” Korotich interview, Apr. 9, 1992. Korotich also said that Gorbachev arranged for him to receive a special card that gave him access to CPSU headquarters. “I think Ligachev gave the same cards to his crew,” he added, referring to Ligachev-aligned editors. Korotich interview, Feb. 23,1993. N O T E S TO P A G E S 7 - 8


45 One example is the Grishin episode in the summer o f 1984 involving IzvestiycCs Ivan Laptev, detailed in the next chapter. In 1989, Moskovskiye novostfs Yegor Yakovlev acknowledged that support from Gorbachev was arranged through for­ eign policy advisor Georgiy Arbatov. Yegor Yakovlev also stated that his boss, Novosti news agency head Valentin Falin, “took some o f the fire on himself?’ Falin was reported to have told a Western reporter, “I gave Yegor Yakovlev freedom, but he gives me little sleep.” Stephen F. Cohen and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Voices o f Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers, 206. 46 Since the 1930s, the Central Committee’s Secretariat, whose members oversaw the various Central Committee departments and worked closely with the Polit­ buro, had been the center o f all Soviet media direction. Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 367. Yegor Ligachev, at the height o f his power, chaired that body. 47 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 9, offers some thoughts on the factional structure at the se­ nior level o f CPSU power. 48 One example is provided by Gorbachev’s comments in support o f perestroika at the January, 1987, party plenum. Sometimes, he said, “Lenin’s theses about social­ ism were interpreted simplistically, which often emasculated their theoretical depth and significance. That applies to such key problems as collective property, classes, international relations, the assessment o f work and consumption, cooperation, management methods, popular democracy, self-government, the battle with bureaucratic perversion, the revolutionary-transformational essence o f socialist ideology, principles o f education and upbringing, and guarantees o f the healthy development o f the Party and society. Certain superficial impressions about com­ munism, different kinds o f prophecies and abstract opinions. . . . That attitude toward theory could only reflect negatively—and obviously affected social sciences and their role in society?’ See “O perestroyke i kadrovoy politike partii. Doklad general’nogo sekretarya TsK KPSS M.S. Gorbacheva na plenume TsK KPSS 27 Yanvarya 1987 goda” Pravda, Jan. 28,1987, p. 1. 49 At the 27th Party Congress in February, 1986, for example, Gorbachev said: “Some­ times, when the conversation is about glasnost, we have to hear appeals to be careful in speaking about our inadequacies and imperfections, about the difficul­ ties that cannot be avoided in every vital task. There can be only one answer, a Leninist answer: Communists always and under all circumstances need the truth.” See “Politicheskiy doklad tsen tral’n ogo k o m iteta KPSS XXVII s”yezdu kommunisticheskoy partii sovetskogo soyuza. Doklad general’nogo sekretarya TsK KPSS tovarishcha GorbachevaM. S. 25 Febralya 1986 goda” Pravda, Feb. 26,1986, p. 7. For more efforts to link Lenin and glasnost, see the comments o f those inter­ viewed in V. Kerimov, “Glasnost* i demokratiya” Pravda, June 19,1988, p. 2. 50 “Gorbachev could have been rem oved—and surely w ould have been—at a moment’s notice by the Central Committee o f the Soviet Communist Party on the advice o f the Politburo had he openly criticized either communism or social­ ism, for his power until 1990 rested on the General Secretaryship o f the Central Committee o f the party. Following the introduction o f competitive elections in 1989 and a new-style Supreme Soviet o f which Gorbachev was Chairman, the process might not have been as straightforward as was the removal o f Nikita 98 ■


Khrushchev in October, 1964, but it would have been all too predictable an out­ come if Gorbachev had attacked ‘socialism5rather than redefining it.55Archie Brown, The Gorbachev Factor, 15. 51 See the account o f Leninism and Andropov given in Dmitriy Volkogonov, Lenin: Politicheskiy portret, 2:406-11; (in English) Dmitriy Volkogonov, Lenin: A New Biography, 461-64. 52 In his CPSU plenum speech o f Feb. 18,1988, for instance, Gorbachev linked glasnost with public criticism o f those who opposed his ideas: “The press and television point the ray o f glasnost on those who either consciously or thoughdessly are un­ able to resist that which impedes perestroika.55M. S. Gorbachev, “Revolyutsionnoy perestroyke—ideologiyu obnovleniya. Rech5na plenumeTsKKPSS 18 fevralya 1988 goda55 (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1988), 16. 53 A point made in Wolf Moskovich and Elliot Mossman, Changing Patterns o fSoviet Political Discourse: 198s to the Present, 9.

Chapter 2 1 Zhores A. Medvedev, Gorbachev, 159. 2 Q uoted in Alec Nove, “What’s Happening in Moscow?55 (symposium), National Interest 8 (Summer, 1987): 15, cited in Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 125. 3 Zbigniew Brzezinski translated the word as overtness in his book, The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death o f Communism in the Twentieth Century, 43. French journalists in the 1980s usually referred to glasnost as la transparence. The word transparency is given as an English synonym for glasnost in Gorbachev, Memoirs, 167,185. 4 O f the Soviet term, he wrote : “The meaning ofglasnost3is a source o f confusion in Eastern Europe. One equivalent in Czech toglasnosf seems to be hlasitost, which means ‘loudness.5The Czechs have fun with that translation. They simply use the Russian word in reporting about Gorbachev’s efforts, but they, like others in East­ ern Europe, know that it does not mean ‘openness5and speculate that it is closer in meaning to ‘publicity.5This is the meaning listed in Russian-English dictionar­ ies. The English-language media and scholars seriously distort its meaning, in my view, by translatingglasnosf as ‘openness.555William H . Luers, “The U.S. and East­ ern E urope” Foreign Affairs 65, no. 5 (Summer, 1987): 976, n.i. Discussing Luers’s article, the Washington Post's Stephen S. Rosenfield observed that “glasnosf is an odd duck, and none o f us, perhaps not even Gorbachev, has yet figured out exacdy what it is . . . . Gail W. Lapidus, a Berkeley professor, locates in glasnost3 ‘simultaneous connotations o f both candor and publicity5whose purposes are to reduce the Soviet people’s reliance on foreign (radio) and unofficial (gossip) sources o f information and to enhance the regime’s credibility and popular standing.” Rosenfeld noted, “The Economist tried and failed this week to find a one-word substitute.” See Rosenfeld, “‘Glasnosf: What’s in a Word?” Washington Post, June 19, 1987, p. A25. 5 Bill Keller, “Notes on the Soviet Union: Once More into the Breach—Ink-stained Warriors Rush the Citadel Anew,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Jan. 27,1988, reprinted in Bernard Gwertzman and Michael T. Kaufman, The Decline and Fall o f the Soviet Empire, 92. N O T E S TO PA G E S 9 ~ I I


6 As Gorbachev remarks in his Memoirs, “I placed particular value on glasnost when I realized that the initiatives coming from the top were more and more often obstructed in the vertical structures o f the party apparatus and administrative or­ gans. Freedom o f speech made it possible to go over the head o f the apparatchiks and turn directly to the people, to give them the incentive to act and to win their support” (203). 7 Robert L. Stevenson, Hoyt Childers, Peter West, and Susan Marschalk, “Soviet Media in the Age of Glasnost,” in Martin and Hiebert, Current Issues in Interna­ tional Communication, 195. The chapter was originally a paper presented at the 1987 annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass

Communication, held in San Antonio, Tex. 8 Baruch Hazan, Gorbachev and H is Enemies, 275. 9 Ibid. 10 See ibid. Supporting Gorbachev’s efforts, historian Alexander Sobokin, interviewed by Pravda in mid-1988, quoted Lenin using the term in “Chto delaf?” (What Is to Be Done): “Bez glasnosti, smeshno bylo by govorit’ о demokratizme, i pritom takoy glasnosti, kotoraya ne ogranichivalas’ by chlenami organizatsii” (W ithout glasnost, it would be ludicrous to talk about democracy, especially w ithout the kind o f glasnost which is not limited by the members o f an organization). In V. Kerimov, “Glasnosti i demokratiya” Pravda, June 19,1988, p. 2.

и It also played a role in the debate over what constituted Leninist “democratic centralism”—the concept which was “held to involve free political discussion, and free elections to party offices, combined with a one-party state and a strict hierar­ chical discipline.” Roger Scruton, ed., A Dictionary o fPolitical Thought (New York: Hill and Wang, 1982), 117. 12 According to the 1982 RAND study, internal criticism appearing in the mainstream Soviet media (regardless o f the institution or organization being targeted) was controlled by Agitprop, which usually was responding to concerns that were chan­ neled through other Central Committee departments. Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-Elite Communication, 19. The pre-Gorbachev Soviet press was full o f instances o f official criticism o f items that already had appeared in other media outlets. Transgressions often involved promotion o f an ideologically unsound or erroneous position, or sometimes from pandering to “sensational­ ism” in contents. 13 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Pis’mo Sekretariatu SP RSFSR,” quoted in Moskovich and Mossman, Changing Patterns, 13. 14 Andrei Sakharov, “Pamyatnaya zapiska L. I. Brezhnevu i posleslovie к ney” quoted in Moskovich and Mossman, Changing Patterns, 13. 15 Quoted in Brown, Gorbachev Factor, 125, citing L. I. Brezhnev, Voprosy m zmtiya politicheskoy sistemy sovetskogo obshchestva (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1977), 3i5- Brown notes that Gorbachev echoed this call in his own 1974 speech; however, “at that time his formulation was only a small improvement on Brezhnev’s.” Brown cites Gorbachev, Izbrannye rechi i staPi (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1987), 1:88. 16 Hazan, Gorbachev and H is Enemies, 275. Moskovich and Mossman, Changing Pat100 ■


terns, felt some o f Gorbachev’s political vocabulary, including glasnostf, was the result o f the influence o f advisors such as Yakovlev and Shevardnadze, themselves influenced by dissident literature. They noted, however, that Gorbachev appar­ ently brought his own interpretation to the term (io, 12-13). 17 V. Stepanov, “Bumazhnaya karusel™Partiynaya zhizn’, no. 3 (Feb., 1983): 37-38; and V Churilov, “Protiv formalizma bumazhnogo stilya rukovodstva,” Partiynaya zhizn] no. 2 (Jan., 1983) : 52-55. In Gordon M. Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the CPSU CC Apparat: The Bureaucratic Politics o f Reforming the Party Apparat, 19981991” 31. 18 A. Mukhambetov, “Glasnosti v partiynoy deyatel’nosti—neobkhodimoye usloviye povysheniya aktivnosti trudyashchikhsya,” Partiynaya zbizn \ no. 4 (Feb., 1983): 33; and Yegor Sokolov, “Glasnost5v deyatel’nosti partorganizatsii” Partiynaya zhizn’ no. 7 (Apr., 1983): 19-24. In Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 31,32. 19 British journalist Angus Roxburgh notes that, in this early era, “glasnost in the

press seems to have been restricted to revelations of mismanagement, false accounting, embezzlement, bribery and nepotism; it also introduced a broader discussion of economic alternatives.” Angus Roxburgh, The Second Russian Revo­ lution: The Struggle fo r Power in the Krem lin, 37.

See, e.g.,A. Druzenko, “Glasno о glasnosti: Poleznykhslukhov ne byvaet”Izvestiya, Mar. 23,1985, p. З. 21 “V tsentral’nom komitete KPSS,” Sovetskaya rossiya, Nov. 11,1987, p. 1. 22 “Narodniy kontroP: Proveryat5 fakticheskoye ispolneniye delà” Pravda, Feb. 5, 1988, p. I. 23 “From the standpoint of democratization[,] the positive aspects are obvious,” he continued. “On the other side of the coin, the unprincipled wrangling in the mass media sowed hatred, animosity and intolerance in society” Gorbachev,


Memoirs, 210. 24 Several Western takes on Gorbachev’s use of terms bear noting. Anders Aslund

notes that Gorbachev frequently changed the meanings of his terms, depending upon the occasion: “Instead of changing terminology, he redefines it, allowing him both to advance and retreat when convenient.” Anders Aslund, Gorbachev’s Strugglefor Economic Reform: The SovietReform Process, 198S-1988,2 . Brown, Gorbachev Factor, comes to a similar conclusion regarding the wordperestroyka (124). Accord­ ing to another school of thought, the lack of a definition seems to reveal an unsteady political position, because of the importance generally assigned to au­ thorized terms and concepts in the Soviet Union. See William C. Green, “Soviet Military Reference Works as a Guide in Soviet Military Doctrine,” in Gorbachev and H is Generals: The Reform ofSovietM ilitary Doctrine, ed. William C. Green and Theodore J. Karasik, 185-94; and the introduction to William C. Green and W. Robert Reeves, eds.. The SovietM ilitary Encyclopedia, xvi-xviii (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1993). Finally, Robert G. Kaiser felt that “fifty years of Stalinism had destroyed the meaning of most words in the standard political vocabulary, just as George Orwell predicted (or understood) in 1948, when he wrote 1984. When Gorbachev spoke of glasnost, no one in his audience could be sure what he meant. When he used the term ‘socialist democracy’ delegates had to wonder if he meant N O T E S T O PA G E 13


something new, or the same old authoritarian methods that had been called so­ cialist democracy for years.” Robert G. Kaiser, Why Gorbachev Happened: H is Tri­ umphs and H is Failure, 123. 25 A typical passage read in part: “Glasnost today is an inalienable characteristic o f a normal spiritual and moral atmosphere in society, which lets a person deeply understand what happened with us before, what is happening today, what we are striving for, what kind o f plan we have for the future, and that’s why it helps us consciously participate in perestroika.. . . Glasnost is a real form o f popular con­ trol for all parts o f government, w ithout exceptions, and is a strong key factor in correcting problems and shortcomings.” Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Perestroyka i novoye mishleniye dlya nashey strany dlya vsego mira, 72-73. 26 The resolutions at one point stated: “Glasnost must serve to promote the consoli­

dation of all social forces around the ideas and principles of perestroika.” More­ over, it was impermissible “to manipulate glasnost.” In “Rezolyutsii XIX vsesoyuznoy konferentsii KPSS” Kommunist, July, 1988, pp. 83, 85. 27 Q uoted in Moskovich and M ossman, C hanging Patterns, 9, citing K ratkiy politicheskiy slovar9 (Moscow: IzdatePstvo politicheskoy literatury, 1989), 112-13. 28 Moskovich and Mossman, Changing Patterns, 10-12. Interest in dissident and “un­ authorized” literature existed at lower levels as well. During an interview in late 1988, one Glavlit censor acknowledged that “the opportunity to become wellinformed [by reading banned materials] which my work offers is one o f its most attractive sides.” See Laura Starink in N R C Handelsblad, Dec. 28,1988, p. 7; trans­ lation published in Foreign BroadcastInfimnation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Jan. ii, 1989, p. 77. This U.S. government serial, often referred to as FBIS, was renamed Daily Report—Central Eurasia after the Soviet Union’s collapse. 29 Eduard Shevardnadze (b. 1928) joined the CPSU in 1948 and served in the Kutaisi obkom andgorkom before becoming head of the republic’s Komsomol in 1957. Af­ ter several more Komsomol and Georgian postings, in 1964 he became head of

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, eventually becoming Georgian party first secretary in 1972. He became a candidate Politburo member in 1978 and a full member in 1985. That same year, he became the USSR’s minister of foreign affairs. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 186. 30 “Trevogi obshchestva—trevogi kul’tury” Pravda, Dec. 1,1990, p. 4. See also Eduard Shevardnadze, The Future Belongs to Freedom, 23,26. Gorbachev’s 1990 recitation o f the story came a few weeks before Shevardnadze quit as foreign minister, warn­ ing that dictatorship was coming. 31 Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 111. Aleksandr Yakovlev (b. 1923) served in the Soviet army during World War II, joining the CPSU in 1944. He worked in the CPSU apparat in the Yaroslavl’ obkom until 1953, when he became deputy head

of the Department of Science and Culture in the CPSU Central Committee. He served as an Agitprop instructor in 1962-64, headed the Agitprop broadcasting department in 1964-65» and in 1965 became acting Agitprop head, then its actual chief. In 1966, he simultaneously began to serve as a member of K om m unists edi­ torial staff. He was posted as ambassador to Canada in 1973-83, apparently as pun­ ishment for attacking Kremlin-sanctioned Russian nationalist literature. In 1983, 102 ■

N O T E S T O PA G E S I 3- I 4

Andropov put him in charge of the Academy of Science’s Institute of World Eco­ nomics and International Relations (IMEMO). He became Agitprop chief again in 1985, becoming the Central Committee secretary responsible for propaganda the following year. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 22123. He became a full Politburo member in 1987. 32 Yegor Ligachev alleged that the “increasingly harsh criticism of the radical media from all segments of society, particularly the party, forced Aleksandr Yakovlev to provide a theoretical underpinning for the destructive activity of the newspapers and magazines he protected.” This was, in Ligachev’s words, a “mysterious thesis that the press and television are merely a mirror reflecting life: as life is, so are the media. .. . How could Yakovlev, who had been in charge of ideology for many years at the Central Committee, speak o f' mirroring’ as the main function of the media? Everyone, including Yakovlev himself, knew very well that the press and television were the mightiest levers in forming public opinion.” Yegor K. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin: The Memoirs o f Yegor Ligachev, 102-103. 33 Aleksandr Yakovlev, Predisloviye, obval, poslesloviye, 128. 34 Ibid., 129. 35 The terms “liberal” and “conservative” need to be treated with caution when de­ scribing Soviet officials. Besides being potentially confusing to some Western read­ ers, their use is necessarily imprecise: Soviet policy makers’ political leanings often were hard to decipher, especially when their actions did not correspond consistendy to their stated positions. 36 Dmitriy Biryukov, “Ot Baltiki do Baykala,” Ogonëk, no. 47 (Nov., 1987): 16. 37 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. Yegor Ligachev earned his earliest political cre­

dentials in Novosibirsk, a factor that may have influenced Gorbachev’s reaction. See Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials, Mar., 1986,118-19. 38 In his account of his efforts to support glasnost at regional and local press levels, Gorbachev wrote, “The press was not always in a fighting mood; more often than not[J it was still easily intimidated [by enemies of perestroika]. We began to en­ courage the central press organs to publish articles in support of the regional press. Reviews of the most interesting material from local newspapers were printed, and correspondents who were being persecuted for their criticism were protected.” Of Moskovskiye novosti, “whose bold articles caused a commotion in some departments,” Gorbachev wrote, “I had to take the editor, Yegor Yakovlev, under my protection more than once, even though he was also giving me plenty of trouble.” Gorbachev, Memoirs, 207-208. 39 A TASS bulletin sent to all Soviet news organizations forbade them to carry de­ tails o f the only public statement about Boris Yeltsin’s offer o f resignation: a brief, uninformative news conference overseen by Lukyanov. Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 75-76. Lukyanov (b. 1930) was named head o f the General Depart­ ment o f the Central Committee—the Politburo’s conduit for secret documents—at the same time Yeltsin was named a Central Committee secretary (for construction) in July, 1985. Lukyanov was made a Central Committee secretary himself in 1987 and later chaired the USSR’s Supreme Soviet. H e figured in the failed putsch o f August, 1991« N O T E S T O P A G E S 14“ 16


40 Zhores Medvedev made this point in discussing Gorbachev’s high-visibility trip to Britain following the ideology conference in December, 1984. “It was the first time that a foreign trip undertaken by a high party official was shown live on Soviet television” Medvedev noted. “The Soviet public had never before seen its leaders in the glare o f Western publicity and they liked what they saw. Television had been the enemy o f Brezhnev, Andropov, [Politburo m em ber Nikolay] Tikhonov, and Chernenko, since they were too old and too ill to project an image o f strength and ability.. . . For Gorbachev, on the other hand, television was an ally, enhancing his popularity” (Medvedev, Gorbachev, 160). 41 “Kravchenko said [that Gorbachev] hated reading from an autocue; it was ‘too mechanical* During rehearsals for a broadcast from his Kremlin office the crew tried putting big cue-cards on the antique chairs, but he did not like that either because his eye movements were too obvious. Eventually, says Kravchenko, Sve gave up and just relied on his phenomenal memory.”* Roxburgh further quotes Kravchenko as adding: “ ‘All he needed was a sheet o f notes in front o f him. Once he asked someone to stand across from him, next to the camera, so that he could see some sort o f human response to what he was saying. H e would practice his delivery and intonation, and was happy to retake sections to get them right.’” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 25. Gorbachev made Kravchenko (b. 1938) head o f Gostelradio in 1990; a general crackdown on central broadcasting con­ tents soon followed. 42 Pravda, on its front page late in September, 1987, carried letters to the editor de­ nouncing opponents o f perestroika. The first example, from Kharkov, complained o f the slow pace o f change there and criticized the local party secretary by compar­ ing his visibility unfavorably with Gorbachev’s. Letter from A. Gavrilov, N. Zaitsev, and S. Savchenko, “Bol’she otkrovennosti” Pravda, Sept. 28,1987, p. 1. To one highly placed critic, the visibility issue was style over substance. See Nikolay Ryzhkov, Perestroyka: Istoriya predatel’stv, 140. 43 The official publication o f the Presidium o f the Supreme Soviet (and later o f the Council o f Peoples’ Deputies), Izvestiya originated in February, 1917, as the Menshevik organ in Petrograd. It came under Bolshevik control after the October Revolution, and its editorial offices moved to Moscow at the same time as Pmvda's. See M. I. Tyurin, “Izvestiya sovetov deputatov trudinshchikhsya SSSR,” in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov, 10:521. Despite the nominally different rolcs—Izvestiya representing the government, Pravda representing the CPSU—the papers were similar in content and mission after the revolution. The ostensible government-party differentiation in newspapers was atypical be­ low the national level. “A single newspaper usually is the joint organ o f the jurisdiction’s party committee and soviet,” one analyst noted. “M ost administra­ tive guidance for such newspapers is supplied by the agitation-propaganda de­ partment o f the local party committee, particularly its press sector, and by the party secretaries o f the committee. In many cases, the editor is a member o f the bureau o f the corresponding party committee and in nearly all cases belongs to the party committee.” Remington, Truth o fAuthority, 106. 44 Then “second secretary,” Gorbachev was in charge o f the Central Committee Sec104 ■

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45 46

47 48

retanat, which at the time heavily influenced the Politburo’s agenda. Smolensk archives captured by the Germans in 1941 and subsequendy captured by the West­ ern allies showed that the Secretariat was the center of media control in the 1930s. Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule, 367. That was still the case by the early 1980s, when ex-Soviet journalists told the authors of a RAND Corporation study that the Secretariat oversaw the entire media apparat. Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, M edia and Intra-E lite Communication, vi. Gorbachev’s portfolio during the Chernenko period also shifted from economic issues to ideological ones, which would have put him in an especially good position to influence the Propaganda Department. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 74. Roxburgh details this episode in Second Russian Revolution, 21; the quotation used here is transcribed from the BBC documentary film of the same name. Korotich, in his interviews with Joseph Gibbs, offered this point, and other ob­ servers shared this view. See Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, no. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 211-14, comments on “glasnost and the intelligentsia.” Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. Yegor Yakovlev in Obshchayagazeta, no. 4 (July 9,1993): 11, in Foreign Broadcast Infirm ation Service: Central Eurasia, July 28,1993, p* 37- (This latter serial is simi­ larly named but distinct from the previously discussed Foreign Broadcast Informa­

tion Service: Daily Report—Central Eurasia. ) 49 Contemporary discussions o f this phenomenon include William C. Green, “So­ viet Military Reference Works,” especially 186-90; and “Media Analysis in the Era o f Glasnost,” in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Analysis Report, Apr. 5,1991. 50 Western “Kremlinologists” long had been tracking the subtle shifts and differences

among various organs. They interpreted these as signs of factional structures, high­ lighting areas where conflicting party groups raised and exploited policy or ideo­ logical issues. Examples in the vast body of literature on this subject include Borkenau, “Getting at the Facts”; William E. Griffith, “Communist Esoteric Com­ munications: Explication de Texte” (Oct., 1967; published by the Center for In­ ternational Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.); Harold Lasswell, Nathan Leites, and Associates, Language o fPolitics; Nathan Leites, A Study o fBolshevism; William D. Mills, “Content Analysis of Communist Docu­ ments”; Gavriel D. Ra’anan, International Policy Formation; and Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, Media and Intra-Elite Communication, especially 91-104. “Kremlinologists” were criticized for placing too much emphasis on the top party leadership and its perceived conflicts; some also felt they exaggerated the impor­ tance of Soviet media inconsistencies. See Dzirkals, Gustafson and Johnson, M e­ dia and Intra-Elite Communication, 96-99; Michael Yahuda, “Kremlinology and the Chinese Strategic Debate, 1965-66” China Quarterly, no. 49 (Jan.-Mar., 1972) : 32-75; and the responses to Yahuda by Donald Zagoria (“On Kremlinology: A Reply to Michael Yahuda”) and Uri Ra’anan (“On Kremlinology: A Second Re­ ply”), both in China Quarterly, no. 50 (Apr.-June, 1972): 343-50. 51 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 52 “With glasnost and pluralism officially proclaimed, the sharp and categorical criti­ cism of Sovetskaya rossiya hastened the development of a negative attitude on beN O T E S T O PA G E S 1 7 -1 8


half o f the editorial board to the General Secretary and his dose supporters, and assisted in the formation o f Sovetskaya rossiya as the oppositional newspaper that it is today. I do not share Nina Andreyeva’s urge to depict the past history o f the Soviet Communist Party as beyond reproach. . . . But this certainly does not mean that such thunderous and categorical criticism o f Sovetskaya rossiya was justified. And today, when the dead-end o f perestroika is yet more obvious, one can go further and say that Nina Andreyeva’s artide could have served to generate fruitful and necessary polemic over goals, means and methods.” Mikhail Nenashev, A n Ideal Betrayed: Testimonies ofa Prominent and LoyalMember o fthe Soviet Establishment, 63. As noted in a later chapter, Nenashev was Sovetskaya rossiya’s editor until 1986. 53 See Gorbachev, Memoirs, 209. Viktor Afanas’yev was replaced with Ivan Frolov, a Central Committee secretary and a member o f the party’s ideological commis­ sion. At the same time, Gorbachev criticized editors o f several other prominent newspapers and sought the resignation o f Vladislav Starkov, editor o fArgum enti ifa kti. His displeasure with Starkov apparently stemmed from an opinion poll published in that newspaper, in which Gorbachev was not mentioned, apparently because he fared poorly. Starkov refused to step down, and his entire staff threat­ ened to resign if he left. See Korotich’s account o f events preceding Afanas’yev’s firing, in a note in ch. 7 o f this book. 54 Ellen Wimberg argued in 1992 that Izvestiya under Bukharin promoted a unique, at times critical, and long-overlooked view of the ratification of the 1936 “Stalin” constitution. She compared Izvestiya with Pravda and Trud. Ellen Wimberg, “So­

cialism, Democratism and Criticism: The Soviet Press and the National Discus­ sion of the 1936 Draft Constitution,” passim. 55 Following the riots in Tbilisi in April, 1989, in which troops fired on an otherwise peaceful demonstration in the Georgian capital, Yegor Yakovlev noted “distinct disenchantment” with the limits o f glasnost. “The chief editors were summoned to the party Central Committee Propaganda Department and instructed how to write about what had happened: not a mention either o f the combat engineers’ shovels, with which people had been hacked down, or o f the gas which had poisoned them.” Yegor Yakovlev in Obshchayagazeta, no. 4 (July 9, 1993), и , reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Central Eurasia, July 28,1993, p. 37. 56 “Tsenzury net, no tayny ostayutsya” Izvestiya, July 26,1990, p. 3. 57 Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism, 39-40. 58 Zarya vostoka, Nov. 6,1990, quoted in Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism, 40. 59 Paul Quinn-Judge, “Gorbachev Is Granted Some Curbs on Press,” Boston Globe, Jan. 17,1991, p. 38. 60 For a summary of these events, see Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism, 18-30. 61 For an example of Vremya’s return to form, the catastrophic 1991 earthquake in

Soviet Georgia ranked fourteenth on one newscast’s list of news items. Tatyana Ivanova, “The Fourteenth News Item ? New Times, no. 19 (1991), dted in Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism, 325-26. 62 Paul Quinn-Judge, “Gorbachev Denies Charges USSR Is Drifting,” Boston Globe, Jan. 1,1991, p. 9; “Shevardnadze Story Blacked Out on TV” Washington Post story carried in the Boston Globe, Dec. 29,1990, p. 2. ' 106 ■


63 “Three Soviet TV News Anchors Are Fired” Washington Post story carried in the Boston Globe, Mar. 18,1991, p. 14. 64 For examples, see Vachnadze, Secrets o fJournalism, 268-69. 65 See Gorbachev’s speech to the Supreme Soviet, Jan. 14,1991, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Export—Soviet Union, Jan. 15,1991, pp. 19-23. 66 Quinn-Judge, “Gorbachev Is Granted,” 38.

Chapter 3 1 H ahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” provides an exhaustively researched ac­ count o f Gorbachev’s attempts to reorganize and restructure the administrative functions o f the party over the course o f 1988-91. 2 In his writings, “Chernenko returned again and again to the theme o f treating ‘cadres,’ the permanent party and state officials, with respect. O n no account should they be resdessly ‘shuffled around.’ This was essentially a defense o f the Brezhnev generation’s right to stay at their jobs: consideration was to be shown above all to those already at the top. H e also defended elderly officials with a quotation from Yakov Sverdlov, the first Soviet head o f state: ‘Youth is far from being measured only in years. A man may be young at fifty and old at thirty.” Mark Frankland, The Sixth Continent: M ikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union, 125-26. 3 “Zhivoye tvorchestvo naroda (Doklad chlena politbyuro TsK KPSS, sekretarya TsK KPSS),” Pravda, Dec. 11,1984, p. 2. There is much here that harks back to the Andropov era; parts o f Gorbachev’s speech echo a resolution issued to party orga­ nizations in summer, 1983, on the upcoming report and election campaign o f Sept., 1983-Jan., 1984. The resolution called upon party organizations to strengthen in­ ternal party democracy. Its seventh point read in part: “Electoral party organs should enter assemblies and conferences with profound, self-critical reports, which contain constructive proposals for the improvement o f their work. Assemblies and conferences themselves should be an example o f the collective thinking through o f practice and the problems which have been arising, o f principled mutual demandingness o f communists, and o f exacting demand[s] against shortcomings and omissions. . . . It can only be that the facts suffer when gatherings are con­ ducted according to a prepared scenario, w ithout interested and open discussion and when speeches are edited beforehand and initiative and criticism are muffled.” From “O Provedenii otchetov i vyborov v pervichnykh, rayonnykh, gorodskikh, okruzhnykh, oblastnykh i krayevykh partiynykh organizatsiyakh,” in Spravochnik partiynogo rabotnika, 1983, pt. 2 (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1984), 241; cited in Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 33. 4 Laptev (b. 1934) had been appointed to head Izvestiya in April, 1984. Directory of Soviet Officials: National Organizations (June, 1987), 259. 5 This and the following quotes are from A. Druzenko, “Pochtu kommentiruyet redaktor: Glasno о glasnosti,” Izvestiya, Jan. 19,1985, p. 2. 6 “In . . . virtually every one o f his many published statements during his first year, he repeated the theme o f‘strengthening o f discipline.’” Marshall I. Goldman, W hat W ent Wrong with Perestroika, 81. 7 Serge Schmemann, “Gorbachev Pushes Corruption Drive,” New Tork Times story N O T E S TO P A G E S 1 9 - 2 3


datelined Moscow, Mar. 25,1985, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 7. Also reminiscent of Andropov was Gorbachev’s first reform, the famous anti-alco­ hol campaign. This topic was discussed formally at a Politburo meeting in early April, 1985, according to the resulting communique. A decree on formal measures to combat alcoholism was released on May 17. This had a personal political edge; Gorbachev’s rival, Grigory Romanov, a Politburo member (until July, 1985) and past Leningrad party boss, qualified as the “highest-level drunkard.” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 29. 8 Key reference sources for this book’s administrative and historical details from the Gorbachev era include: “Selected Chronology o f Significant Internal Develop­ ments and Events—March 1985 through June 1987,” in Ilya Zemtsov and John Farrar, Gorbachev: The M an and the System, 21-30; the “Chronology” appendix in Gorbachev, Memoirs, 697-712; J. H . Hughes, London School o f Economics, “Rus­ sia—Chronicle o f Events, March 1985-January 1992,” posted on the Keele Univer­ sity Internet site (www.keele.ac.uk/depts/po/pol/docs/events.htm); and entries in the Soviet and post-Soviet database maintained by the Institute for the Study o f Conflict, Ideology and Policy, Boston University, Boston, Mass. 9 A. Druzenko, “Glasno о glasnosti: Poleznykh slukhov ne byvayet” Izvestiya, Mar. 23,1985, p. 3. A more orthodox media message from early in the Gorbachev era seems to exist in an unsigned 1985 editorial in Liternaturnayagazeta. It reaffirmed

the party’s role in guiding literary work and demanded the appropriate character­ ization and portrayal of Soviet figures and themes. Literary criticism was discussed, but in the context of punishing ideological, rather than bureaucratic, incorrect­ ness. “Vo imya naroda ” Liternaturnayagazeta, Mar. 14,1985, p. 5. 10 Adding more weight to the personnel changes, Pravda on Mar. 25,1985, attacked the Coal Ministry, and on the same day the head of the Bratsk citygorkom was dismissed. Another remarkable event came when a close Gorbachev adviser, econo­ mist Abel Aganbegyan, said publicly (m Izvestiya) that managers should be trained in Western-style business schools, rather than simply selected from factory ranks. Schmemann, “Gorbachev Pushes Corruption Drive,” 7. Aganbegyan later fell out of favor when the economic reforms failed. “Ultimately Aganbegyan himself be­ gan to criticize the early economic decisions of the Gorbachev administration with­ out acknowledging that he, Aganbegyan, had helped shape much of Gorbachev’s early program.” Goldman, W hat Went Wrong, 97. и This appeal would occur with increasing frequency in the years ahead. See Revisit­ ing Soviet Economic Performance under Glasnost5: Implicationsfo r C IA Estimates. 12 “Kadry mestnoy pechati,” Pravda, Apr. 6,1985, p. 1. 13 I. Novikov and A. Simurov, “Rabotai luchshe: Plenumy partiynykh komitetov obsuzhdayut rabotu s kadrami v svete trebovaniy TsKKPSS—Belorussiya ” Pravda, Apr. 6,1985, p. 2. In the Belorussian case, the criticism seems directed at remnants

of the Brezhnev patronage network in the Minsk party apparat, an early Andropov target; to break up the clique, the former KGB chief appointed Nikolai Slyun’kov as Belorussian CP head in 1983. Slyun’kov weathered the Chernenko interreg­ num. In 1986, he was elevated to full membership in the Central Committee and

108 ■

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candidate status in the Politburo. Rahr, Biographic Directory o fSoviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 195-96. 14 M. Odinets and V. Cherkasov, “Rabotat5luchshe: Plenumy partiynykh komitetov obsuzhdayut rabotu s kadrami v svete trebovaniy TsK KPSS—Dnepropetrovskaya oblast?5Pravda, Apr. 6,1985, p. 2. 15 TASS report, “Prebyvaniye v Dnepropetrovskoy oblasti” Pravda, Apr. 6,1985, p. 2. 16 Ligachev (b. 1920) was educated as an engineer and became a party member in 1944. H e served in various party capacities in Novosibirsk oblast until 1961, when he became deputy chief o f the Agitprop bureau responsible for the Russian repub­ lic. Two years later, he became deputy chief o f the Central Committee’s Russian Bureau for Party Organs. In 1965, he was named first secretary o f the Tomsk obkom; the next year, he became a candidate member o f the Central Committee, becom­ ing a full member ten years later. Rahr, Biographic Directory o fSoviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 118-20. 17 Seweryn Bialer, The Soviet Paradox: External Expansion, Internal Decline, 107. 18 Chebrikov’s loyalty to Gorbachev occasionally was questioned by outside observ­ ers. H e reportedly rose to defend Ligachev during the April, 1988, Politburo meet­ ing that preceded Ligachev’s formal removal as “second secretary.” Philip Taubman, “Soviet Politburo Is Said to Demote the No. 2 Leader” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Apr. 21,1988, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 102. 19 To outsiders, the Soviet power structure was a confusing, fluid affair replete with overlapping duties and areas o f authority. There was, for instance, a large gulf between the power o f the chief o f a given Central Committee department and a Central Committee secretary responsible for issues in that department. Soviet ex­ patriate Michael Voslensky affirmed an interviewer’s thesis that “if you have the tide o f secretary, then you are the super boss over a number o f departments.” Voslensky added on his own that, as a secretary, “you are a boss, but it is possible that you have just one department. But you are the boss, and this is the difference between a secretary and a mere department head. The department head does not belong to the leadership o f the Soviet Union, the Kremlin leadership. The secre­ tary belongs to this leadership.” Voslensky said that, while a secretary was elected by the leadership—presumably by other members o f the Politburo and Secre­ tariat, acting on the recommendation o f the general secretary—a department head was appointed. Uri Ra’anan and Lukes, Inside the Apparat, 68. 20 Ibid., 68; see also ibid., 47-114, for sometimes divergent accounts o f how Soviet and East Bloc insiders perceived the power structure. 21 Gorbachev wrote of the plenum in April, 1985: “I proposed that Ligachev, Ryzhkov

and Chebrikov should be elected Politburo members---- As always, the vote was unanimous. After congratulating the successful candidates, I asked the Politburo members to come up and join the Presidium and sat Ligachev next to myself to chair the meeting. ‘So, Yegor Kuzmich, give me the floor,’ I said. I did this on purpose so that the new lineup in the Kremlin would be clear from the start.” Gorbachev, Memoirs, 173.

N O TE S TO PAGES 2 4 -2 5


22 Yegor Ligachev, “Gotovyas’ к partiynomu s”yezdu,” Kommunist, Aug., 1985, P -18. 23 Moscow radio, Nov. 20,1985, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: D aily Re­ port-Soviet Union, Nov. 21,1985, p. R-5. 24 In his memoirs, Ligachev made no secret o f his troubles with Yakovlev. The latter, however, seems consistendy to have declined to comment publicly on his rela­ tionship with Ligachev. During a talk with young delegates to the 28th Party C on­ gress, on July 8,1990, he was asked what he thought o f the ovation Ligachev had received. Yakovlev responded that, if the audience wanted to clap, “Why do we have to make history out o f it?” H e added, “I want to ask you to refrain from demanding personal assessments from me. I don’t want to do that.” See the steno­ graphic report o f the session given in Aleksandr Yakovlev, M uki prochteniya bytiya. Perestroyka: Nadezhdy i real’nosti, 194. A few years later, Yakovlev evaded a ques­ tion as to how he viewed his reform role versus that o f Ligachev. Aleksandr Yakovlev, interviewed by Kira Vladina, “Ded epokhi: Aleksandru Yakovlevu ochén’ meshayet kompleks loyal’nosti ” Nezavisimayagazeta, Aug. 10,1994, p. 525 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 97. 26 “Korotich has a selective memory; it does not diminish his unique contribution to

the cause of a ‘normal life* in his country to point out that his account of an event may vary from month to month or from one interlocutor to another.” John Newhouse, “Profiles [Vitaliy Korotich]: Chronicling the Chaos,” New Yorker, Dec. 31,1990, pp. 49-50. 27 Korotich (b. 1936) was the son of a microbiologist father (imprisoned during Stalinist terror in 1938 but released after a few months) and a physiologist mother. Korotich studied medicine and, after graduating in 1959, became a Kiev cardiolo­ gist. In his spare time, however, he wrote; by 1965, he had given up medicine and took a position within the Kiev writers’ union. By his account, he ran afoul of the Central Committee by hesitating when told to author an attack on a Ukrainian dissident’s book which he had not yet read. Rehabilitated in 1978, he became edi­ tor of Vsespit, a Ukrainian literary magazine. Having traveled several times to the United States, he published a strong critique of American cultural portrayals of the USSR, Litso nenavisti[The Face c f Hatred] (Moscow: Sovetskiye pisateli, 1985). See Newhouse, “Profiles [Vitaliy Korotich].” Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, states that he had approved of Agitprop’s recommending Korotich for Ogonëk because, after having read Litso nenavisti, he had “concluded that the author had stable ideological positions” (96). 28 Ogonëk had a colorful history among Soviet periodicals, being the only Soviet journal that existed before the 1917 revolution. It began in 1907 as a family maga­ zine and, though popular, was banned in 1918 for monarchist sympathies. Lenin revived it in 1923 under the New Economic Policy, placing it under Pravda’s authority. During the Stalin period, it was edited by Mikhail KoPtsov, who si­ multaneously edited the satirical magazine Krokodil. Stalin used Ogonëk to pub­ licly identify alleged traitors, and Kol’tsov grew in status within the apparat. But eventually the editor did something to displease Stalin, who reportedly summoned him to his office and asked him if he owned a gun. When Kol’tsov asked why it mattered, Stalin replied, “Because if I were.in your place. I’d shoot myself?* 110 ■

N O TES TO PAGES 2 6 - 2 7

KoPtsov was arrested and shot the next day. Newhouse, “Profiles [Vitaliy Korotich]” 48-49. 29 As with the use of terms “conservative” and “liberal ” discussed in the last chapter,

Korotich’s use of the adjective “right-wing” here requires some caution. Korotich means that Ogonëk was identified with the CPSLPs Brezhnevite camp. 30 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 31 Serge Schmemann, “First 100 Days o f Gorbachev: A New Start,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, June 16, 1985, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 13. 32 Ibid., 13. 33 Ibid., 13-14. See also Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 25. 34 “Za Leniniskiy stil’ raboty,” Pravda, May 30,1985, p. 1. 35 Sovetskaya rossiya, June 4,1985, p. 1, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, June 14,1985, p. R-2. 36 TASS in English, June 18,1985, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ port-Soviet Union, June 19,1985, p. R-i. 37 “Important conclusions can be drawn for the functions of organs of state security

at every levels. A Leninist style of work, close business connections with working groups and social organizations, an emphasis on preventive prophylactic mea­ sures, active participation in communist education, in raising the political and legal culture of the people, strict fulfillment of laws, and, most important, strict execution of directives and instructions of the party—such are the high responsi­ bilities by which Soviet chekists are guided.” V Chebrikov, “Sveryayas’s Leninym, rukovodstvuyas’ trebovaniyami partiy” Kommunist, June, 1985, p. 58. 38 Such changes came in mid-October, when Council of Ministers Chairman Nikolay Tikhonov was removed from the Politburo, the Council of Ministers itself was adjusted, and responsibilities for industrial production were shifted. Several min­ istries and a state committee also were consolidated into a single body. 39 Sovetskaya rossiya, Aug. 14,1985, p. 1, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Aug. 23,1985, p. R-2 to R-4. 40 41 42 43 44

“Publitsistike—novyye gorizonty,” Pravda, Aug. 22,1985, p. 1. Yegor Ligachev, “Sovetuyas’s partiyey, s narodom” Kommunist, Oct., 1985, p. 79. Ibid., 81. Ibid., 84. Ibid., 85.

Chapter 4 1 In his memoirs, Gorbachev indicates that he chose to include glasnost in his re­ port to the 27th Party Congress in order to help reinforce the seriousness o f re­ structuring: “It was obvious that the policy o f perestroika was seen by many as just another campaign, which would soon run out o f steam. We had to elimi­ nate doubts o f this kind and convince people o f the need for the new course, and so the theme o f glasnost—‘transparency5—came up in the report.” Gorbachev, Memoirs, 185. 2 “Sovetskaya rossiya,” The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov, 24:337. N O T E S T O PA G E S 2 7 - 3 2


3 During the early 1960s, the paper earned a reputation for a “relatively free and informal style,” although th at declined after a new ed ito r to o k over after Khrushchev’s ouster. By 1970, P. F. Alekseyev was at the helm, apparently as a reward for writing editorials at his previous paper, SeVskaya zhizn\ supporting a Brezhnev-led faction on issues o f agricultural production. After Alekseyev’s ar­ rival, “The newspaper started to appear in separate Moscow and province edi­ tions, just as several other national papers do.” Dzirkals, Gustafson, and Johnson, Media and Intra-Elite Communication, 49-50. 4 Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 31-32. 5 Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931) worked in the Sverdlovsk construction industry before be­ coming a CPSU member in 1961. H e became a Sverdlovsk obkom department chief in 1968, and the obkom first secretary in 1976. H e was named a member o f the Central Committee in 1981. In 1985, along w ith his prom otion to Moscow, Gorbachev named him a candidate Politburo member; Yeltsin also served in the CPSU’s construction administration apparatus during that year. Rahr, Biographic Directory ofSoviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 67-68. 6 “V Prezidiume verkhovnogo soveta SSSR,” Pravda, Feb. 25,1986, p. 2. H e also was elected to the Central Committee at the congress itself. Nenashev was made head o f Gostelradio in mid-1989, after which broadcast contents gradually be­ came more independent o f the party line. In Pravda on Feb. 5,1990, Nenashev supported the idea o f allowing the development o f independent alternatives to state broadcasting. Q uoted by Gostelradio’s Eduard Sagalayev in Yuri Makarov, “TV i my: Vremya v kavychkakh i bez” Izvestiya, Apr. 7,1991, p. 7- Nenashev had his critics at Gostelradio; see, e.g., “Perestroyka v gosteleradio ^Argumenti ifakti, no. 30 (July 28-Aug. 3,1990): 6. Yet Gorbachev’s replacement o f Nenashev with Kravchenko in late 1990 marked Soviet broadcasting’s reversal until the aftermath o f the August, 1991, coup attempt. 7 Sovetskaya rossiya, Nov. 14,1985, p. 1, cited in Stephen White, Gorbachev in Power, 58. 8 Angus Roxburgh, Pravda: Inside the Soviet News Machine, 70. 9 Sovetskaya rossiya, Dec. 17,1985, p- 1, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Dec. 20,1985, pp. R-3 to R-4. 10 Igor Kots in Sovetskaya rossiya, Feb. 1,1986, p. 2, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Feb. 11,1986, pp. R-3 to R-4. 11 Yu. Zhigulev in Sovetskaya rossiya, Feb. 5,1986, p. 2, reprinted in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Feb. 11,1986, p. R-5. 12 Ibid. 13 Aleksandr Vasinskiy, “Perestroyka i perestrakhovshchik: Dialog u gazetnogo kioska na aktual’nuyu tem u” Izvestiya, Feb. 15,1986, p. 3. 14 M. S. Gorbachev, “Politicheskiy doklad tsentral’nogo komiteta KPSS XXVII s”yezdy kommunisticheskoy partii sovetskogo soyuza” (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1986), 76. 15 Ibid., 77. 16 Ibid., 102. 17 Ibid., 113. 112 ■

N O T E S T O P A G E S 3 2 -3 5

18 “It is highly unlikely that Yeltsin undertook this first swipe at the party apparat upon his own initiative, w ithout the knowledge o f Gorbachev. It was frequently Gorbachev’s custom to introduce a new idea o f reform initiative through a trusted underling. This cushioned him from any possible backlash.” Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 52. 19 “Rech5tovarishcha EPtsina B. N .” Pravda, Feb. 27,1986, p. 3. 20 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 95. 21 Ibid. 22 In ibid., Ligachev acknowledged that Yakovlev “started with the calmer ones”—in this case, Ivan Frolov. Frolov (b. 1929) served as an advisor to Gorbachev on ideo­ logical matters, held positions within the USSR Academy o f Sciences, and took over the editorship o f Kommunist in 1986. H e later was appointed to replace Viktor A fanas’yev at Pravda in October, 1989. 23 Michael Voslensky, Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class, an Insider’s Report, 70-74. 24 “Recti’ tovarishchaLigachevaE. K .” Pravda, Feb. 28,1986, p. 4. 25 T. [Tat’yana] Samolis, “Ochishcheniye: Otkrovennyy razgovor” Pravda, Feb. 13, 1986, p. 3. 26 This is a point made by Baruch Hazan, who added that, two days after the critical article appeared, Pravda stated that “one should not draw generalizations on the basis o f individual impressions”—an apparent backing down as a result o f imme­ diate criticism. Support for his interpretation comes from the congress speech by Vladimir Kalashnikov, the Volgograd obkom’s first secretary, who echoed Ligachev and even quoted the Samolis article. “O n the pretext o f holding a frank discus­ sion,” he said, “the cadres o f some ‘immobile, inert, and unprogressive party ad­ ministrative stratum’ must be vilified simply for sensation’s sake. It is not hard to see what some writers have in mind when they do that.” Hazan, Gorbachevand His Enemies, 13. 27 “Rech’ tovarishcha Ligacheva E. K.,” Pravda, Feb. 28,1986, p. 4. 28 Vlasov was named to succeed Vitaliy Fedorchuk as minister o f internal affairs in January, 1986. Gorbachev’s enemies originally had used that ministry against him; Ligachev noted in his memoirs. Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 31, that “in 1984 there were people in the Ministry o f Internal Affairs whose job apparently was to find compromising material on Gorbachev from the Stavropol period o f his career.” O f Aristov’s appointment, Aslund (Gorbachev’s Struggle, 137) likened Gorbachev’s 1985 shakeup o f the Ministry o f Foreign Trade to a “hostile takeover. There was an almost clean sweep at the top o f the Ministry, with an outsider (Boris Aristov, Deputy Minister o f Foreign Affairs) as new minister.” 29 Another observer wrote at the time, “The very fact that Ligachev was revealing subject matter previously kept secret and confined to the innermost sanctum (‘in a narrow circle’) should have alerted observers.. . . Juxtaposed with the (implicit) clash over Pravda’s ‘lapses’ this passage has to be translated into non-arcane termi­ nology to read, ‘I have already warned the top leadership against going too far with public admissions o f shortcomings, irrespective o f whose ox is being gored, but, if my admonitions are disregarded, let me point out just where all this might N O T E S T O P A G E S 35-37


30 31 32 33 34 35 36

end and precisely who might find himself among the victims— Ligachev’s pointed reference to [the ministries o f internal affairs and foreign trade] amounts, in effect, to a chilling threat.’ If Comrade Gorbachev insists that we must ‘stop practicing misplaced tact,’ perhaps we should allow public criticism o f his appointee [s].” Uri Ra’anan, “Before and After Chernobyl: Stresses in the Soviet Leadership,” 250. TASS report, “Vstrecha v TsKKPSS” Krasnaya zvezda, Mar. 15,1986, p* 1. “Pyatiletka i pressa,” Pravda, Mar. 25,1986, p. 1. Yevgeniy Yevtushenko in Sovetskaya kul’tura, Apr. 15,1986, p. 3, in Foreign Broad­ cast Information Service: D aily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 24,1986, p. R-i. Ibid., R-2. Ibid. Frankland, Sixth Continent, 252. In Litem atum ayagazeta, July 2,1986, p. 7; Current Digest o fthe Soviet Press 38, no. 28 (Aug. 13,1986): 3. Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 44.

37 38 “Visiting Tbilisi at that time with a group of deputies, I inserted in an issue an

article describing what had actually happened. Calls from Glavlit began: I was warned, admonished, intimidated. But by that time, a chief editor had the right to publish an article, being responsible for it himself. Thus had I decided: on my own responsibility?* In this case, a further confrontation was avoided because “when the time for the publication of the issue came, the censor disappeared: he had taken fright and fled. So the issue, not blessed by the censor’s seal, appeared. This was, most likely, the first instance in our country of an uncensored newspaper enjoying unrestricted distribution.” Yegor Yakovlev, in Foreign Broadcast Inform a­ tion Service: Central Eurasia, July 28,1993, p. 37- (The text as given by FBIS makes reference to “April of 1991” [dc] as the date of the Tbilisi episode.) 39 Vitaliy Korotich, interview by author, Boston, Mass., Sept. 8, 1993- Notes in author’s collection. 40 Pravda on Apr. 26, the date o f the accident, ran a long article excerpting letters written in support o f glasnost as set forth at the 27th Party Congress. All sup­ ported the new level o f openness; several criticized their local information sources as lacking substance. V. Kozhemyako, “O glasnosti—v polnyy golos. Partiynaya zhizn’: Razmyshleniya nad pis’mam i” Pravda, Apr. 26,1986, p. 2. 41 This section draws on details presented in Philip Patterson, “Reporting Chernobyl: Cutting the Government Fog to Cover the Nuclear Cloud,” in Bad Tidings: Com­ munication and Catastrophe, ed. Lee Wilkins, Lynne M. Walters, Tim Walters (Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Eribaum, 1989), 131-47. 42 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 189. 43 Detailed in Ryzhkov, Perestroyka, 133-36. Their visit was reported on in a TASS story which ran in Pravda on May 4,1986. The piece stated that they, along with Ukrainian officials, viewed the scene and discussed actions taken to help with the “normalization o f the situation in the neighboring regions.” See “Poseshcheniye rayona Chemobyl’skoy atomnoy stantsii” Pravda, May 4,1986, p. 2.

44 Besides being a member of the Politburo and Central Committee, at the time of the Chernobyl accident Aliyev was first deputy chairman of the USSRCouncil of 114 ■

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45 46

47 48 49


51 52 53

54 55 56 57 58 59

Ministers. H e was a KGB major general and previously had served in the KGB and MVD (Internal Affairs Ministry) in Azerbaijan. H e was appointed to the Po­ litburo in 1982. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 17-19. Q uoted in Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 41. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 192. At the time o f the Chernobyl crisis, Vadim Medvedev (b. 1929) recently had been named a Central Committee secretary for science and educa­ tion issues. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 135-36. He was considered a progressive economic reformer and was named to the Politburo in October, 1988, assuming many o f Ligachev’s former duties in the sphere of ideology. “O t soveta ministrov SSSR,” Pravda, May 1,1986, p. 2; Remington, Truth o fA u ­ thority, 118-19. Remington, Truth o fAuthority, 118-19. “O ur ideological opponents do not miss a single opportunity to launch yet one more campaign against the USSR,” he said. “The bourgeois propaganda media are concocting many hoaxes around the accident at the Chernobyl atomic power plant-----The purpose o f all this is to step up even more the anti-Soviet hysteria in the hope o f driving a wedge in the Soviet Union’s relations with other countries.” Q uoted in Felicity Barringer, “Nuclear Disaster: What Press Is Saying: ‘A nti-So­ viet Hysteria’ Russian Terms Reports,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, May 2,1986, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 34. Serge Schmemann, “Gorbachev, on TV, Defends Handling o f Atom Disaster,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, May 14, 1986, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 360. Remington, in Truth o fAuthority, observes that coverage o f Chernobyl fit the form seen in Soviet handling o f another sensitive international story—the 1983 KAL007 incident. Coverage “underwent three stages: first, a lag between the event and the official acknowledgment o f it; second, a period o f transition in deciding the basic angle for covering the story; and third, adoption o f a stable approach to the story and its associated themes” (117). Ibid., 119. See, e.g., V. Gubarev and M. O dinets, “Vesna trevog i muzhestva: Nashi spetsial’nyye korrespondenty peredayut iz Kieva,” Pravda, May 9,1986, p. 6. Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 42. Aleksandr Didusenko, Trad's Prague correspondent during the “Prague Spring” era, recalled a similar incident in Feb­ ruary, 1968, involving Leonid Brezhnev. Didusenko asked Brezhnev personally how he should cover Czechoslovakian events and was told to “write the truth.” Brezhnev then added, “in one copy,” which he indicated should be sent to his aide. “Avgust 68-go. Vzglyad ochevidtsev na sobytiya v Chekhoslovakii dvadtsat5 let spustya ” Moskovskiye novosti, no. 35 (Aug. 28,1988), p. 7Ryzhkov, Perestroyka, p. 140. For the article in question, see V Gubarev and M. Odinets, “Stantsiya i vokrug neye,” Pravda, May 6,1986, p. 6. Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 42. Remington, Truth o fAuthority, 119-20. “Vysokoye prizvaniye zhumalistov,” Pravda, May 5,1986, p. 1. V Shirokov, “Oruzhiyem glasnosti,” Pravda, May 5,1986, p. 5. N O T E S TO PA G E S 4 0 - 4 2


Chapter 5 1 Gorbachev, Perestroyka i novoye myshleniye, 72. 2 Serge Schmemann, “Greater ‘Glasnost’ Turns Some Soviet H eads” undated New York Times story, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 51. Al­ though for foreign consumption rather than domestic effect, at the time o f the Gorbachev-Reagan summit in Iceland, “Soviet spokesmen seem[ed] more visible and aggressive,” Schmemann wrote. “A platoon o f officials followed Mr. Gorbachev to Reykjavik to brief reporters, and in the aftermath o f the summit Foreign M in­ istry officials gave a series o f briefings assailing President Reagan’s version o f events, even taking the unusual step o f publicizing statements the President reportedly made to Mr. Gorbachev.” Novosti officials even told American editors “that two officials were standing by phones in Moscow to answer questions about Afghani­ stan.” Schmemann, ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Sokolov (b. 1911) was not considered a Gorbachev ally. Gorbachev removed him from his post as defense minister in late May, 1987, following the uproar after

Matthias Rust’s famous unauthorized flight to the Kremlin, which took him over heavily defended Soviet airspace. Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 67. 5 Moscow radio, June 3, 1986, in Foreign Broadcast Information Sendee: Daily Re­ port-Soviet Union, June 4,1986, p. R-i. 6 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 206. 7 “1986 Politburo Slapping Down Intelligentsia,” MoscowNews, Oct. 17,1996, p. 6. 8 Moscow television, Nov. 6,1986, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 7,1986, p. О-12. 9 In Gorbachev’s words : “His position as autocrat o f the republic was not subject to criticism.” Gorbachev, Memoirs, 330. 10 Philip Taubman, “Soviet Reports Rioting in City in Central Asia,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Dec. 18, 1986, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 52. 11 See Goldman, W hat Went Wrong, 122. 12 For details on his predecessors’ handling of nationality issues, see, e.g., Jeremy

Azrael, “The ‘Nationality Problem’ in the USSR: Domestic Pressures and Foreign Policy Constraints,” in The Domestic Context o f Soviet Foreign Policy, ed. Seweryn Bialer, 139-5313 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 331. 14 “O perestroyke i kadrovoy politike partii: Doklad general’nogo sekretarya TsK KPSS M.S. Gorbacheva na plenume TsK KPSS 27 yanvarya 1987 goda” Pravda, Jan. 28, 1987, pp- i~5- The translations cited here are from Current Digest o f the Soviet Press 39, no. 4 (Feb. 25,1987): 5. 15 A kraykom was a party committee in a kray, a province-sized administrative area similar to an oblast, and which usually incorporated autonomous areas. 16 Polozkov (b. 1935) started his party career in the Komsomol in the Kursk oblast in the late 1950s. By 1973, he had become oblast party boss, moving on in 1975-83 to

posts in the CPSU Central Committee apparat. He became a secretary in the

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Krasnodar kraykom in 1983 and its first secretary in 1985. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Oct., 1988), 138-39. In 1990, when an actual Russian Republic Communist Party was formed (hitherto the CPSU had a Russian “buro”), Polozkov became its first, quite “conservative” head. 17 Vladimir Karpov, “Deystvovat5! Deystvovat5Tvorcheski!” Litem atum aya gazeta, Feb. 4 , 1987, p. 3. 18 “Ubezhdennosti—opora perestroyki: Vstrecha vTsKKPCC” Pmvda, Feb. 14,1987, p . I.

19 Philip Taubman, “Gorbachev Candid about Opposition,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Feb. 25,1987, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 59- 60. 20 Le M atin, Feb. 16,1987, p. 6, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ p ort-Soviet Union, Feb. 19,1987, p. R-13. Andrei Sakharov notes in his Memoirs (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990) that official attacks on him in 1973 began in Litem atum aya gazeta's pages. Sakharov, Memoirs, 382; the text of one article is included in an appendix, 631-32. 21 Moscow radio, Feb. 23,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ p o rt-Soviet Union, Mar. 5,1987, pp. R-i, R-2. 22 TASS report, “Klyuch к uspekhu—vysokoye kachestvo raboty kazhdogo” Pmvda, Mar. 5,1987, p. 2. 23 Q uoted in Newhouse, “Profiles [Vitaliy Korotich]” 51. 24 Vladimir Yakovlev, in Ogonëk, no. 5 (Jan., 1987): 20-21, in Current Digest o f the Soviet Press 39, no. 10 (Apr. 8,1987): 1; Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 25 From 1953 to 1972, Sovetskaya kuPtura was under the control of the Ministry of Cul­ ture and the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Cultural Workers. In 1973,

its status was changed, making it nominally affiliated with the CPSU Central Com­ mittee; and it started to appear twice a week. aSovetskaya kuPtura? in The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov, 24:338. Its editor at this point in early 1987 was Al’bert Andreyevich Belyayev (b. 1928), appointed to his post in early 1986 and, like most editors of central publications, a full Central Committee member. Direc­ tory o f Soviet Officials: National Organizations (June, 1986), 261. By the time of this Ligachev visit, the paper already had become noted for its support for glasnost, for its attacks on the Brezhnev era, and for interviews with liberal figures such as histo­ rian Yuriy Afanas’yev, a major figure of the de-Stalinization campaign of late 1987. 26 “Gotovyas’ к vstreche 70-letiya Oktyabrya” SovetskayakuPtura, June 20,1987, p. 2. 27 Hazan, Gorbachev and H is Enemies, 22. Hazan, 22-24, offers detailed interpreta­ tions of this talk, observing (23) that, outside of Sovetskaya kuPtum, it “was ig­ nored by all the major Soviet newspapers, including P m vda” 28 “Razdvigati ramki deyatel’nosti, okhvatyvat5vse uchastki kuTtumogo stroitel’stva: Perestroyka v sfere kul’tury i mesto v etoy rabote gazety ‘Sovetskaya kuPtura— Vystupleniye E. K. Ligacheva” Sovetskaya kuPtum, July 7,1987, p. 2. 29 “Velikiy primer sluzheniya revolyutsionnym idealam: Torzhestvennoye sobraniye, posvyashchennoye no-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya F. E. Dzerzhinskogo,” Pmvda, Sept, и , 1987, p. 3. As Hazan observed, Chebrikov here “created a link between

N O T E S TO PA G E S 47 “ 5I

П 7

criticism and subversion, and came dangerously close to equating dissent with treason.” Hazan, Gorbachev and H is Enemies, 26. 30 Moscow News, commenting on the trial of officials responsible for the Chernobyl

accident, scored incompetence within the nuclear industry and the failure to cir­ culate prompt warnings following the disaster. Andrey Pralnikov, “Afterword to the Accident: Irresponsibility on Trial,” Moscow News, no. 29 (July 19,1987): 4 31 Quoted in Alain Jacob, “Les combats de la nouvelle presse: Démocratie, transpar­ ence et ‘patriotisme’” Le Monde, Nov. 4 , 1987, p. 432 Vienna radio, Nov. 18, 1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ port-Soviet Union, Nov. 19,1987, p. 4433 Quoted by Ferenc Vamai in Magyarorszag, no. 37 (Sept. 13,1987): 7, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Oct. 8,1987, p. 39. 34 Ibid., 40. 35 Moscow radio, July 26,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ port-Soviet Union, July 27,1987, p. R-13. 36 Agence France Presse in English, July 30,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, July 31,1987, p. R-9. 37 Novosti, short for Agentstvo Pechati Novosti, was created in 1961 to replace Sovinformburo, formed during the 1930s to distribute information to the foreign press.

According to one former Soviet official, while Sovinformburo had been respon­ sible to the USSR Council of Ministers, Novosti officially did not belong to the state but was closely connected to the KGB. Michael Voslensky, interview, Oct. 28-29,1985 (transcript on file at International Security Studies Program, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts Univ., Medford, Mass.), p. 16. Falin (b. 1926) served as Soviet ambassador to West Germany in 1971-78. He was named chair­ man of Novosti in March, 1986. In October, 1988, he became head of the Central Committee’s International Department. 38 Liberation, Oct. 5,1987, p. 22, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ port-Soviet Union, Oct. 8,1987, pp. 26-27. 39 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 122. 40 “Vremya” July 14,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily R eportSoviet Union, July 16,1987, pp. R-34 to R-35. 41 “Prakticheskimi delami uglublyat’ perestroyku,” Pravda, July 15,1987, p. 1. 42 Ibid., 2. 43 According to its masthead, Moskovskiye novosti, first published Oct. 5,1930, was a

joint effort of the Novosti news agency and the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. Its total circulation (in eight languages) by 1989 was about 1.2 million, though only 350,000 copies were printed in Russian. Editor Yegor Yakovlev (b. 1930) was the son of a Cheka official who died of cancer in 1937. He graduated from the Historical Archive In­ stitute, Moscow, in 1955. In 1955-72, he served in different capacities on Moshovskaya pravda, Leninskoye znamya, Sovetskaya rossiya, Pravda, and Zhum alist. By 1975, he was serving as a special Izvestiya correspondent, becoming a section editor in 198485 and serving as its Czechoslovakia correspondent in 1985-86. He took over Moskovskiye novosti in 1986, also taking a deputy chairman’s post on the board of 118 ■

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the Novosti Press Agency (APN). Rahr, Biographic Directory o fSoviet Officials (Oct., 1988), 226-27; Cohen and Vanden Heuvel, Voices o f Glasnost, 197-212. 44 45 46 47 48

49 50 51



“Viktor Nekrasov D ies” Moscow News, no. 37 (Sept. 20,1987): 6. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 98. Ibid., 98-99. Philip Taubman, “No. 2 Soviet Official Puts in a Bad Word Against Glasnost,” New York Times, Sept. 24,1987, pp. 1,11. Yegor Yakovlev told interviewers in 1989 that “there was a moment, in the fall o f 1987, when I did write a letter to Gorbachev. H e was vacationing in the south, and I was having some serious personal doubts about whether or not I should con­ tinue as editor. Moscow News was getting support and respect, but also very harsh criticism about our group o f writers, our subjects, our alleged isolation from the people. So I addressed Gorbachev by letter, saying that if I have become a prob­ lem or if I am no longer useful in the post o f editor, I am ready to leave this job and work elsewhere for the party and for perestroika. I got an oral reply, by tele­ phone, saying that if we all were to resign, who would carry on with perestroika? That’s all.” Cohen and Vanden Heuvel, Voices o f Glasnost, 207. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 99. Ibid., 100. Ibid., 105-106. H e went on to note that “there had been strong criticism o f the media at the meeting, and we had spent a lot o f time on the negative effects o f blackening Soviet history, because the Central Committee had been flooded with angry letters on that topic.” Francis X. Clines, “For Muscovites, Pravda Account o f the Yeltsin Ouster Is Riv­ eting Reading,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Nov. 13,1987, reprinted in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 78. BBC Television “World Exclusive” Program, May 30,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, May 31,1988, p. 40. Yeltsin repro­ duces his letter of resignation, dated Sept. 12,1987, in Boris Yeltsin, Against the Grain, 178-81.

54 Several different versions were promulgated in the West in the lag between the October speech and its eventual publication in early 1989 in Izvestiya TsK KPSS. Yeltsin remarks {Against the Grain, 196) that, seeing the “official” text, “I was mildly

surprised, having felt that my remarks had been rougher and sharper, but evidendy time was to blame for this misconception.” A more pointed version of Yeltsin’s speech is contained in Archie Brown, “The Power and Policy in a Time of Leadership Transition, 1982-1988” in Political Leadership in the Soviet Union, ed. Archie Brown (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1989). 55 Y dtsïn, A gainst the Grain, 189. 56 Ibid., 191-92. 57 For Gorbachev’s remarks, see ibid., 193-95, which excerpts a transcript of the pro­

ceedings. 58 Philip Taubman, “Gorbachev Accuses Former Ally of Putting Ambition Above Party,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Nov. 13,1987, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 78. N O T E S TO PAGES 53-56


59 Philip Taubman, “Aide Who Assailed Gorbachev’s Pace Ousted in Moscow,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Nov. n, 1987, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 77. 60 See the Nov. 11, 1987, TASS (in English) and Moscow radio entries in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 12,1987, p. 57. 61 Clines, “For Muscovites, Pravda Account,” 78-79. Yeltsin, A gainst the Grain, 207, maintains that many journalists tried to slip in sympathetic references to him but were censored. 62 TASS (in Russian), Oct. 31,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 5,1987, p. 5463 S. Balblumyan, “Glasnost5: obratnaya svyaz’. Gde delayetsya pogoda,” Izvestiya, Oct. 29,1987, p. 6. 64 “V tsentral’nom komitete KPSS. Tsentral’nyy komitet KPSS rassmotrel vopros ‘o

glasnosti v rabote partiynykh profsoyuznykh organizatsiy i sovetskikh organov Vladimirskoy oblasti”’ Pravda, Nov. 11,1987, p. 1. 65 “Partiynyye organizatsii i perestroyka; bol’she delovitosti, bol’she demokratisma, bol’she organizovannosti i distsipliny,” Pravda, Nov. 11,1987, p. 1. 66 Cited by Prague C IK (in English), Nov. 11,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 12,1987, p. 60. 67 Yeltsin was not the only politician removed at the end o f 1987 for overt public criticism. In the Armenian SSR, Gayk Kotandzhyan, first secretary o f the Razdan District Party Committee, was dismissed for “demagogy” following sharp remarks against corruption delivered at two plenums o f the republican party’s Central Committee. Kotandzhyan “blamed the situation on the Bureau o f the Central Committee o f the Communist Party o f Armenia and suggested that a new Bureau be elected and that First Secretary o f the Central Committee K. Demirchyan move to a different job o f his own accord.” Author Dmitriy Kazutin, writing in Moscow News, praised Kotandzhyan for his forthrightness, charging the Armenian Central Committee with an attitude which “blatandy contradicts the spirit o f the times.” Kazutin never mentioned Yeltsin, but in discussing this new phenomenon o f “criti­ cism from the left” observed that “the October [1987] Plenary Meeting condemned avant-gardism, as we know.” Dmitriy Kazutin, “Non-Entities and Personalities,” Moscow News, no. 6 (Feb. 7,1988): 3. 68 The result was that the Secretariat almost immediately was downgraded in impor­ tance. A resolution pushed through the Politburo on Jan. 7, 1988, reduced the frequency o f Secretariat sessions and “stripped the Secretariat o f its prerogative to review questions to be submitted for the Politburo’s review. In addition, Gorbachev

no longer permitted Ligachev to chair Politburo sessions in his absence___This not only reduced the influence of Ligachev and the Secretariat as an integral insti­ tution of decision making, but limited their input in nomenklatura appointments.” Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat” 77, citing Den’ no. 15 (Aug., 1991): 3. 69 Michel Tatu and Daniel Vemet, “Un entretien avec le numéro deux soviétique,” Le Monde, Dec. 4,1987, p. 6. 70 Ibid.

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71 Vienna Radio, Nov. 18,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ p ort-Soviet Union, Nov. 19,1987, p. 44. 72 Die Presse, Nov. 20,1987, p. 2, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily R eportSoviet Union, Nov. 23,1987, p. 61. Contrast this with Yegor Yakovlev’s comments to an Italian journalist late in 1988. To the question, “Did Gorbachev delegate all ideo­ logical matters to Ligachev?” Yakovlev replied, “If so, I would not be here to talk about it.” Quoted by Sergio Segri in UUnita, Oct. 12,1988, p. 8, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Oct. 20,1988, p. 45. 73 “Rabotat5, myslit’, otvechat?’ Pravda, Dec. 3,1987, p. 2. On Aleksandr Yakovlev’s

handling of a press conference shortly after the Yeltsin affair broke, see excerpt in ch. 2, from Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 75-76. 74 See Ivan Vasilyev in Sovetskaya rossiya, Nov. 15,1987, p. 3, in Foreign Broadcast Infor­ mation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 30,1987, pp. 62-65.

Chapter 6 1 Vasiliy Selyunin, “Istoki ” Novyy mir, no. 5 (May, 1988): 162-89. Novyy mir, estab­ lished in 1925, was an organ of the USSR Writers Union and was printed by IzvestiycCb publishing house. 2 Ibid., 167-68. 3 Paolo Garimberti, “Lenin, il latte e il burro,” La Republica, June 11,1988, p. 24. 4 “The outcome of the struggle between journalists and bureaucrats always de­

pended—and I repeat that I am voicing my own thoughts—on which was more insistent,” Sovetskaya kuPturcCs Vladimir Tsvetov wrote in mid-February, 1988. “And since today every bureaucrat is afraid to openly demonstrate that he insists on being a bureaucrat, journalists are starting to win easily. As a result journalists increasingly begin to move without fear of bureaucrats, out of concern for the final results of their own work.” Vladimir Tsvetov, “Razmyshleniya u teleekrana: u otkrytogo ognya” Sovetskaya kuPtura, Feb. 16,1988, p. 5. 5 Gorbachev made this point at the 19th Party Conference in mid-1988. See Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 92. 6 “Perestroyka i zadachi zhumala,” Voprosy istorii, no. 2 (Feb., 1988): 3. 7 See Leonard Schapiro, The Communist Party o f the Soviet Union, 325-26. 8 Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 92. 9 N. Bukharin, “Politicheskoye zaveshchaniye Lenina,” Kommunist, no. 2 (Jan., 1988) : 93-102. 10 Boldyrev, quoted in E. Parkhomovskiy, “Bol’she demokratii—M en’she tayn. Otkrovennyy razgovor s nachal’nikom glavlita SSSR,” Izvestiya, Nov. 3,1988, p. 3.

11 See Bill Keller, “Notes on the Soviet Union: Once More unto the Breach! Inkstained Warriors Rush the Citadel Anew,” New York Times story datelined Mos­ cow, Jan. 27,1988, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 91. 12 Doktor Zhivago appeared in Novyy m ir nos. 1-4 (Jan.-Apr., 1988). Zalygin, inciden­ tally, was honored in January, 1988, for his contributions to Soviet literature. “Ukaz: Prezidiuma verkhovnogo soveta SSSR о prisvoenii zvaniya geroya sotsialisticheskogo truda tov. Zalyginu, S.P.,” Pravda, Jan. 28,1988, p. 1.

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13 Sec ВШKeller, “Pieces to a Soviet Puzzle: Why the Selective Tolerance of Dissent? At a Vital Time, Some of It Aids Gorbachev” New York Times story datelined Moscow, May 19,1988, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 108. Orwell’s novel would be published in Novyy mir, nos. 2-4 (Feb.-Apr., 1989)14 Budapest Radio “168 Hours” Program, Nov. 7,1987, in Foreign Broadcast Infor­ mation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Nov. 10,1987, p- 515 Bill Keller, “Sharp Turn for Russians : Autonomy in Industry to Challenge Worker,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, Jan. 1,1988, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 90. 16. Bill Keller, “Pieces to a Soviet Puzzle: Why the Selective Tolerance o f Dissent? At a Vital Time, Some o f It Aids Gorbachev,” New York Times story datelined M os­ cow, May 19,1988, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 107. 17 Letter from V. Matveyev, Vladivostok, “Otkrovennyy razgovor pod magnitofon” Izvestiya, June 1,1988, p. 6. 18 Quoted in an interview published inMolodezh Gruzh, Feb. 13,1988, p. 7, reprinted in Joint Publications Research Service (U.S. government), series UPA (JPRS-UPA), May 16,1988, p. 32. Since 1983, Golembiovskiy had held the title o f “responsible secretary” o f Izvestiya, a position equivalent to that o f an American managing edi­ tor. H e had been a Molodezh Gruzh correspondent, then a deputy editor, in the early 1960s. 19 Nikolay Bodnaruk, “Zametki publitsista i srazu pis’mo v instantsiyu” Izvestiya, Jan. 31,1988, p. I. 20 “Pis’m a 4. . . ne dlya pechati,’” Izvestiya, Feb. 10,1988, p. 6. 21 Letter from A. Malakov, “Как spastis’ ot administratora?” Sovetskaya kuVtura, Feb. 18,1988, p. 3. 22 N. Nivalov, “Partiynyy komitet: poisk novykh podkhodov. Ne oboronyafsya, a nastupat?* Sotsialisticheskaya industriya, Jan. 22,1988, p. 2. 23 Nataliya Ilina, “Zdravstvuy plemya mladoe neznakom oe. . . ” Ogonëk, no. 2 (Jan., 1988): 23-24,25-26; the reference to Markov is on 26. 24 Anatoliy Salutskiy, “Iz svezhey pochty: Pogovorim vseriyëz ” Pravda, Jan. 29,1988, p. 6. 25 Korotich interview, Feb. 23,1993. 26 Ibid. 27 Korotich interview, Sept. 8,1993. 28 “Hundreds o f small political groups sprang u p . . . mainly sympathetic to Gorbachev and urging a more radical version o f perestroika.” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revo­ lution, 103. 29 Felicity Barringer, “Russian Nationalists Test Gorbachev,” New York Times story datelined Moscow, May 23,1987, in Gwertzman and Kaufman, Decline and Fall, 64. 30 Uri Ra’anan, “The ‘Russian Problem’: Conceptual and Operational Aspects” in The Soviet Empire: The Challenge o f National and Democratic Movements, ed. Uri Ra’anan, 68. 31 See, e.g., “Narodnyy kontroP: Proveryat’ fakticheskoye ispolneniye delà” Pravda, Feb. 5,1988, p. I. 122 ■

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32 TASS (in English), Apr. i, 1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 4,1988, pp. 42-43. 33 Yuriy Gordcyev Report on Moscow Radio, Feb. 25, 1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Feb. 26,1988, pp. 52-53.

Chapter 7 1 N. Andreyeva, “Ne m ogu postupat’sya printsipami” Sovetskaya rossiya, Mar. 13, 1988, p. 3. 2 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 252, maintains that he left on Mar. 13, the date of the missive’s publication. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 298-99, insists that Gorbachev left on Mar. 14. “Immediately afterward, [Aleksandr] Yakovlev left for Mongolia.

I mention these dates to cut off immediately the absurd and thoroughly malicious rumors to the effect that the publication was especially timed to coincide with he absences of Gorbachev and Yakovlev.” 3 Letter from Prof. V. Dashichev, Doctor o f Historical Sciences, “Vmesto dogmy trud um a” Izvestiya, Apr. 13,1988, p. 2. 4 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 252. 5 “Letters to the editor never receive this type of attention in Soviet newspapers, and no one believed that such an influential newspaper as Sovetskaya rossiya would

publish such a letter without the permission of the party leadership.” Isaac Tarasulo, ed., Gorbachev and Glasnost: Viewpoints from the Soviet Press, 277. This book con­ tains translations of both the Andreyeva episde and the Pravda riposte. 6 Frankland, Sixth Continent, 70-71, links Chikin’s earlier writing with some o f Andropov’s speeches. Chikin (b. 1932) had been deputy editor o f Sovetskaya rossiya since 1971. H e formally took over the newspaper’s direction on Apr. 23,1986. Like his predecessor, Mikhail Nenashev, Chikin had been elevated to the CPSU Cen­ tral Committee, elected as one o f 170 candidate members at the 27th Party Con­ gress. Directory o f Soviet Officials: National Organizations (June, 1986), 9, 261; and Zhum alist, no. 4 (Apr., 1986): 56, reprinted in Current Digest o f the Soviet Press 38, no. 25 (July 23,1986): 23. Chikin remained chief editor o f Sovetskaya rossiya as of August, 1998. 7 When Sovetskaya rossiya’s propaganda editor Dolmatov suggested that the Nina Andreyeva letter be accompanied by an editorial disclaimer, he reportedly was told by Chikin’s assistant, “H ow can we say we don’t agree with her if Ligachev himself has said it’s a splendid article?” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 85. 8 Ibid., 84. Ligachev, in Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 299-300, wrote: “Andreyeva had sent her letter simultaneously to three newspapers—Pravda, Sovetskaya rossiya, and Sovetskaya kul’tura. Moreover, the original version o f the letter consisted o f thirty typewritten pages—a whole study, a treatise.” 9 Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 84-85. 10 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 252.

11 Asked why he and Yegor Yakovlev weren’t invited, Korotich replied that “Ligachev simply refused to cooperate with certain circles of publications. Ligachev was very unhappy [with us] because of our non-patriotic behavior.” Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. N O T E S TO PA G E S 6 4 - 6 8


12 13 14 15 16 17 18

19 20 21 22 23 24 25



Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 85. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 301-302. Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 85. Nikolay Bodnaruk, “Zametki publitsista: Sluchay i yavleniye,” Izvestiya, Apr. 10, 1988, p. I. For more on photocopier regulations at this time, see the letter from A. Pchelnikov, “Opasnyy kseroks?” Sotsialisticheskaya industriya, Aug. 20,1988, p. 1. Ruslan Kozlov, “Iz pochty edkh dney: Povorot, kotorogo ne bylo” Komsomol’skaya pravda, Apr. 21,1988, p. 4“Top Priority” a regular Radio Moscow feature hosted by Vladimir Pozner and beamed at N orth America, devoted its episode o f Apr. 8,1988, to the Andreyeva controversy. Panelist Radomir Bogdanov noted at one point: “The fact that two very diametrical, opposite views have appeared in the Soviet press is, let me put it like that, it’s a feast o f democracy. It’s a socialist pluralism.” Foreign BroadcastIn fir­ mation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 12,1988, p. 46. Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. Taubman, “Soviet Politburo Is Said,” 104. Pavel Demidov in Zhum alist, May, 1988, cited in Roxburgh, Second Russian Revo­ lution, 87. Ruslan Kozlov, “Iz pochty etikh dney: Povorot, kotorogo ne bylo,” Komsomol’skaya pravda, Apr. 21,1988, p. 4. This was “further evidence that Gorbachev supporters view[ed] the article as the product o f a plot.” Tarasulo, Gorbachev and Glasnost, 291. “Printsipy perestroyki: Revolyutsionnost5 myshleniya i deystviy” Pravda, Apr. 5, 1988, p. 2. Gorbachev faced a potentially hostile crowd at the upcoming 19th Party Confer­ ence. Delegate selection had resulted in “a conservative delegate corps, almost two thirds (63%, or 3,153 delegates) o f which were party officials” in committees which were threatened by Gorbachev’s anti-apparat efforts. H ahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 91, cites XIX Vsesoyuznaya konferentsiya Kommunisticheskoy partii Sovetskogo Soyuza, 28 iyunyar-i iyulya 1988g.: Stenograficheskii otchët (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1988), 133. Sovetskaya rossiya, Apr. 3,1988, p. 2, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 14,1988, p. 30. Vorotnikov (bom in Voronezh in 1926) joined the CPSU in 1947 and was active in the Kuibyshev apparat. H e became a full member of the Central Committee in 1971, but his career seemed in decline when he was named ambassador to Cuba in 1979* In 1983, Andropov named him named chairman o f the Russian Republic’s Council o f Ministers, and he advanced to candidate, then full, Politburo membership. Rahr, Biographic Directory o f Soviet Officials (Mar., 1986), 219-20. Contrast this with Ogonek’s successful refusal to reprint Pravda’s criticism o f its handling o f the Georgiy Markov episode, recounted in chapter six. Ligachev’s supporters in both the press and the control offices did not wield the same clout that Gorbachev’s allies enjoyed.

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28 Sovetskaya rossiya, Apr. 12,1988, p. 2, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 12,1988, pp. 43-45. 29 Sovetskaya rossiya, Apr. 15,1988, p. 3, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 15,1988, p. 57. 30 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 309-10. Pankov told Roxburgh that almost all the letters Sovetskaya rossiya received about the Nina Andreyeva piece were fa­ vorable. Chikin planned to use them in a follow-up piece and was discussing his plans “when his direct Kremlin telephone rang. . . . Chikin’s face grew pale. He put his hand over the mouthpiece and motioned his colleagues out o f his office. Forty minutes later he called them in again and told them that the call had been from Gorbachev, who had said: ‘I can’t understand. We thought you were for perestroika. We are beginning to get the idea that your paper has an incorrect understanding o f it!’ They would have to drop the follow-up page, Chikin said, for Pravda was planning a very different kind o f response. T ie was a completely crushed m an’ says Pankovf Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 87. But shouldn’t Chikin have expected this reaction? And if Ligachev had played such a large role in the letter’s publication, where was his support now? 31 A week after the response to Nina Andreyeva, Pravda ran a series of letters on its

front page, all expressing unconditional support for the counterpolemic. “Otkliki na redaktsionnuyu stat’yu—Printsipy perestroyki: Revolyutsionnost’ myshleniya i deystviy,” Pravda, Apr. 12,1988, p. 1. 32 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 309-10. 33 Ibid., 310; Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 86. Gorbachev, Memoirs, 253, re­ fers to the conversation with Ligachev but with a different view o f what was said. Gorbachev recalled Ligachev as “quite ill at ease.” For his part, Ligachev seems to have steered clear o f controversy in his long speech at a conference on cultural and artistic affairs a day before the Pravda manifesto appeared. H e stressed, among other things, that party officials and all workers had to be more competent and receptive to citizens’ opinions and needs. “Zhivoy istochnik natsional’nykh traditsiy: Vystupleniye E. K. Ligachëva na vsesoyuznom soveshchanii po razvidyu narodnogo tvorchestva 4 aprelya 1988 goda” Sovetskaya kul’tura, Apr. 7,1988, p. 2. Though Gorbachev was reassuring to Ligachev, examples exist o f his inconsistent or cun­ ning dealings with rivals and even allies. A good example is the episode in Oct., 1989, when Gorbachev, dismayed at press coverage o f public dissatisfaction with the Party, summoned Vitaliy Korotich o f Ogonëk, Vladislav Starkov oîA rgum enti i fa kti, and Yegor Yakovlev o f Moscow News. By Korotich’s account, as ideology chiefVadim Medvedev looked on, Gorbachev “started to shout a t . . . Starkov: T il fire you. I’ll destroy you. In your place, I[‘d] think it’s necessary to [resign].’ He shouted at me. H e said: T o u ’re organizing a civil war in our literature, you’re pushing one group against another group.’ I looked at him. It was not Gorbachev, it was Khrushchev, it was—I don’t know who.” Later—over drinks, in fact—the puzzled Korotich quizzed Aleksandr Yakovlev about Gorbachev’s mood. H e was told to “sit quiet.”

“I came to work the next day,” Korotich continued. “I thought that immedi-

N O T ES TO PAGES 7 0 -7 1


atcly we’ll be collected at Communist Party headquarters, and they’ll announce what this all means. N obody called me. Maybe after noon, I had a call from Pmvda. A friend o f mine called me: their editor-in-chief Afanas’yev was fired. And on the next day [Oct. 18,1989], [East German leader Erich] Honecker was fired in the D.D.R.” “I think sometimes Gorbachev was playing games” he added, “showing his rightwing people that he’s keeping those liberals in their place, shouting, shouting, shouting. But he warned to the left and he struck right.” Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. See also Newhouse, “Profiles [Vitaliy Korotich],” 39. 34 See, e.g., the account o f resolutions at a Ukrainian party meeting, in M. Odinets and I. Tikhomirov, “Potentsial vospitaniya: Kommunisty Ukrainy obsuzhdayut resheniya fevral’skogo plenuma TsK KPSS,” Pmvda, Apr. 12,1988, p. 3; and the TASS report from Yerevan, “Perestroyka neobratima” Trud, Apr. 17,1988, p. 1. 35 Bodnaruk, “Zametki publitsista.” 36 Dashichev, “Vmesto dogmy trud um a” Izvestiya, Apr. 13,1988, p. 2. 37 “Otvetstvennost’zhumalista: Vemost5pravde zhizni—ego professional’nyydolg” Pmvda, Apr. 14,1988, p. 1. 38 Ligachev, Inside GorbacheVs Kremlin, 303. 39 TASS report, “O rden—gorodu” Pmvda, Apr. 14,1988, p. 2. 40 “Some officials said the head o f the KGB, Viktor M. Chebrikov, had defended Mr. Ligachev at the meeting, raising questions about Mr. Chebrikov’s loyalty to Mikhail S. Gorbachev?9Taubman, “Soviet Politburo Is Said,” 102. Chebrikov was retired in late Sept., 1988, and was replaced by Vladimir Kryuchkov. 41 Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 307. 42 Ibid., 304. 43 Ibid., 305. 44 Ibid., 307. 45 Agence France Presse (in English), Apr. 28,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 28,1988, p. 47. 46 Gorbachev, Memoirs, 267-68. 47 Ibid., 267.

Chapter 8 1 Details presented here are drawn from Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the A pparat” 88-101, which offers a highly detailed look at the changes wrought by the 19th Party Conference. 2 “Secretaries, bureaus, and the party apparatus especially must all be under the supervision o f the elected party organ. From now on the situation must never occur in which members o f bureaus o f workers o f the party apparatus permit them­ selves a command style in relation to members o f the elected committees.” Gorbachev, quoted in X IX Vsesoyuznaya konferentsiya Kommunisticheskoy partii Sovetskogo Soyuza, 28 iyunya-i iyulya 1988g .: Stenograficheskiy otchët, 80. In Hahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 93. 3 “[This] quasi-president p o s t. . . included all the functions previously carried by the party leader, including overall control o f law-making, social and economic 126

N O T E S TO PA G E S 7 I “ 75

programs, foreign policy, defense and security, chairmanship of the Defense Coun­ cil, and the right to nominate the prime minister. The creation of this post was crucial to the transfer of power from the party to elected and publicly accountable officials, thus bringing the political system closer to something recognizably based on the rule of law—albeit with built-in advantages at this stage for the Commu­ nist Party (through direct representation for the party and other communist-domi­ nated bodies).” Moreover, “a ‘president* elected in the new way could be removed only by parliament.” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 96-97. 4 Roxburgh interpreted this as actually one of “Gorbachev’s wiliest moves against the conservatives.” Gorbachev aide Georgiy Shakhazarov told Roxburgh that the general secretary “wanted proper separation of party and soviet posts—but the only way he would be able to persuade hard-line first secretaries, who were terrified of being left powerless, to agree to the policy was by suggesting that they would have the chance to run the soviets.” Roxburgh, Second Russian Revolution, 97. 5 One academician felt that the watered-down condition o f the theses reflected “the situation o f compromise occurring between different forces. The fact that some conflicts and compromises exist is a normal characteristic o f political life in any society, including ours.” Yu. Levada, “Obsuzhdaem tezisy TsK KPSS: Cherez diskussiyu—к delam!” Sovetskaya kuVtura>June 4,1988, p. 2. 6 (Belgrade) Tanjug (in English), June 5,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Ser­ vice: D aily Report—Soviet Union, June 6,1988, p. 72. A Moscow Radio program in late March criticized Grigoryants, with Zhum alisfs Viktor Gribachev charging that Grigoryants’s editorial style would violate U.S. laws. Radio Moscow (in Por­ tuguese to Portugal), Mar. 31,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Apr. 7,1988, pp. 49-50. 7 The author, V Rusakov, was a CPSU member and chief o f the Department o f Philosophy and Scientific Communism at the Agricultural Institute in Sverdlovsk, where Yeltsin had risen to power. “XIX Vsecoyuznaya: Za strokoy tezisov TsK KPSS. Bol’she dem okratii—bol’she sotsializma. C hto za taynoy?” Sovetskaya kul’tura, June 2,1988, p. 3. 8 “Na glavnykh napravleniyakh perestroyki” Izvestiya, May 29,1988, p. 1.

9 “Sovetuyas’; s narodom: Tezisy TsK KPSS к XIX vsesoyuznoy partiynoy konferentsii—platforma dlya diskusiy” Pravda, May 29,1988, p. 1. Boris Yeltsin was on his own course at this time. The day after the Pravda editorial ran, the BBC broadcast an interview with the former Politburo member, in which he essentially called for Ligachev’s ouster. “Of course,” he said in response to a question, “it would be possible to carry out the process of change more energetically if there was another man in his place.” The interviewer, the BBC’s Peter Snow, pursued the subject. “Let me quite blunt with you,” Snow said. “Would you like to see Mr. Ligachev removed from his position, removed from the center of power because he is, in your judgment, opposed to reform?” Yeltsin answered: “Yes.” (BBC Tele­ vision “World Exclusive” program. May 30,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, May 31,1988, p. 40.) Within hours of the report’s airing, Georgiy Arbatov, head of the Institute for the United States and Canada, called a press conference to state that Yeltsin “did not act correcdy” in calling for N O T E S TO PA G E S 7 5 -7 6


10 11


13 14


16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23

Ligachev’s ouster. Agence France Presse (in English), May 31, 1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: D aily Report—Soviet Union, May 31,1988, p. 41. V Kerimov, “Glasnost5i demokratiya” Pravda, June 19,1988, p. 2. Ibid. As o f 1986, Onikov was serving as a consultant to the Central Committee’s Party Building and Cadre Work Department. H ahn, “Gorbachev Versus the Apparat,” 53, citing Pravda, Oct. 7,1991, p. 2. But, as a Soviet lawyer wrote in Moscow News later that year, “Such secrets aren’t bom in editorial offices. They can only reach editors through the negligence o f the officials to whom they were entrusted. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to guard such secrets at the places where they’re supposed to be, and not at the places they acci­ dentally find their way to?” Mikhail Fedotov, “The More Freedom, the Greater the Responsibility: Will Censorship and Glasnost Get Along?” Moscow News, no. 43 (Oct. 30,1988): 13. Pavlo Zagrebelnyy, “Trudit’sya—posposobnosti. A dumat5?”Litem atum ayagazeta, June 15,1988, p. I. Letter from T. Dzerve, Moscow, “Iz svezhey pochty: Opirayas’ na svoy opyt,” un­ der the rubric: “Diskussionnaya tribuna: Obsuzhdaem tezisy TsK KPSS” Pravda, June 2 0 , 1 9 8 8 , p. I. M. S. Gorbachev, “O khode realizatsii resheniy XXVII s”yezda KPSS i zadachakh po uglubleniyu perestroyki” (Moscow: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoy literatury, 1988), 87-88. Ibid., 88. Ibid., 89. “Vystupleniye tovarishcha Polozkova I. K., perviy sekretar’ Krasnodarskogo kraykoma KPSS,” Pravda, July 1,1988, p. 4. “Vystupleniye tovarishcha Masaliyeva, A. M ., perviy sekretar5 TsK kompartii Kirgizii” Pravda, June 30,1988, p. 4. “Vystupleniye tovarishcha Bondareva Yu. V.” Pravda, July 1,1988, p. 4. Two historians writing in Sovetskaya rossiya offered typical criticism. Shatrov’s choice o f “the free form o f polemical dialogues not connected with a stria time frame and historical authenticity . . . contains an unjustified liberty which contradicts historical truth,” they wrote. “The author forces L en in . . . to assume responsibil­ ity for a decisive mistake influencing the entire course o f the subsequent develop­ ment o f events: It was not the party, not its 13th Congress, but he personally who failed to debar Stalin from the leadership.” V V. G orbunov and V V. Zhuravlev in Sovetskaya rossiya, Jan. 29,1988, p. 2, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Feb. 11,1988, pp. 61-62. “Vystupleniye tovarishcha Baklanova G. Ya., glavnyy redaktor zhumala ‘Znamya,’” Pravda, July 2,1988, p. 7. Telman Gdlyan was a senior investigator within the USSR general prosecutor’s office. His investigative group uncovered several instances o f high-level corrup­ tion, and it alleged links between Ligachev and the Uzbek Mafia. Much o f the fifth chapter o f Ligachev’s English-language memoirs is devoted to the Gdlyan com­ mission. See Ligachev, “Gdlyan and Others,” in Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, 2 0 4 -5 3 .

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24 Telman Gdlyan and Nikolai Ivanov, “Protivostoyaniye,” Ogonek, no. 26 (June, 1988) : 27-29. 25 Moscow radio, June 30,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ p ort-Soviet Union, July 5,1988, pp. 37-38. Razumovskiy (b. 1936) was a powerful Central Committee secretary whom Gorbachev made head o f the Organizational Party Work Department in 1985; Gorbachev promoted him to full membership in the Politburo the next year. Razumovskiy had risen to power in the same Krasnodar kraykom now run by Polozkov; moreover, “together with Ligachev . . . he was chief supervisor o f election campaigns to local party committees and USSR Su­ preme Soviet before the XXVII Party Congress.” Rahr, Biographic Directory o f So­ viet Officials (Mar., 1986), 164. Gorbachev seems to have trusted him but did not necessarily include him in his list o f reformers. See Gorbachev, Memoirs, 254. 26 Moscow radio, June 30,1988, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Re­ p ort-Soviet Union, July 5,1988, pp. 38-39. 27 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 28 Aleksandr Vasinskiy, “The Risk Factors,” Moscow News, no. 27 (July 10,1988): 3. 29 “At the start,” he said, “I really did not understand this Gorbachev. What did he want? I found it difficult to understand his stubborn commitment to restructur­ ing, his concern with winning the masses over to the new ‘revolution.’ Then I realized that he wants this struggle to produce no winners or losers. I believe he is right: otherwise the struggle will not end. A victory by force would simply refuel the opposition.” Quoted by Sergio Segri in U Unita, Oct. 12,1988, p. 8, in Foreign Broadcast Information Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Oct. 20,1988, p. 4530 “Strana ustala zhdat5: otkrytoye pis’mo uchrediteley vM N ’” Moskovskiye novosti, Nov. 18,1990, pp. 1,4. The first point in this “open letter” urged “glasnost for all.” One o f its last points admonished Gorbachev: “Either prove your ability to act, or resign” [Ili podtverdite svoyu sposobnost5к reshitePnym deystviyam, ili ukhodite v otstavky].

Chapter 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

“Rezolyutsii XIX Vsesoyuznoy konferentsii KPSS,” Kommunist, July, 1988, 82. Ibid. 83. Ibid. Ibid., 83-84Ibid., 84. Ibid., 84-85. Ibid., 85. Ibid., 83. “Rezolyutsii XIX vsesoyuznoy partiynoy konferentsii : Bez glasnosti net perestroyki, net demokratii” Pravda, July 11,1988, p. 1. 10 “XIX partkonferentsiya о glasnosti,” Izvestiya, July 14,1988, p. 1. и TASS report, “Brafsya za delo bez promedleniya” Pravda, July 14,1988, p. 3. 12 In October, 1987, Shenin succeeded former Krasnoyarsk First Secretary Pavel Stefanovich Fedirko, who had been identified with the Chernenko patronage net­ work. Gorbachev later named Shenin to head the Central Committee’s Cadre N O T ES TO PAGES 8 0 - 8 4


Building Commission when it was formed in late 1988. Shenin played a rising role in the party apparatus over the next three years; along with several Gorbachev appointees, he played a conspicuous role in the failed coup of August, 1991. 13 Oleg Shenin, “Kazhdyy den’ na etom meste: Как slovo nashe otzovëtsya,” Komsomol’skayapmvda, July 28,1988, p. 1. 14 Korotich interview, Apr. 9,1992. 15 “Avgust 68-go. Vzglyad ochevidtsev na sobytiya v Chekhoslovakii dvadtsat5 let spustya” Moskovskiye novosti, no. 35 (Aug. 28,1988): 7. 16 Letter from V. Lastovskiy, “Aktual’naya tema: Zakon i demokratiya” Pravda, Aug. 26, 1988, p. I. 17 Letter from P. Melkozerov, Pravda, Aug. 26,1988, p. 1. 18 “Otdel sotsial’noy politiki i kommunisticheskogo vospitaniya,” Pravda, Aug. 26, 1988, p. I. 19 Agence France Presse, Oct. 20,1988, in Foreign BroadcastInformation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Oct. 20,1988, p. 45. 20 Agence France Presse, Oct. 21,1988, in Foreign BroadcastInformation Service: Daily Report—Soviet Union, Oct. 21,1988, p. 59. 21 M. Smorodinskaya, “Chto my schitaem: Anatomiya defitsita” Izvestiya, Sept. 9, 1988, p. 3. 22 “Ob itogakh podpiski na tsentral’nyye gazety i zhumaly na 1989 g.” Izvestiya TsK

KPSS, no. I (1989): 138-39. Chapter 10 1 Brown notes that, “as President of the USSR, Gorbachev was frequently accused of trying to concentrate too much power in his hands. He could legitimately re­ spond (and frequendy did) that if he had been interested in nothing but power he had absolutely no need to change the unreformed Soviet system, for it endowed the General Secretary with powers beyond the dreams of most national leaders... so long as he did not challenge the fundamentals of the system.” Brown, Gorbachev

Factor, 178. 2 Yakovlev, Predisloviye, obval, poslesloviye, 128.

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N O T E S TO PA G E S 8 4 -9 1

Selected Bibliography

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no. 4 (April, 1954): 393-400. Brooks, Jeffrey. “Public and Private Values in the Soviet Press, 1921-1928.” Slavic Review 48, no. 1 (Spring, 1989): 16-35. Brown, Archie. The Gorbachev Factor. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Brzezinski, Zbigniew K. The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death o f Communism in the Twentieth Century. New York: Collier, 1990. ------ . Ideology and Power in Soviet Politics. New York: Praeger, 1962. Bukharin, Nikolay. The ABCs o f Communism. Ann Arbor: University o f Michigan Press, 1988. Buzek, Antony. How the Communist Press Works. New York: Praeger, 1964. Clark, Katerina. The Soviet Novel: History as R itual. Chicago: University o f Chicago Press, 1981. Clark, Susan L., ed. Gorbachev’s Agenda: Changes in Soviet Domestic and Foreign Policy. Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1989. Cohen, Stephen F , and Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Voices o f Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers. New York: Norton, 1989. Conquest, Robert. Power and Policy in the USSR: The Study o f Soviet Dynamics. New York: St. Martin’s, 1961. Cynkin, Thomas W. Soviet and American Signaling in the Polish Crisis. New York: St. Martin’s, 1988. Daniels, Robert V, ed. A Documentary History o f Communism. 2 vols. London: I. B. Tauris and Company, 1985. Dawson, Richard E., and Prewitt, Kenneth. Political Socialization: A n Analytic Study. Boston: Litde, Brown and Company, 1969.

DeFleur, Melvin L., and Everette E. Dennis. Understanding Mass Communication. Boston: H oughton Mifflin Company, 1988. Dejonge, Alex. Stalin and the Shaping o f the Soviet Union. New York: William Morrow, 1986. Dennis, Everette E., George Gerbner, and Yassen N. Zassoursky, eds. Beyond the Cold War: Soviet and American M edia Images. Newbury Park, Calif.: SAGE Publica­

tions, 1991Dewhirst, Martin, and Robert Farrell, eds. The Soviet Censorship. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973Directory o f Soviet Officials: National Organizations. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate o f Intelligence, June 1986 and June 1987.

Djilas, Milovan. Conversations with Stalin. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1962. ------ . The New Class. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1957Dzirkals, Lilita, Thane Gustafson, and A. Ross Johnson. The M edia and Intra-Elite Communication in the USSR. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, 1982. Elwood, Ralph Carter. “Lenin and Pravda, 1912-1914.” Slavic Review 31, no. 2 (June, 1972): 355- 80. Fainsod, Merle. Smolensk under Soviet Rule. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1958. Fehér, Ferenc, and Andrew Arato, eds. Gorbachev: The Debate. Atlantic Highlands,

N.J.: Humanities Press International, 1989. Frankland, Mark. The Sixth Continent: M ikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union. London: H arper and Row, 1987. Friedrich, Carl J., ed. Totalitarianism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,

1954. Friedrich, Carl J., Michael Curtis, and Benjamin R. Barber. Totalitarianism in Perspective: Three Views. New York: Praeger, 1969. George, Alexander. Propaganda Analysis. Evanston, 111.: Row, Peterson and Com­

pany, 1959. Glazov, Yuri. The Russian M ind Since Stalin’s Death. Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel, 1985. Goldfarb, Jeffrey C. Beyond Glasnost: The Post-Totalitarian M ind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. Goldman, Marshall. W hat W ent Wrong with Perestroika. New York: N orton, 1992. Gorbachev, Mikhail S. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday, 1995 ------ . Perestroika: New Thinking fo r O ur Country and the World. New York: H arper and Row, 1987. ------ . Perestroyka i novoye myshleniye dlya nashey strany i dlya vsego mira. Moscow: IzdatePstvo Politicheskoy Literatury, 1988.

partii sovetskogo soyuza, 2sfevralya 1986goda. Moscow: IzdatePstvo Politicheskoy Literatury, 1986. Green, William C , and Theodore Karasik, eds. Gorbachev and H is Generals: The Reform o f Soviet M ilitary Doctrine. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1990.

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Griffith, William E. “Communist Esoteric Communications: Explication de Texte.” МГГ Center for International Studies, Cambridge, Mass., October, 1967. Gromyko, Andrei. Memoirs. New York: Doubleday, 1989. Gwertzman, Bernard, and Michael T. Kaufman, eds. The Decline and Fall o f the Soviet Empire. New York: New York Times Company, 1992. Hahn, Gordon M. “Gorbachev: Building Power in an Era of Change, 1985-1987.” Master’s thesis, Boston College, 1988. ------. “Gorbachev Versus the CPSU CC Apparat: The Bureaucratic Politics of Reforming the Party Apparat, 1988-1991” Ph.D. diss., Boston University, 1995* Hazan, Baruch. From Brezhnev to Gorbachev: Infighting in the Kremlin. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1987. ------ . Gorbachev and H is Enemies. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1989. ------ . Soviet ImpregnationalPropaganda. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis, 1982. Helf, Gavin, ed. A Biographic Directory o fSoviet Regional Party Leaders. 2d ed. Munich: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August, 1988. Heller, Agnes, and Ferenc Fehér. From Yalta to Glasnost: The D ismantling o f Stalin’s Empire. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 1990. Holsti, Ole. Content Analysisfo r the Social Sciences and Humanities. Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley, 1969. Hollander, Gayle Durham. Soviet Political Indoctrination: Developments in Mass Media and Propaganda Since Stalin. New York: Praeger, 1972. Hopkins, Mark W. Mass M edia in the Soviet Union. New York: Pegasus, 1970. Hosking, Geoffrey. Beyond Socialist Realism: Soviet Fiction Since *Ivan Denisovich? New York: Granada Publishing, 1980. Inkeles, Alex. Public Opinion in Soviet Russia: A Study in Mass Persuasion. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950. ------ . Social Change in Soviet Russia. New York: Clarion, 1968. Johnson, Priscilla. Khrushchev and the Arts: The Politics o f Soviet Culture, 1962-1964. Cambridge, Mass.: М ГГPress, 1965. Kaiser, Robert G. Why Gorbachev Happened: H is Triumphs and H is Failure. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991* Karasik, Theodore William, ed. The CPSU Central Committee: Members, Commissions, and Departments. Sherman Oaks, Calif.: Privately printed, [March, July, Decem­ ber,] 1990. Kelly, Aileen. “Self-Censorship and the Russian Intelligentsia, 1905-1914.” Slavic Review 46, no. 2 (Summer, 1987): 193-213* Khrushchev, Nikita S. Khrushchev Remembers. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970. Kraus, Sidney, and Dennis Davis. The Effects o fMass Communication on Political Behavior. University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1976. Kruglak, Theodore E. The Two Faces o f TASS. Minneapolis: University o f Minnesota Press, 1962. Lacquer, Walter Z., and George Lichtheim, eds. The Soviet Culture Scene, i 9s6- i 9S7 New York: Praeger, 1958.



Lambeth, Benjamin S. “The State o f Western Research on Soviet Military Strategy and Policy” Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, 1986.

Lasswell, Harold, and Daniel Lehrer, eds. World Revolutionary Elites: Studies in Coercive IdeologicalMovements. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965. Lasswell, Harold, Nathan Leites, and Associates. Language ofPolitics. Cambridge, Mass.: МГГPress, 1949Leites, Nathan. A Study ofBolshevism. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1953* Lenin, Vladimir ITyich. Lenin about the Press. Prague: International Organization o f Journalists, 1972. ------. Lenin 0 Pechati. Moscow: Politizdat, 1958. ------. Selected Works. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975. Ligachev, Yegor K. Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin: The Memoirs ofTegorLigachev. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

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Pool, Ithiel De Sola, ed. Trends in ContentAnalysis. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1959. Prokhorov, A. M., ed. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 3d ed. New York: MacMillan,

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Braziller, 1987. ------ . The Second Russian Revolution: The Struggle for Power in the Kremlin. New

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1956. Strauss, Leo. Persecution and the A rt c f W riting. Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1952. Struve, Gleb. Russian Literature under Lenin and Stalin, 1917-1953- Norman: Univer­ sity of Oklahoma Press, 1971*



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Tucker, Robert C , ed. Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation. New York: Norton, 1977Ulam, Adam. Stalin: The Man and His Era. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989* Vladimirov, Leonid. The Russians. New York: Praeger, 1968. Volkogonov, Dmitriy. Lenin: A New Biography. Edited and translated by Harold Shukman. New York: Free Press, 1994------. Lenin: Politicheskiy Portret. 2 vols. Moscow: Novosti, 1994Voslensky, Michael. Interview, October 28-29,1985. Transcript on file at Interna­ tional Security Studies Program, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. ------. Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class, an Insider’s Report. Garden City, N. Y. : Doubleday, 1984. Vyshinsky, Andrei. The Law ofthe Soviet State. Translated by H ugh W. Babb. New York: Macmillan, 1948. Walt, Stephen M. “Interpreting Soviet Military Statements: A Methodological Analysis.” Alexandria, Va.: Center for Naval Analyses, 1983.

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Academy o f Sciences, 102» 31 Afanas’yev, Viktor: and Andreyeva letter, 70; fired from Pravda, 125» 33; replaced by Frolov, 106» 53,113» 22 Afanas’yev, Yuriy, 117» 25 Afghanistan, i i 6w 2 Aganbegyan, Abel, 108» 10 Agence France Presse, 86 Agitator, circulation figures, 86 Agitprop (Central Committee Depart­ ment o f Agitation and Propaganda): background, 5; and editors, 8, 39,51, 53-54, 62, 6 3 ,106» 55; and Gorbachev, 8,16, 2 8 ,104» 44; kumtory (press monitors), 5, 7, 95» 2 0 ,100» 12; and Ligachev, 36, 49, 53-54,109» 16; Nekrasov obituary, 53-54; and other CC departments, 5, 95» 20; and political subjects, 8; press subdepartments, 5, 95» 19; role with Glavlit, 5-8; and A. Yakovlev, 14, 26, 36, 49, 53-54, 73, Ю2» 31 Aleksandr II, 11,12 Alekseyev, P. E , 112» 3 Aliyev, Gaydar, 40, background, 114»

44 Alma-Ata, riots in, 45-46, 63 Andreyeva, Nina, 18, 77, 79, 8 6 ,105» 52, 123» 8; letter published, 66-73 Andropov, Yuriy, 25, 29, 9 0 ,102» 31, 107» 7 ,108» 13,124» 26; and glasnost, 9-10, 21, 90,107» 3 anti-Semitism, 63, 66, 69 apparat. See Communist Party o f the Soviet Union Arbatov, Georgiy, 98» 45

Argumenty ifakti, 106я 53,125» 33; circulation figures, 86 Aristov, Boris, 37,113» 28 Armenia, 64, 85,120» 67 Azerbaijan, 6 4 ,114» 44 Baklanov, Grigoriy, 79 Baltic republics, 18,19, 20, 63, 85 Baturin, Yuriy, 76 Belorussia, 24, 4 0 , 108» 13 Belyayev, Al’bert A., 117» 25 Biryukov, Dmitriy, 15 Bodnaruk, Nikolay, 71 Bogdanov, Radomir, 124» 18 Boldyrev, Vladimir: background, 97» 39; on Glavlit functions, 7-8, 60 Bolshevik Party, 4, 5, 65,104» 43 Bondarev, Yuriy, 79 Bratsk, 108» 10 Brezhnev, Leonid, 21, 4 6 ,107» 2 , 108» 13,115» 53; on glasnost, 12 British Broadcasting Corporation, 39, 127» 9 Bukharin, Nikolay, 6 0 ,106» 54 bureaucracy. See Communist Party o f the Soviet Union, apparat Burlatskiy, Fyodor, 56

Cancer Ward (Solzhenitsyn), 86 censors. See Glavlit Central Committee: background, 93» 2; General Department, 54; Ideology Department, 86; International Department, 118» 37; plenums, 24 (Mar., 1985), 25, 26, 27, 7 2 ,109» 21 (Apr., 1985), 45, 46, 49 (Jan., 1987),

Central Committee (amt.) 55, 57,120» 67 (Oct., 1987), 99» 52 (Feb., 1988), 73, 84 (Sept., 1988); Press Departments, 95» 19; Science and Culture Department, 102» 31.

See also Agitprop Chakovskiy, Aleksandr, 96» 36 Chebrikov, Viktor: on cultural arts, 51; and Gorbachev 4 5 ,109»» 18,21, 126» 40; joins Politburo, 25; on kritika (criticism of officials), 30,72, 117» 29; and Ligachev, 44,51,57, 72, 109» 18,126» 40; urges Leninist work style, 29, in» 37; urges Twelfth Floor cancellation, 45 Chernenko, Konstantin, 13,16,21; on apparat, 107» 2; on kritika i samokritia, 23 Chemichenko, Yuriy, 79 Chernobyl accident, 40-42; coverage of, 41-42,115» 50; and glasnost, 8,43, 51,56, 89,118» 30; Yeltsin on, 115» 49 Chemyshevskiy, Nikolay, 11 Chikin, Valentin, 67, 6 9 ,7 0 ,125» 30; background, 123» 6 Children oftheArbat (Rybakov), 43,45 circulation figures, analyzed, 86-87 Communist Party (France), 57 Communist Party (South Africa), 73 Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU): apparat (administrative bureaucracy), xi, 3,13, 21, 23-24, 28, 50, 74, 88,100» 6 , 107» 2 ,121» 4, 126» 2; cadres and committees, 24, 25, 29, 33, 104» 43, 107» 2; corrup­ tion, 29,32-33,50,46,79-80; image and status, 10,18, 33,59, 78, 90;

Komsomol (youth organization), 64, 97» 4 2 ,102» 2 9 ,116» 16; Nineteenth Party Conference, 8,13, 58, 60, 65, 67, 69, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 8 2 ,9 0 ,102» 2 6 ,124» 25; patronage system, 8, 2 2 ,4 4 ,97» 41, 98» 47, 108» 13; Politburo, background on and links with Secretariat, 25,57,93» 140 ■


2, 98» 4 6 ,104» 4 4 , 109» 19,115» 46, 120» 68; reorganization, 6 0 ,6 4 ,7 4 75,82,126»» 2 ,3 ,127» 4 , 130» 1; Russian bureau, 109» 16,116» 16; “second secretary,” 16,25,27, 36,54, 104» 4 4 , 109» 18; Secretariat, as press overseer, 104» 4 4 ; Secretariat, background on and links with Politburo, 25,57,98» 46; 104» 44, 109» 19,115» 4 6 ,120» 68. See also Central Committee; Party C on­ gresses Crimea, 52 criticism o f officials. See kritika i

samokritika Czechoslovakia, 8, 84-85,115» 53,118» 43

DaTshe... dal’she. .. dal’she (Shatrov), 79 Demirchyan, K., 120» 67 Democratic Union, 61,85,86 Denisov, Vladimir, 67 de-Stalinization, 16,50,52, 60, 64, 66, 67, 75, 89 Deti arbata (Rybakov), 43,45 Didusenko, Aleksandr, 115» 53 Die Presse (Vienna), 57 Dnepropetrovsk, 24,62 Doktor Zhivago (Pasternak), 61,121» 12 Dolmatov (Sovetskaya rossiya propa­ ganda editor), 123» 7 Druzenko, Anatoliy, 22-24 Druzhba naroda, 44; circulation figures, 86 Dzerzhinskiy, Feliks, 51 Eastern Europe, 15, 61, 64 editors: and Agitprop, 6, 8, 97» 43, 106» 55; and CPSU, 97» 4 2 ,104» 43; and Glavlit, 6,7, 8, 97» 43; length o f tenure, 97» 38; pre-glasnost role of, 7-8, 97» 38 elections, 60,74, 75 factionalism. See Communist Party o f the Soviet U nion, patronage system Falin, Valentin: background, 118» 37; on

seizure o f Glasnos? periodical, 52; and Y. Yakovlev, 9 8 » 4 5 Fedirko, Pavel, 1 2 9 » 12 Fedorchuk, Vitaliy, щ и 28 First Circle (Solzhenitsyn), 86 Foreign Affairs, 11 Forsmark (Sweden), 4 0 Frankland, Mark, 39 Frolov, Ivan, Iоби 53, щ и 2 2 Garimberti, Paolo, 59 Gdylan, Telman, 7 9 - 8 0 , 128И 23 Georgia, 1 4 , 102И 2 9 , юби 55; 1991 earthquake, юби 6i glasnost: and Andropov, 9 - 1 0 , 2 1 , 107И 3; and apparat, 2 2 - 2 4 , 2 8 , ю ои 6, 12Ш 4 ; and Brezhnev, 12; Chebrikov on, 7 2 ; and Chernobyl, 4 2 ; as CPSIJ policy, 13, 7 7 - 7 8; criticized, 4 7 , 48, 6 1 , 7 8 , 8 4 - 8 6 , 8 7 ; definitions of, 11, 1 2 ,1 3 , 7 6 - 7 8 , 8 2 - 8 4 , 9 9 n 4 ; and editors, 7 , 8 , 6 2 ; Gorbachev on, 6 7 , Ю 2И 2 5 , 103И 38 ; Gorbachev on negative effects, 10m 2 3 ; Gorbachev on parameters of, 1 3 ,7 7 - 7 8 ; Gorbachev on use against apparat, ю ои 6, ш и I, i i 9И 4 8 ; Gorbachev reintroduces term, 2 2 ; Gorbachev urges “greater objectivity,” 2 0 ; and kritika, 1 2 ,1 3 ,2 1 , 3 4 ; and Lenin, 12, 4 2 , 7 6 , ю ои 1 0 ; at Nineteenth Party Conference, 7 7 - 8 0 , 8 2 - 8 3 ; and Pamyat, 6 3 ; and perestroika, 3 ,1 3 , 2 9 - 3 0 , 4 8 , 71, 7 7 , 8 4 , 9 9 » 52 , Ю 2И

in n 1 , 119» 4 8 ; and Shevardnadze, 1 4 , ю ои 16; at Twenty-seventh Party Congress, 343 7 ; and A. Yakovlev, 1 4 - 1 6 ,5 3 , ю ои i6; and Yeltsin, 5 5 - 5 6 , 5 7 , 120И 61 Glasnos? (“conservative” publication), 2 0 Glasnos? (dissident publication), 2 0 ,5 2 ,7 5 Glavlit: and authors, 6, 6 0 , 6 4 ; background, 9 6 И 2 2 , 9 6и 2 3 ; broadcast controls, 6; central offices, 6; and editors, 6- 8, 16, 3 9 ,5 1 , 6 3 , 26,

П4И 38; functions, 5, 6 , Ю2И 2 8 ; perechen3 (list o f forbidden topics), 6 - 8 , 3 9 , 6 0 , 7 7 , 8 3 ; renamed, 1 9; role with Agitprop, 5 -8 Golembiovskiy, Igor, 6 1 , 1 2 2 И 18 Gorbachev, Mikhail: and Agitprop, 8, 1 6 , 2 8 , 1 0 4 И 4 4 ; and Andreyeva letter, 6 7 - 7 3 ,1 2 5 ии 3 0 , 33; and Andropov, 9 - 1 0 ; on apparat, 7 4 - 7 5 , 88, ю ои 6; attacks “bureaucratic centralism,” 6 0 ; and Baltic coverage, 2 0 ; and Chebrikov, 1 0 9 И И 1 8 , 2 1 126И 4 0 ; and Chernobyl, 4 0 - 4 1 ; and cultural arts, 4 6 - 4 7 ; de-Stalinization, 5 0 , 6 0 , 6 4 , 7 5 ; and glasnost, 3 4 -3 5 , 53, 6 7 , 9 8 и 4 9 , Ю2И 2 5 , 103И 3 8; and intelligentsiya, 1 7 , 105И 4 6 ; and Korotich, 15, 6 2 - 6 3 , 8 0 , 125И 33; and kritika, 9 , 1 7 , 35, 4 1 ,5 3 , 7 7 , 1 9 , 9 9 « 52, 2 6 , 8 9 ; and Lenin, 9 - ю , 4 3 , 6o, 9 0 , 9 8 « 4 8 ; and Ligachev, 2 5 - 2 6 , 3 5 -3 7 , 4 4 - 4 8 , 5 3 - 5 8 , 6 7 - 7 3 , 1 0 9 « 2 1 , 120И

68, 125«

and media image, 16, 2 7 юби 53; and V. Medvedev, 115« 4 6 ; on Moskovskiye novosti, 5 3 - 5 4 , 1 0 3 « 38; and nationali­ ties issues, 4 6 ; on negative effects o f glasnost, ioiH 23 ; at Nineteenth Party Conference, 7 7 - 8 0 , 1 2 4 « 25; and parameters o f glasnost, 1 3 , 7 7 7 8 ; and perestroika, 7 7 , 9 8 « 4 8 , ш и i; personality cult alleged, 55, 8 0 - 8 1 ; political background, 9 ; 3 4 ~ 3 5 , 53, 33;

2 8 , 8 9 , 1 0 4 и и 4 0 , 41,

6 7 , 9 8 « 4 9 , Ю2И 2 5 , 1 0 3 « 3 8 ;

reintroduces glasnost, 2 2 ; reorgani­ zation efforts, 6 0 , 6 4 , 7 4 - 7 5 , 8 2 , 126ИЙ 2 , 3 , 127И 4 , 1 3 0 « 1; at Reykjavik summit, нби 2 ; on role o f press, 35, 37, 7 7 , 125» 33; and Rybakov, 4 4 - 4 5 ; seeks media support, 1 7 ,5 3 ; and Shevardnadze, 1 4 , 1 0 0 « 16; and Starkov, юби 53; 125И 33 ; urges “greater objectivity” rather than glasnost, 2 0 ; on use o f glasnost against apparat, ю ои 6,ш и in d e x


Gorbachev, Mikhail (cant.) идо 48; use o f media, 16,100# 6, 104» 4 4 , h i # 1 ; use o f terminology, 101# 24; and A. Yakovlev, 14-16,54, 73,100# 16; and Y. Yakovlev, 53-54, 98# 45,103# 38,119# 48,125# 33; and Yeltsin, 35,55,56,112» 5 ,113» 18 gorod and gorkom, defined, 5 Gostelradio, 16,19,112# 6 Gribachev, Viktor, 127» 6 Grigoryants, Sergey, 20,52,75,127» 6 Grishin, Viktor, 16-17,22,32,50,55 Gromyko, Andrey, 73 Grossman, Vasiliy, 60 Gubarev, Vladimir, 41 GulagArchipelago (Solzhenitsyn), 86 I,

Honecker, Erich, 125» 33

Ignatenko, Vitaliy, 51-52

intelligentsiya, 17,44,50,51,105» 46 Iron Code, 12 Ivanov, Nikolay, 79-80 Izvestiya: and Andreyeva letter, 68, 71; background, 104» 43; Baltic coverage, 19; and Chernobyl, 41; circulation figures, 86; differentiated from Pravda, 104# 43; effect of glasnost on, 17-18; on glasnost, 2224,56,61,84; Grishin scandal, 16-17, 33-34; and Ligachev, 31,57; on role of press, 75-76. See also Golembiovskiy, Igor; Laptev, Ivan

Izvestiya TsK, 86 KAL 007 incident, 115» 50 Kalashnikov, Vladimir, 113» 26 Kaluga, 32,53 Karpov, Vladimir, 47-48 Kazakhstan, 37,45~46, 63 Kazutin, Dmitriy, 120# 67 Keller, Bill, 11 KGB, 52; and Novosti press agency, 118# 37. See also Chebrikov, Viktor; Kryuchkov, Vladimir 142 ■


Kharkov University, 79 Khrushchev, Nikita, 60,75,98# 50 Kiev, 26,41,42, n o # 27 Kirghizia, 78 Kirov, 23 KoPtsov, Mikhail, n o # 28 Kommunist: Bukharin in, 60; Chebrikov in, 29,51; Chernenko in, 23; circulation figures, 86; and Erolov, 113# 22; Ligachev in, 23 Komsomol. See Communist Party o f the Soviet Union KomsomoPskayapravda, 6, and Baltic coverage, 19; circulation figures, 86; effect o f glasnost on, 18; and Pamyat, 64; Shenin essay on press, 84 Korotich, Vitaliy: and Agitprop, 39, 62; and Andreyeva letter 67-69; background, n o # 27; and Glavlit, 7, 39,62-63; and Gorbachev, 15, 62-63, 80,125# 33; and Ligachev, 26-27, 49-50,62, n o # 2 7 ,123» n ; and limits o f glasnost, 15, 39, 62-63,8485; on media differences, 61; at Nineteenth CPSU Conference, 7980; “selective memory” critiqued, n o » 26; and A. Yakovlev, 15,27,51, 80, 97# 44 Kotandzhyan, Gayk, 120» 67 Kozlovskiy (Agitprop official), 62 Krasnaya zvezda, 18,37, 86 Krasnodar, 47, 78, пбя 16,129» 25 Krasnoyarsk, 84 Kravchenko, Leonid, 19,112» 6; background, 104# 41; on Gorbachev, 16 kray and kraykom, defined, 116» 15 Kremlinology, 105» 50 kritika i samokritika (“criticism and selfcriticism”—criticism o f officials), 2831,100» 12; and Andropov, 12-13, 107» 3; Chernenko on, 23; and glasnost, 12-13,21, 33-35, 41,78,83; and Gorbachev, 9,17,19,35,4 i, 53, 77, 99» 52,26; Ligachev on, 36-37

Krokodil (Russian satirical magazine), n o n 28 Kryuchkov, Vladimir, 19,126» 40 Kunayev, Dinmukhamed, 45-46; Gorbachev on, 116» 9 kumtory. See Agitprop Kutaisi, I02W 29 Laptev, Ivan: and Andreyeva letter, 68; background 107» 4; and Gorbachev, 16-17,22, 32,50; on new subscribers, 51; on Yeltsin Affair, 57-58 La Republica (Rome), 59 Latvia, 97» 42. See also Baltic republics Law on the Press, 18,19; need for cited, 76, 79 Le Monde (Paris), 57,58 Lenin, Vladimir: and Andropov, 9; cited at Novosti conference, 65; on criticism, 12, 93» 8; democratic centralism, 7 8 ,100» 11; and glasnost, 1 2 ,4 2 ,7 6 ,100» 10; and Gorbachev, 9,10,43, 6 0 ,9 0 ,98» 48, 98» 49; in Novyy mir, 59-60, 79; and Ogonëk, 110» 28; on press freedom, 10,11, 94» 9; in Shatrov play, 7 9 ,128» 21; Soviet press as Leninist model, 3,4, 5, 76, 94» 9, 95» 14» 15 Leningrad, 37, 66, 68, 85,107» 7 Leninskoye znamya, 118» 43 Life and Fate (Grossman), 60 Ligachev, Yegor: and Agitprop, 6, 36, 49,53-54,109» 16; and Andreyeva letter, 67-73,123»» 2,7, 8 ,125» 33; and apparat, 25-26,45,50; attacks Moskovskiye novosti and Ogonëk, 54; background, 103» 37,109» 16; and Chebrikov, 51,109» 18,126» 40; and Chernobyl, 40; and Chikin, 67; and cultural arts, 45; downgraded, 73; and glasnost, 25-26, 30,45,50, ИЗ» 29; and Gorbachev, 25-26, 35- 37, 44-48,53-58, 67-73,109» 21,120» 68, 125» 33; and ideology, 30-31,45, 49, 73; and Korotich, 26-27,49-50,62,

97» 44, no» 27,123» ii ; on kritika, 25-26, 36, 37,57,113» 29; in Le Monde, 57; and Markov, 39; and Medvedev (Vadim), 115» 46; and reform course, 25-26; on role of press, 25-26,31, 36, 48-50,103» 32; and Rybakov, 44; as “second secretary,” 25,27,36,54, 6 7 ,98» 4 6 ,109» 18,120» 68; and A. Yakovlev, 8, 26-27, 36,49,53,54, 62, 72,103» 32,110» 2 4 ,113» 22; and Y Yakovlev, 53-54,121» 72,123» 11; and Yeltsin, 35, 37, 55-58,127» 9 Liternaturnayagazeta: and Andreyeva letter, 77; background, 96» 36; circulation figures, 86; effect o f glasnost on, 17-18; and glasnost, 47; Nekrasov obituary, 54; on role o f press, 108» 9; Sakharov interview, 48; and USSR Writers Union, 39 Litem aturnaya rossiya, 64 Lithuania, 19, 20. See also Baltic republics Litso nenavisti (Korotich), 110» 27 Luers, William H ., 11 Lukyanov, Anatoliy, 16; background, 103» 39 Markov, Georgiy, 3 9 ,6 2 ,124» 27 Masaliyev, A. M., 78 media, defined, 93» 1 Medvedev, Vadim: background, 115» 46; and Chernobyl accident, 40; as ideology chief, 72-73,115» 4 6 ,125» 33; m d Novyy mir, 86 Medvedev, Zhores, 11 Menshevik Party, 104» 43 Minsk, 108» 13 Molodayagvardiya, 18, 61, 63, 64 Molodezh Gruzh, 122» 18 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 85 Moscow, corruption in, 16-17,32 Moscow News. See Moskovskiye novosti Moskovskaya pravda, 118» 43 Moskovskiye novosti (MoscowNews): and Andreyeva letter, 67-68; backin d e x


Moskovskiye novosti (MoscowNews) (amt.) ground, 118» 43; calls for Gorbachev’s resignation, 81; and Chernobyl accident, 118л 30; critiques “personality cults,” 80-81; effect o f glasnost on, 17; and Glavlit, 17; and Ligachev, 53-54,57;

Nekrasov obituary, 53-54; Prague Spring anniversary, 84 Moskva, 64 MVD. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Ministries, Internal Affairs

Nagorno-Karabakh, 18,64 Nash sovremennik, 18, 61,63,64 Nedelya, 61 пфтийу (informal groups), 63 Nekrasov, Viktor, 53-54 Nenashev, Mikhail, 32; and Andreyeva letter, 105» 52; background, 112» 6, 123» 6 New Economic Policy, and Ogonëk, n o » 28 newsprint shortage, 86 New York Times, 11,43 Nikolay 1, 12 1984 (Orwell), 101» 2 4 ,122» 13 Nizhnevartovsk, 36 nomenklatura (elite status within CPSU), 36 Novosibirsk, 15,109» 16 Novosti Press Agency, 52,118» 43; background, 118» 37; conference on CPSU status, 64-65; and KGB, 118» 37; at Reykjavik summit, 116» 2 Novoye vremya, 51 Novyy mir: background, 121» 1;

circulation figures, 86; on Lenin, 5960,64; and Orwell, 61; and Solzhenitsyn, 17, 86

oblast3and obkom, defined, 5 Oblit (State Central Book Chamber), 96» 23 144 ■


Observer (London), 39 October Revolution, 4,15, 45,55, 65, 104» 43

OGIZ (State Publishing House), 96» 23 Ogonëk: and Andreyeva letter, 67-69; article on corruption, 79-80; background, 110» 28; circulation figures, 86; effect of glasnost on, 1718, 39; and Ligachev, 26-27,49,54; and Pamyat, 64. See also Korotich, Vitaliy

Oktyabr3, 60 Onikov, Leon A., 76

Onward, onward, onward (Shatrov), 79 opinion polls, 15,106» 53 Orwell, George, 61,io m 2 4 ,122» 13 Ostankino television studios, 48 Otechestvo (Russian nationalist group), 64 OVTs (military censorship office), 96» 23 Pamyat (Russian nationalist group), 6364 Pankov, Vladimir, 6 7 ,125» 30 Partiynaya M zn3, 12; circulation figures, 86

Party Congresses: 13th, 128» 21; 20th, 45, 60, 75; 26th, 35; 27th, 13, 26, 32, 33, 34-37,71, 98» 49, ИЗ» 2 6 ,114» 4 0 , 129» 25; 28th, non 24; Party Control Committee, 80 Pasternak, Boris, 60 perestroika (restructuring): Chebrikov on, 72; criticism of, 9,1 5 ,4 8 ,6 1 ,6 6 67; glasnost as component of, 3,13, 50,54,71,77- 78,102n 2 6 ,103» 38, n i» 1; and kritika i samokritika (official criticism), 29,60; Yakovlev on, 14,84

Perestroykai novoye myshleniye (Gorbachev), 13,43 Petrograd, 104» 43 photocopiers, 52, 68 Platonov, Andrey, 38 Poletayev, Nikolay, 95» 16

Polozkov, Ivan К., 47, 7 8 ,129» 25; background, 116» 16 Pozner, Vladimir, 124» 18 Pravda: and Andreyeva letter, 69,71,77, 123» 8,125nn 30, 31, 33; and apparat, 24, 28, 37, 77; attacks Ogonëk, 62; background, 95» 16; and Chernobyl accident, 41-42; circulation figures, 86; differentiated from Izvestiya, 104» 43; firing o f Afanas’yev, 125« 33; Frolov named editor, 113» 22; and glasnost, 42,56,61,64,76, 83-84, 85-86, H4» 40; on glasnost as component o f perestroika, 13; and kritika, 24,28,29-30; letters supporting perestroika, 104» 42; and Ligachev, 31, 36,57; as model for press, 5,7; and neformaly, 85-86; on role o f press, 42, 71, 76; urges “Leninist work style” 28; and Yeltsin, 56 PmvitePstvennyy vestnik, 20 Predisloviye, obval, poslesUmye (Yakovlev), 14 Pskov, 43, 44 radio, 127» 6; and Andreyeva letter, 124» 18; and Chernobyl, 41; Ligachev on, 48; Top Priority (Radio Moscow program), 124» 18. See also Gostelradio RAND Corporation, 7 ,100» 12 Rasputin, V. G., 50 rayon and raykom, defined, 5 Razumovskiy, Georgiy, 80; back­ ground, 129» 25 Reagan, Ronald, 4 1 ,116» 2 Remington, Thomas, 41 respublik and reskom, defined, 5 Reykjavik summit, 116» 2 Romanov, Grigoriy, 107» 7 Roxburgh, Angus, 15-16,39,40,67, 101» 19 Rude pravOy 57 Rus’ (Russian nationalist group), 64 Russia (Soviet republic): nationalist

organizations, 63-64; republic Communist Party, 18,47,116» 16; writers union, 64 Rust, Matthias, 116» 4 Rybakov, Anatoliy, 43 Ryzhkov, Nikolay, 25,43,109» 21; and Chernobyl, 40; urges program cancellation, 45 Sakharov, Andrei, 12,48

samokritika. See kritika i samokritika Samolis, Tafyana, 113» 26 Saratov, 49 Schmemann, Serge, 43 SePskaya zhizn’ игп 3; circulation figures, 86 Shaknazarov, Georgiy, 127» 4 Shatrov, Mikhail, 7 9 ,128» 21 Shcherbitskiy, Vladimir, 26,41 Shenin, Oleg, 84; background, 129» 12 Shevardnadze, Eduard: background, 102» 29; and Chernobyl, 40; and Gorbachev, 14; resigns as foreign minister, 19,102» 30 Siberia, 15 Simonov, Konstantin, 96» 37 Slobodenyuk, Sergey, 53~54 Slovo, Joe, 73 Slyun’kov, Nikolay, 108» 13 Smolensk archives, 104» 44 Snow, Peter, 127» 9 Sobokin, Aleksandr, 100» 10 socialist democracy, 22,30, 36,101» 24 socialist pluralism, 76, 86,124» 18 Sofronov, Anatoliy, 27 Sokolov, Sergey, 44; background, 116» 4 Solodin, Vladimir, 64 Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr, 12,17, 61, 86 Sotsiatisticheskaya industriya, 62,

circulation figures, 86

Sovetskaya kuPtura, 18,61,62; and Andreyeva letter, 71-72,123» 8; background, 117» 25; circulation figures, 86; and Ligachev, 50; Yevtushenko in, 37-39 in d e x


Sovetskaya rossiya, 9,18, 31,57,64,65, 118» 43; and Andrcyeva letter, 66-71, 86,123»» 5, 8; background, 32,112» 3; circulation figures, 86; and kritika, 28,29, 32-33 Sovetskiy voin, 64 Soviet Press Day, 42 soviets (councils), 60, 74-75,104» 43, 127» 4 Sovinformburo, 118» 37 Stalin, Iosif: and Andreyeva letter, 66, 70; as anti-perestroika figure, 71,77; Ligachev on, 54; and Litematumaya gazeta, 96n 37; and Ogonëk, non 28; Yevtushenko on, 38. See also deStalinization Starkov, Vladislav, 106» 53,125» 33 statistics, 7,43,108» ii Stavropol, 37 Sturua, Melor, 6 Sverdlov, Yakov, 107» 2 Sverdlovsk, 32, 37,85,112» 5,127» 7 Svetlanov, Yevgeniy, 50 Tadzhikistan, 33 TASS, 16,46,54; and Andreyeva letter, 68-69; background, 5,95» 17; and Chernobyl, 40-41, И4» 43; on Glavlit functions, 64; as news distribution source, 5; press directives, 5,19,68-69; on seizure of Glasnosf periodical, 52; and Yeltsin, 55-56,103» 39 Tatars, 52 Tarn, Michel, 57 Tbilisi, 39,106» 55, H4» 38 television, 19,99» 52; and Chernobyl, 41; and Gorbachev, 16,27-28,104»» 40,41; and Ligachev, 48; and Nenashev, 112» 6; Ostankino television studios, 48; Twelfth Floor, 45; Vremya, 17,19,106» 61, non 27; Vzglyad, 18,19 Tikhonov, Nikolay, inn 38 Tomsk, 37,39, 62,67,109» 16 146 ■


Top Priority (Moscow Radio program), 124» 18

Trud, 115» 53; circulation figures, 86 Twelfth Floor (television program), 45 Ukraine, 26,28, 37,40,41,62 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Congress of People’s Deputies, 17,74 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Constitution, 5,12,94» 12 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Council of Ministers, 19, 41, h i» 38,114» 4 4 , 118» 37 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Ministries: Civil Aviation, 36; Coal, 108» 10; Communications, 86; Defense, 19,44; Foreign, 19; Foreign Trade, 37,113» 28; Internal Affairs (MVD), 37,52,113» 28,114» 44; Maritime Fleet, 36; and Pamyat, 64 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Procurator General, 80 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) State Committee for Publishing, 32 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Supreme Soviet, 73-75,103» 3 9 ,104» 43 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Unions: Cultural Workers, 117» 25; Journalists, 50; Writers, 27, 39, 44, 62, 64 Union of Soviet Societies for Friend­ ship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, 118» 43 united opposition, 18 Uzbek mafia, 80 Vemet, Daniel, 57 Vesenskiy, Vladimir, 6 Vladimirskoy, 56 Vladivostok, 61 Vlasov, Aleksandr, 37,113» 28

Vologda, 69

Voprosy istorii, 60 Vorotnikov, Vitaliy, 57,70; background, 124» 26 Vrcmya, 17,106» 61, non 27; Baltic coverage, 19 Vzglyad, 18,19 Yakovlev, Aleksandr: and Andreyeva letter, 68-69,72; background, 14, 102» 31; and Chernobyl, 40-41; and Eastern Europe, 15; and editors, 15, 26,62,84,113» 22,125n 33; and glasnost, 8,14,15,16, 80; and Gorbachev, 14,15,16,54,73; joins Politburo, 46; and Korotich, 15,2627,51, 62, 80,97» 44; and Ligachev, 26-27, 36, 49 , 53- 54, 62, 72, но» 24, 113» 22; on perestroika, 14,15, 84; and Y. Yakovlev, 54; and Yeltsin, 1516,58 Yakovlev, Yegor: and Andreyeva letter, 67; background, 118» 43; and glasnost, 17, юбя 55; and Glavlit, 39, 114» 38; and Gorbachev, 17,53~54,

81,103» 38,119» 48,129» 29; and Ligachev, 53-54,121» 72,123» 11 Yaroslavl’, 102» 31 Yeltsin, Boris, 59,61,66; accused of avant-gardism, 57-58,76,120» 67; background, 112» 5; on Chernobyl, 41,115» 49; and Gorbachev, 35,5556,112» 5,113» 18; and Ligachev, 35, 37, 55-57,127» 9; and limits of glasnost, 8,15-16,19,57, 89; at Oct., 1987, plenum, 55-56,119» 54; replaces Grishin, 32; at TwentySeventh Party Congress, 35; and A. Yakovlev, 58 Yevtushenko, Yevgeniy, 38-39,40 Tunost^ 61 Yurmala, 85 Zalygin, Sergey, 59, 86,121» 12

Zarya vostoka, 19 Zhizn’ i sud’ba (Grossman), 60 Zhuravskiy, Vasiliy, 85

Zhumalist, 118» 43,127» 6 Zimyanin, Mikhail, 46

Znamya, 17,61,79; circulation figures, 86



Eastern European Studies Stjepan G. Mestrovic, Series Editor

Cigar, Norman. Genocide in Bosnia: The Policy ofC (Ethnic Cleansing.” 1995. Cohen, Philip J. Serbia’s Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit ofHistory. 1996. Gachechiladze, Revaz. The New Georgia: Space, Society, Politics. 1996. Knezys, Stasys, and Romanas Sedlickas. The War in Chechnya. 1999. Mestrovic, Stjepan G., ed. The Conceit ofInnocence: Losing the Conscience ofthe West in the War against Bosnia. 1997. Polokhalo, Volodymyr, ed. The PoliticalAnalysis ofPostcommunism: Understand­ ing Postcommunist Ukraine. 1997. Q uinn, Frederick. Democracy at Dawn: Notesfrom Poland and Points East. 1997. Teglas, Csaba. Budapest Exit: A Memoir ofFascism, Communism, and Freedom. 1998.