A history of the formation of the political and economic elite in the Sverdlovsk region from 1985 to the present.
I. Rebuilding (1985-1990). Weakening of the influence of the CPSU, the introduction of market elements into the socialist economy.
1. 1985-1986. Declaration of liberalization of domestic policy, a course to reduce foreign policy tension.
2. 1987-1988. Introduction of market elements at the lower and middle levels of the socialist economy (cooperative movement, transfer of state enterprises to self-financing).
3. 1989-1990. Reforming the state apparatus from top to bottom, liberalizing foreign economic activity, creating territorial “corporations”.
II. 1991 - ? (in developing)
In accordance with the leading role of the CPSU in the bodies of state power of the USSR, the actual highest official of the Sverdlovsk region in 1985 was the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin.
In March 1985 , the general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee (the highest official in the USSR), Konstantin Chernenko, died. Instead, Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, whose candidacy was proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Andrei Gromyko. It is assumed that Gorbachev rose to the heights of power, thanks to the support of the former chairman of the KGB of the USSR and the general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Yuri Andropov, who was recruiting personnel to carry out large-scale transformations in the country.
In April 1985, Boris Yeltsin, whose diligence and leadership qualities were also noted at one time by Andropov, was approved by the head of the construction department of the Central Committee of the CPSU, in connection with which he was relieved of his duties as first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee of the CPSU and moved to permanent residence in Moscow. Instead, one of Yeltsin's associates, Yuri Vladimirovich Petrov, who had previously worked in Moscow in the Central Committee of the CPSU, was elected as the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee.
At the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU on April 23, 1985, Gorbachev made a report on the need for a radical restructuring of the country's economy on the basis of socialist principles of management, the unification of science and production, since the inefficiency of the existing management methods led to an ever greater lag behind the capitalist countries, and the increased level of citizens' needs was not met an economy that was primarily focused not on meeting the needs of citizens, but on rivalry at the interstate level.
The top leadership of the USSR tried to reduce the severity of interstate rivalry by declaring a foreign policy aimed at reducing international tension: it was proposed to reduce the amount of armaments, and the political situation in the countries of Eastern Europe, which were in the zone of influence of the USSR, began to be less tightly controlled. As a result, opposition political forces and separatist tendencies intensified in these countries, which ultimately strengthened the separatist tendencies in the USSR itself.
The essence of Rebuilding within the country was called an increase in the efficiency of the centralized principle in management and planning, an expansion of the independence and responsibility of enterprises, the active use of more flexible forms and methods of management, cost accounting and commodity-money relations, and the broad development of the initiative of the masses.
However, first of all, the transformations began not in the economy, but in the political sphere, since for the development of the initiative of the masses it was necessary to weaken the pressure of the state on society. The main instrument of pressure was the bodies of the CPSU, which served as the organizational foundation of the Soviet state, penetrating and controlling all government bodies, economic entities and public organizations. Therefore, the CPSU became the object of initially cautious criticism from its own leadership, a slogan was proclaimed to renew the party, a return to true Leninist socialism, which was perverted by Stalin's totalitarianism, which led to Brezhnev's stagnation. A policy of glasnost was proclaimed, which was supposed to help cleanse the CPSU under the pressure of public opinion. The need to liberalize public life was explained by the fact that the restructuring of the socialist economy requires the activation of the intellectual potential of society, and this is impossible without creating a socio-political atmosphere of openness, freedom of creativity and discussion.
The authors of this site are of the opinion that the reason for the economic problems of the 1980s was that the USSR was unable to join the global scientific and technological revolution of the 1970s, which was based on the use of new information technologies based on computers. The reason for this was, firstly, the dominance of the command-administrative system, which held back the creative initiative of the intelligentsia, which became the fundamental class of the new economic order. And the second reason was the isolation of the USSR from the process of technological exchange with the leading Western countries. Moreover, this isolation was probably not due to differences in the political and economic system (communism versus capitalism), since these differences did not prevent technological donation from the West during the formation of Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. Alternatively, the foreign policy isolation of the USSR by economically developed Western countries and the subsequent catastrophic technological backwardness could be due to the weakening of Jewish influence on the formation of the political and economic elite of the USSR after World War II. This issue is covered in more detail in the Prehistory section.
Gorbachev stated that in the implementation of the scientific and technological revolution, the key role belongs to mechanical engineering, and the catalyst for progress should be microelectronics, computer technology and instrument making, the entire informatics industry. In this regard, the Sverdlovsk region was one of the most advanced regions in the country: the region had a predominant development of mechanical engineering, headed by one of the largest machine-building enterprises in the country, PA Uralmash, in addition, a relatively strong scientific school in the field of information technologies was present in the Sverdlovsk region - Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Ural Scientific Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences. However, the provision of the Sverdlovsk region with specialists in robotization of production significantly lagged behind the provision of, for example, the Leningrad region, which was comparable to the Sverdlovsk region in many economic parameters. Confirmation of the importance of the Sverdlovsk region for the top Soviet leadership was the visit in 1986 to the region of the second person in the state of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Andrei Gromyko. Gorbachev himself visited the Samara region, where the leader of the machine building of the USSR, the Volzhsky Automobile Plant, was located. The Sverdlovsk Oblast, as a region with a large engineering industry, has received more capital investments than ever before.
To reform the CPSU, Gorbachev had to overcome the resistance of the rival power groups in the party. One of the most influential party organizations in the country was the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU. The weakening of the group that controls the Moscow City Committee began under Andropov, through the investigation of corruption cases in Moscow. To complete the defeat of the opposition in the Moscow party organization in 1986, Boris Yeltsin was elected first secretary of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU and a candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, who approached this role, thanks, on the one hand, to his diligence in relation to the authorities, and on the other hand - the authoritarian style of leading subordinates.
However, Yeltsin was characterized not only by these qualities. He was also characterized by an exorbitant lust for power and populism. At the 27th Congress of the CPSU, Boris Yeltsin said that one of the main reasons for bureaucracy, social injustice and abuses in the CPSU, leading to "stagnation" in the country, is the lack of courage among a number of leaders in a timely manner to objectively assess the situation, their personal role, say, albeit bitter, but the truth. We need control over the work of cadres from above and below. Being absolutely loyal to the top party leadership, Yeltsin played the role of "truth-teller", which at that time corresponded to the general political line of Gorbachev and at the same time worked for Yeltsin's authority among the general population.
At the XXVII Congress, one of Yeltsin's closest associates, First Secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU, Yuri Petrov, spoke, among other things, who said that the functions of the chief coordinator and res-pondent for economic development should be carried out by territorial bodies of economic management, and not by party bodies, which should only deal with political leadership. Thus, the intention was to limit the influence of the CPSU by depriving it of its levers of influence on the economy. The Central Committee of the CPSU adopted a resolution that in exercising political leadership of the Soviets of People's Deputies, party bodies should pursue a course towards increasing the independence of the Soviets in managing the economy on their territories. Thus, the powers to manage the economy were gradually shifted from party bodies to the Soviets of People's Deputies, but in fact to the executive committees of the Soviets, which, in fact, dictated their will to the Soviets of People's Deputies.
In 1986, reforms began in the economy. Enterprises that produce half of the country's industrial output went to self-financing. However, it turned out that in the conditions of self-financing, many enterprises, including the largest of them, lacked their own profits not only for expanded reproduction (renewal of funds), but even for maintaining current activities. As a result, the central funds of the ministries continued to finance these enterprises. In 1988, some large enterprises began to lay off workers to cut costs. The services of scientific and technical information were also reduced, which reduced the illusory chances of scientific and technological progress in Soviet industry, for the sake of which perestroika was actually started. In pursuit of profit, some enterprises abandoned the production of unprofitable goods, which aggravated the shortage of consumer goods.
At the end of 1986, the state initiated a cooperative movement in the service and recycling sector, hoping to improve the efficiency of service delivery and the production of consumer goods. However, in fact, many cooperatives were created to cover up speculative operations, since this brought in much more income, as a result of which the state had to intensify the fight against unearned income, which was doomed to failure, since the state itself introduced elements of a market economy, refusing to recognize them as such. The contradictory nature of government policies created fertile ground for corruption. In the second half of 1987, in order to improve the sales of the products of cooperatives in the USSR, it was allowed to create not only production, but also trade cooperatives, which created the preconditions for the legalization of speculation.
The most profitable cooperatives were created at industrial enterprises. The success of the cooperative, in addition to the abilities of the cooperators, depended on three instances:
- the executive committee of the local Council, on the territory of which the cooperative was registered (the executive committee performed regulatory functions);
- a territorial subdivision of the USSR Glavsnab, which distributed material resources;
- the leadership of the industrial enterprise under which the cooperative was created.
In the Sverdlovsk Region, one of the leading roles in the development of the cooperative movement was played by the Kirov regional executive committee of Sverdlovsk. The increased importance of the Kirovsky regional executive committee was due to the fact that the core of the region's scientific and technical organizations was concentrated in the Kirovsky district of Sverdlovsk : the Ural branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences and the Ural Polytechnic Institute. In addition, the main organization responsible for informatization of the region - NPO Uralsystem - was located in the . Informatization was considered the main factor of advanced industrial development.
The Central Committee of the CPSU supported the proposal of the Central Committee of the Komsomol to create in the country a unified social and state system of scientific and technical creativity of young people. It was assumed that NTTM centers would help to involve the broad masses in the introduction of scientific and technical developments, just as the cooperative movement was supposed to involve the broad masses in the production of consumer goods. NTTM centers received significant benefits. In the Sverdlovsk Region, the most successful was the “Sverdlovsk” STCY Center (headed by Valery Viktorovich Skripchenko), registered by the Sverdlovsk City Executive Committee with the active support of the leadership of the Ural Polytechnic Institute. The main business contacts were established by the CSTCY “Sverdlovsk” with the institutes of the Ural Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the Ural Polytechnic Institute, the Kirov District Committee of the CPSU of Sverdlovsk, and Glavsreduralstroy. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, members of the CSTCY “Sverdlovsk” played a significant role in the political life of the region.
In 1987 , the law on the state enterprise was adopted (entered into force on January 1, 1988), ), in accordance with which the economic rights of enterprises were expanded, as well as forms of democracy in production were introduced: the collective of the enterprise was asked to elect a council of the labor collective, which in turn could elect the head of the enterprise and subordinate executives. It was proposed to consider the issue of promoting non-party cadres to leading positions. If earlier public control over the activities of the enterprise management was carried out only by the party committee of the enterprise, now this role was assigned to a non-party organization (council of the labor collective), which, however, was supposed to be influenced by the party through the communists who are members of the council of the labor collective. Nevertheless, this innovation obviously reduced the influence of the CPSU in enterprises, where previously the influence of the secretary of the party committee was comparable to that of the head of an enterprise.
However, democratization in the country was carried out without its most important element - the grassroots. Formally, the basis of democracy at the grassroots level was proclaimed the councils of labor collectives (STK) and the primary party cells at enterprises. But at the same time, there was no legal basis for the activities of the JCC - responsibility for failure to comply with the decisions of the JCC was not spelled out. In the collectives of many thousands of large production associations, the elections of the STK were fictitious due to the too large number of workers. Primary party cells, on the other hand, were financially dependent on district and regional committees, and the salaries of the secretaries of the primary cells were much lower than the salaries of ordinary workers, due to which, after the loss of the authority of the party committees during Rebuilding, this position was deprived of any prestige. Thus, Rebuilding was carried out not by the broad public, but by the middle management under the control of the central bodies of state power, which, in the conditions of the frantic pace of transformations, were rapidly losing their ability to control anything.
In 1987, within the framework of the state policy for the decentralization of economic management, the Sverdlovsk Regional Executive Committee adopted a decision "On measures to create inter-sectoral territorial-production associations in cities and districts of the region." As part of this decision, the Nizhniy Tagil City Executive Committee began preparations for an economic experiment to allocate funds to the local budget by all enterprises, regardless of their departmental subordination. The Nizhniy Tagil Territorial Production Association of Glavsreduralstroy was created, which would later be called the first corporation in the Sverdlovsk Region. Eduard Rossel, deputy chief of Glavsreduralstroy, was appointed the head of this association. In 1988, the practice of creating such territorial-production associations was condemned by the top party leadership. This was explained by the fact that initially it was planned to voluntarily merge independent enterprises, but instead of this, rigidly centralized organizations were created in the localities that recreated the previous ministerial heads, not only at the union or republican level, but at the regional level. Nevertheless, in 1989 the Government of the USSR set a course for an increase in the role of associations, state production associations, and concerns in the economy. A stormy process of creating these structures began. In the conditions when the functions of the ministries were changing, the tax system was introduced, when there were still no measures for antimonopoly regulation, in contrast to the ministries, administrative structures were created that monopolized the economy. The creation of such concerns was not a result of the expansion of the rights of enterprises, but as a result of the redistribution of functions within the previous apparatus. The functions previously performed by the ministries were transferred to the created associations and concerns, and even more severe pressure continued at the middle level of government. The new structures received control over the social sphere in their jurisdiction, and took control of the work of law enforcement agen-cies. Opinions were expressed that the monopolists would influence the elections so strongly that they, and not the Soviets of People's Deputies, would become the source of power.
To overcome technological backwardness, it was proposed to intensify foreign economic relations. In order to improve economic, scientific, technical and trade relations with foreign countries and firms, a meeting was held in Sverdlovsk, organized by the regional committee of the CPSU and the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was noted that this is the first such a representative meeting in the country, and it is being held in Sverdlovsk, the largest industrial center of the Urals, since it was here that direct economic ties with foreign countries began and cooperation with enterprises of the CMEA member countries was developing. One of the first enterprises in the country that received the right to directly enter the foreign market was the Uralmash production association. The company “Uralmashexport” was established to carry out business contacts with foreign organizations.
In December 1988, the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a resolution "On measures of state regula-tion of foreign economic activity," according to which, since 1989, state, cooperative and other public enterprises have received the right to directly enter the foreign market. A boom in contracts began. Many began to enter the world market and began to export, including what the USSR itself lacked. Only 4 months later, the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a decree on state regulation of foreign economic activity. It was reported that after permission for foreign trade, a flow of raw materials poured overseas, which the government was unable to stop. This export orientation was justified by the fact that in order to organize the production of competitive goods, an enterprise must first sell raw materials to accumulate initial capital. The regional executive committee received 5% from each foreign economic transaction. The volume of export deliveries via direct links from the Sverdlovsk region increased in 1989 by about 14 times, but the share of export-import operations via direct links amounted to only 0.5% of the region's foreign trade turnover - the bulk of export operations continued to be carried out through the mediation of state foreign trade organi-zations.
In 1990, there were four joint ventures registered in the region in the Sverdlovsk region:
- Soviet-Chinese "Harbin";
- Soviet-Swiss "InterUral";
- Soviet-Swedish "Intermet";
- Soviet-British "Ural".
The problem of the shortage of consumer goods was becoming more and more acute. It should be noted that a significant share of the deficit was caused not by a shortage of goods, but by the increased demands of the population, which was dissatisfied with the quality and design of domestic goods, preferring imported things. In addition, the shortage of a number of goods was due to the ill-conceived actions of the authorities (lack of sugar caused by home brewing due to the anti-alcohol campaign) and the rush demand for certain categories of goods associated with psychological reasons (lack of laundry soap).
The shortage of goods gave rise to speculative operations, with which the state fought unsuccessfully. In turn, illegal operations in the economic sphere gave rise to the shadow sector of the economy, which was a breeding ground for the creation of organized criminal groups.
In 1986, a significant drop in world oil prices began, which was especially significant for the USSR, since the sale of oil was the main source of foreign exchange, which was used to buy scarce consumer goods, including food.
The growing shortage of consumer goods caused discontent among the population with the situation in the country, despite the trend of a significant increase in the number of the CPSU in the 1980s, the party's authority is beginning to decline. More and more discontent of the population begins to concentrate on the party apparatus and the tone was set not only by foreign "voices" broadcasting on the air, but also by the central party bodies themselves, following Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, tolerance for criticism and cleansing of the party ranks.
At the forefront of this movement was Boris Yeltsin, whose uncompromising approach during the purge of the party ranks was extremely useful for Gorbachev, who removed the internal opposition from the ranks of the Moscow City Committee of the CPSU. However, Yeltsin did not want to be an ordinary executor. Possessing remarkable conceit and a disruptive character, he strove to rise as high as possible, inevitably entering into conflicts with people whom he considered below himself in rank, even if they had previously contributed to his promotion to the top. In 1987, this was the conflict between Yeltsin and Yegor Ligachev, who was considered the second person in the party hierarchy after Gorbachev. At the October plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, Yeltsin harshly criticized Ligachev and even slightly touched upon Gorbachev's "personality cult" in his speech. It is unlikely that Yeltsin was such an uncompromising fighter for democracy, which he portrayed as the "demo-cratic movement" of the late 1980s. Rather, criticizing Ligachev, Yeltsin counted on the support of Ligachev's rival in the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Alexander Yakovlev, who, in contrast to the conservative Ligachev, represented the liberal wing of the CPSU. And throwing a stone at Gorbachev, Yeltsin may have thought that, by doing so, he was following in line with the policy of openness and open criticism proclaimed by Gorbachev himself, which would provide him with additional political dividends. The basis for such assumptions is that Yeltsin had sent Gorbachev a letter in advance with the main theses of his speech and thought that Gorbachev had approved him, having given him the floor at the Plenum. However, Yeltsin was cruelly miscalculated. After Yeltsin's speech, Gorbachev “analyzed” this speech in such a way that it served as a signal for the persecution of Yeltsin by the party activists, and even his alleged ally Alexander Yakovlev did not refuse to pay his respects to the General Secretary by kicking the “naughty” Yeltsin. After that, Yeltsin looked pale, again took the floor and repented of his mistakes. But the party elite drew their conclusions, and a month later, in November 1987 Yeltsin was removed from the post of first secretary of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU and was appointed first deputy chairman of the USSR State Construction Committee, USSR minister.
Yeltsin's speech was not published in the official press, but rumors spread and were discussed very actively. Up to this point, the country had two significant political “parties”: conservative reformers, led by Ligachev, who advocated economic reforms under the strict control of the carefully optimized CPSU, and liberal reformers, led by Yakovlev, who advocated the introduction of a multi-party system and alternative elections to increase the effectiveness of the CPSU. Now, around the figure of Yeltsin, radical reformers began to rally, who advocated the elimination of both the political and economic influence of the CPSU, and for a transition to a Western-style market.
On November 20-21, 1987, mass actions in support of Boris Yeltsin were held in Sverdlovsk. The newly formed group "Meeting-87" demanded the publication of materials from the October Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The group later became the most active organizer of protests in the Sverdlovsk region. In 1988, a letter from the workers of Uralmashzavod was published in the official publication of the regional committee of the CPSU to the newspaper Uralsky Rabochiy, where it was said that it was not so much Western "voices" that the government's authority and corruption had inflicted strong damage on the authority of the CPSU. They discussed previously unheard-of voluntary withdrawals of people from the ranks of the CPSU. It should be noted that the mass media, like enterprises, have begun to switch to self-financing and self-financing. As a result, the formal founders of the press (for example, party organs) gradually began to lose control over the editorial policy of the media. The practice of publishing paid materials was spreading, which means that the financial resource began to become an increasingly significant political force. At the highest party level, opinions were even expressed that a certain group of extremists was trying to seize control of the media in the country.
In 1988, a decisive exchange of blows in the press took place between the two rival camps of the CPSU ideologues, represented by Yegor Ligachev ("conservative" wing) and Alexander Yakovlev ("liberal" wing). The letter from Leningrad teacher Nina Andreeva, published in the newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya, which spoke of the inadmissibility of unequivocal condemnation of the communist past, including the Stalinist period, was recommended by Ligachev for active dissemination and familiarization. In response, Yakovlev published in Pravda a devastating letter to the reactionaries who were hindering Rebuilding, and ob-tained from Gorbachev a public condemnation of the ideas expressed in Andreeva's letter (supported by Ligachev).
An important factor in the democratization of public life was the creation of “informal” associations that were not under the control of the CPSU. One of the first such associa-tions in the Sverdlovsk region that set themselves political goals was the historical and cultural association “Fatherland” by Yuri Lipatnikov, formed in 1986. The activities of “Fatherland” seemed to the party organization of Sverdlovsk to be somewhat beyond what was desired, and on the initiative of the Sverdlovsk City Committee of the CPSU in 1987, a Discussion Tribune was created under the leadership of Gennady Burbulis, which was designed to introduce the process of development of "informal" public associations into the correct framework. Already in 1988, the “Discussion Tribune” was accused of the fact that its organizers, among whom were the functionaries of the regional committee of the CPSU, provided advantages to the opposition forces in relation to the CPSU, in particular representatives of the “Democratic Union” in the region (the most radical opponent of the CPSU, among those that existed in that time of public organizations), which implanted their point of view, forming a one-sided view of the events taking place in the country. Representatives of the “Tribune” replied that they provide an opportunity to speak to everyone, and the rest depends on their oratorical skills.
“Fatherland” and “Democratic Union” represented opposite poles of opposition to the ruling party of the CPSU, which, however, did not prevent high-ranking members of the CPSU Central Committee from supporting these opposition movements. These movements advocated radical reform of the country, but due to ideological differences with different goals and different means. If “Fatherland” had a Russophile-patriotic orientation with an Orthodox-monarchist and anti-Semitic bias, then the “Democratic Union” was Western-liberal with significant Jewish influence. One of the main spiritual leaders of the first movement was the writer Alexander Isaevich Solzhenitsyn, and of the second movement was the public figure Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov. Most of the opposition-minded intelligentsia at that time did not go into the intricacies of the confrontation between these warring camps and was surprised to learn that in Sakharov's house, for example, it was not customary to even mention the name of Solzhenitsyn.
The confrontation between these camps became especially fierce among representatives of the authorities, where belonging to a certain ideological camp meant the support of a certain power clan. For example, in 1985 , after Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Boris Stukalin, a representative of the "patriotic" clan, was removed from his post as head of the ideological department of the CPSU Central Committee and sent into "honorable exile" by the USSR Ambassador to Hungary. The place of the chief ideologist of the CPSU was taken by the representative of the "liberal" camp, Alexander Yakovlev. In the ranks of the all-Russian Pamyat movement, which headed the “patriotic” movement in the country, a rabid anti-Semite with signs of fascism, Dmitry Vasiliev, appeared, who, in the opinion of more adequate members of the movement, began to destroy Pamyat from the inside. It is quite possible that the actual collapse of the Memory movement in Moscow and the organization of the Discussion Tribune in Sverdlovsk were links of one chain, forged in the depths of the ideological department of the CPSU Central Committee, controlled by the “liberal wing” of the reformist part of the CPSU.
It is possible, however, that the ideas of the “liberal” camp prevailed over the ideas of the “patriotic” camp not because of the latent and explicit influence of the "fifth column" of the CPSU, and even less because of the global plan implemented by some foreign organizations like the CIA or masons. The ideas of the “liberal” camp could win because they were simpler than the ideas of the "patriotic" camp. The main proposal of the “liberal” camp was to transfer the “advanced” experience of the political and economic organization of Western European countries to Russian soil. The “patriotic” camp offered to go “its own way”, without giving a clear answer, what this “own way” is. Copying some-one else's is easier than creating a new one. And the further, the more the minds of people took possession of the idea that it is easy and simple to achieve the Western Euro-pean level of material well-being - you just need to translate the European code of laws (or even better the American one) into Russian, adopt it, and tomorrow the store shelves will be filled with previously inaccessible consumer goods.
In 1988 , the head of the “Discussion Tribune” Gennady Burbulis created the Movement “For Democratic Choice” with an eye on the planned 1989 elections of USSR People's Deputies.
The “informal” social and political associations of Sverdlovsk, existing at different poles of the political spectrum, were “united” by the support of the disgraced Boris Yeltsin, whom in February 1988 the Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee relieved of his duties as a candidate for membership in the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, but Yeltsin remained a member of the CPSU Central Committee. It is interesting that the “disgraced” Yeltsin, being dismissed from the post of first secretary of the Moscow city committee of the CPSU, was appointed first deputy chairman of the USSR Gosstroy - Minister of the USSR, despite the fact that, in accordance with the perestroika plan, in the context of delimiting the functions of party and state bodies, the powers and significance The Council of Ministers of the USSR increased significantly.
One of Yeltsin's closest associates, Yuri Petrov, was dismissed from the post of first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee of the CPSU by the ambassador to Cuba. Leonid Bobykin , who was elected first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee in his place, was immediately attacked by the informal associations of the “democratic” wing as a bloated reactionary who stood on a par with Ligachev and Gromyko. In December 1988, reporting and election conferences of the regional committee and the Sverdlovsk city committee of the CPSU were held, but there were no significant personnel changes. Leonid Bobykin remained the first secretary of the regional committee, but the party workers who worked with Yuri Petrov retained their posts. Yeltsin enjoyed significant support in the Sverdlovsk region: almost all formal and informal political organizations, including the regional committee of the CPSU, were on his side, despite the negative attitude of first secretary Leonid Bobykin to Yeltsin.
At the 19th All-Union Party Conference, the Yeltsin question was one of the most discussed issues. After speaking out against Ligachev and criticizing the course of perestroika at the October plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1987, Yeltsin became one of the most significant political figures in the country. Contrary to all party traditions, Yeltsin gave interviews to US and UK TV channels, explaining that the domestic media took several interviews, but could not publish them due to the ban from above. Yeltsin's populist abilities in the new political conditions of relative publicity gave him significant advantages over boring party apparatchiks, accustomed to undercover intrigues rather than public speeches. If in 1987 Yeltsin repented of his mistakes after speaking at the plenum, then in 1988 he said that his only mistake was his untimely speech (at the festive October plenum dedicated to the anniversary of the revolution), and in essence of his speech he was right. Gorbachev, Ligachev and a number of other party workers gave a negative assessment of Yeltsin's speech at the party conference, but there were also voices in support of him, which was fundamentally different from the situation in 1987. This was partly due to the fact that the composition of the party conference was much wider than the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and partly due to the fact that the political climate began to change and ordinary party workers allowed themselves to express open disagreement with the views of party leaders. Vladimir Volkov, secretary of the party committee of the Kalinin Machine-Building Plant (Sverdlovsk), spoke out strongly in support of Yeltsin.
Since 1988, there has been a tendency to outstripping the growth of the commodity mass by the growth of cash income. This led to a sharp increase in the purchasing power of the population and further exacerbated the shortage of goods.
Markets were spontaneously organized, where speculative trading flourished. One of the largest such markets in the region was the Shuvakish market in Sverdlovsk. The police periodically carried out raids on this market, but, according to the police, the small size of the fines did not allow them to effectively fight speculators. As in any illegal busi-ness, organized crime began to flourish in the Shuvakish market, in particular, organized groups of fraudsters - “thimblers” were operating on the market. Among the detained fraudsters was Sergey Terentyev (born in 1964, at that time a 4th year student at UPI). Probably, it was Terentyev Sergey Veniaminovich, who appeared in the media in the 1990s as one of the leaders of the Uralmash organized crime group. In November 1989, at the Shuvakish market, riot police carried out a document check. People without docu-ments were delayed. Officially, this was presented as putting things in order in the place of a breeding ground for crime. Opposition media described this as an anti-democratic event. Although in reality this could be the use of administrative and power resources in the business interests of representatives of the regional elite. After a short time, Anatoly Pavlov, who at that time was the head of the construction department of the regional communications department, suggested that the executive committee entrust him with the organization of orderly trade in the Shuvakish market, installed a turnstile at the entrance and introduced a fee for entering the market. These actions undoubtedly contributed to the orderliness of the market, although they hardly contributed to the eradication of crime. It was reported that “smart guys who later became authorities” worked at Pavlov's turnstile, in particular, Alexander Khabarov, who headed the Uralmash organized crime group in the 1990s. And Pavlov himself in the 1990s built partnerships with the leaders of the OCG Center Nikolai Shirokov and Eduard Kazaryan.
In 1988, video rental outlets appeared in the region, which became a profitable business for many cooperatives and NTTM centers. The public self-supporting center "Kaskad", created on the initiative of veterans of the war in Afghanistan, employees of the regional Department of Internal Affairs and members of the Leninsky District Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League of Sverdlovsk, has actively joined in this activity. In the 1990s, some leaders of Afghan veterans' organizations were viewed by the media as leaders of organized crime groups.
In 1988, the law enforcement agencies of the Sverdlovsk region uncovered an organized criminal group led by a crime boss nicknamed "Skull". The organized criminal group had the features of a corrupt organization with a clear distribution of responsibilities, a "think tank" and henchmen. An organized crime group from Sverdlovsk spread its networks in Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk, and other cities, grew into a union, numbering about sixty major crimes: murders, robberies, robberies, fooling with caps or a thimble. The daily income exceeded several thousand rubles.
In the north of the region there was a network of correctional labor institutions. The prisoners released from them often remained to live in the Sverdlovsk region, as a result of which the country's criminal elite received a strong representation in the region. According to the researchers of the criminal world, in 1985 in the prisons of the Sverdlovsk region there was an increased concentration of "thieves in law", who at that time constituted the top of the criminal pyramid. From 1984 to 1991, Aslan Usoyanserved another term in the Sverdlovsk region, who would later become one of the most influential Russian thieves in law. It is believed that it was during his imprisonment in the Sverdlovsk region that Usoyan acquired the main connections in the criminal world.
As the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs admitted, despite the large number of criminal groups whose activities were suppressed by law enforcement agencies, this was only the visible part of the iceberg of organized crime, its less qualified stratum. According to official statistics, with a decrease in the general level of crime in the region, there was an increase in the most serious crimes - murders, robberies, robberies. The films "Assa" and "Thieves in law" were released, where crime was shown as an influential force that corrupts law enforcement agencies.
According to the Prosecutor General of the USSR A.Ya. Sukharev, organized crime began to gain momentum from the beginning of the 60s and was associated with a certain democratization of economic life. In the 70s - early 80s, this crime began to acquire new, extremely dangerous qualities, namely: the consolidation of the criminal environment on an interregional and intersectoral basis, corruption and the use of legal structures by criminals, the merging of the criminal world with representatives of the apparatus of power and administration, in including law enforcement agencies, discrediting and eliminating unwanted and incorruptible people.
Before the beginning of the 19th All-Union Party Conference, the Ogonyok magazine published an article by the investigators of the USSR Prosecutor General's Office Telman Gdlyan and Nikolai Ivanov, “Confrontation,” about organized crime in the USSR. Gdlyan and Ivanov have been investigating corruption crimes in Uzbekistan since 1983. In the course of the investigation of these crimes, in their opinion, they received an overall picture of the functioning of the Soviet system. In the country, objective conditions were created under which it became unprofitable to live and work honestly, which gave rise to thousands of underground millionaires. In the district, regional and republican authorities, in order to get a position and keep it, it was required to pay bribes to the higher authorities, and the Center patronized this structure. In particular, the patron of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan Rashidov, who stood at the head of the criminal pyramid in the republic, was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev. With the support of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1986-1987, it was possible to prosecute the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the USSR, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan, four secretaries of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan and some first secretaries of regional party committees. Nevertheless, several delegates suspected of corruption were elected to the 19th party conference, which led the authors of the publication to assume that the criminal system is still functioning.
Some researchers argue that the construction of a mafia state in the USSR began with the reign of Brezhnev. Allegedly, under Stalin, corruption of such a scale was im-possible, and Khrushchev did not rule for so long that the state apparatus was so decayed. Under the patronage of Brezhnev, who fell into senility, corruption flourished with the active participation of members of the Brezhnev family and those close to him. However, according to the available information, corruption flourished equally well in Tsarist Russia under the Romanovs, and in Soviet Russia, starting with Lenin, continuing with Stalin and others. It took different forms depending on the economic structure, but did not disappear anywhere. You can read more about this in the Prehistory section (Chapter III "Formation of foreign economic, diplomatic and intelligence activities of Soviet Russia in the first half of the XX century. Comintern"). Most likely, under Brezhnev, only one of the clans of the Soviet mafia was formed, which, due to its proximity to a senior official, gained significant influence, but was not sufficiently integrated into the general mafia-clan system of power. As a result, after the death of Brezhnev, this clan was defeated.
Interestingly, as a result of the investigation in Uzbekistan, almost all top officials were dismissed, except for the head of the KGB of the republic and the military command. It is extremely unlikely that, given the total system of corruption in the republic, these persons were not involved in it. It was suggested that the defeat of the "Brezhnev" mafia clan was the result of a power struggle between the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. From 1985 to 1988, tens of thousands of communists and Komsomol members came to the organs of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs on the recommendation of party committees and labor collectives. It was assumed that this was to serve to improve the health of the organs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where, as recognized by the top party leadership, serious disruptions in work and abuse were allowed.
Official representatives of the authorities stated that by 1989 there were grounds to talk about the system of functioning and reproduction of illegal capital, which was trying to provide its representatives with a breakthrough to the levers of political power. An alliance was formed between the criminal environment in the economy and traditional criminality.
It was reported that the so-called “Russian mafia ” revived in the USA and Western Europe, represented by emigrants from the USSR, which began to establish contacts with criminals within the USSR.
The drug business became a characteristic manifestation of organized crime in the republics of Central Asia, where climatic conditions were favorable for the cultivation of drug-containing plants. Significant was the proximity of war-torn Afghanistan, where drugs could be produced on an almost industrial scale.
The export of works of art was one of the most profitable items of the illegal economy of the USSR after the drug and arms trade. At the same time, Soviet works of art were often underestimated and sold abroad much cheaper than their real value. In autumn 1989, an exhibition of the Sverdlovsk artist Mikhail Brusilovsky was held in Paris. The ex-hibition, organized by Garabed Basmadzhan, a French citizen of Armenian descent, nearly collapsed due to the mysterious disappearance of Basmadzhan in Moscow in the summer of 1989. As it turned out later, the collector of paintings and antiques Basmadzhan was closely associated with the dealers of the Soviet “shadow” economy.
One of the most significant problems aggravating the situation in the country was the national question. One of the most acute ethnic conflicts during the perestroika period was the clash between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988. High officials asserted that corrupt clans, dealers in the shadow economy, who linked up with criminal elements, were fueling national conflicts. Perhaps it was so, but without appropriate prerequisites, a national conflict cannot be ignited. One of the prerequisites is the failure of the policy of forming a community of the “Soviet people” partly due to the fact that in the 1980s the “Soviet” became a symbol of economic decline throughout the world, partly due to the fact that the regime weakened, which forcefully suppressed any attempts to deny the “Soviet community”, but most importantly, there probably were no deep cultural prerequisites for the formation of such a community. Nationalism, as a true or false ideology, became the basis for the formation of a narrowly localized social com-munity, which served as the reason for the disunity of the republics of the USSR. The leadership of the USSR tried to cope with the growth of nationalism by increasing the eco-nomic and political independence of the territories, but the proposed level of independence was too little for active nationalists. For example, the Estonian delegation at the XIX All-Union Party Conference proposed to transform the USSR into a de facto confederation with fully economically independent republics.
In relation to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the country's leadership shared in accordance with their ideological preferences: “liberal” Alexander Yakovlev supported Armenia, and "conservative" Yegor Ligachev - Azerbaijan. It should be noted that even at the end of the 19th century, when Prince G.S. Golitsyn was appointed chief of the Cau-casian administration, the opinion began to spread that Azerbaijanis were inclined to support the power of the Russian emperor and, in general, were supporters of unlimited patriarchal and just power. The Armenians, allegedly, were hostile to the tsarist regime and insisted on carrying out liberal reforms.
In 1989, central newspapers noted that nationalist manifestations were increasingly characterized by an anti-Soviet and anti-socialist connotation. The most resonant event in this area in 1989 was the dispersal of a rally in Tbilisi, where troops were involved. The situation in Georgia was tense: on the one hand, the Georgian elites were in favor of expanding political and economic independence, on the other hand, the elites of the autonomous republics in Georgia itself (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) strove for greater independence from Georgia, which was hindered by the Georgian elites, including the use of armed formations.
The separatist sentiments were most pronounced in the Baltic republics, where nationalist leaders claimed that the Baltic was annexed to the USSR as a result of a con-spiracy between Stalin and Hitler (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). Representatives of the Russian-speaking population of the Baltic republics (in particular, Latvia) stated that the elections of people's deputies in these republics were held with violations, which gave advantages to the leaders of the Popular Front of Latvia, who advocated secession from the USSR. At the same time, it was stated that these violations took place with the connivance or direct assistance of the Union authorities.
Until 1989, the restructuring of the political sphere of the USSR did not concern the structure of the state structure. The content (liberalization) changed, but not the form. Structural changes took place only in the economic sphere, but they became a sufficient basis for support “from below” (regional elites) of the political reform initiated “from above” (Mikhail Gorbachev). However, during 1989 alone, the new class of the political elite, formed from below, lost all respect for Gorbachev as the initiator of perestroika and formed active opposition not only to the conservative wing of the CPSU, but also to Gorbachev personally.
The restructuring of the political system was not only initiated from above, but also began to reform, first of all, the upper levels of the system. In 1989 , elections of People's Deputies of the USSR were held, the Congress of which was called to become the highest body of power in the USSR. But the Congress was to meet only once a year (later it was decided that the Congress would meet twice a year). The Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which was elected at the Congress from among the People's Deputies of the USSR, was a permanently operating body of power.
In contrast to the earlier elections of deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, these elections of people's deputies of the USSR were held on an alternative basis (several candidates could run in one constituency). Participation in the party nomenclature was no longer a guarantee of election; moreover, even the party hierarchy did not abolish competition. For example, the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU, Leonid Bobykin, lost to the secretary of the Sukholozhsky city committee of the CPSU, Andrei Izmodenov. The ideological orientation of the candidate played a significant role. Bobykin was seen almost as an enemy of perestroika after he publicly refused to support Boris Yeltsin, who was very popular in the Sverdlovsk region, at the 19th All-Union Party Conference in 1988. But a democratic orientation was not at all a guarantee of victory even in the homeland of the “democrat” Boris Yeltsin. In the Irbit District, from which Marshal Georgy Zhukov was elected at one time, the commander of the Ural Military District, General Albert Makashov, who actively proclaimed quite “conservative” positions, was defeated. Financial and organizational resources became significant factors in winning these elections. One of the centers of political PR technologies in the region was the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences, headed by Sergei Alekseev, elected People's Deputy of the USSR, member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and chairman of the USSR Constitutional Control Committee. Gennady Burbulis and Vladimir Volkov were elected People's Deputies of the USSR with the support of the Movement “For Democratic Choice”, initiated by Burbulis.
However, half of the deputies were not elected directly by the population, but by collectives of organizations such as the CPSU, trade unions and other organizations that were largely controlled by the CPSU. Considering that Gorbachev carried out a significant renewal of the leadership of the CPSU, the majority of the USSR People's Deputies were loyal to Gorbachev, and when Gorbachev clearly indicated his position, the majority of the Congress voted accordingly.
Boris Yeltsin became a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, despite the negative attitude of most of the USSR people's deputies towards him. Moreover, Yeltsin headed the committee of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on construction and architecture. Among the deputies from the Sverdlovsk region, the Supreme Soviet included Sergei Alekseev, Vladimir Volkov, Boris Krasnokutsky and Veniamin Yarin. At the Congress, Yeltsin announced the need to accelerate the restructuring of the country's political structure and economy in order to stop the “slide into the abyss.”
On the basis of the “radical democratic” part of the Moscow group of USSR people's deputies (deputies from scientific organizations and creative unions), the most popular representatives of which were Boris Yeltsin and Andrei Sakharov, the Interregional Deputy Group was formed, which was an opposition faction at the Congress of People's Deputies. The rebellious representative of the party nomenclature Boris Yeltsin, human rights activist Andrei Sakharov, historian Yuri Afanasyev, economist Gavriil Popov and representative of the Baltic group of deputies Viktor Palm were elected co-chairs of the group. More than 80% of the members of the MDG were in favor of granting the republics the right to political self-determination and full economic independence, and more than 90% - for the restructuring of economic relations in the country through large-scale radical reforms. As of August 2, 1989 , 388 People's Deputies of the USSR were officially members of the MDG - 17% of the total number of Congress deputies. The MDG included 10 deputies from the Sverdlovsk region. Two of them (Gennady Burbulis and Vladimir Volkov) were elected to the MDG Coordination Council. Despite the fact that the deputies who formed the MDG were in the minority, they exerted a significant influence on the course of the First Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR, thanks to their active position and the use of mass public actions in Moscow to put pressure on the deputies. Interestingly, according to the general director of TASS L.P. Kravchenko, the US media, even before the start of the 1st Congress of People's Deputies, quite accurately named the approximate size of the opposition faction in the amount of 350-400 people, although at that time no one had voiced the idea of creating an MDG and even more so, even its approximate number was not named.
The United Front of Workers began to form in the RSFSR. Representatives of the "radical democrats" argued that the front was created as a support for the reactionary forces. One of the members of the UFT in the Sverdlovsk region was the people's deputy of the USSR, a worker of the Nizhny Tagil metallurgical plant, Veniamin Yarin. In the Sverdlovsk Region, the leaders of the Ural People's Front (Yuri Lipatnikov, Viktor Burtnik) actively joined the creation of the OFT. The leaders of the UNF were opposed to Boris Yeltsin and claimed that Yeltsin was supported by destructive pro-Zionist forces, which led to Lipatnikov and other UNF ideologists being accused of anti-Semitism.
In the Sverdlovsk region, an association of directors of industrial enterprises was created, headed by the general director of the production association “Machine-building plant named after MI Kalinin” Tizyakov Alexander Ivanovich. On the initiative of the regional association in November 1989 in Sverdlovsk the founding congress of the All-Union Association of the heads of state enterprises (associations) of industry, construction, transport and communications was held. Alexander Tizyakov was elected president of the All-Union Association. The association proclaimed its main goal “to increase the efficiency of work and protect state-owned enterprises on the basis of active participation in the formation of a new economic mechanism, increase the interest, qualifications and independence of managers, and ensure their social protection.” Opposition media called the association of directors an anti-labor bureaucratic organization of high-ranking Sverdlovsk officials.
In relation to Boris Yeltsin , a number of media outlets voiced incriminating information, but Yeltsin's popularity was so high that any negative was perceived by a significant part of the population as a provocation on the part of “reactionary forces”.
By the end of 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev became the object of criticism both from the “radical democratic” wing of the political system of the USSR for allegedly initiating an attack by reactionary forces on the perestroika movement, and from the conservative wing of the CPSU in the person of the first secretaries of regional committees and republican Central Committee for the fact that his actions led to anarchy in the country and the threat of the collapse of the USSR. There were even accusations that Gorbachev was fulfilling someone's order to destroy the party and the state, to bury socialism. Gorbachev replied that he would not turn away from the path of perestroika, and that predictions of the collapse of the USSR, even if they come not from the MDG, but from persons loyal to him, have nothing to do with reality and can only contribute to the destabilization of the political situation.
If in 1987-1988 there was a surge in the rally activity of citizens, then in 1989 strikes became dominant as a more effective form of exerting pressure on the authorities. But if in terms of rally activity the Sverdlovsk region was among the “leaders” in the country, then in terms of strike activity Kuzbass firmly seized the palm. The opinion was expressed that the strike movement arose easier and more efficiently where there was no initially “overexcitation” of the rally. Among the democratic movement, the thesis was declared that the strike movement would support healthy perestroika forces in the fight against the reactionary part of the elite. However, large strikes resulted in significant economic losses. When the transport system, for example, the railway, was under attack, the entire economy of the Union suffered as a whole.
A difficult financial situation developed in the country, the external debt of the state increased. External debt existed even before perestroika, but during perestroika it in-creased significantly due to the decline in oil prices, which reduced foreign exchange earnings to the budget, as well as due to the increased costs of restructuring the administrative and economic mechanism. A significant role was played by the economic downturn due to the partial destruction of economic ties, caused by insufficient elaboration of legal acts regulating new economic relations, and non-compliance with laws due to the loss of leverage by the administrative-command apparatus.
The Chairman of the Government of the USSR Nikolai Ryzhkov admitted that at the first stage of perestroika, its initiators underestimated the complexity and scale of eco-nomic problems and therefore made an overly optimistic conclusion about the possibility of quickly overcoming them, and moreover, on a wide front of transformations. In 1989 , it became clear that the elimination of many of them took a long time. Legal, economic, financial instruments were not created in a timely manner, designed to become integral elements of state regulation in the transition to a new economic system. This led to significant budgetary losses and illegal manifestations in the financial sphere, largely contributed to the growth of the breeding ground for the “shadow” economy.
Taking advantage of the imperfection of the economic mechanism and the weakened party and administrative control, many managers of enterprises, under the banner of democratization and expansion of rights, “opened up” new opportunities for converting funds with other purposes into cash. Involved “dubious cooperatives” (often with the participation of employees of enterprises) for services paid for by production development funds. Many, having accumulated large free balances, were not particularly concerned with their economical use. And the funds from them, falling into the hands of cooperatives, then turned into cash payments in an uncontrolled proportion. According to data published in the press, the labor productivity of an employee, for example, of a construction cooperative was higher than the productivity of a worker in a state construction organization by only 20-26% (due to the duration of working hours), but his salary was 400% higher.
The best workers and specialists of state enterprises and organizations went to cooperatives in pursuit of profit. The regional banks allocated hundreds of millions of rubles to cooperatives, often without receiving the required return. Many cooperatives did not produce anything, but enriched themselves by reselling slightly processed food or scarce industrial goods. Cooperatives bought their products at state prices and sold them at a threefold mark-up, not solving the problem of shortages, but only exacerbating financial problems. According to sociologists, over 70% of consumers in the region considered cooperative goods inaccessible for themselves, although they experienced an acute shortage of many of them.
In 1989 , the central authorities canceled the election of directors of enterprises by the Councils of Labor Collectives, returning the practice of appointing directors by higher organizations, as well as eliminating the right of enterprises to independently establish the size of wages and a number of other powers.
In the Sverdlovsk region, it was not possible to reduce the urgency of supplying the population with food, especially meat. Coupons for the sale of alcoholic beverages were introduced. According to the regional executive committee, in terms of industrial production in 1989 , the Sverdlovsk region took second place in the RSFSR, its concentration was 4 times higher than the national average. At the same time, in terms of social development, the region occupied an average position in the RSFSR due to the fact that incomes were un-fairly distributed by the center.
The Sverdlovsk Regional Executive Committee came to the Council of Ministers of the USSR with a proposal to transfer the region from January 1, 1990 to territorial cost accounting and self-financing, and began active preparations for this transition. In December 1989 , the regional executive committee's proposal was approved by the governments of the USSR and the RSFSR. It was reported that carrying out such an experiment in the Sverdlovsk region in full became possible thanks to the active work of the Sverdlovsk People's Deputies of the USSR headed by Vladimir Volkov, as well as due to the attentive attitude to the needs of Sverdlovsk residents of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Nikolai Ryzhkov, who was a native of the Sverdlovsk Region and for a long time worked in the region. From January 1, 1990 , expenses for the agro-industrial complex and a number of other measures for the national economy of the region were transferred for financing from the regional budget. Were approved firm standards for the mobilization of incomes for 1990 in the regional budget. In particular, from the enterprises of union and republican subordination, incomes were transferred in the amount of 20% of payments to the state budget, from the personal income tax - 75%, from the turnover tax - 30%. The independence of local Soviets of People's Deputies was expanded in the formation of separate income sources for the regional budget and in planning expenses for the main-tenance of social and cultural institutions.
However, in the region there were voices and opponents of the transition to territorial self-financing. For example, Arkady Chernetsky, general director of Uralkhimmash, said that first it was necessary to give the manufacturer the opportunity to strengthen itself properly, and only then on the basis of this to build the cost accounting of the territory. The premature introduction of territorial self-financing can cause irreparable harm to enterprises. As a result of the transition to territorial cost accounting, Chernetsky argued, we will get the selfishness of the local authorities.
The idea of the primacy of republican interests in determining the economic, social, cultural policy before the union, which was identified in 1989 by the Baltic republics, in 1990 became dominant not only for the “peripheral” republics, but also for the structure-forming republics of the USSR, in primarily for the RSFSR. Explaining his decision to run for People's Deputies of the RSFSR from the Sverdlovsk Region, Boris Yeltsin said that the “aggressively obedient majority” of the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR did not allow radical changes in the life of society. According to Yeltsin, he hoped that, following the election of people's deputies of the RSFSR in 1990 , it would be possible to form at least 50% of the composition of the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR, which would be “progressively democratic” inclined. Then it would be possible to take more radical measures to establish order in Russia, make it a truly independent republic, and not an appendage of the center, and then push the center from below.
The Communist Party of the RSFSR was created by the decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU. A significant event in the course of the struggle for supremacy in this party, presumably between two groups tied to the military-industrial complex of the USSR, was the scandal around the state-cooperative concern “AST”. The confrontation between the security forces deepened as a result of this scandal led to support from the “moderately conservative” group of security officials of Boris Yeltsin, in particular, this group took part in financing Yeltsin's election campaign for the post of people's deputy of the RSFSR in 1990 and government of the RSFSR, headed by the representative of this group, Ivan Silaev. During the coup in 1991, some of the members of this group took a neutral position, and some openly pro-Yeltsin, which largely determined the failure of the putschists.
At the extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR in March 1990 , Mikhail Gorbachev was elected President of the USSR. The opposition criticized Gorbachev for not making up his mind to direct elections. It was noted that even at the Congress, the minimum required number of deputies voted for Gorbachev's election as President, which indicated a decline in Gorbachev's popularity and influence. Gorbachev's long-term maneuvering between “conservatives” and “democrats” ultimately deprived him of the support of both.
In March 1990 , the Supreme Council of Lithuania adopted legislative acts that actually proclaimed Lithuania's secession from the USSR.
The servicemen began to refuse to participate in resolving crisis situations within the country (suppressing riots organized primarily for national reasons). This was explained by the fact that the servicemen were morally not ready to perform this task due to the negative assessments given by the government to the participation of the USSR Armed Forces in the events in Tbilisi and Afghanistan.
In 1990, in public speeches of politicians of various orientations, often diametrically opposed, similar slogans were heard about the need to shift decision-making powers from top to bottom: to primary party organizations, local councils, councils of labor collectives. In particular, Boris Yeltsin said that the most important Council of People's Deputies should be the regional council - the one that is closest to the people. And the district council itself must determine what share of power it transfers to the region, which, in turn, gives its share of power to Russia. This idea was most consistently presented in the article by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “How we can equip Russia”, widely circulated in the press. The article proposed to build a ver-tical of power from the bottom up, so that the deputies of the higher power bodies are elected by the assembly of the deputies of the lower power bodies, and the population di-rectly elects only the deputies of the local power bodies. It was assumed that as a result, a vertical of power could be built that would preserve the country's integrity, but this vertical would be oriented not upward toward the “almighty” (general secretary, president or monarch), but downward toward the people. However, this idea remained at the level of declarative statements, bringing political dividends to those who voiced it, but did not intend to implement it when they came to power. So, for example, at the end of 1990 in the RSFSR, after Yeltsin became the highest official in the republic, the subordination of the lower Soviets of People's Deputies to the higher ones began to be practiced, which directly contradicted Yeltsin's own statements at the beginning of 1990.
In 1990, elections of people's deputies to local and republican Soviets took place. The most common point of view on the alignment of political forces before the elections of the Soviets of People's Deputies was the idea that there are two camps: on the one hand, the “conservative” power elite represented by the party apparatus, heads of state authorities and large industrial enterprises, and on the other hand, representatives “Democratic” public, mainly represented by the scientific, technical and creative intelligentsia. Naturally, one side demonized the other. The “Democrats” accused the "conservatives” of resisting any change in order to maintain power. The "conservatives" accused the “democrats” of being ready for any crime, up to the sale of their homeland in order to seize power.
In our opinion, in reality the competition was not between the bureaucratic apparatus and the public, but between various groups within the bureaucratic apparatus. The alignment of forces in the Sverdlovsk region can be described as follows - follow the link.
Elections of people's deputies to local and republican Soviets were held in several stages from March to May 1990. The voter turnout at the first (main) stage in the Sverdlovsk region was about 72%.
In the elections of People's Deputies of the RSFSR, the Sverdlovsk Regional Council and the Sverdlovsk City Council in 1990 , there were no quotas from public organizations that were in the elections of People's Deputies of the USSR in 1989. Confidence in the state authorities and the governing bodies of the CPSU continued to decline. As a result, following the election results in 1990 , at all levels, the number of deputies who were in opposition to the union leadership increased significantly. The most organized opposition force in the region was the Democratic Choice Movement.
The Democratic Choice Movement received the greatest representation in the Sverdlovsk City Council of People's Deputies due to the high concentration of the intelligentsia in the city where universities and research centers were located, which had not only regional, but also macro-regional significance. Yuri Samarin was elected Chairman of the Sverdlovsk City Council of People's Deputies. Although he was not a member of the Democratic Choice Movement, he was elected a member of the City Council from the Movement and declared that he shared many of the Movement's views. The main candidates for the post of chairman of the Sverdlovsk city executive committee were Yury Novikov, chairman of the last convocation of the city executive committee, and Valery Skripchenko, director of the Center STCY “Sverdlovsk”, who actively supported the Democratic Choice Movement. The city council deputies considered that Skripchenko was overloaded with work as a deputy of both the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the regional council, so Novikov was elected chairman of the city executive committee, and Skripchenko became his deputy.
In the regional Council of People's Deputies, the Democratic Choice Movement did not receive such a significant representation, but was able to create a sufficiently large opposition, which on important issues was able to mobilize “neutral” deputies, blocking the decisions of the regional Council leadership. A number of representatives of the Movement headed the commissions of the regional council. In March 1990 , the chairman of the regional executive committee, Vladimir Vlasov, was elected chairman of the regional council, for whom 108 deputies voted. His rival was the rep-resentative of the Democratic Choice Movement Gennady Burbulis, for whom 94 deputies voted. The first two candidates proposed by Vlasov for the post of deputy chairman of the regional council were rejected by the deputies due to fear of excessive strengthening of the protégés of the command-administrative system in the regional council. Ultimately, Anatoly Grebenkin, head of the Department of Social and Economic Processes Management of the Ural State University, who was a supporter of Gennady Burbulis, was elected deputy chairman of the regional Council of People's Deputies.
Eduard Rossel, head of the Sreduralstroy TSO, was elected chairman of the regional executive committee instead of Vlasov in April 1990. Sergey Vozdvizhensky and Valery Trushnikov became the first deputy chairmen of the regional executive committee.
It was noted that some deputies of the regional Council of People's Deputies felt like pawns in someone else's game. Elections and appointments at sessions took place in a hurry. It was impossible to fully recognize the candidates. One got the impression that important personnel decisions were made behind the scenes, as a result of someone's agreements.
Elected People's Deputy of the RSFSR from the Sverdlovsk Region with the support of the Democratic Choice Movement, Boris Yeltsin, although on the third attempt, was nevertheless approved by the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in May 1990, thereby leading the state authorities of the RSFSR. One of the founders of the Democratic Choice Movement, Vladimir Isakov, who was also elected People's Deputy of the RSFSR from the Sverdlovsk Region, headed the Council of the Republic - one of the two chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.
The Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR adopted the "Declaration of Sovereignty." The sovereignty of Russia within the USSR was proclaimed. The Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR began to develop and conclude bilateral treaties with other republics of the USSR. In response to accusations of separatism, the Chairman of the Supreme So-viet of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin stated that this activity was not aimed at destroying the USSR. In general, these actions were fully consistent with the policy of the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev to transform the USSR into a Union of sovereign states. Nevertheless, the chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Vladimir Kryuchkov, said in his secret report to the President of the USSR Gorbachev: “Under the influence of the well-known decisions of the Congress of People's Deputies and the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, the confrontation between the Center and the union republics received a powerful impetus. The head of the Russian parliament, together with certain forces, circles from the shadow business, clearly stated their claims to create a “second center” as opposed to the state political leadership of the USSR. ... the policy of appeasement of the aggressive wing of “democratic movements” is not able to prevent the growth of destructive processes, allows pseudo-democrats to freely implement their plans to seize power and change the nature of the social system.”
At a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on September 21, 1990 , President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev made a proposal to grant him extraordinary powers, including the right to impose presidential rule in sovereign republics and dissolve their supreme bodies of state power, in connection with the difficult economic and political situation in the country. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, headed by Boris Yeltsin, issued a statement that in the current situation, granting the President of the USSR the emergency powers requested by him is unacceptable, and if the President of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR grants such powers to the President, the authorities of the RSFSR will take all the necessary measures to protect the sovereignty and constitutional order of the RSFSR.
In June 1990 , deputies of the Sverdlovsk Regional Council from the Democratic Choice Movement initiated the resignation of the Chairman of the Regional Council, Vladimir Vlasov, who publicly opposed the candidacy of Boris Yeltsin Yeltsin when he was approved as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR in May 1990. By a majority of votes, the deputies of the regional council early terminated the powers of Vlasov as chairman of the council.
In July 1990 , the regional Council of People's Deputies received a letter signed by the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin. Referring to information coming from a number of regions and large cities about the contradictions arising between the Soviets and the executive committees, about the duplication of the work of the executive committees by the Soviets, about the planned increase in the apparatus of the presidiums of the Council, the author of the letter expressed the idea of the advisability of implementing “in the order of ex- Periods in the Sverdlovsk region of combining the posts of the chairman of the regional council and the chairman of the executive committee.” This proposal obviously contradicted the principle of separation of powers, the violation of which, in the opinion of the “democrats”, led to the omnipotence of the party-bureaucratic apparatus in the decaying USSR, on the wave of the struggle against which Yeltsin became so popular. This also contradicted the slogan “All power to the Soviets!” Thus, a little over a month has passed since Boris Yeltsin became the highest official in the RSFSR, and he began to act contrary to the fundamental principles of his campaign statements. It should be noted that at the same time, the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR adopted a decision to prohibit combining the posts of chairman of the Council of People's Deputies of any level with leading posts in the CPSU.
The chairman of the Sverdlovsk regional executive committee, Eduard Rossel, said that Yeltsin's letter was born from his submission. Rossel spoke about the impotence of the newly formed government, about slippage in solving practical issues. He also expressed complaints against the regional council, which, according to him, tried to take away some structures from the executive committee, to reduce it to the level of the protocol department. Despite fears of a return to authoritarian rule, the regional council members nevertheless agreed with Boris Yeltsin's proposal that one person should head both the regional council of people's deputies and the regional executive committee. The semblance of the principle of separation of powers was preserved by introducing the posts of two deputy chairmen of the Council: one was to be responsible for the work of the Council, and the second - the regional executive committee.
During the elections of the chairman of the regional Council of People's Deputies, the most votes were received by the candidates for the chairman of the regional executive committee Eduard Rossel and the chairman of the Nizhneturinsk city council G.P. Chuprov. But none of the candi-dates received sufficient votes for the election of the deputies. The decision to elect the chairman of the regional council was postponed. Meanwhile, the confrontation between the regional council and the regional executive committee continued.
According to the results of a poll among the deputies of the Regional Council, the most authoritative deputies were named: Eduard Rossel, Gennady Burbulis, A. Zaborov, Anatoly Grebenkin, A. Matrosov, Larisa Mishustina, A. Gusev, G. Chuprov, Galina Karelova, Vladimir Gaffner.
In November 1990, during a regular vote of deputies of the regional Council of People's Deputies for candidates for the post of chairman of the Council, the chairman of the regional executive committee, Eduard Rossel, ultimately won. The closest rival was the head of the department of the Scientific Research Institute of Automation, the chairman of the control committee of the regional council A. Matrosov.
The question of the possibility of combining the posts of the chairman of the regional Council of People's Deputies and the chairman of the regional executive committee began to be actively discussed again. Rossel said that, in his opinion, the leaders of both the legislative and executive powers in the region should be elected by the population so that they are independent from each other. And the scheme of subordination of the regional executive committee to the Council, when the Council interferes in the work of the executive committee, in Rossel's opinion, is ineffective.
The Regional Council was divided on the issue under discussion approximately in half. On the side of Rossel was the “Consolidation” deputy group, which united the secretaries and members of the regional committee of the CPSU, the first leaders of cities, districts, and large industrial enterprises. According to opposition-minded deputies, Rossel, having become chairman of the regional council, ignored the demands of many deputies to put to a vote the issue of dismissing him from the post of chairman of the executive committee in order to retain both posts, despite the decision of the session not to combine them. Rossel responded by saying that overcoming crises has always been accompanied in world history by some restriction of democratic freedoms. It is inevitable on the scale of a separate region. It is only important to guarantee the possibilities for deepening democracy in the future.
Eduard Rossel stated that he intends to “fight” with Boris Yeltsin (the leadership of the RSFSR) for the rights of the Sverdlovsk region, just as Yeltsin is “at war” with the union center for the rights of Russia. Since the end of 1989 , there has been a movement “Ural Republic” in the region, one of the main activists of which was Anton Bakov. The main goal of the movement was to create a sovereign Ural Union Republic within the RSFSR with the capital in Sverdlovsk, which could include the Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Perm regions, as well as Komi, Udmurt and the Bashkir ASSR. Only within the framework of such an independent education, according to the activists of the movement, the economic, social and environmental problems of the region could be solved. This idea was consonant with the proposals made by Boris Yeltsin that the territory of the RSFSR should be divided into several regions not according to national, but according to economic criteria, and these regions should be granted rights similar to those of the union republics.
In October 1990 , the Bolshoi Ural KAO Corporation was established (commercial joint stock company), which was declared as a financial and economic union of autonomous republics and regions of the Ural economic region.
In December 1990 , at a meeting of the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Vladimir Isakov said that when the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and its presidium made decisions, pressure was exerted on the deputies, accompanied by violation of the rules. This pressure was exerted both by Ruslan Khasbulatov, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, and by Chairman Boris Yeltsin himself. Isakov gave several examples, including the circumstances of the creation of the joint-stock company of the industrial and commercial company “Russian House”, which was associated with the leadership of the scandalous concern “ANT”. Isakov hinted that these “pushed through” decisions could be corrupt. People's Deputy of the RSFSR Vitaly Mashkov said that “raising the organizational shortcomings in the work of the Supreme Soviet into political frames, when the congress is split, when voting on constitutional norms is coming, gives a clear advantage to the Communists of Russia bloc, those who want to block radical reform.” The reason for the “rebellion” of Vladimir Isakov against Boris Yeltsin could have been a banal deterioration in relations between Isakov and Gennady Burbulis, who had a great influence on Yeltsin. But it is also possible that Isakov was sincerely outraged by the scale of the abuses of the newly formed “democratic” apparatus, which proclaimed that it was fighting the abuses of the old party apparatus.
In early 1990, conferences and meetings of members of the CPSU were held in Sverdlovsk and a number of other cities, at which distrust was expressed to the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU and the regional committee's bureau, proposals and demands were made to hold a regional party conference. At a meeting of the regional committee bureau in February 1990, the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU, Leonid Bobykin, resigned.
In April 1990, instead of the resigned Leonid Bobykin, the first secretary of the Asbest city committee of the CPSU, A.P. Gusev, was elected as the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU, despite the fact that he tried to recuse himself. It should be noted that at the same time Gusev served as chairman of the commission of the regional Council of People's Deputies on foreign economic activity, which for him was perhaps more important than the post of first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU. The first secretary of the Sverdlovsk city committee of the CPSU, Vladimir Kadochnikov, was elected second secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU.
Already in June 1990, Gusev appealed to the delegates of the regional party conference with a statement to release him from the duties of the first secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU in connection with his transfer to another job. Vladimir Kadochnikov was elected first secretary of the regional committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
According to Nikolai Ryzhkov, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, in 1990 the economic situation in the country continued to deteriorate. The financial situation worsened due to the fact that an increasing amount of foreign currency had to be spent on the purchase of food abroad. Even a significant increase in world oil prices did not lead to an improvement in the financial situation, due to the fact that oil production in the USSR decreased. According to the leadership of the KGB of the USSR, the diversion of funds abroad through commercial banks played an important role in weakening the financial system. But there were also accusations against the KGB itself, which, presumably, organized the most significant flows of transferring funds abroad.
With a drop in production volumes, the population's monetary incomes increased, which intensified inflationary processes. The weakening of the ruble led to the develop-ment of in-kind exchange between enterprises, which further worsened the state of finances in the country. The leadership of a number of republics and regions began to encourage barter transactions between enterprises in order to solve the problem of shortages of goods. Despite the expansion of the rights of labor collectives and local authorities, an avalanche-like increase in demands and claims against the union center took place. Enterprises, regions, sometimes entire industries imposed on the government of the USSR an urgent solution of social issues, demands for resource supplies, additional capital investments, and in an ultimatum form, under the threat of strikes.
The “Radical Democrats” advocated “shock therapy” methods in economic reform. The leadership of the USSR, however, made a decision to consistently, step by step, re-duce the scale of direct tough state influence on the economy and expand the sphere of market relations. In October 1990 , the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev issued a decree “On priority measures for the transition to market relations”, which in 1991 established the right of enterprises to sell products in bulk on the basis of contractual prices. In order to prevent a sharp rise in prices, the government determined the marginal level of profitability, in excess of which the profit had to be withdrawn to the union and republican budgets. Contract prices were not allowed to be set for all categories of goods and raw materials. A number of heads of large industrial enterprises spoke out against the planned increase in prices in the Sverdlovsk region, including the director of the Kalinin plant, chairman of the Association of state enterprises of the USSR, Alexander Tizyakov, and general director of the Pnevmostroymashina production association, chairman of the regional association of directors, Vladimir Semyonov. The production workers explained their protest by concern for social protection of the population, as well as concern about the possible growth of social conflicts. Alexander Tizyakov reported that the republics are closing their borders, setting up customs and checkpoints on the roads, as a result of which economic ties are destroyed. The chairman of the KGB of the USSR, Vladimir Kryuchkov, stated that under these conditions it was impossible to avoid the restoration of the lost ties in the country's economic life according to the old scheme, emphasizing that this was a temporary but inevitable measure.
For the republic's transition to the market, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR adopted the “500 days” program as a basis, which contradicted the program of the transition to the market, which was guided by the leadership of the USSR. According to the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin, the main efforts of the union leadership were aimed at preventing the economic basis of the sovereignty of the RSFSR: in the industry of the RSFSR, enterprises of union subordination accounted for 70% of production, the main deductions from profits still went to the union budget, more More than 90% of the export of Russian enterprises was carried out by foreign economic organizations of the union ministries and departments, no deductions were made to the Russian budget from foreign exchange earnings for the supply of the main export products (oil, gas, oil products). The Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR adopted a decision to pass no confidence in the Council of Ministers of the USSR. At the same time, according to Yeltsin, his disagreements with Gorbachev did not relate to principled positions, but consisted only in “adherence to different rates of movement forward.”
By 1990, in some areas of commercial activity, racketeering had become commonplace. According to the leadership of the KGB Directorate for the Sverdlovsk Region, if earlier racketeers grabbed a certain cooperative with a stranglehold, demanding a huge amount, then in 1990 they covered a large number of cooperatives, demanding from them a moderate payment of 1.5-2 thousand rubles a month. Due to the increased number of cooperatives, the amount of income of criminals did not decrease. The difficulty was that many were satisfied with this situation. Co-operators came to the authorities only when racketeers overstated their demands due to growing appetites.
Perhaps the reluctance of cooperators to apply to law enforcement agencies was due to the not entirely legal activities of the cooperators themselves, which was largely caused by the problem of total deficit. According to the leadership of the regional bodies of the BHSS, many novice businessmen tried to solve organizational and supply problems solely by bribing or buying stolen goods, which entailed a merger of general criminal and economic crime. In addition, cooperators often unwittingly went beyond the laws because of the "legal leapfrog" when the hastily adopted laws on cooperation, individual labor activity, and unearned income contradicted each other and the existing criminal legislation. At the same time, law enforcement officers and law enforcement officers interpreted these laws as they liked.
Law enforcement officers themselves were also actively involved in racketeering. The murder of his assistant by an officer of the BKHS department of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Leninsky District of Sverdlovsk was widely known because they did not share the things confiscated from speculators. A similar practice was observed in the judicial system, where judges stole confiscated deficits using bailiffs.
According to the leadership of the regional prosecutor's office, one of the reasons for the increase in crime was the stratification of society into rich and poor. Thieves, fraudsters and racketeers declared that they were restoring social justice - they were “pinching” traders, hucksters, and cooperators. A certain part of the population treated such statements almost sympathetically because of their own difficult financial situation. In addition, the Middle Urals was filled with correctional labor institutions. Convicts were brought here from almost all over the country. After serving their sentences, many of them settled here.
Ultimately, the increase in crime was due to the general political and economic situation in the country and it was impossible to stop it by force.
In 1989-1990, under the leadership of Oleg Leonidovich Vagin, the organized criminal group “Center” was formed. This is the first large Sverdlovsk organized criminal group that was created outside the traditional criminal hierarchy. Having made the initial capital on robberies, racketeering, the sale of stolen cars, the economic interests of the “center” began to spread to the export of metals, precious stones, timber, imports of consumer goods and computers.
In 1990, the Sverdlovsk regional branch of the Union of Afghan Veterans was created under the leadership of Vladimir Lebedev. This public organization was provided by the state with customs and tax incentives, as well as quotas for the export of natural resources in order to create an economic base to support the veterans of the war in Afghanistan. The leaders of the “Afghan” movement were former officers with combat experience, as a result of which the “Afghans”, who actively used forceful methods of entrepreneurship, began to play the role of one of the largest organized criminal groups in the Sverdlovsk region. Among the leaders of the “Afghan” movement were not only army officers, but also former employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the KGB, who could use their connections in the state power structures.
By 1990, the Uralmash organized crime group was formed under the leadership of the brothers Grigory and Konstantin Tsyganov. Since the early 1980s. the Tsyganov brothers were engaged in extortion, large-scale burglaries and robberies against citizens. In the mid-1980s, under the leadership of criminals, they carried out fraudulent schemes when buying cars and by 1987 earning their credibility in the criminal environment. With the emergence of the coopera-tive movement, the Tsyganovs began to engage in racketeering, relying on former athletes. In 1990, the group consisted of about 50 people and began to influence criminal processes, and then to manage them in the Ordzhonikidze district of Sverdlovsk, where the machine-building giant Uralmashzavod was located.
Thus, in 1990, 4 large criminal communities were represented in the Sverdlovsk region: the “blues” (traditional criminals controlled by “thieves in law”), the Center OCG, the Afghans and the Uralmash OCG. Initially, these communities were characterized by one-man management. Subsequently, in the course of the criminal wars, when the most authoritative leaders were killed, the communities became more of a conglomerate of criminal groups subordinate to their local leaders.
In 1991, Yeltsin was elected President of the RSFSR. During the coup in August 1991, Oleg Ivanovich Lobov (one of the closest associates of Boris Yeltsin) was at a secret facility near Sverdlovsk and headed the second (reserve) composition of the RSFSR government, which would take over control of the republic if Yeltsin Yeltsin were arrested by order of members GKChP. The coup failed, and Boris Yeltsin gained full power in Russia. Among the figures close to Yeltsin , immigrants from the Sverdlovsk region, who received leading posts in the government, were Yuri Petrov, Gennady Burbulis and Oleg Lobov, who retained their influence until the mid-1990s.
In October 1991, Boris Yeltsin appointed Eduard Rossel as head of the administration of the Sverdlovsk region.
The city of Sverdlovsk was renamed Yekaterinburg.
In 1991, a criminal war broke out between the largest Sverdlovsk organized criminal groups for spheres of influence. On the one hand, the Uralmash organized criminal group took part in this war, on the other - the Center and the Afghans. Different blue leaders took sides with different factions. This criminal war reached its peak in 1992-1993. As a result of the criminal war between the organized criminal group “Uralmash” and the organized criminal group “Center”, the “center” have significantly weakened and the “Uralmash” took the leading positions.
The representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Sverdlovsk region Vitaly Mashkov in a letter to President Yeltsin said: in the Sverdlovsk region it can be confidently asserted that Russia “has actively begun to create a state unprecedented in the world, ruled by organized crime.” At the same time, Mashkov himself supported the New Guild company, whose leaders actively practiced criminal methods in the struggle for the Ural emeralds.
In the first half of the 1990s, the largest industrial enterprises in the Sverdlovsk region are still owned by the state and are managed by the former “red directors”. How-ever, the financial flows and foreign economic activity of these enterprises are gradually being subjugated by former employees of the special services (primarily those engaged in foreign intelligence), former employees of Soviet foreign trade organizations and criminal authorities. For example, Vyacheslav Kushchev, a former employee of Licenzintorg, was involved in relevant issues at the Nizhniy Tagil Metallurgical Plant in the interests of the leadership of the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information. The foreign trade activities of the Uralelectromed plant were controlled by brothers Mikhail and Lev Chernois, whose representative was Iskandar Makhmudov, a former employee of Uzbekintorg. Thanks to this, the aforementioned persons are increasingly beginning to actually control enterprises, despite the formal control over enterprises by officials and loyal directors of enterprises, whose functions were limited only to managing the production activities of enterprises. The reason for this shift in the center of control at enterprises was the reorientation of large metallurgical enterprises from the domestic market to the foreign (due to economic reasons) simultaneously with state restrictions on the right to engage in foreign economic activity: the liberalization of foreign economic activity in 1991 did not affect strategically important goods, which included non-ferrous metals. rolled ferrous metals, steel pipes and timber, that is, all the main export goods of the Sverdlovsk region.
In 1993, Eduard Rossel announced the creation of the Ural Republic to increase the powers of the regional authorities. In the same year, Eduard Rossel was dismissed from the post of head of the administration of the Sverdlovsk region by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. It is possible that the real reason for Rossel's resignation was not his separatist tendencies. The declaration of the Ural Republic pursued the goal of only increasing the financial independence of the Sverdlovsk region to the level of the national republics, which subsequently happened. Most likely, the main reason for the resignation was the weakening of Rossel's lobbying capabilities in the Kremlin - the head of the presidential administration, Yuri Petrov, who supported Rossel, resigned. The new head of the regional administration was appointed Alexei Leonidovich Strakhov, who had previously been deputy head of the Yekaterinburg administration. It is assumed that from this moment the confrontation between Eduard Rossel and the head of Yekaterinburg Arkady Mikhailovich Chernetsky began. Most likely, Oleg Lobov was the lobbyist for Chernetsky's team in the Kremlin.
After his resignation, Eduard Rossel formed his own social and political movement “Transformation of the Urals”, which won the elections of deputies of the Sverdlovsk Regional Duma in 1994. Information was published that at first the members of the Center organized criminal group took part in the financing of the “Ural Transformation” association, later the pro-Russian association was reoriented to the members of the “Uralmash” organized criminal group, and the “center” began to support the administration of Yekaterinburg.
In 1995, the first elections for the governor of the Sverdlovsk region were held, which was won by Eduard Rossel. There was information that the financial election campaign of Eduard Rossel was supported by the Nizhniy Tagil Metallurgical Plant.
In the second half of the 1990s, the persons who controlled the financial flows and foreign economic activity of large industrial enterprises of the region receive ownership of the shares of these enterprises. Corporate and criminal wars begin for the shares of enterprises. The loudest was the war for the shares of the Kachkanarsky GOK, in which many large entrepreneurs of the region, law enforcement agencies and criminal groups participated. The process of forming financial and industrial groups began.
Large defense enterprises (for example, FSUE Uralvagonzavod), which continued to be owned by the state, became an exception to this process. Natural monopolies also remained in state ownership: the gas transmission system (Uraltransgaz), the Sverdlovsk railway, and the electric power industry (Sverdlovenergo). In the conditions of the financial deficit in the first half of the 1990s, access to public money was an important competitive advantage; therefore, the largest economic players are concentrated around natural mo-nopolies, which makes natural monopolies the poles of not only economic, but also political influence. Valery Yazev is associated with the gas pole; Sverdlovenergo - Renova group (Viktor Vekselberg), possibly in cooperation with Uralmash organized crime group; Sverdlovsk railroad - Mikhail Chernoi, OCG "Center".
In 1995, CJSC EAM Group of Enterprises was formed, which at the end of 1995 signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Italian-Swiss company Duferco, becoming the owner of a controlling stake in Nizhny Tagil Metallurgical Plant, initiating the creation of Evrazholding.
In 1996, as a result of the merger of the Irkutsk and Ural aluminum plants, SUAL-holding was created (Viktor Vekselberg). According to reports, Vekselberg becomes the most loyal oligarch to Eduard Rossel and receives the most support from the regional authorities.
In the next elections of the governor in 1999, Eduard Rossel and Arkady Chernetsky were considered as the main rivals. Unexpectedly, the leader of the May movement Alexander Leonidovich Burkov, who led the election campaign together with Anton Alekseevich Bakov, entered the second round of the elections together with Eduard Rossel . Burkov and Bakov in the past worked in the team of Sergei Borisovich Vozdvizhensky (associate of Eduard Rossel), who was in contact with one of the leaders of the Uralmash organized crime group, Andrei Volframovich Panpurin. Ultimately, Eduard Rossel.
Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Valery Afonasyevich Yazev could become a potential candidate for governor, but he refused to participate in the elec-tions as a result of an agreement between Eduard Rossel and the head of the Gazprom concern Rem Vyakhirev. In exchange for refusing to compete, Eduard Rossel guaranteed the Itera company, friendly to Vyakhirev, privileged access to the gas market in the Sverdlovsk region.
Financially, the election campaign of Eduard Rossel was supported by the owners of large stakes in a number of industrial giants in the region. After winning the elections, Rossel supports them in consolidating their shareholdings in these and a number of other companies, ensuring the formation of vertically integrated holdings.
In 1999, on the basis of the Uralelectromed plant and a number of other enterprises of the region's copper industry, the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company holding was created, which became the second largest copper producer in Russia after Norilsk Nickel.
In 2000, the aluminum companies SUAL-holding (Viktor Vekselberg) and Trastconsult (Vasily Anisimov) were merged. Subsequently, after the tragic events in the family, Vasily Anisimov left the aluminum business.
In 2002, Dmitry Pumpyansky, which owns the Sinarsky Pipe Plant (Sverdlovsk Region), and MDM Group, which controls the Pipe Metallurgical Company, which includes Seversky (Sverdlovsk Region) and Volzhsky Pipe Plant (Volgograd Region), enter into a strategic partnership. The Pipe Metallurgical Company becomes one of the largest steel pipe producers in the country.
By 2002, the largest players in the metallurgical sector, which was of decisive importance for the regional economy, had organizationally taken shape in the Sverdlovsk region: Evrazholding (steel), SUAL-holding (aluminum), UMMC (copper), TMK (steel pipes).
The most important instrument of political struggle was the mass media, primarily television. The shareholders of the regional TV channels were the regional authorities, the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, and large businessmen. At the end of the 1990s, regional Internet media began to actively develop, becoming an effective instrument of political influence. The financing of the Internet media is mainly carried out not by large FIGs, but by “second-order” entrepreneurs with political ambitions.
In 2003, in the next election of the regional governor in the second round, Eduard Rossel defeated Anton Bakov.
After the terrorist attack in Beslan, direct elections of governors are canceled in the country. Eduard Rossel has the image of a “rebellious” governor who does not enjoy the support of the Kremlin, as a result of which his resignation is predicted.
In 2004, there was a conflict between the thief in law Aslan Usoyan , on the one hand, and the leader of the Uralmash organized crime group, Alexander Khabarov, on the other. It is assumed that Usoyan wanted to replace the “overseers” in the region due to the excessive independence of the thieves Trofa and Karo, who were too loyal to the Uralmash organized crime group. In response, Khabarov demonstratively gathered a gathering of local criminals practically in the center of the city and said that he would not let Moscow thieves into the region. The “regional separatism” of the criminal world was harshly suppressed by law enforcement agencies: Alexander Khabarov was accused of fraud with shares of Bank 24.ru and committed suicide in a pre-trial detention center.
In 2005, in accordance with the new legislation, Eduard Rossel was endowed with the powers of the governor on the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Apparently, the Kremlin decided not to aggravate the situation in the country, massively removing unwanted influential governors, and thinned out only the heads of insignificant subjects of the federation. At the same time, the financial independence of the region began to decline, which de facto reduced the independence of the regional leadership.
In 2007, Oleg Deripaska's RUSAL, Viktor Vekselberg's SUAL-holding and Glencore Corporation merged their aluminum assets to create the United Company Russian Aluminum. Oleg Deripaska became the main shareholder of the new company. The economic influence of Viktor Vekselberg in the Sverdlovsk Region began to decline, despite the presence of several large assets in the region and the implementation of a megaproject for the construction of the Akademichesky microdistrict in Yekaterinburg. Considering that Viktor Vekselberg was the most loyal oligarch to Eduard Rossel , the weakening of Vekselberg's economic influence in the region could weaken Rossel's political influence.
Since 2008, former FSB officers Igor Barinov and Viktor Sheptiy, who were in opposition to Governor Eduard Rossel, began to lead the Sverdlovsk branch of the United Russia party.
In April 2009, the leadership of the largest machine-building enterprise in the region, Uralvagonzavod (production of railway cars and armored vehicles), was replaced. Instead of Nikolai Malykh, loyal to Eduard Rossel, Oleg Sienko, a protege of the state corporation “Russian Technologies”, became the head of the plant. Russian Technologies is headed by Sergei Chemezov, who is a member of Vladimir Putin's inner circle. Top managers of the state corporation began to exert a significant influence on the political processes in the Sverdlovsk region.
In 2009, Eduard Rossel retired. The main reasons for the resignation were, presumably, insufficient support in the Kremlin and old age. Alexander Sergeevich Misharin, who previously headed the Sverdlovsk railway and also worked in the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, was endowed with the powers of the governor on the proposal of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The Foratec group of companies and Argus-holding were closely associated with Misharin. Foratec , in turn, had connections with the Center organized crime group and the Chernois brothers. Presumably, support for Alexander Misharin in the Kremlin was provided by Igor Sechin, who was one of the closest confidants of Vladimir Putin.
In 2012, Alexander Misharin retired ahead of schedule. The main reasons for the resignation were the sharply dete-riorating health of Misharin, who got into a serious car accident in December 2011, and conflicts between the elites in the region. Conflicts predominantly took place between Misharin's inner circle and representatives of the Renova group, as well as the traditional conflict between the regional government and the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, which defended financial and political independence from the regional authorities. Evgeny Vladimirovich Kuyvashev, who is associated with the vice president of Rosneft, Eduard Khudainatov, and the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, became the governor of the region, as advised by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Eduard Khudainatov, in turn, enjoyed the support of Igor Sechin, which provided support for Evgeny Kuyvashev from the Kremlin. In addition, it is assumed that Evgeny Kuyvashev is on friendly terms with the top manager of the Renova group, Mikhail Slobodin, which provided support from the Kremlin clan competing with Sechin (Arkady Dvorkovich). Apparently, it was assumed that the compromise figure of Kuyvashev would be able to overcome the conflicts of the elites in the region.
Igor Kholmanskikh, head of the Uralvagonzavod shop, becomes the president's plenipotentiary representative in the Urals Federal District, which is evidence of the growing political influence in the region of the Russian Technologies State Corporation.
Evgeny Kuyvashev has appointed the former general director of NTMK Sergei Nosov as vice-governor, who has worked in structures controlled by the state corporation "Russian Technologies" in recent years. In the fall of 2012, Nosov was elected mayor of Nizhny Tagil with great support from voters. It was suggested that Nosov could become a candidate for governor of the Sverdlovsk region in the next elections or in the event of the early resignation of Evgeny Kuyvashev.
In 2013, on the eve of the elections of the mayor of Yekaterinburg and the city duma, a conflict flared up with renewed vigor between the regional leadership and the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, despite attempts at reconciliation in 2012.
In 2012-2013, Evgeny Kuyvashev was drawn into a conflict between influential security officials of the region and the well-known public figure Yevgeny Roizman, which resulted in a strong blow to Kuyvashev's reputation. In September 2013, Evgeny Roizman won the election for the head of Yekaterinburg, ahead of the pro-governor's candidate Yakov Silin. The pressure on Roizman from the law enforcement agencies played an important role in his victory in the elections. Roizman was voted not only by his convinced supporters who believe in the good activities of the City Without Drugs Foundation he heads, but also by many people dissatisfied with the government who voted for Roizman as a Candidate Against Power. However, the fighter with the System Yevgeny Roizman fit well into the system of power in Yekaterinburg, which he once mercilessly criticized. In his own words, Roizman, once inside the system, he saw the light and realized that the city administration, it turns out, works for the benefit of people. Evil tongues asserted that Roizman had agreed with the “gray eminence” of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, Vladimir Tungusov, who was in conflict with the governor Kuyvashev, that in exchange for the loyalty of Roizman, Tungusov will use his connections in law enforcement and will achieve the cancellation of the criminal prosecution of Roizman's friend, media manager Oksana Panova, who gave birth to two children from Roizman. Over Tungusov himself, however, the clouds of potential criminal cases were also gathering.
In 2013-2014, an alliance was formed against Evgeny Kuyvashev, consisting of the leading members of the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, the head of Nizhny Tagil Sergey Nosov, who was not averse to taking the place of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region, and the plenipotentiary of the President in the Ural Federal District Igor Kholmanskikh, who supported the ambitious Nosov. In these conditions, Kuyvashev's nomination in the next governor's elections in 2017 was very unlikely. It was rumored that only some economic agreements between the Sobyanin's clan and Chemezov's clan saved from the early resignation of Evgeny Kuyvashev in 2014.
In 2016, the time has come for elections of deputies to the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region. Based on the results of the voting, the administration of the President of the Russian Federation could make a decision about who Moscow will nominate for the election of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region in 2017. In April 2016, Evgeny Kuyvashev appointed one of his main opponents, the “gray cardinal” of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, Vladimir Tungusov, as head of his administration. This decision was supposed to overcome the differences between the regional authorities of the Sverdlovsk region and the mayor's office of Yekaterinburg, the conflict between which has largely determined the political agenda of the Sverdlovsk region since the early 1990s. The administration of the President of the Russian Federation should have seen that the regional elite consolidated, the conflicts were overcome in the rebellious Sverdlovsk region with too many reflective intellectuals who dislike Vladimir Putin and the government in general, from now on there will be peace and blessing, and in the elections for the party in power there will be if not a Chechen , then at least the Tyumen result. In the elections, United Russia got 40% of the votes - more than before, but less than the average in Russia. And this result, perhaps, was achieved thanks to post-Crimean euphoria, and not to the tricks of Evgeny Kuyvashev. Nevertheless, in April 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the nomination of Evgeny Kuyvashev in the election of the governor of the Sverdlovsk region.
Yevgeny Roizman entered the governor's election, but this time he was not allowed to participate in the elections, and Evgeny Kuyvashev won the first round, thanks to the support of the president and the drawing of valuable prizes at polling stations. The elections took place in September 2017.
In 2018, opponents of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office, with the support of Evgeny Kuyvashev , managed to seize power in Yekaterinburg, eliminating the center of political influence in the Sverdlovsk region, which had successfully opposed the governors since the early 1990s. Some key persons from this group have connections with the Uralmash organized crime group. This group was probably supported by entrepreneurs close to Governor Kuyvashev Artem Bikov and Aleksey Bobrov, who, presumably, were in conflict with the “gray cardinal” of the Yekaterinburg mayor's office Vladimir Tungusov over control of the garbage business in the Sverdlovsk region.
As a result, the political field of the Sverdlovsk region in 2018 was cleared of obvious opponents of Governor Evgeny Kuyvashev, who were part of the system of government bodies. Only unsystematic political and public figures remained on the information agenda as Kuyvashev's opponents: the former mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman, who lost control of the City Without Drugs fund, Alexei Navalny's supporters in the Sverdlovsk Region, eager to fight on any topic that could bring people to action protest, Yekaterinburg urbanists defending any building of the pre-Khrushchev era. The most notable event against this background was the protests against the construction of another Orthodox church in the center of Yekaterinburg in 2019.
Summarizing these “nasty” protests, we can say the following. In the confrontation between the alliance of the state apparatus, copper oligarchs and the church with a poorly organized mass of urban intelligentsia, who decided to hang out in the park to spite the authorities, the intelligentsia won, oddly enough. In this confrontation, first of all, the weaknesses of the conflicting parties were clearly manifested. Civil society demonstrated an inability to organize itself: when the defeated enemy raised the white flag, it turned out that there was no one to surrender to - the protesters were unable to elect their representatives. But the opposite side broke all records for making idiotic decisions, despite the vaunted vertical of power and an abundance of resources: Moscow TV stars campaigning for the church, a crowd of Orthodox mordovorotov who managed to fight not only with protesters, but also with the police, who disappeared somewhere for a couple hours on the first day of the protests, the police, whose leadership, apparently, was afraid to get into a scandalous situation and did not trust the ability of their subordinates to resolve the conflict situation. But the most important thing is the squabble between all the power groups to justify themselves in front of the Boss in the Kremlin and to set the other up as the culprit for the mess in the region.
This vertical of power, ready to turn into a bunch of gnawing at each other in any danger, has demonstrated that it can work only with the “proletariat”, buying it with victories in the Crimea, prize cars at polling stations and sparkles of pop performers from blue screens. The intelligentsia, as well as 30 years ago, remains for the authorities some kind of alien, incomprehensible phenomenon, despite the fact that the authorities mainly consist of representatives of this particular social group.
Let's try to reflect, as befits a decent intelligentsia, and try to understand what the intelligentsia is and what it actually needs. We share the point of view that an intellectual, unlike an intellectual, is not necessarily a person engaged in intellectual work, but it is necessarily a person who cares about public interests. In this respect, some foreman of the miners may be more intelligent than a conventional perelman living in the world of mathematical formulas. Thus, in our understanding, the intelligentsia is a group of people who have a need to make socially significant decisions.
Making decisions that are significant for society is actually the exercise of power. Thus, the natural need of any intellectual is the desire to possess power, just as for a living organism, breathing and food are a natural need. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of Russian intellectuals, even imagining themselves as liberals, are terribly authoritarian and do not seek to share power with others. We tend to either command or obey, but we do not know how to cooperate in the exercise of power. Russian intellectuals do not self-organize, but cluster around the one they recognize as the leader. One group is able to interact with another only on the orders and under the supervision of a higher-order leader; at the same levels, these groups are usually unable to agree on joint activities.
When one of the heaps in the course of the internecine war overthrows the other and seizes political power in Russia, those small groups of the intelligentsia who agree to enter the orbit of its influence become state power, and the rest inevitably turn into irreconcilable opposition, since the dominant group agrees to delegate power only absolutely loyal to a handful of minor leaders. As a result, the authorities and the opposition mutually despise each other, and despise the more, the more they are alike. The middle-level manager despises the bloodsucking bureaucrats who suck the juices of the working people, but, having become a middle-level official, he also strongly begins to despise the cattle people, who are not capable of productive activities, but can only whine and demand the help of the state. The mutual hatred of the authorities and the opposition feeds and justifies each other: the authorities tighten the screws, because otherwise “the young punks will sweep her off the face of the Earth,” and the opposition is extremely revolutionary, because the authorities are not ready to share a single drop of powers with the opposition.
We see only one way out of this vicious circle - to learn intergroup interaction. We know how to work alone, we know how to unite for the sake of something or someone and work in a group, but we do not know how to interact in groups and this needs to be learned. And only when we start to succeed, no matter at what level and no matter what tasks are being solved, maybe it will be possible to build a wonderful Russia of the future.
Yes, state capitalists in power steal on an insane scale and break many destinies. But any attempt at another revolutionary coup under the leadership of another leader will lead to the construction of a new no less filthy vertical of power on the rubble of an even greater number of destinies.
Irreconcilable revolutionaries declare that the government will never allow the unification of people who threaten the monopoly of power. But as the experience of the “garden” protests in Yekaterinburg in 2019 showed, the government is ready to accept the will of citizens, expressed in a peaceful form and not directly aimed at seizing political and economic power. And what this will lead to in the future for the next two generations of the “collective Putin” is not so important - real estate and accounts abroad will provide more than one generation of descendants of the current heaps of intellectuals who have privatized state power in Russia.
It is possible that the “collective Putin” is represented by groups of the intelligentsia better than others capable of intergroup interaction. We assume that in 1990 the moderate conservatives who controlled a significant part of the Soviet secret services entered into an alliance with the radical liberals who formed a financial and economic bloc in the government of Boris Yeltsin. In 1991, this alliance defeated the radical conservatives who organized the putsch, and became the basis for the formation of the “liberal-KGB clans” that rule Russia to the present day. Among the members of the Sverdlovsk elite, a prominent representative of moderate conservatives was Oleg Lobov, who after the collapse of the USSR became the secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, and the radical liberals - Gennady Burbulis, who became the first and last State Secretary of the Russian Federation.
Thus, despite some cannibalistic manifestations of the current political regime, in general, as a social phenomenon, it is perhaps the best education that can currently govern Russia. Despite the fact that individual representatives of the opposition are clearly more sympathetic to individual representatives of the government, the current government as a system of interacting groups is probably better for ruling Russia than the opposition, which is not even capable of such a low level of organization of social ties, which is dem-onstrated by modern “liberal-KGB clans.” At least until the opposition increases its level of development of intergroup interaction.
Date of information update: 2019.