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The history of the formation of the political and economic elite in the Sverdlovsk region

1987

In his speech at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev said that in recent years the stratum of people for whom the goal of life has been reduced to profit by any means has increased, and their position is taking on more and more militant forms. And an indicator of the general decline in social morals is the growth of drunkenness, drug addiction and crime.

Gorbachev proposed a law on a state enterprise for discussion, 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.

As part of the democratization of the CPSU, it was proposed to elect the leaders of party organizations on the basis of an alternative (more than one candidate) secret ballot, but at the same time the principle of the obligatory decisions of the higher party organizations for the lower ones remained, which turned the elections into a fiction.

Despite the fact that the law "On the state enterprise" has not yet been officially adopted, but only discussed its draft, the collective of a large trust "Uraltyazhtrubstroy" (Pervouralsk) decided to hold elections for the head of the trust. The chief engineer, acting head of the trust, V. Koberts, and the secretary of the party committee of the trust, Anatoly Ivanovich Tkachuk, took part in the elections as candidates. Tkachuk won the election, which testified to the fact that the secretary of the party committee had real power in the enterprise, but he caught a new trend and preferred to move from the party hierarchy losing power to the economic hierarchy gaining influence.

The regional executive committee made 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.

Since January 1, 1987, 23 regional enterprises have switched over to self-financing. As well as enterprises, state banks were transferred to self-financing, as a result of which banks began to tighten the conditions for granting loans to industrial enterprises. It turned out that in the conditions of self-financing, many enterprises, including the largest of them - Uralmashzavod, 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. The complete transfer of all enterprises to self-financing and self-financing was planned for 1988-1989. However, these plans were not destined to come true and the central ministries continued to finance large enterprises until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

It was decided that since 1988 a significant part of the resources will be distributed to organizations (enterprises) without funds and limits, but in the order of wholesale trade. At the same time, it was assumed that control over the distribution of resources is not completely removed, but transferred from the central level to the regional, increasing the economic independence of the regions from the center.

In 1987, mechanical engineering was the largest industry in the Sverdlovsk region, while at the end of the year all the largest engineering enterprises in the region (Uralmash, Uralelektrotyazhmash, Turbomotorny Zavod and Uralkhimmash) experienced a decline. According to the management of machine-building enterprises, the poor performance of the machine-building industry is rooted in the early 70s, when the whole world was engaged in the complex automation of technological processes, the introduction of new highly efficient materials, computers, was engaged in the scientific organization of labor, and a period of stagnation began in the USSR.

Informatization was recognized as one of the most important factors in the development of the economy, but at the same time, the system of training relevant specialists was extremely poorly developed in the country. More than 700 robotic systems were installed at the enterprises of the region, but about a third of them did not work due to a lack of specialists. Only large industrial enterprises had the right to purchase computers (in the Sverdlovsk region: Uralmash, VIZ, Uralkhimmash, Uralelektrotyazhmash, Kalinin Machine-Building Plant, etc.), and educational institutions, even such large ones as the Ural Polytechnic Institute, were deprived of this right.

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 commit-tee 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 Sver-dlovsk, the largest industrial center of the Urals, since it was here that direct economic relations 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 addition to the CMEA member countries, the Sverdlovsk Region established direct economic ties with Finland. The supplies and purchases of goods were carried out through the Lenfintorg foreign trade association. The main exported goods to Finland in 1987 were the products of the Sverdlesprom association.

In 1987, the cooperative movement began to develop actively. The opinion was expressed that the cooperative movement is a turn towards capitalism, but the party organs actively refuted this point of view. The cooperative cover was actively used by speculators, with whom the BHSS organs most often unsuccessfully tried to fight. 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.

According to the estimates of the central government bodies, at the beginning of 1987 the Sverdlovsk region lagged behind in the cooperative movement, especially from the regions of central Russia. But the process went on here, and by the end of 1987 the Sverdlovsk Region became one of the four leaders among the regions of the RSFSR. Responsible for the development of the cooperative movement in the region was the deputy chairman of the regional executive committee Igor Arkadyevich Osintsev. 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);
- Sverdlovskglavsnab, which distributes material resources;
- - - the management of an industrial enterprise under which the cooperative was created.

The most profitable cooperative in the region (according to official statistics) was the Ural cooperative (headed by R. Molochnikov), which worked on the orders of the Sverdlesprom association and produced chips from the waste of the Verkhnesinyachikha plywood mill. As of September 1, 1987, the total value of Ural's output exceeded 1.2 million rubles (despite the fact that the total volume of production of cooperatives in the region amounted to 2.8 million rubles).

One of the first in the Sverdlovsk region to appear is the Metiz cooperative (headed by Nikolai Andreevich Gagloyev). The cooperative, formally, was created at the Sverdlovskglavsnab, the charter was registered by the executive committee of the Kirovsky district council of people's deputies of the city of Sverdlovsk in December 1986, and the production was established from the production waste of the Revdinsky hardware and metallurgical plant. The leadership of the Sverdlovskglavsnab considered the leadership of the cooperative to be fraudsters and, with the help of the BHSS, threatened to bring the management of the cooperative to criminal liability for unearned income. But the cooperative was supported by the Kirovsky district executive committee, which played one of the leading roles in the development of the regional cooperative movement.

The increased importance of the Kirovsky district 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 Kirovsky district. 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 STCY 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. STCY 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 Poly-technic 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 the Sysertsky region, it was decided to set up an experiment to conduct alternative elections of people's deputies to the regional council, as well as to city, village and settlement councils. Elections to the regional council were held according to the previous electoral system. The elections took place on June 21, 1987.

The new chairman of the regional executive committee was elected regional council deputy Vladimir Mikhailovich Vlasov, who before the election was the director of the Pervouralsk new pipe plant. The former chairman of the regional executive committee Oleg Lobov (one of Boris Yeltsin's closest associates) was appointed deputy chairman of the RSFSR Council of Ministers.

Pavel Mikhailovich Shamanov was re-elected Chairman of the Sverdlovsk City Executive Committee for a new term. Pavel Shamanov was related to the former secretary of the regional committee of the CPSU Vladimir Andreevich Zhitenev, who in 1987 worked in the ideological department of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

The problem of the shortage of consumer goods was aggravated. The reasons for the growing deficit were named as follows:
- a decrease in the supply of imported products by more than 2 times due to a decrease in foreign exchange earnings from oil exports and the associated reorientation to goods of its own production;
- enterprises of light industry do not even fulfill the reduced norms of the plan due to the lack of people, old equipment and the painful transition to new forms of management;
- the entry into the sale of complex household appliances was slowed down due to the introduction of state acceptance at a number of enterprises, which began to reject significant consignments of goods that had previously been on sale;
- panic rumors about an impending shortage of goods were spreading in the region, which gave rise to a real shortage of these goods due to its massive purchase by the population in reserve, for example, from October to November 1987 in the region, the sale of all detergents from - for rumors that originally appeared in Nizhny Tagil.

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 testify his respect 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, mass actions in support of Boris Yeltsin took place 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 1987, the Sverdlovsk City Committee of the CPSU was concerned about the activities of the Historical-Patriotic Association "Fatherland"", created at the end of 1986, the first informal organization in Sverdlovsk pursuing political goals and the opposition official ideological line of the CPSU. "Fatherland" organized protest actions, held public discussions, revealing secret Jewish conspiracies in the highest echelons of the party nomenklatura and criticizing the main ideologist of the CPSU Central Committee, Alexander Yakovlev.

In connection with the declared era of glasnost, it was impossible to simply disperse these gatherings with the help of the militia. It was necessary to beat the enemy with his own weapon - to argue in a public discussion. The Sverdlovsk City Committee of the CPSU suggested that Gennady Burbulis, the chief ideologist of the Council of Young Scientists at the Kirovsky District Committee of the Komsomol, should enter into a discussion with the "opposition patriots". However, the first experience of the discussion battle ended in defeat for Burbulis: an attempt to argue with the representatives of "Fatherland" at an event organized by them did not find support from the audience. From this it was concluded that such events should be organized by ourselves in order to establish the rules of the game and be the masters of the situation.

As a result, in 1987 in Sverdlovsk the "Discussion Tribune" was created - an informal organization directly outside the control of the CPSU, which was engaged in conducting public discussions in Sverdlovsk. At that time, such a format of public events as a public discussion was in demand, and thanks to the organizational support of the city committee of the CPSU (allocation of specially equipped rooms, press coverage), the "Discussion Tribune" became the organizer of the most popular public discussions. The initial goal was achieved - the representatives of "Fatherland" Fatherland lost their leading positions at these events. However, this did not lead to an increase in the popularity of the CPSU. Another opposition movement, the Democratic Union, began to take hold of the audience at events organized by the Discussion Tribune.

"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.