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

1989

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 scheduled, whose Congress was called upon to become the highest body of power in the USSR. It was announced that the new elections will be much more democratic than before, and will attract the healthiest forces of the people to further reform the country.

Boris Yeltsin, visiting Sverdlovsk as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from the Sverdlovsk region and minister of the USSR in February 1989, thanked the residents of the city for nominating him as a candidate for People's Deputies of the USSR, but said that he would run for the electoral district in Moscow. Yeltsin said that the Supreme Soviet of the USSR has turned into a meeting of extras, where no one votes "against". In Yeltsin's opinion, the new law on the elections of USSR people's deputies looks undemocratic, first of all, because of the election of deputies from public organizations, which have no voters, no mandates, and are not accountable to anyone. Yeltsin Yeltsin said that he does not consider himself an alternative to Gorbachev and fully supports him in strategic issues of foreign and domestic policy. He reacted very negatively to the possibility of the Balts leaving the USSR.

Central newspapers noted that nationalist manifestations were increasingly characterized by an anti-Soviet and anti-socialist tinge.

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.

The authority of the CPSU continued to decline, the number of parties began to decline due to a decrease in the number of those wishing to join the party and a large number of voluntary withdrawals from the CPSU. Subdivisions of the party apparatus, which were associated with the leadership of the economy, have undergone a radical restructuring. The democratization of production management (the election of managers, the activities of councils of labor collectives, etc.) made it difficult for the party to exercise the right to control economic activity. Information was announced about conflicts between local committees of the CPSU and the editorial offices of local newspapers in connection with the coverage of the election campaign of candidates for People's Deputies of the USSR.

It was proposed to increase the authority of the CPSU by democratizing the party, in particular, by holding alternative elections for leading positions, and increasing the importance of the primary party cells. It was recommended to control the subjects of economic activity not by direct command of the administration of enterprises and public structures, but through the communists working in the management, the council of the labor collective, the trade union, the Komsomol committee. However, many party organizations never found ways to influence the economy.

For example, at Uralvagonzavod (Nizhny Tagil), neither the general director of the plant, nor 4 of his deputies were elected to the Council of the labor collective, despite the efforts of the secretary of the party committee of the enterprise. However, it is possible that the director sent from Moscow in 1981 simply could not or did not want to cooperate with the local elites, which could deprive him of the support of the work collective. The first secretary of the Dzerzhinsky district committee of the CPSU in the city of Nizhny Tagil, Vladimir Sergeevich Seryakov, won the election of a new general director of the plant.

On March 26, elections of People's Deputies of the USSR were held, on May 14 and 23, by-elections were held. The Congress of People's Deputies was considered 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.

On May 25, the 1st Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR opened. Boris Yeltsin was considered as a candidate for membership in the Presidium of the Congress, but ultimately did not enter it. Gennady Burbulis recommended Yeltsin for the post of chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (at the behest of voters). But Yeltsin recused himself, since the May Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee recommended Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, for this post, and Yeltsin, as a party member, had to submit to this decision. Gorbachev was re-elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Nikolai Ryzhkov was reappointed as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

On May 26, the party committee and secretaries of the party bureau of the Ural Polytechnic Institute sent a telegram to the Congress expressing support for the proposals of the deputy A.D. Sakharov (one of the leaders of the opposition democratic movement). And on May 29, an appeal was sent with an appeal to discuss the fact of the non-election of Boris Yeltsin to the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (the only one of the proposed candidates). It was proposed to any deputy of the Council of Nationalities to resign in favor of Yeltsin. Deputy AI Kazannik made a statement of self-rejection in favor of Yeltsin. After a heated discussion, the Congress satisfied Kazannik's request, thanks to Gorbachev's positive attitude to this. As a result, 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.

In his speech at the congress, Boris Yeltsin proposed to create a commission to prepare a new constitution, to decentralize power and economy, to democratize the CPSU through alternative and direct elections of delegates to an extraordinary congress of the CPSU, to give real sovereignty to each republic and to hold a referendum on confidence to the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR every year. Yeltsin declared the need to accelerate the restructuring of the country's political structure and economy in order to stop the "slide into the abyss."

The congress decided to form a Constitutional Commission, which, in particular, included Yeltsin and a deputy from the Sverdlovsk region, Sergei Alekseev.

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.

Despite the negative attitude of the head of the regional committee of the CPSU Leonid Bobykin to Yeltsin, the regional press (including the party press) actively published positively colored materials about Yeltsin's actions. Center STCY "Sverdlovsk" and the editorial office of the Ural Polytechnic Institute newspaper "For industrial personnel" (with the permission of the UPI party committee) decided to publish once a month a special issue of the newspaper called "Tribune", covering the activities of the Sverdlovsk deputy corps, according to the editorial board's own words, "without the necessary adjustments to the powers that be. " It was reported that the coverage of the activities of the deputies by the Tribuna caused displeasure in the media sector of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU. A decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the press, adopted in 1989, expanded the rights of local party bodies in the sphere of regulating media activities. If the nature of the publications did not correspond to the declared profile, then the party bodies had the right to suspend or close the media outlets. However, "Tribuna" continued to be published either because of the weakness of the party's authority, or thanks to the support of individual leading members of the CPSU in the Sverdlovsk region.

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.

The deputy center of the Ural region was created, in the organization of which the USSR people's deputies from the Sverdlovsk, Perm, Orenburg, Izhevsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, and Kurgan regions took part. A scientific expert group was organized at the deputy center, headed by the deputy from the Sverdlovsk region, lawyer Vladimir Isakov. The deputy from the Sverdlovsk region Valery Shmotiev became the executive director of the deputy center. At the end of the meeting of the deputies of the Ural region, a declaration was announced, which said that "truncated statehood, underdevelopment of local self-government, lack of conditions for an original community raise the question of the revival of the Russian Federation as a sovereign state." Some representatives of the "radical democrats" criticized the parliamentary center, which, in their opinion, could set the tone in which the "aggressively obedient majority" could play into the hands of the party elite.

On September 8 and 9, 1989, deputies of the Ural region, close to the Interregional Deputy Group, gathered in Sverdlovsk with the aim of forming a regional organization, the idea of which was promoted by Gennady Burbulis. People's Deputy of the USSR Andrei Sakharov with his wife Elena Bonner and People's Deputy of the USSR Galina Starovoitova arrived from Moscow.

On September 19, the newspaper Pravda reprinted an article published in the Italian newspaper Repubblica about Boris Yeltsin's visit to the United States. The reprint, which talked about Yeltsin's abuse of alcohol in the United States and other inappropriate behavior, caused a violent reaction from residents of both the Sverdlovsk region and the country as a whole. Yeltsin argued that the publication in Pravda was slander from start to finish. It was assumed that the incriminating article was published at the initiative of the party leadership in order to discredit the popular Yeltsin. However, the article was officially condemned by the Central Committee of the CPSU, although the facts published in it were not refuted. Subsequently, on television, the performance of the not quite sober Yeltsin in Baltimore was shown, but behind this they saw the hand of the KGB, who instructed the television crew to slow down the video broadcast in order to create the desired impression. According to another version, the editor-in-chief of Pravda, Viktor Afanasyev, under whom the editorial chair had been shaking for a long time, decided to please Gorbachev without consulting him, but miscalculated, and after a short time was dismissed. According to the third version, Gorbachev was quite satisfied with Afanasyev's actions, but was forced to publicly condemn the publication and send Afanasyev to resign due to the negative reaction of the mass of Yeltsin's supporters, who did not believe the facts stated in the article.

According to Yeltsin, himself, in the United States he met with President Bush, the vice president, the secretary of state, a group of senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors of cities. They greeted him "very, very well, enthusiastically." According to Yeltsin, the Americans have been watching his figure for more than one year, and a certain dramatic situation associated with him also fueled the interest of the Americans.

In October, at a session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev, the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR Bakatin made public the fact of Yeltsin's fall from the bridge, presumably in a state of alcoholic intoxication. This statement, according to Yeltsin, denigrated his honor and dignity. Through the Latvian newspaper Soviet Youth, Yeltsin addressed the people with a statement that Gorbachev was trying to undermine his health and discredit him in order to get him out of the political struggle. According to Yeltsin, this led to a complete collapse of moral and ethical attitudes, to the dismantling of the democratic principles of perestroika and, ultimately, to a brutal totalitarian dictatorship. It was reported that the Sverdlovsk branch of the Department for the Protection of State Secrets in the press received an oral order not to quote the newspapers that published this appeal of Yeltsin. According to Yeltsin, the party apparatus launched an attack on him in particular and on the Interregional Deputy Group as a whole because it fears the opposition's victory in the 1990 elections of republican and local Soviets of People's Deputies.

At the Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, it was decided to create the Russian Bureau of the Communist Party, headed by Mikhail Gorbachev, combining this post with the posts of General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet. According to Yeltsin, this was done in order to prevent the CPSU from losing control over the political processes in the RSFSR on the eve of the elections of republican Soviets of People's Deputies.

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.

An association of directors of industrial enterprises was created in the region, headed by the general director of the production association "Machine-building plant named after MI Kalinin" Alexander Ivanovich Tizyakov. On the initiative of the regional association in November 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. It was reported that at the Kalinin plant, its director Tizyakov, who headed the association, successfully fought against the sprouts of self-government at the enterprise. It should be noted that the Kalinin Machine-Building Plant was a breeding ground for influential cadres of both "conservative" and "democratic" forces. So, for example, the director of the plant Tizyakov in 1991 became a member of the State Emergency Committee, and active supporters of the "democratic" forces were the secretary of the party committee of the plant, People's Deputy of the USSR Vladimir Volkov and plant engineer Yuri Samarin (representative of the STCY "Sverdlovsk" Center at the plant), who in 1990 was elected chairman of the Sverdlovsk City Council of People's Deputies.

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.

On March 27, the miners of the Berezovsky mine of the Uralzoloto association went on strike, dissatisfied with the reduction factor, which cut the income received by labor collectives following the results of last year's work. The management of the association stated that the incorrect calculation was due to the introduction of self-financing and a negligent approach to the work of the management of the mine, after which it canceled these coefficients, and the next day the miners returned to work.

From 6 to 10 April, after stopping work, the miners of the Sevuralboksitruda mines did not come to the surface. The Severouralsk City Committee of the CPSU recognized the termination of work as an unacceptable means of resolving labor conflicts. Due to the shutdown of the mine, the supply of raw materials to the Bogoslovsky and Uralsky aluminum plants became more difficult. The regional committee of the CPSU found that the causes of the conflict were the aggravation of the problems of safety and working conditions, housing and social issues, the residual approach on the part of the Ministry of Tsvetmet to the prospects for the development of the enterprise. The leadership of the re-gional committee of the CPSU and the regional executive committee drew the attention of the USSR Ministry of Tsvetmet to the need to provide more independence to enterprises in solving production and socio-economic problems in conditions of self-financing.

On the night of August 7-8, a strike began at the Uralasbest plant. The workers were unhappy with the wages they received. Work resumed when the administration of the enterprise promised to find the necessary funds to increase the salaries of all employees of the enterprise (18 thousand people) until September 1, 1989. To solve this problem, the general director of the plant flew to Moscow.

In September-October, a number of rallies were organized, which gathered up to several thousand people. The most numerous (5 thousand people) was the rally at which the speech of the people's deputies of "democratic orientation" Boris Yeltsin, Telman Gdlyan and Nikolai Ivanov was announced, but it turned out that the rally was organized in the interests of the first secretaries of the Sverdlovsk city committee V. Kadochnikov and Verkh-Isetsky district committee G. Dronin, and the leaders of the "democratic movement" refused to participate in the rally.

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.

In the Sverdlovsk region, it was not possible to reduce the urgency of supplying the population with food, especially meat. The Sverdlovsk Regional Council of People's Depu-ties publicly appealed to the Center and expressed serious concern about the systematic disruptions in the supply of food and industrial goods from state resources, which in-creased sharply in 1989. It was noted that the Union and Republican governments responded positively to requests from the Sverdlovsk authorities for help in eliminating disruptions in the supply of meat products, using state reserves for this. At the same time, the supplying regions in every possible way slowed down and ignored the fulfillment of their supply obligations. At the same time, government agencies could not take effective measures in relation to suppliers.

Taking advantage of the deficit and monopoly position of the manufacturer, many leaders of large enterprises and associations committed abuses in setting prices for prod-ucts, “inflated” them without actually increasing consumer properties.

Income growth in 1989 continued to outpace productivity growth, fueling inflation and exacerbating commodity deficits.

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. 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. Coupons for the sale of alcoholic beverages were introduced.

The regional executive committee approved the list of goods not subject to sale to cooperatives, as well as marginal markups for the products of cooperatives in public ca-tering. A number of trade and purchasing cooperatives and cooperatives of public catering in the region were closed due to the fact that they violated the Law on Cooperation, setting overstated prices for products sold in excess of the standards. Cooperatives bought their products at state prices and sold them at a threefold markup, not solving the problem of shortages, but only exacerbating financial problems.

To combat inflation, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers adopted a resolution “On measures for the financial recovery of the economy and the strengthening of money circulation in the country in 1989-1990 and in the XIII five-year plan ”. In accordance with it, about 300 enterprises and workshops of machine-building, defense and other national economic complexes were redesigned for the production of consumer goods. Thus, the government tried to overcome the commodity deficit and inflation by increasing the output of consumer goods, while continuing to reform the economy at a pace that the "radical democrats" considered insufficient and the "conservatives" excessive. Some "radical democrats" proposed to solve the problem of commodity deficit by massive import of Western-made goods on Western loans, which "must be taken while they are giving." And you can give it back later, when the economy recovers thanks to radical market reforms - private owners of the means of production will flood the country with goods. The "Conservatives" believed that it was necessary to slow down the pace of economic restructuring and focus on making the economy more manageable to overcome the crisis. The central authorities partly went to meet the "conservatives" by canceling 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 wages and a number of other powers.

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. In Sverdlovsk, the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations of the USSR (headed by Igor Yuryevich Artemiev) was organized, which served the Ural regions: Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk, Perm, Kurgan, Orenburg regions and the Udmurt Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The department registered organizations establishing direct foreign economic relations (more than 150 participants in foreign economic relations were registered in 1989), monitored the legality of both export and import of goods, for example, computers were allowed to be imported only for the computerization of their own organization, and not for resale. In addition, the Department was tasked with increasing exports from the region, increasing the number of foreign exchange earnings.

After permission for foreign trade, a flow of raw materials poured abroad, which the government could not 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 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 organizations.

According to official statistics, the export of raw materials and materials from the region in 1989 amounted to more than 55%, the remaining types of exported products were consumer goods (about 17%), equipment and materials for objects being built abroad with the technical assistance of the Soviet Union (about 15% ), machinery and equipment (about 10%). About 30-50% of foreign exchange earnings were spent on the purchase of imported consumer goods.

According to official data, since 1986, cooperation with Finland, Sweden and Norway through the state foreign trade association Lenfintorg has been successfully going on in the Sverdlovsk region, but in the East, cooperation was hampered by Dalintorg. In 1989, China showed the largest in-crease in the volume of goods supplied to the Sverdlovsk region. Construction of the Harbin restaurant, a joint Soviet-Chinese public catering enterprise, has begun in Sver-dlovsk. Help was provided by the Sverdlovsk City Executive Committee. The Chinese side has invested 30% of the funds.

The government of the USSR embarked on a course of increasing the role of associations, state production associations, and concerns in the economy. In 1989, there was a stormy process of creating these structures. That is, in conditions when the functions of ministries were changing, the tax system was introduced, when there were no anti-monopoly regulation measures yet, 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 agencies. 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.

In the Sverdlovsk region, such structures could be attributed to the territorial construction association Sreduralstroy under the USSR Minuralsibstroy, which was previously the Glavsreduralstroy trust under the USSR Ministry of Heavy Engineering. In 1989, the duties of the head of the Sreduralstroy TSO were performed by the deputy head of the association Eduard Rossel due to illness and advanced years of the head of the association, Vladimir Isaevich Sa-banov. In December 1989, Sabanov died.

In 1989 the Soviet-Swiss joint venture "InterUral" was created by the association "Sreduralstroy" and the Italian-Swiss firm "Sytko AG". In the 1990s, information was published that the InterUral JV employed relatives of Boris Yeltsin, his confidant Yuri Petrov and Eduard Rossel.

In April 1989, the USSR Government adopted regulations on leasing, according to which the labor collective of a state enterprise could be transformed into an organization of tenants, whose products would be the property of tenants. However, the implementation of this resolution has stalled everywhere due to the opposition of higher organizations in relation to enterprises.

The largest commercial bank in the region - "KUB" ("Sverdlovsk Commercial Bank of Social and Economic Development of the Territory") was created on the initiative of the STCY Center "Sverdlovsk" and with the support of the head of the regional department of the State Bank Sergei Sorvin.

A draft law on local self-government and local economy was being prepared, which provided for the delimitation of rights and spheres of activity of central bodies and local councils. It was assumed that a significant part of the profits that went outside the region and were redistributed would go to the local budget, increasing the independence of the region in managing those activities that are directly related to the interests of the local population. The law was supposed to give real powers, backed by funding, to local councils, which were planned to be elected more democratically than before in 1990. 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 unfairly 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. 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 maintenance 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 first bankrupt enterprise in the Middle Urals was officially announced - the State Bearing Plant No. 6, which has been a planned loss-making plant since 1981.

In January 1989, many video rental outlets were closed in Sverdlovsk due to numerous financial irregularities. In addition, the ideological orientation of films of Western production viewed in video salons was criticized. Video rental points were a significant source of income for a number of cooperatives, STCY centers, and also some other or-ganizations. For example, the system of military-patriotic clubs "Cascade", in the creation of which, veterans of the war in Afghanistan, employees of the regional Department of Internal Affairs (Vladimir Golubykh) and the Leninsky District Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League of Sverdlovsk (Mikhail Goryunov) took part. Em-ployees of the city BKHS conducted searches at the headquarters of the "Cascade", his video salons and the Leninsky district committee of the Komsomol. Subsequently, in the 1990s, some leaders of the veteran organizations of the "Afghans" figured as leaders of organized crime groups.

In November, at the Shuvakish market, riot police carried out a document check. People without documents 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.

A department for combating organized crime (OBOP) was created in the regional department of internal affairs. Militia Lieutenant Colonel Mochalin Alexander Mikhailovich was appointed the head of OBOP. The direction of combating organized crime was supervised by the deputy chief of the regional police department, Colonel Antropov Alexander Leonidovich. The new department began to deal not only with organized crime, which the police have always fought against, but first of all with racketeers who have “proliferated” thanks to the mass cooperative movement. According to police officers, many cooperators paid "tribute" to the extortionists, but they did not inform the police because they were not sure that the police would be able to protect them. It has been argued that racketeers are taking control of the traditional underworld.

In autumn 1989, an exhibition of the Sverdlovsk artist Mikhail Brusilovsky was held in Paris. The exhibition, 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. At that time, 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.

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 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. By 1989, there were grounds to talk about the system of functioning and reproduction of illegal capital, which is 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.