Ma Ciange In Class.
Ciiangsd To: TS S C
SUMMARIZATION OF REPORTS PRECEDING BERIA PURGE
4 Copy No.
Office of Current Intelligence CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
This document contains information within the meanf Publiclst Confess
CIA SPECIAL COLLECTION* RELEASE AS0
OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
With the publication ofhe Beria purge, it was thought desirable to summarize briefly the preceding reports Id the series. hich is in process, Is concerned with developments in the leadership situationBerla's purge. After itsritical review of the whole series will be undertaken, which will alsoadditional information received since publication of the various reports.
It must be reiterated that these reports are concerned primarily with the Soviet leadership. They make no attempt to give proper historical weight or perspective to events taking place inR during the period covered.
TABLE OP CONTENTS
HE ZHDANOV-HALENKOV RELATIONSHIP.
HE BALANCE OF .
NDECISION AND STRESS,
Stalin's Economic Problems of Socialism
h Party Congress
CAESAR 3HE REVERSAL OF THE DOCTORS'
CAESARELNIKOV'S REMOVAL IN THE
OLITICS AND THE SOVIET
This paper examined the validity of the hypothesis, current particularly among ex-Communists, that Zhdanov and Malenkov had battled for Stalin's favor and for control of the Communist Party. It was pointed out that Malonkov didefinite political eclipse6 and that this lasted Zhdanov emerged as the leading party secretary7hile Malenkov spent this period In relative oblivion in the service of Soviet agriculture. ime when agriculture was at least asroblem as it is today, the chief spokesman. Andreev who headed the Council for Collective Farm Affairs. Conceivably Malenkov may have gone into this fieldrouble shooter and acted' behind the scenes, perhapsalance to Andreev's Council. At any rate In terms of the Malenkov-Zhdanov struggle. It is clear that, whatever Malenkov's role in agriculture, it did not compensate for,the setback he received in the party secretariat.
lso noted that "Malenkov was the only politburo member whose status dropped significantly in the periodnd whose position rose measurably after Zhdanov's death."
In an effort to determine how Zhdanov was able to persuade Stalin to demote Malenkov, thessociation with Soviet intelligence activities, with Soviet policy toward Germany, and with the economist Varga, were explored. It was speculated that reverses in the foreign Intelligence field andew key defections, such as that of Gouzenko, may have contributed to Malenkov's difficulties. With respect to his involvement in Soviet policy on Germany, several links were traced out which appeared particularly interesting.
Malenkov first became involved in foreign policywith his chairmanship of the State Committeeof Devastated Areas to which he This body, called the "Special Committee,"Beria, Mikoyan, Vozr^esensky, and Andreev inand later became the authority responsibledismantling In Soviet occupied areas in It was represented in the Soviet MilitaryIn Germany. Saburov. who atverv close to
was badly handled; valuable property was destroyed or lost and hostility toward the USSR was farmed in the areas Inolotov announced that thewould be discontinued.
Inew program was identified under the Chief Directorate of Soviet Property Abroad headed by ex-MGB chief Merkulov. This involved Soviet ownership of controlling shares of industrial firms in the Satellites. The Directorate was responsible to the Council of Ministers and not to Mikoyan's Ministry of Foreign Trade as previously suggested. Merkulov's deputies were Kobulov and Dekanosov. Furtheris indicated to determine to what extent Beria became responsible for Satellite affairs.
The sixth chapter mentioned that various
had reported Politburo conflict over Malenkov's dismantling^ policy.f
does appear to be good reason to believe that Malenkov'swas repudiated. iswould appear that opposition to Malenkov's policythe Special Committee itself. In this connection itto note that Mikoyan is the only one of itsgood standing today. Vozoesensky and Beria haveand Andreev demoted.
With respect to Malenkov's connection with Varga, Caesar VI mentioned that Varga had espoused the dismantling programeries of articles beginning3 and had not come under attack until Malenkov's decline, suggesting anbetween them. Various sources have also reported on this purported association.
Varga's book analyzing the impact of World War II on the Western capitalist economy, which had been completed in5 and stood as the primary Soviet theoretical work In the field, was subjectedighlypecial conference of leading Soviet economists in Several of the theses put forth by Vargahe Institute of World Economy and World Politics of which he was director had implied the ability of the capitalist system to undertake planning in the facereat crisis and thus stave off its ultimate collapse. This ran counter to the narrow dogmatic interpretation of Marxian theory then held by doctrinaire party leaders and was particularlyat the conference.
Following the7 discussions, which had indicated the existence of considerable uncertainty oven among Soviet economists on the course of developments in the capitalist economies, Varga and his Institute continued to publishthemes. Inarga's Institute of World Economy and World Politics was merged with the Economics Institute (specializing in domestic economic problems) to form the Economics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. This new institute, of which Varga continuedember, was placed under the "scientific-organizational guidance" of the USSR State Planning Commission, then headed by Voznesenski. In his work The Soviet Economy During the Second World War
publishedoznesenski had specifically atiacKca certain of the principles proposed by Varga. It isthat despite these attacks, apparently by the Zhdanov faction, Varga, an assumed associate of Malenkov, did not cease to be an important economist in the USSR and was never completely disgraced.
Zhdanov's role in formulating Soviet policy, particularly with regard to foreign communism, was examined and found to be important, CT
Zhdanov was judged responsible for the militant Communist policyhe failure of which probably compromised his political career.
he Balance of Power
egan by tracing the ascent of Malenkovdeath. It was best symbolized by officiallistings which saw malenkov rise to theand, after some initial jockeying with Beria,number-three ranking (behind Stalin andarty secretary in Julyj
ersonnel problems again came under his jurisdiction and Kuznetsov who perhaps had assumed them in the intervening period was purged. In addition, Malenkov continued his interest in agriculture, the problem he had been assigned during his lean years.
Along with Kuznetsov, several other Zhdanov supporters were removed from office. Some interesting examples were:
Colonel Generalhief of the Army Political Directorate, replaced.. Voznesensky, polltburo member and Gosplan chief, replaced in the latter position.. Popkov, party secretary in Leningrad, replaced. Andrianov;. Popov, party secretary in Moscow, replaced. Khrushchev. egard to theseote of caution is in_order It would be flaunting standard bureaucratic procedure as well as Stalin's operating methods to insist that they were all Malenkov men.
The government changes9 which saw Molotov, Mikoyan and Bulganin relinquish their direct ministerial control were also examined with somewhat inconclusive results. Concerning Molotov it was noted in passing that he reportedly wasfor Soviet rejection of the Marshall plan and that Mikoyan and Kaganovich hadifferent view. Molotov apparently retained politburo-level supervision over foreign affairs and it was suggested that he was concentrating on Far Eastern problems.
The Voznesensky case was examined in some detail and the hypothesis that he had been involvedheoretical or practical policy controversy was largely discounted. ttack onun-Marxist" views in2 was seen as an ex post facto one. It was concluded that the probable reasons for Voznesensky's disappearance were his lose ties with Zhdanov as wellossible failure in the planning and direction of the Soviet economy.
Another topic mentioned in this seventh chapter was rearmament. Some sort of rearmament or re-equipment program was thought to have begun in the latter halfhe extent of which was unknown.
Pravda's attack on Andreev's "link" system of collective farming in0 was briefly examined, as was Khrushchev's movement to enlarge the collective farms in the Moscow Oblast by merging the small farms. This program was first outlined by Khrushchev in He later Intimated in December of that year that his policy was being implemented throughout the USSR. The controversy wasas signaling the temporary triumph of one political faction over another.
In foreign policy the USSR was seen to have backed out of European problems and to have.concentrated on the Far East. The shift seemed to be due more to circumstances than to a
controversy over foreign policy and was not held to be associated with Malenkov's rise.
There was also little reason for believing that the plan for the North Korean invasion provoked any controversy. Although there is Rood reason to believe that Molotov was in the Far East.in August and later inin connection with Chinese Communist entry into the war, there were no grounds for concluding that he or any other person was the primary sponsor of the North Korean attack. The static situation in the Soviet hierarchy follows ing the Korean war suggests that Stalin served up nofor the reverses suffered and thus was either personally responsible for the war or did tot regard itebacle.
This report examined the evidence available in several critical fields during the period. All of It seemed to point to "Indecision and stress." The Soviet leaders appeared Increasingly concerned over US rearmament,of Western defense and the spread of the Korean wax, but their foreign policy remained theand It was suggested that controversy developed over Stalin's inflexible line in foreign affairs. Hereynopsis of the topics examined:
Foreign Policy: Korean cease-fire feelers were made in April after bitterly aoti-Westorn propagandist^ statements, by Pospelov Innd by Stalin in February. Malik finally made his proposal in June and the talks began. The discussions soon bogged down, however, and evidencethat the Communists woreall offensive. This was apparently called off at the last minuteajor policyhe truce talks were then resumed and continued until2 when anotherdeveloped which continued until after Stalin's death. In Europe the deputy foreign ministers met in Paris from April to1 but got nowhere and in September of that year the USSR sentash of notes in protest against NATO. Although Stalin's letter ofhich laterarge part of his Economic Problems of Socialism, was much calmer than his remarksear earlier, he came up with essentially no new foreign policy formula.as heresy the view that wars between capitalist states were no longer inevitable and that imperialism must attack the USSR.
Some vacillation on the German question was noticeable. Idhe USSRraft treaty for Germanyhift from its previous position but further exchanges proved unfruitful. In June the USSR shifted Ambassadors to the GDR and inarsh collectivization program was inaugurated suggesting that policyivided Germany.
Industry: The international situation appeared to havethe internal planning system. Revisions in theive Year Plan and subsequent efforts to redraft the plan01 probably reflected indecision regarding policy. In his2 letter published in Economic Problems of Socialism Stalin stuck with the status quo solution andchanges In favor of either heavy investment in armament or in consumer goods.
Agriculture: Inhrushchev carried his agri-cultureittle furtherpeech advocating not only the merger of kolkhozes but the actual resettlement of peasants belonging to the merged kolkhozes in single urban centers known ashe personal plots of the peasants were to be on the outskirts of the new settlements. Pravda's treatment of this policy Indicated that it was too hot to handle: the speech was not publishedarch and the following day Pravdaaveat saying that it had been printed "as material for discussion." Two regional party leaders ripped into it shortly thereafter: Arutinov of Aremlnla said the proposalsagirov of Azerbaijan said they were "harmful and intolerable." After this oriticlsm the agro-city concept was discontinued but kolkhoz amalgamation continued.
n attempting, to analyze this curiousreached the tentative conclusion that Khrushchev was expressing his owns views in this matter and that Arutinov and Bagirov were enboldened in their opposition by the support of Beria.
for Collective Farms Affairs. At the October Congress Malenkov had mentioned that certain leading officials had indulgedrong approach and had overlooked agricultural production, the mainhis has been takenlap at Khrushchev. Stalin in his Economic Problems of Socialism remained aloof from the problem.
Bagirov and Arutinov woro purged in the period following Borla'B arrest, reinforcing the idea that he had been their patron. One of the accusations against Beria was that ho had hindered the solution of urgent agricultural problems. attor day association with Beria however Is still in dispute.
Security: In1 HOB chief Abakumov was replacedartyollowing this, nine new faces wore numbered among the republic MGB chiefs and four among the deputy ministers in Moscow. One of the. plBhev, may actually have entered the ministryeputyfor personnel as early as Be, like Ignatiev,arly functionary of some stature and may have had links to Khrushchev by virtue of his service in the Ukraine. The shake-up was interpretedove by the party to strengthen its control over the kgb, particularly in viewpeech by tho new Georgian MGB minister In
The Georgian Purges: These purges which lasted from1 through2 were interpreted asBeria's
personally ordered the shake-
up"that Malenkov had acted as
Stalin's emissary in this matter.
Stalin's Economic Problems of Socialism: Mr. Kennan's viows woro quoted to the effect that Stalin, In his discussion of thoworld, had putheory which had been challengedroup which questioned its soundness. This group hadwanted to face up to tho reality of the Western coalition and to negotiate before decidingefinite solution. This vlow was overrulod by Stalin, who argued that it was unnecessary to negotiate since the Western world would go to pieces anyway. This seemed to be the center of Ideological disagreement In the Kromlln.
h Party Congress: Changes in the statutes were vlowod primarily as regularizing already oxisting practices. The presidium, which replaced the old politburo, was regarded as largely an honorary body with real powor still in the handsburo" within It, composod of tho old politburo members. The central committee expansion reflected the elevation of party careerists over specialists and technicians from other sections of society and indicated the comparative Importance of tho party worker. This development was interpreted as increasing Malenkov's influence in the central committee since he had been the party organization specialist. atter of passing
interest it was pointed out that every republic Congress, prior to the all-Union one had stressed the need foragainst bourgeois nationalism.
Post Congress Developments: The most significant post-Congress ocvoTbpment was the announcement of the doctors* plot onollowing an intense propaganda campaign directed against laxness, gullibility, and bourgeois deviations and emphasizing the need for "revolutionary vigilance."
Several other interesting developments were briefly noted: The announcementays after the conclusion of the Congress that. Govorov's name had been "inadvertently" left off the list of candiate members of the central committee; the identification. Shipilov, ousted9 from Agitprop foe-numerous "shortcomings" including complicity in the Vbzaesensky affair, as the new editor of Prayda; and the period of high political tension and behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the period from the October Party Congress until Stalin's death.
Most of the propositions advanced in this chapter areypothetical nature, and numerous problems remained unsolved. Chief among these is the problem of Abakumov's replacement as MGB minister. Ignatiev, the reasons for this shift and the political relationships involved in it. Clarification of this point may serve to unravel many of the problems of the two years preceding Stalin's death.
he Doctors' Plot
This chapter attempted to outline all the known relevant information pertaining to the doctors' plot and toentative hypothesis regarding its meaning. The plothad anti-Semitic and anti-American overtones. Theof the announcement hinted that other Soviet leaders had either been murdered or had had their, life span reduced; one of the doctors had been chief of the Kremlin medicaland had preumsably treated Stalin and other Soviet leaders. Only two low-level intermediaries were singled out in the plot, suggesting that there were more important participants whose names had not been disclosed. Because Shcherbakov's alleged murder occured5 when Merkulov was MGB minister and Zhdanov's alleged murder occured8 when Abakumov was tne responsible security chief, it was suggested that the plot, primarily because of its criticism of the security elements, was directed ultimately against Beria.
No good reason could be adduced for the inclusion of the specific five military men mentioned. It did seem possible that the announcementarningroup of
individuals contesting for more political power. Theof Govorov to the central committee suggestedwasontest going on, but it was impossiblethe
The plot set off an intense vigilance campaign in Soviet propaganda and both Stalin and Malenkov were employed asracles. This caused speculation that both were mixed up in the origin.of the plot. However, in the vigilance campaign, Stalin's line (in his Economic Problems) tbat the capitalist countries were going to destroy tUewselVes rather than get together against the Soviet Union, was abandoned for his earlier and stronger capitalist encirclement theory. One Pravda article, for example, said that certain "rotten theories" such as the view that capitalist encirclement no longer existed, were still prevalent in the USSR and must bo rooted out.
Other indications of tension in the period leading opdeath were also briefly noted. The list oftbe local Moscow Soviets published onanuary did notthe names of several ministers, thus foreshadowingthe organizational changes to be made after Stalin'sPospelov appeared as deputy editor of Pravda (Pospelovbeen replaced as head of the Marx-Lenin-Htalinhad been passed over when the party presidium hadin October. The autopsy report. Mekblis, awho died onebruary,. Kuperin ofas Dew chief of the Kremlin medical directorate; onIz vest la.urious announcement of theof General Kozynkin of the Kremlin guard; on the tnetmosphere
prevailinghinese reception on the anniversary of the Sioo-Soviet pact attended only by Bulganin; Hod Army.day ceremonies onebruary stressed the "liberation" role of the Sovieteparture from previous practice.
The main view that emerged from the chapter was one oftmopshere of tension, confusion and fearful expectancy in the period Just prior to Stalin's death.
eath of Stalin
This chapter began by pointing out thatarch neither the Soviet people nor.the rest of the world had been given any Inkling in Soviet propaganda that Stalin While this tended to suggest that his death had caught even the Soviet leaders off guard, it was noted thatthe,West was completely dependent en tho. Soviet press forho news on this development and it was therefore: Impossible o say when or how Stalin died.. The sudden announcement ot^.
Stalin's illness focused attention on his successor; the strongest contender appeared to be Malenkov, due to hie hold ontbS party apparatus and because of the strong possibility that he also controlled the MGB through Ignatiev. There was no specific mentionuccessor, however and was placed in the hands of the central committee and the Council
The announcement of Stalin's death camearch and again no specific Soviet loaders were mentioned. Khrushchev was named chairman of Stalin's funeral commltteo and burial was sotarch. On the 7th the big party and governmentwas announced to prevent "panic andhe whole system was stroamlined. Malenkov was named premier and ranked first in the party presidium followed by Beria. Four of the old polltburo members became first deputy premiers and, of those, three took over controlinistry: Foreign Affairs;and Voroshilov replaced Shvernik as "president." trong indication that Jockeying for position was going on underneath the surface was seen in the reorganization of the partygroup handling party personnel matters. The announcementthat of the nine incumbent secretaries the status ofSoslov andnot Immediately be determined;Ponomaronko, Ignatov andwore transferred to other duties;andremained. In addition three newcomers werePospelov and Sbatealin. The secretariat was to be reshuffledeek later.
Reactions to Stalin's death were thon explored, somewhat inconclusively. In the satellites unusual security restrictions wero enforced. In the Soviet Union the Moscow citizens appeared
relatively unmoved but in the
j tbore had been
widespread grief and snock. radual de-emphasis of Stalin was begun, though nothing suggestive of criticism appeared. At the funeral only Molotov displayed any grief. Malenkov and Beria devoted their attention to the future. Boria did not once refer to Stalin. Be indicated that the Party's policy would brook no interference and said that one of the decisions taken In this connection was the appointment of Malenkov as Premier. (Beria later made the nominating spoech for Malenkov at the Supreme Soviet meeting called to ratify those changes in the leadership). Beria included one curious passage in his speech alluding to the government's regard for the rights of its citizens.
The funeral ceremony presented the Sovieta triumverate with Malenkov primus inter paresby Beria and withelatively poorwas followed by an abortive Stalin-like build-up ofthe Soviet press which lasted only untilarch. In Soviet propaganda as to Stalin'sconfusion in the Communist world outside the USSR. claimed that Communists in
Western Europe thought Molotov would succeed Stalin.
The halt in Malenkov's build-up roughly coincided with the Central Committee meeting ofarch where, at his ownMalenkov was removed from the Secretariat. Khrushchev, Suslov, Pospelov, Shatalin and Ignatiev were listed as members of the Secretariat and Shatalin was raised from alternate to full membership on the Central Committee. This development strongly suggested that Malenkov had succumbed to pressure either direct or indirect, from the other Soviet leaders, and bad given up his direct control over Party personnel matters. Thus his power was being limited at the outset. The relationship between Khrushchev and Malenkov was explored in the chapter with Inconclusive results.
The central committee meeting onarch seems to have formalized the collective leadership principle although realignment probably beganarch with the peculiarof the secretariat and the statement that Khrushchev was to be assigned "leading work in the centralhis meeting was not publicized untilarch but it obviously prepared the way for thearch Supreme Soviet meeting which had apparently been postponed to allow the central committee to meet. At this session Malenkov came out publicly for the principle of collective leadership. The Supreme Soviet at thisarch meeting ratified all thegovernment changes and made several more which were equally as sweeping. As mentioned previously. Beria made the nominating speech for Malenkov.
^JBeria clearly gave the impression of being the "ringleader." Molotov, however, of all the leaders, received the most applause.
At this meeting: the War and Navy Ministries were.arty official, received complete control of agriculture by inheriting several merged ministries dealing with the subject (the State Council of Collective Farm Affairs under Andreev was finallyPonomarenko, who some Western observers thought would becomeeputy premier or minister of agriculture, moved completely out of the latter field and became minister of culture; Gossnab and Gosprodsnab were merged with Gosplan giving it supervision
ovor allocations of materials, food and industrial products, thereby greatly increasing its importance (Kosyachonko, its nowas notaombor of the centralikoyan, who earlier had been named minister of external and foreign trade, was made the only deputy chairman of the" Council of Ministers and thuseculiar niche all by. Ignatov, who had also been markedarch for an important government position, was hot even mentioned though he later turned uparty secretary in. Euznetsov, who had boon appointed ambassador to China onarch, waseputy minister of foreign. Andreev wasember of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
of Camps of the MVD (slave labor) was transferred to the Ministry of Justice, and several other directorates of tho MVD dealing with such matters as mining and metallurgy wore transfored to their ministerial counterparts. In at least some cases the chiefs of those directorates as well as tho pcrsonnol moved with them. Thus tho MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) which beforearch merger had been separate from the MGB (Ministry of State Security) and which had handled primarily economic functions, was gradually losing Its economic role.
This development was of groat interest, particularly bocause Beria had regained direct control of tho reorganized MVD.r
MVD functionsood deal of construction for the atomic energy program which Beria was reliably reported to hoad. Therefore it was bellovod that Beria may have succumbed to pressure to give up this empire within an empire in the give-and-take atmosphere5 March.
he Reversal of tho Doctors' Plot
loso on tho heels of thearch amnesty, Pravda reported than an investigation committee of tho now MVD had discovered that "ox-officials" of the MGB had used "illegal methods" to get the doctors to confess. Tho guilty officials wore said to have been arrested. The
announcement obviously caughtSoviet papers, notably Young Communist, completely by surprise since on the same day that journal ran an article praising the original Informer on the plot. Six non-Jevlsh doctors were addod to tho list of those falsely accusod whilo the names of two of the original nine were missing.
The language of the Pravda editorial on the release of tho doctors as well as the actual circumstances appeared to indicate that Beriarime mover in the action. pril the central committee. Ignatiev, the MGB minister at the timo of the doctors' arrest, from the party secretariat, less than throe weeks after ho had boon confirmod in tho post. Onpril Izvestla promised that the persons found guilty of falsely accusing "Ibo fifteen Soviet doctors and attempting to foment racial prejudico would be punished.
On. Vasilov, minister of stato control of the RSFSR, claimed that the guilty parties, including Deputy MGB Minister Ryunin, had been punished. Why or by what authority Vasilov made the announcement was never determined.ay, the loading newspaper in Georgia linked Ryumln withormer Georgian MGB minister, who had handledurges there; Rukhadze was accused of fabricating evidence and attempting to stir np racial hatred. It seemed, therefore, that Beria was getting roady to clear outelements in the MGB. Tho doctors' plot reversal was followed in Georgiaeversal ofurges there.eria supporter moved in as minister of the reorganized MVD.
The various efforts made by tho new regime to reduce internal and extornal tension were briefly reviewed In the chapter and it was concluded that on the external side tho efforts were designed toeriod of international relaxation whilo the collective leadership thrashed out its problems. Wedded to this, however, was the possibility that the now leaders, aware of the failure as well as the danger of Stalin's rigid foreign policy, were anxious to trya little moro safe, sane and productive.
P.F. Yudin's appointment as political adviser to the Soviet Control Commission onice Semenov, did not result in any policy change. Walter Dlbrichthis dominant position and his "hard line" policy. Onay, Moscow completely revamped its representation in Germany, dissolved the Soviet Control Commission under General Chuikov, and named Semenov to the new post of high commissionera Semenov's returnays after ho had been replaced implied Kremlin indecision on its Gorman policy and on the personnel and organizational set-up necessary to implement that policy.
Chuikov, whose function was now limited to commandtroops in Germany, switched places with thethe Kiev Military District in early June. Yudindeputy to Semenovecember when he wasto China. imilar development occurred attime in Austria whererofessionalSoviet high commissioner.
Four days after Semonov's return, the SED spectacularly reversed its program. eek following this reversal, onune, the East German government encountered the greatest show of resistance ever experienced In any Satellite. Soviet authorities reacted swiftly and efficienty to quell theand employed Soviet troops. The revolt, however, did not effect the "new economic course" in the Satellites.
Ambassador Bohlon suggested onune that the reforms embodied in the "new course" stemmedealization on the part of the Soviet leadersontinuation of inter -sive socialism would lead to economic or politicalwhich could be copod with only through measures of terror they were unwilling to employ.
In Poland, the OSSR also shifted ambassadors. . Popov replaced career diplomat Sobolev. Popov had been removed from the all-Union party secretariat9 and also from his position as first deputy of the Moscow City and Oblast party committee. This was of Interest, because Popov had been strongly criticized for his handling of agricultural problems in th oblast. His successor. Khrushchev, who was shortly to introduce his "radical" scheme for collectivizing agriculture.
elnikov's Removal in tho Ukraine
Onpril the Ukraine began to reorganize itsapparatus in accordance with the USSR reorganization ofarch. The MVD-MGB merger which took place there.eported associate of Beria, come in as the new HVD minister. On. Korneichuk was appointed first deputy chairman of the Republican Council of Ministers. This was of some interest because he had been attacked by Ukraine party secretary Melnikov at the Septemberkraine Party Congress for his "bourgeois nationalist"nterest in Ukraine party affairs had also been heightened, because, when the Malenkov propaganda build-up had groundalt in mid-March in the central press, the Ukrainian press, presumably under Melnikov's direction, had continued to play up Malenkov as the number one leader.
In early Juno .the Ukrainian press began criticizing "violators" of the Soviet nationalities policy. Finally onune, Melnikov, the first secretary of the Ukrainian party, was removed from office. He was also an alternate member of the all-Union party presidium and as such was tho highest official purged since.Stalin's death. Melnkiov was accused of allowing "distortions" of the Sovietpolicy In the western areas of the Ukraine. One of these "distortions" was tho substitution of Russian for Ukrainian in the school curriculum. .ative Ukrainian, was named to replace Holnikov.
Melnikov's removal seemed to reflect on presidium members Khrushchev and Malenkov. Melnikov had been second secretary under Khrushchevhen the latter was first secretary of the Ukrainian party. Melnikov had faithfully reflected Malenkov's views on party discipline, policy and procedure and had alsoather prominent part in the Soviet vigilance campaign which derived much of its ideological inspiration from Malenkov's speech at the party congress.
It was speculated that Melnikov's ouster was instigated by Borla, since it was the third instancearty purge on charges of promoting Russlfication which seemed to come in the wake of MVD personnel changes. The first was the doctors' plot reversal and the removal of Ignatiev, and the second was the mid-April purge In Georgia following the appointment of Dekanosov. Melnikov's purge followed Heshik's appointment as MVD Minister in the Ukraine.
olitics and the Soviet Army
Caesarncluded extensive background research to determine howolitical factor is the Soviet military, and what types of political.action or influence might be expected of the armed forces and their leaders in times of crisis. This research revealed that the Soviet armed forces do notistory of successful interference in internal political crisesingle, organized element of power. Their heritageendency towardnd inaction during internal crisis. Military freedom of action is restricted by the interlocking networks of political officers and security police operating within the ranks,endency toward conformity among officers and men alike,rowing officer caste system, and by the presence in the ranksigh percentage of Communists subject to party discipline. Unless tho existing controls break down under.drasticthe armed forceshole must be looked uponelatively passive and non-monolithic body with regradoviet succession crisis.
Caesarontinuedurrent review of developments beginning withh Party Congress ino determine what changes occurred in the political position of the Soviet armed forces and their leaders during the ^period of extreme tension ensuing from Stalin's death. Promh Party Congress until Stalin's death, there were someof tho participation of military leaders in political maneuvering, as evidenced by Govorov's belated designationandidate member of the central committee and by the naming of military officers in the doctors' plot The period of the post-Stalin struggle between Malenkov and Beria, from March until June,ime of outward passivity on the part of the military leaders, with an increase in political control over them. Indicated primarily by the reorganization of the ministry of armed forces and the return of Bulganin as minister. The re-emergence of Zhukov, probably considered by the party leadershipafety measureritical moment, gave increased influence to an outspoken professional officer.
A shiftassiveore active role of the military in politics probably occurred beginning with the Beria purge. Representatives of the armed forces participated In the removal and sentencing of Beria, and the new party leadership probably rewarded military support by giving the
professional military men groator freedom within their own establishment. After Juno, some high officers of the armed forces were promoted, greater consideration was givenilitary point of view regarding questions of morale and security in the armed forces. The political position of tho Soviet military leaders appoarod better than it had for several years previously, and an uneasy alliance was probably maintained between top professional officers and party leaders.