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Andropov, Yuri

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1914–84), General Secretary of the Communist Party of the soviet union (1982–4) and President (1983–4). As ambassador in Budapest from 1954 to 1962, he had advocated decisive suppression of the hungarian rising of 1956 and, more generally, had urged that all satellite states of the Eastern bloc should conform strictly to the Kremlin's policy demands. From 1967 to 1982 Andropov headed the kgb and greatly improved its efficiency. There is some evidence that, when he succeeded brezhnev as Soviet leader, he had economic and other reforms firmly in mind. However, ill-health and brevity of tenure prevented their implementation. His most important achievement may well have been to promote the career of gorbachev who, after the ailing chernenko's similarly short period of leadership, would become general secretary in 1985 – with eventual consequences far more dramatic than any that Andropov could have foreseen or desired. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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