Prisoners of Yuri Andropov

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in Russian, U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. His new book is High Noon For America. He is the host of Frontpage’s television show, The Glazov Gang, and he can be reached at jamieglazov11@gmail.com. Visit his site at JamieGlazov.com.


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FP: Tell us about the Andropov phenomenon.

Buchar: The name of Yuri Andropov is almost unknown in the West regardless of his pivotal role in the transformation of the Soviet Union. The turning point in Andropov’s career was his transfer to Moscow (1951) where he was assigned to the party’s Secretariat staff, considered a training ground for promising young officials. As ambassador to Hungary (July 1954–March 1957), he played a major role in coordinating the Soviet invasion of that country. For Hungarians, he is a symbol of the terror that followed the Soviet intrusion. He deported thousands of Hungarians into Russia and executed hundreds. After returning to Moscow, he rose rapidly through the Communist hierarchy and, in 1967, become head of the KGB.

Andropov’s policies as head of the KGB were repressive; his tenure was noted for its suppression of political dissidents. He quietly, calmly and without sensibility incinerated the dissident movement. The deportation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn from the country, Andrei Sakharov’s exile to Gorky town, the wide-spread use of psychiatric clinics for dissidents, open-and-closed investigations – all of this was Andropov’s work. Andropov was elected to the Politburo and, as Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev’s health declined, he began to position himself for succession, resigning his KGB post in 1982. He was chosen by the Communist Party Central Committee to succeed Brezhnev as general secretary on November 12, just two days after Brezhnev’s death. He consolidated his power by becoming chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (President) on June 16, 1983. Ill health overtook him by August 1983 and thereafter he was never seen again in public.

Andropov was the godfather of Russia’s new era of deception operations aimed at improving the badly damaged image of Soviet rulers in the West. Ironically, when it turned out that the CIA and the State Department had few details about Andropov—not even the name or fate of his wife—the press took whatever it could find. The press couldn’t admit that virtually nothing was known about this man: not the names of his parents, ethnic background, education, war service, preferences in music and literature, linguistic abilities or his ideas. We didn’t even know how tall he was.

The myth about Andropov as a reformer, progressive politician and humanist was created by Andropov himself with the help of his numerous loyal followers. Harrison Salisbury in The New York Times described him as “a witty conversationalist,” and “a bibliophile” and “connoisseur of modern art.” Charles Fenyvesi in The Washington Post passed along a rumor that he was partly Jewish. Soon there were reports that Andropov was a man of extraordinary accomplishment, with some interests and proclivities that were unusual in a former head of the KGB. According to an article in The Washington Post, Andropov “is fond of cynical political jokes, collects abstract art, likes jazz and Gypsy music,” and “has a record of stepping out of his high party official’s cocoon to contact dissidents.” Also, he swims, plays tennis, and wears clothes that are “sharply tailored in a West European style.” The Wall Street journal added that Andropov “likes Glenn Miller records, good scotch whisky, Oriental rugs, and American books.” To the list of his musical favorites, Time added “Chubby Checker, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Bob Eberly,” and, asserting that he had once worked as a Volga boatman, said that he enjoyed singing “hearty renditions of Russian songs” at after-theater parties. The Christian Science Monitor suggested that he has “tried his hand at writing verse-in Russian, as it happens, and of a comic variety.” Edward Jay Epstein wrote a great article about this back in 1983.

The only person I was able to find who really knew Andropov personally was Ion Mihail Pacepa and he described him this way:

“The leaders of the Warsaw Pact intelligence community, when I was one of them, looked up to Andropov as the father of the Soviet bloc’s new era of political influence designed to save communism from economic failure by making communist dictators popular in the West. ‘The only thing the West cares about is our leaders,’ Andropov told me in 1972, when the Kremlin decided to make Ceausescu a success in the West as a dress rehearsal for pulling off the same trick with the ruler in the Kremlin. ‘The more they come to love him, the better they will like us.’

It was as simple as that. Andropov came up with the idea to convince the West that communist rulers admired Western democracy and wanted to emulate it. ‘Let the gullible fools believe you want to perfume your communism with a dab of Western democracy, and they will clothe you in gold,’ Andropov instructed me. Once on the Kremlin throne, the cynical chairman of the KGB rushed his intelligence machinery into introducing him to the West as a “moderate” communist and a sensitive, warm, Western-oriented man who allegedly enjoyed an occasional drink of Scotch, liked to read English novels, and loved listening to American jazz and the music of Beethoven. I knew Andropov well. He was none of the above.

In the 1970s, when I last met Andropov, his elongated, ascetic fingers always felt cold and moist when he shook my hand. ‘We are replacing all those so-called professional diplomats, who do nothing but sit around drinking and gossiping with deep-cover KGB officers,’ he began. In his soft voice, Andropov laid out the historically Russian roots of his new technique, for he was a Russian to the marrow of his bones. Some two hours later, the KGB chairman concluded our meeting as abruptly as he had started it. ‘Our gosbezopasnost had kept Russia alive for the past five hundred years, our gosbezopasnost had made her the strongest military power on earth, and our gosbezopasnost would steer her helm for the next five hundred years’ he concluded, looking me straight in the face. Andropov was also a dependable prophet. Today, his gosbezopasnost is still running Russia.”

FP: Robert Buchar, we’ve run out of time for now. Thank you for joining Frontpage Interview. Let’s do a follow-up interview on this soon, to discuss the present day situation. Frontpage readers stay tuned. . . .

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  • http://paulweston101.blogspot.com Paul Weston

    Dear Jamie

    There are two extraordinary statements in this piece, to which your respose was to "move on."

    Vaclav Havel was approved by Moscow and Vaclav Klaus is a KGB agent!

    You cannot just move on, after a statement like that.

    Granted, nothing is impossible, but if you wish to maintain credibility (previously unquestioned by me) you simply have to ask for verifiable proof to validate such accusations.

    Klaus is one of the few "Right-Wing" politicians we have in Europe and Havel spent many years in prison for his anti-communist views.

    Please retract or provide proof.

    Sincerely

    Paul Weston

    • http://www.collapseofcommunism.com Robert Buchar

      To Paul Weston:
      Story of Vackav Havel is described in my book. As far as Vaclav Klaus is concern, please read Robert Eringers article: http://cryptome.org/0001/vaclav-klaus.htm

      • http://paulweston101.blogspot.com Paul Weston

        Thank you for providing a link Mr Buchar.

        I lived in Prague in the immediate aftermath of the Velvet Revolution through to 1997 and soon learned that there was a great deal of lies, denial and false-flag manoeuvring going on.

        As I say, nothing is impossible, and I am approaching your allegations with an entirely open mind. In fact, I am doing so to such an extent that I am going to have to buy your book!

        I do hope it contains a more substantive content on Havel, than the Eringler link provides on Klaus. Mr Eringer has absolutely nothing to back up his claims, save an alleged file in the archives of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

        One is tempted to ask if Mr Eringer has seen this file and if so, who provided the authorisation?

        I have read a great deal of Vladimir Bukovsky's work on the KGB/Soviet Archives and have never heard such mention of Klaus as a Communist mole.

        I an not wholly convinced by your somewhat fact-free and misspelled comment to which am replying, but will investigate further.

        Amicably Yours

        Paul Weston

        • http://eee.collapseofcommunism.com Robert Buchar

          Dear Mr. Weston. These issues can't be resolved in few paragraphs. Robert Eringer seem like a quite reliable source of information to me. Did you read his book RUSE? Keep in touch.

  • tim heekin

    I must agree with Mr. Weston above. Please explain those two throw away comments on Havel & Klaus.

    • Sammy Finkelman

      Those are my feelings too.

      Even if most of the stuff about Yuri Andropov is true, and it probably is, all that is being brought in to try to say something false (except that he ran out of time)

      All of this must be disinformation.

      Andropov also may have been behind the idea that the Soviet leader was about to die.

  • leib

    This article has important information. But it overlooks the earlier plan put forth by KGB chief Shelepin from 1959 to 1961 detailed by defector (1961) Anatolyi Golitsyn in his book (which predicted much of what happened with perestroika) New Lies for Old and elaborated on later in The Perestroika Deception. In addition if one reads the transcripts of the July 1990 Communist Party congress one can find Gorbachev's and Yeltsin's allusions to the plans they had. A multiparty system in which (in fact) some parties were run by open Communists and the rest by "former" Communists would remain the vanguard of society. Putin's regime (who received power from Yeltsin by his resigning) is the culmination of this process. Putin's Unity party is a pretty close fit to the system described by Yeltsin during his CP resignation speech back in 1990.

  • Steve Chavez

    KGB Andropov led the Soviet Union during the period of the "Forgotten Decade."

    Ion Pacepa, in several articles here at FPM, states that he was the front man for Andropov's propaganda campaign by the WORLD PEACE COUNCIL which was led by the KGB! Well then, the Communist Nicaraguan Sandinistas came to power in 1979. Soon thereafter, Michael Myerson, of the Communist Party USA, started the UNITED STATES PEACE COUNCIL RUN BY THE CPUSA! They also started a Peace Council in every state run by state Party members!

    The Peace Council then had a core membership of dedicated Closet Communists who organized other groups. For example: There are ten members of the Peace Council. Those ten are directed to start their own group which had to deal with Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Now you have ten groups with ten members each so when you had a protest, the flyer had ten sponsors. GREAT TRICK! The most important words in their group title were "Peace" and "Human Rights."

    They then went to universities to recruit students, who started their own student organization funded by student fees, who would give up a semester or two to go on Construction Brigades to Nicaragua. On the way to Nicaragua, they would make the friendly stop to Marxist FMLN "Zones of Control" in El Salvador. Many of these students never returned to school as they were now "active" and were used to give speeches and write letters. Their stated goal was "to help the people" and they used that slogan to raise funds and supplies from churches and hospitals which then went to the FMLN MARXISTS! (Funds raised in the home of the Son of God to fund an ideology that says "There is no God?")

    EVEN BARACK OBAMA was sympathetic to these COMMUNIST PARTY USA FRONT ORGANIZATION THAT HAD DIRECT TIES TO THE SOVIET KGB! In an 1983 article in the Columbia University newspaper, the Sundial, Obama wrote about many front groups including CISPES, The Committed in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. CISPES was led by Farid Handal, the brother of the Shafik Handal, the leader of the FMLN and head of the Communist Party of El Salvador!

    When Daniel Ortega lost the 1990 election, the people/students who went Nicaragua "to help the people" LEFT which proves they were there NOT "to help the people" BUT TO HELP AN IDEOLOGY: COMMUNISM!

    Great article but what did Andropov's "Active Measures" Department of the KGB do in the eighties that we are now dealing with today? THE FOLLOWERS OF PEACE COUNCIL FRONTS ARE THE LEADERS OF TODAY. THEY INCLUDE OBAMA, HILLARY, AND REV. WRIGHT! (Wright, in one of speeches said, "Our brothers and sisters in El Salvador." Enough for me! HILLARY also gave thousands to the MARXIST FMLN in the 80's. The FMLN won the Presidency of El Salvador just last year and who was the highest ranking U.S. official and the inauguration?: HILLARY CLINTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Indioviejo Indioviejo

      Your comments are very informative as they are right. As a long time observer of these phenomena, I always found it so frustrating thar the MSM, Hollywood, and Democrats were working towards spreading marxism and destroying freedom in Latin America. They still are. I wonder if they are still following the old KGB directives?

  • Tad

    Details can be un-necessary destractions .

    In Bosnia , where a forced intergration ( under Russian rule) , where people harbored core feelings about others but were afraid to express them , an explosion of retrubition occured . destroying the country .

    Could this be the same strategy being used to destroy the enemy of Russia , the US ? the West ?

    It seems we will be Bosnia2 very soon , if the politicians get there way .

  • Rob

    If you boil it all down, whatever "ism" or "ist" that you attach to the end of some word, there has always been people and groups of people who want to control another group of people and to control their wealth.
    Whether it was the Mongols, the Romans, the Greeks, the Communists, etc… they are (my opinion) evil people bent on a parasitic existence at other people's expense.

    Do we spend too much time analyzing their motives, and not enough time stopping them? I will give them this much credit, whatever you call these type of people, they are ruthless and thorough. They have reached into every organization in America and are now slowly squeezing us to a political death.

    Time is running out for what very little is left of our Constitutional Republic here in the US.

  • Gylippus

    I've just ordered Mr. Buchar's book, but in the meantime a few questions come to mind…

    Did Andropov / Gorbachev anticipate the loss of the Soviet satelite states as a result of Perestroika? Were they prepared to accept this in order to regain Russia's economic footing? Likewise, did they anticpiate the expansion of NATO into the region?

    How could they have known that the US would not have used this temporary phase of relative weakness to aggressively expand its sphere of influence?

    How closely linked is the American far-left to former KGB (or current FSB) agents? Are they coordinating their efforts at any level?

    • http://www.collapseofcommunism.com Robert Buchar

      Well, the question is what you call "the loss" of satellite states. Nothing was lost, just restructured more efficient way. All political parties were founded by former communists and the whole new political system was created the way that no new parties would ever be able to gain any significant influence. Russian businesses are aggressively expanding and gaining legitimate control of economy. Russian population is legally migrating west and russian-controlled organized crime blossoms.
      How could they have known that US would not interfere? Because George Bush promised them not to interfere! If you read my book you will uget better picture.

      • Gylippus

        It all seems disturbingly plausible, and the subsequent facts seem to fit the theory. And a similar approach at re-consolidating centralized power seems to be pursued internally as well. What an audacious plan, and stunning in its implications!
        I suppose this push / pull method is being deployed elsewhere to try and extend Russian power in W. Europe, Eurasia…

        But what ideological glue will hold the new Russian empire together?

        Thank you for your efforts at shining light on these murky issues.

  • Leib

    The Russians were prepared to lose the satellite states because they believed they could count on continued support from within those states. They also had negotiated a treaty in 1990 with the US to reduce conventional armaments but tens of thousands of Soviet tanks were moved east of the Urals prior to the agreement and never counted. The importance of getting the Soviet Union into Western economic institutions was overwhelming and was successful. Also the US ended its CoCom restrictions on military and dual use technology enabling Moscow to move forward with nuclear modernization. Recall, too, that Moscow had two key moles in US intelligence only revealed during Yeltsin's tenure (and run seamlessly by the KGB under Gorbachev and Yeltsin demonstrating the uninterrrupted continuity of the two regimes and the falsity of the notion that Yeltsin's regime was democratic). The two were Ames in CIA and Hanson in the FBI. Moscow had feedback mechanisms within American intelligence for decades (information that Golitsyn-see my comment above from last week-had warned about decades earlier only to be dismissed. For more on Golitsyn see Tennent Bagley's Spy Wars, Edward Jay Epstein's Deception and Mark Riebling's Wedge). The Soviet plan was for a strategic retreat simultaneously with entering the enemy camp. This has worked as the West believes the Soviet Union "collapsed". Instead Russia is ruled by the KGB, the opposition press is murdered with regularity. Former republics are returning to the fold and even Poland, that finally(after years of having been run by "former" communists) elected an anti Soviet leader, has had its regime decapitated in a airplane accident. Meanwhile the Soviet Union, rebaptized as Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, maintains its Cuban satellite and has expanded its imperial reach in our strategic rear to Venezuela while encouraging its Iranian client to interject its puppet, Hizbullah into Latin America (the KGB played a key role in the Mullah's overthrow of the Shah-see March 1980 Midstream for Joel Carmichael's Bear Hug and Lawrence Kohn's November 1995 Midstream article Russia's Iranian Wedge). Now Turkey is falling into the Soviet camp while allying itself with Iran and Syria (Moscow's other key Mid East client). Recall that Primakov at a party congress said that Islam is an acceptable way to achieve liberation-hence we have seen not only Arafat and Fatah tied to the KGB and Moscow but Putin's outreach to Hamas which is fast becoming an Iranian and therefore also Soviet outpost on the Mediterranean. Note Caroline Glick's observations in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that Moscow quietly sent in security forces into Gaza just as it sent a mechanized brigade into Lebanon following the ill conceived Euro force after Israel's war with Hizballah in 2006.

    • Gylippus

      Fascinating. Thanks.

      How closely linked (if at all) is the American radical Left to the 'Andropov Plan' and its architects / agents. Are they coordinating at any level, or does Russia view the American Left as essentially hostile (because it is American and pursuing American objectives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere), or as a dupe to be played to their advantage…?

      • http://www.collapseofcommunismn.com Robert Buchar

        You just asked a million dollar question. I don't think we will ever know.

  • Gylippus

    Thanks for your reply Mr. Buchar. I look forward to reading your book. I wonder if the recent arrests of Russian spies close to US 'policy circles' is a clue to the answer?

  • http://google.com Buddy Niese

    Hello could I use some of the material here in this site if I link back to you?