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Corruption Among Soviet Ukrainian Elite in the 1970s

Rm S-050, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Mon., Mar. 20, 2017, 4:15 – 6 p.m.

Corruption Among Soviet Ukrainian Elite in the 1970s

The presentation will focus on corruption among the highest officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ukraine (MZS) in the 1970s and their involvement and active participation in counterpropaganda and ideological subversion operations designed to conceal the prosecution of intellectuals and the Russification in Ukraine. Special attention will be paid to the relations between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the MZS leadership, and the behavior of diplomats and their close relatives during their business trips abroad. Their ideology and patterns of their political and personal behavior will be explored through the lens of Moscow’s cadre policies and traditions of nepotism, and in light of a new campaign of repressions against the Ukrainian intelligentsia launched in the early 1970s.

More specifically, the presentation will examine the complexities of ideological affinities and loyalties of the Ukrainian political elite during the pre-perestroika period – the era of Heorhii Shevel who headed the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from August 1970 to November 1980, and will offer an overview of the “extracurricular” activities of Ukrainian diplomats that went beyond their mission to represent Ukraine abroad and to deal with foreign relations. Ideological ambivalence and corruption among Ukrainian diplomats were interdependent phenomena that reinforced one another, forming a new cohort of Ukrainian diplomats who were both a product of the Soviet system and a new Ukrainian professional elite contributing greatly to the construction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in independent Ukraine. The presentation is based on Ukrainian archival documents.

Gazette Classification: Lecture
Organization/Sponsor: Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
Speaker(s): Olga Bertelsen, Ukrainian Studies Fund Research Fellow, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
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Date: 
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 16:15