Yuri Andropov

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Yuri Andropov

Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov (15 June 1914 - 9 February 1984) was the sixth paramount leader of the Soviet Union and the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Following the 18-year rule of Leonid Brezhnev, Andropov served in the post from November 1982 until his death in February 1984. Earlier in his career, Andropov served as the Soviet ambassador to Hungary from 1954 to 1957, during which time he was involved in the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was named Chairman of the KGB on 10 May 1967. In this position, he oversaw a massive crackdown on dissent carried out via mass arrests and the involuntary psychiatric commitment of people deemed "socially undesirable".

Upon Brezhnev's death on 10 November 1982, Andropov succeeded him as General Secretary and (by extension) leader of the Soviet Union. During his short tenure, Andropov sought to eliminate corruption and inefficiency within the Soviet system by investigating longtime officials for violations of party discipline and criminalizing truancy in the workplace. The Cold War intensified, and he was at a loss for how to handle the growing crisis in the Soviet economy. However, upon suffering kidney failure in February 1983, Andropov's health began to deteriorate rapidly. On 9 February 1984, he died after leading the country for only about 15 months.


  • Our foreign policy is also a class policy, because our Party follows a steady, persistent and honest peace policy which simultaneously stands unstakeably on the principles of proletarian internationalism and solidarity with the struggle of the peoples for freedom and social progress. There is no contradiction in this. We do not expect that the monopolistic bourgeoisie and the governments which are executing their will will endorse under the conditions of detente the revolu­tionary struggle of the proletariat or the national liberation struggle of the oppressed peoples. The Soviet Union does not put such demands on the West. But one should not demand of the Soviet Union to sacrifice its solidarity with those who are struggling against exploitation and colonial oppression.
  • We shall do everything possible for further increasing cohesion of the great community of socialist states, the unity of the ranks of Communists of the whole world in the struggle for common aims and ideals. We shall guard and develop our solidarity and our cooperation with the countries that have gained freedom from colonial oppression, with the struggle of the peoples for national independence and social progress. We shall always be loyal to the cause of the struggle for peace, for the relaxation of international tension.
  • It’s necessary to create conditions-economic and organizational-that will stimulate good-quality, productive labor, initiative and enterprise. Conversely, poor work, sluggishness and irresponsibility should have an immediate and inescapable effect on the remuneration, job status and moral prestige of personnel.
  • The imperialists have not given up the scheme of economic war against the Socialist countries, of interfering in their internal affairs in the hope of eroding their social system, and are trying to win military superiority over the U.S.S.R., over all the countries of the Socialist community. Of course, these plans are sure to fail. It is not given to anyone to turn back the course of historical development.
  • In America and in our country there are nuclear weapons—terrible weapons that can kill millions of people in an instant. But we do not want them to be ever used. That's precisely why the Soviet Union solemnly declared throughout the entire world that never—never—will it use nuclear weapons first against any country. In general we propose to discontinue further production of them and to proceed to the abolition of all the stockpiles on earth.
  • The Soviet state has successfully overcome many trials, including crucial ones, during the six and a half decades of its existence. Those who encroached on the integrity of our state, its independence and our system found themselves on the garbage heap of history. It is high time that everyone to whom this applies understood that we shall be able to insure the security of our country, the security of our friends and allies under any circumstances. The Soviet people can rest assured that our country's defense capability is being maintained at such a level that it would not be advisable for anyone to stage a trial of strength. On our part, we do not seek a trial of strength. The very thought of it is alien to us.
  • As it is, we are living in too brittle a world. That is why responsible statesmen must evaluate the developments and adopt a rational decision. It is human reason alone that can and must save mankind from the grave danger. We call on those who are pushing the world along the road of the ever more dangerous arms race to give up their unrealizable hopes of thus achieving military superiority in order to dictate their will to other peoples and states. The Soviet Union is convinced that peace can be strengthened and the security of peoples guaranteed not by way of building up and inventing ever new types of armaments but, on the contrary, by way of reducing the existing armaments to immeasurably lower levels.
  • The Soviet Union, and we stress this again, does not strive for military superiority, and we will do only what is absolutely necessary to prevent the military balance from being disrupted.
  • The Soviet Union declares with all firmness and in no uncertain terms that it remains an adherent of the principled course of ending the arms race, first of all the nuclear arms race, of lessening and ultimately totally removing the threat of nuclear war. It will further exert every effort for the attainment of these lofty aims.

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