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Publications [#363057] of Simon Miles

Journal Articles

  1. Miles, S. "The Problems of Perestroika: The KGB and Mikhail Gorbachev's Reforms." Slavic Review 80.4 (January, 2021): 816-838. [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/12/03)

    The KGB and the rest of the Soviet intelligence and policing apparatus are commonly portrayed as having been among the staunchest of conservative opponents to the reform process in the Soviet Union during the latter half of the 1980s. But while key leaders of the August 1991 effort to oust General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, for example, did come from the security services, this characterization obscures how the KGB rank-And-file responded to and participated in the reforms. This article uses their own words and experiences, recorded in the KGBs top-secret in-house journal, Sbornik KGB SSSR, to examine how everyday KGB officers navigated liberalizing reforms in which they in fact played an active and evolving role implementing and shaping. In these firsthand accounts, which cover topics from nationalism to environmentalism, a sense of loss of control is clear, both over events unfolding in the Soviet Union and over their own leading role and privileged position within it.

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