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tivities of the First Main Directorate and its Group) is to be set up to study archival directorate in the Federal Security Service of enterprises and institutes, or to demand in- documents connected with the history of the the Russian Federation; formation about its work or work carried out development of nuclear weapons in the USSR B. V. LITVINOV — senior designer at at the behest of the First Main Directorate. and to devise recommendations for their the Russian Federal Nuclear Center and the All records of such work are to be directed declassification. The Working Group is to All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of only to the GKO’s Special Committee. consist of the following:
Experimental Physics, Atomic Energy Min12. That within 10 days the Special L.D.RYABEV — first deputy Minister istry of Russia; Committee be instructed to provide recom- of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation V. M. OREL director of the S. I. mendations for approval by the Chairman of (director of the Working Group);
Vavilov Institute of the History of Natural the GKO concerning the transfer of all nec- R. G. PIKHOYA director of Science and Technology, Russian Academy essary scientifc, design, engineering, and Rosarkhiv (deputy director of the Working of Sciences; ; production organizations and industrial en- Group);
V. A. PIDZHAKOV — deputy head of terprises to the First Main Directorate of the G. A. TSYRKOV head of a main the Central Physics and Technical Institute USSR CPC, and to affirm the structure, directorate in the Atomic Energy Ministry of at the Defense Ministry of Russia; organization, and number of workers on the Russia (deputy director of the Working Yu. B.. KHARITON honorary restaffs of the Committee and the First Main Group);
search director of the Russian Federal Directorate of the USSR CPC.
V. V. ALEKSEEV director of the Nuclear Center and the All-Russian Scien13. That Cde. Beria be instructed to Institute of History and Archaeology of the tific Research Institute of Experimental Phystake measures aimed at organizing foreign Urals Division of the Russian Academy of ics, Atomic Energy Ministry of Russia. intelligence work to gain more complete Sciences;
2. Within three months, the Atomic technical and economic information about V. I. ANIKEEV deputy head of a Energy Ministry of Russia, the Defense Minthe uranium industry and about atomic direcorate in the Foreign Intelligence Ser- istry of Russia, the State Committee on the bombs. He is empowered to supervise all vice of Russia
Defense Industry of Russia, the Federal Seintelligence work in this sphere carried out V.V.BOGDAN—chief of affairs at the curity Service of the Russian Federation, the by intelligence organs (NKGB, RUKA, etc.). Atomic Energy Ministry of Russia; .
Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia,
A. A. BRISH senior designer at the Rosarkhiv, and the Russian Academy of Chairman of the State Defense Committee All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Sciences will prepare, and present to the
J. STALIN Automation, Atomic Energy Ministry of Working Group, lists of archival documents
proposed for declassification and for incluDistributed to Cdes.:
V. N. VERKHOVTSEV head of a sion in an official compilation of archival Beria, Molotov, Voznesenskii,
command sector in a main directorate of the documents pertaining to the history of the Malenkov, Mikoyan: all points; Borisov: General Staff of the Russian Federation development of nuclear weapons in the USSR 8, 10; Zverev, Golev: 9; Meshik, Armed Forces;
during the period through 1954. Abakumov, Antropov, Kasatkin: 10;
G. A. GONCHAROV department 3. In the third quarter of 1995, the Pervukhin: 1, 10; Merkulov, Kuznetsov head at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center Working Group will determine a thematic (RUKA): 13; Chadaev: 4, 9, 10, 11. and the All-Russian Scientific Research In- way of dividing archival documents pro
stitute of Experimental Physics, Atomic En- posed for declassification in accordance with * ergy Ministry of Russia;
established procedures and for inclusion in Yu. V. GRAFOV deputy head of a an official compilation of archival docuDOCUMENT 2 directorate of the Navy;
ments pertaining to the history of the devel
S. A. ZELENTSOV consultant for a opment of nuclear weapons in the USSR Directive of the Government of the main directorate of the Defense Ministry of during the period through 1954, and will Russian Federation Russia;
prepare a general list of these documents. No. 728-r, Issued on 24 May 1995 in
E. A. IVANOV deputy head of a 4. In the fourth quarter of 1995, the Moscow
section in the Department of Defense Indus- State Technology Commission of Russia, in
try, Administrative Staff of the Government conjunction with the Atomic Energy MinisToimplement the decree “On the Prepa- of the Russian Federation;
try of Russia, the DefMin of Russia, the ration and Publication of an Official Compi- A. P. KALANDIN — deputy chairman State Committee on the Defense Industry of lation of Archival Documents Pertaining to of the State Technology Commission of Russia, the Federal Security Service of the the History of the Development of Nuclear Russia;
Russian Federation, the Foreign Intelligence Weapons in the USSR,” issued on 17 Febru- N. I. KOMOV senior specialist in a Service of Russia, Rosarkhiv, and the Rusary 1995 by the President of the Russian main directorate of the Atomic Energy Min- sian Academy of Sciences will, on the basis Federation: istry of Russia;
of established procedures, arrange for the 1. A Working Group of the Govern- V. N. KOSORUKOV senior engi- declassification of archival documents perment Commission on the Comprehensive neer in a main directorate of the Defense taining to the history of the development of Solution of the Problem of Nuclear Weap- Ministry of Russia;
nuclear weapons in the USSR during the ons (referred to hereinafter as the Working A. A. KRAYUSHKIN head of a
period through 1954, drawing on the list
specified in Point 3 of this directive. 3. After that date, Chinese press reports The form of reporting in the Chinese press was
5. The Atomic Energy Ministry of were virtually identical to the coverage in obviously geared toward the Chinese reader. Even Russia is responsible for providing organi- other Communist countries, all of which
though the Chinese people were following the zational and technical support for the activ- condemned the Hungarian revolution and
crisis in Hungary very closely, it is quite natural
that for the Chinese people the crisis seemed more ity of the Working Group and for the prepa- strongly supported the Soviet invasion. Until
distant than it did for, say, the peoples of the ration of materials needed to publish an November 2, however, the Chinese press
European People's Democracies. In addition, the official compilation of archival documents was bolder and more evenhanded in its treat
Anglo-French aggression against Egypt at that pertaining to the history of the development ment of the Hungarian crisis than the other time was given priority coverage in the Chinese of nuclear weapons in the USSR during the East-bloc newspapers were, as Liebermann's press. This explains why until the formation of the period through 1954.
report makes clear. The East German diplo- Revolutionary Workers' and Peasants' Govern6. The Russian Committee on the Press mat even expressed anxiety about the detail ment, much more information about Hungary and Publishing, in conjunction with the of Chinese coverage, saying that “they would
appeared in the Chinese press than in the GDR
press. Under the special conditions of the PRC, Atomic Energy Ministry of Russia, is to have been better off leaving out” some of the
they can pursue this type of reporting without fear ensure the publication in 1996 of an official most vivid descriptions of the revolutionary
that it will cause agitation and disquiet among the compilation of archival documents pertain- ferment. Liebermann left no doubt that the
Chinese people of the sort one can detect among ing to the history of the development of kind of reports featured in the Chinese press some of the GDR citizens currently here in Penuclear weapons in the USSR during the would have been unacceptable in East Ger- king. period through 1954. Funding is to come many.
Although the Chinese press during the early from outlays in the Federal budget for the The concluding paragraph of Lieber- days was factual and objective in its reports on the periodical press and publishing outlets. mann's report is intriguing insofar as it re
crisis in Hungary, there were some things reveals high-level East German concerns about
ported in the press that they would have been
better off leaving out, even if one takes account of Chairman of the Government of the China's efforts to establish a “special posi
the special conditions in the PRC. Two examples Russian Federation tion' within the socialist camp” and about
will suffice to illustrate this point. V. Chernomyrdin Beijing's general commitment to the Com
1) The “People's Daily” on 1 Nov. quoted the munist bloc. Although Liebermann assured following passage from a speech by Nagy: “The ******
his superiors that China “stands solidly be- continual growth of the revolution in our country RESEARCH NOTE: hind” the socialist camp and “is not taking has brought the movement of democratic forces to
a crossroads." SECRET EAST GERMAN REPORT up any sort of special position,'” the very
2) The “People's Daily” on 1 Nov. also reported fact that he had to rebut these accusations ON CHINESE REACTIONS
that Nagy on 30 Oct. had commenced negotiaTO THE 1956 HUNGARIAN REVOLT implies that some officials in Eastern Eu
tions with representatives of the armed forces rope already sensed that the “steadfast alli
committee of the freedom fighters and the revoluance” between the Soviet Union and China Introduced and Translated
tionary committee of the revolutionary intelligenmight one day be called into question. tsia and students. by Mark Kramer
Thus, the document is valuable in show- A clear statement about the crisis in Hungary Following are excerpts from a docu- ing how even a seemingly arcane item from was published in a lead article in the “People's ment prepared by a senior East German the East-Central European archives can shed Daily” on 3 Nov. In this lead article, which covers
the Soviet Union's declaration on ties with socialdiplomat, H. Liebermann, a few weeks after light on the dynamics of Sino-Soviet rela
ist countries, a portion concerns the crisis in Soviet troops crushed the revolution in Hun- tions.
Hungary: “The Chinese people are wholeheartgary in 1956. The full report, entitled, “Berich
edly on the side of the honest Hungarian workers uber die Haltung der VR China zu den No. 212/02/ Peking, 30 November 1956
and on the side of the true Hungarian patriots and Ereignissen in Ungarn,” is now stored in File
resolute socialist fighters for Hungary. We are No. 120, Section IV 2/20, of the former East
dismayed to see that a small group of counterrevo
on the Stance of the People's Republic of German Communist party archives, known
lutionary conspirators are exploiting the situation
China toward the Crisis in Hungary as Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massen
with the aim of restoring capitalism and fascist organisationen der DDR im Bundesarchiv The first report in the Chinese press about the
terror and of using Hungary to disrupt the unity of
the socialist countries and undermine the Warsaw (SAPMDB, or SAPMO), in Berlin. (A copy crisis in Hungary was published on 27.10.56. It
Pact." of the document was recently located at the
should be noted that up through 2 Nov. this
information was published without commentary, Berlin archive by Christian F. Ostermann, a for example in the foreign policy section of
Judging by the stance of the PRC toward the researcher currently based at the National “People's Daily” on pages 5/6. Nevertheless,
crisis in Hungary, one again can confidently emSecurity Archive in Washington, D.C., and through daily published reports (except on 30
phasize that the PRC stands solidly behind the provided to the author by CWIHP.) Oct., when nothing about Hungary was published
camp of socialism and friendship with the Soviet Liebermann's six-page report, compiled
Union. It is also clear that the PRC is not taking up in “People's Daily”) the PRC informed the Chiat the request of the East German Foreign nese people in detail about the crisis in Hungary.
any sort of “special position” within the socialist Ministry, traces Chinese press coverage of This information, however, was not enough to
camp, as certain Western circles would have pre
ferred. The stance of the People's Republic of events in Hungary from late October to mid- provide a clear picture of the crisis. This situation
China toward the crisis in Hungary was no differNovember 1956. The portions translated remained essentially unchanged until the forma
ent from the stance of the other socialist countries. tion of the Workers' and Peasants' Government. here pertain to coverage through November
“A VOICE CRYING
are a sterling example, concentrating par- Though he claims to have based his accounts IN THE WILDERNESS”: ticularly on moments when diplomats' pre- on his own experiences and on his conversaTHE PROFESSIONAL’S REVENGE rogatives were violated, whether by party tions with other Soviet diplomats, in particu
functionaries, military officers, or the high- lar Gromyko, the reader finds little from an by David R. Stone
est leadership of the Soviet state. After insider's point of view. As a low-ranking
Henry Kissinger's April 1972 visit to Mos- diplomat, Kornienko may indeed have seen Georgii Markovich Kornienko, Kholodnaia cow, in which he worked closely with and done little worthy of reporting. Even so, voina: svidetel’stvo ee uchastnika [The Cold Kornienko, the innocuously bland final state- an occasional personal glimpse of life in War: Testimony of a Participant] (Moscow: ment noted that talks had been “open and Soviet intelligence and the diplomatic corps International Relations, 1995).
productive.” N. V. Podgornyi, Chair of the slips through. Kornienko relates, for ex
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and thus ample, that hawkish officials in the KGB, After a Soviet fighter plane shot down nominally Soviet head of state, objected to hoping to present Stalin with a translation of Korean Air Lines flight 007 in September this positive spin on Soviet-American rela- George Kennan's seminal 1947 Foreign Af1983, Georgii Kornienko was assigned by tions despite his complete ignorance of di- fairs article, “The Sources of Soviet Conhis superior Foreign Minister Andrei plomacy. Only Kissinger's acquiescence duct,” in which “containment” was transGromyko to prepare TASS's official press avoided more serious diplomatic conse- lated as “suffocation,” pressured Kornienko release on the incident. In particular, quences. Still later, as political instability in to spice his translation. The cooler heads of Gromyko instructed Kornienko to claim Afghanistan grew at the end of the 1970s, the Kornienko and his fellow translators sucthat the Soviet Union had absolutely no universal opinion within the Soviet Foreign ceeded in standing up for the integrity of the knowledge of the fate of the airliner, though Ministry against military intervention was translator's art. the Soviet leadership was quite certain that disregarded-Andropov and Ustinov even- These earlier chapters are most noteit had indeed shot down the plane. Kornienko tually browbeat Gromyko into agreeing to an worthy for the general theory Kornienko vehemently protested that the truth of the invasion, Kornienko informs us, producing a offers of the Cold War and its origins, which matter would inevitably come out and that bloody and ultimately frustrating war with has a direct bearing on his interpretation of the best course was to reveal just that: the disastrous consequences at home and abroad. how the Cold War ended. For Kornienko, Soviet Union had shot down an unidentified Despite these tales of underappreciated there were no vast impersonal forces or intruder in the full conviction that it was an diplomats, Kornienko's book is surprisingly inevitable class contradictions dictating the American spy plane. Gromyko was indeci- unrevealing about the inner workings of So- growth of U.S.-Soviet rivalry. Neither class sive, but invited Kornienko to call KGB viet foreign policy; while discussing Ustinov struggle nor geopolitical necessity mandated head Yurii Andropov to state his case. In and Andropov's pressure on Gromyko for confrontation. Soviet policy in Eastern EuKornienko's opinion, Andropov was pre- intervention in Afghanistan, he never satis- rope was also no obstacle to normal relapared to accept an honest account of the factorily explains why they themselves had tions, as Kornienko argues that American event, but was swayed by Defense Minister abandoned the general conviction that mili- methods in Japan did not differ from Stalin's Dmitrii Ustinov, long-time master of Soviet tary intervention in Afghanistan was a ter- methods in Eastern Europe. (Poles and defense industry, and the Soviet military rible idea. Extraordinarily cagey, he never Czechoslovaks might be puzzled here at leadership. At the meeting to make the final draws upon personal experience or Soviet their implicit inclusion in the camp of dedecision, Ustinov won this internal battle documentary evidence when a Western sec- feated Axis powers.) Instead, the Cold War and Kornienko was only “a voice crying in ondary source will do. Personal observa- stemmed from the pragmatic Roosevelt's the wilderness.” The consequences proved tions in his work serve either to prove
tions in his work serve either to prove his untimely death and his replacement by the Kornienkoright; a human tragedy was turned own acuity and point up the mistakes of ideologue Truman. Kornienko notes by the Soviet leadership’s short-sightedness others or to disparage the talents and charac- Truman's notorious suggestion that the Naand the Reagan Administration's intense ter of those Kornienko worked with. His zis and Soviets be left to kill each other off; criticism into a public relations disaster for a
memoirs produce the impression that he likes it so much he repeats it twice. the USSR.
Kornienko had no friends, was particularly Kornienko asks rhetorically, “Was another Moments like these, in which political unimpressed by Brezhnev, Ford, and Reagan, path possible? It seems to me yes. But leaders ignore at their peril the advice of and of all those he dealt with admired only Truman consciously rejected it.” That is, their professional advisors, recur frequently Gromyko and Andropov. This does not confrontation was a specific political choice, in Kornienko's memoirs. Covering his over mean that Kornienko's book is without value, and one for which the Soviets bore at least forty years of serving the Soviet state from but it must be used to understand the mind- some measure of responsibility, for “if the junior translator in intelligence work to set and mental world of a member of the American side said 'A' in the Cold War, then Deputy Foreign Minister, Kornienko's ob- Soviet foreign policy elite, not to find new Stalin didn't hold himself back from saying servations are those of a Soviet patriot intent facts and revealed secrets.
‘B’.” Since the West never seriously underon settling scores both with the West and Kornienko's first three chapters, on the took an end to the Cold War, when the end with his Soviet comrades. It is perhaps a sources of the Cold War, on the Eisenhower finally did come under Gorbachev, the only universal failing of memoirs that they em- presidency, and on Kennedy and Khrushchev, possible explanation was unilateral Soviet phasize those times when the hero-author is offer very little that is new or especially surrender. . right and all about are mistaken; Kornienko's interesting to students of the Cold War. Chapter 4 on the Cuban missile crisis is
nearly as frustrating as the first three in terms of the most important stages of détente- Soviet efforts in foreign policy were saboof lacking new revelations. Kornienko ap- Kissinger's secret visit to Moscow, Nixon's taged by bungling and short-sightedness. proves the document collections that have Moscow summit and Ford's Vladivostok He tells us that West German Chancellor been published since the advent of glasnost, summit with Brezhnev-only to comment
Helmut Schmidt suggested to Aleksei but does not enrich the story they tell with bitingly on Brezhnev and Ford's lack of Kosygin that the replacement SS-20s be any significant new information of his own. mental ability, or to claim that Kissinger limited to a quantity significantly less than Despite serving as a counselor in the Soviet deliberately scheduled meetings in Moscow the outgoing SS-4s and SS-5s, given the Union's Washington embassy during the to keep his deputy Helmut Sonnenfeldt away qualitative superiority of the new missiles, crisis, Kornienko tells us little of his own from discussions on the Middle East (alleg- and that this policy be linked explicitly to an experiences. He does relate (as does then- edly due to fear of Sonnenfeldt's “zionist
edly due to fear of Sonnenfeldt’s “zionist attempt to head off a new arms race in Soviet ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin in inclinations”).
Europe. Kornienko, an invited guest at the his recently published memoirs) that the Détente was short-lived. In Kornienko's Politburo meeting that discussed Schmidt's Soviet embassy was kept in complete igno- interpretation, the beginning of the end was suggestion, spoke above his station and out rance of the installation of Soviet missiles in the 1975-76 Angolan Civil War; Carter's of turn to support this initiative. Ustinov Cuba, and was in fact unwittingly used to presidency only furthered the deterioration challenged him with the possibility of an pass along disinformation.
of U.S.-Soviet relations already begun and American arms buildup even after conciliaThe meat of Kornienko's story is his represented another missed chance at an end tory Soviet gestures. Even in this worst-case role in one of the key moments of the crisis: to the Cold War. The main obstacle to outcome, Kornienko believed, any tempoKhrushchev's two letters to Kennedy, the improving relations, in Kornienko's account, rary advantage the Americans might gain in first of 26 October 1962 promising with- was not Carter's concern for human rights, medium-range missiles would be far outdrawal of Soviet missiles in return for an which was irritating but rather insignificant weighed by the beneficial effects of the American pledge of non-intervention in to Soviet leaders, but instead more concrete resulting strains in the Western alliance and Cuba, the second of the next day addition- issues of international politics. While Carter strengthening of Western Europe's antially demanding the corresponding with- himself might have been prepared for a more nuclear movement. With Brezhnev too feeble drawal of American missiles from Turkey. open-minded approach to the Soviet Union, to make his presence felt, and Gromyko's According to Kornienko, his own detective the Carter Administration, hamstrung by refusal to speak up for Kornienko, Ustinov work played a central role in Khrushchev’s unnamed (but easily identifiable) hawks simply proved too powerful. Once again decision to sharpen his demands. Soviet within its ranks, was not prepared for a full Kornienko, the lone voice of reason, had his intelligence sources reported a conversation settlement. The United States' fundamental advice unthinkingly disregarded, and the with an American journalist on his immedi- goals still included superiority not equality upgrade went forward as planned. ate departure for Florida to cover the immi- in arms control policy, and even the Carter- The second half of Chapter 10 examnent American invasion. Hearing these re- brokered Camp David accord only under- ines the fate of the SS-23 “Oka” missile. ports as well as taking into account the mined the chances for a general Mideast This is one episode of the Cold War whose heightened alert status of American armed peace via U.S.-Soviet joint action, Kornienko significance is interpreted in radically difforces, Khrushchev accordingly acted to calm alleges.
ferent ways on either side of the former iron the situation by sending his first letter. Chapters 8 and 9 cover the war in Af- curtain. Barely noticed in the West, Kornienko himself knew the journalist, ghanistan and the downing of KAL 007 as Gorbachev and Shevardnadze's decision to scheduled lunch with him (itself proving discussed above; Chapter 10 brings us to the include the SS-23 with its 400km
in that the journalist was not due for immediate Reagan years and the beginnings of glasnost, the list of intermediate range (that is, with departure), and convinced himself that the for which Kornienko has saved his bitterest range 500 km and higher) missiles slated for earlier intelligence reports of imminent in- venom. His target is not Stalin, Brezhnev, or elimination is the touchstone of Russian vasion had been mistaken. Armed with any Western cold warrior, but his last two military and conservative condemnation of Kornienko's information, Khrushchev felt superiors: Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard
superiors: Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Gorbachev, what one officer terms the “crime prepared to drive a harder bargain with the Shevardnadze. In Chapter 10 and his con- of the century.” While the opposition to Americans.
clusion, he presents the case for the prosecu- Gorbachev can hardly argue that the elimiChapter 5 on the prelude to détente and tion in Mikhail Gorbachev's treason trial. nation of a single missile system was the root Chapter 6 on détente itself offer slightly Traitor is not too strong a word to express cause of the downfall of the Soviet Union, more. Détente came not from any alter- Kornienko's evaluation of Mikhail they do see the case of the Oka as an example ations on the Soviet side, but from Nixon and Gorbachev, but Kornienko admits that blun- of all the worst in Gorbachev's diplomacy: Kissinger's decision to undertake a more ders began before Gorbachev took power in unpreparedness, unwillingness to listen to pragmatic and conciliatory policy towards 1985. Chapter 10 first examines at the pre- expert opinion, and, most seriously, sacriMoscow. In early 1972, Kornienko worked Gorbachev decision to replace aging Soviet fice of Soviet national interests in the name closely with Henry Kissinger on the “Basic medium-range SS-4 and SS-5 missiles in of agreement, any agreement, with the West. Principles” statement on Soviet-American Europe with SS-20s. In keeping with As Kornienko puts it, the inclusion of the relations. Despite being at the heart of Kornienko's general portrait of the late
Kornienko's general portrait of the late Oka under the provisions of a treaty that did political decision-making at the highest lev- Brezhnev years, in contrast with more effec- not concern it was “only one of the examples els, Kornienko strays from standard accounts tive policy under Stalin and Khrushchev, of what serious consequences occur when
high-placed leaders ignore the competent unacceptability of German NATO member- never heard, but the rejection of Soviet rule judgment of specialists and as a result sacri- ship to George Bush in Washington only in in Eastern Europe and the disintegration of fice the very interests of the state trying for February 1990 and then conceding the Soviet state itself are what truly demolone thing—to that much quickly finish the Germany's right to remain in NATO without ished Soviet foreign policy. It is just these preparation of this or that treaty and light off receiving guarantees and concessions in re- events that Kornienko cannot bring himself fireworks in celebration.”
to look at, and to ask whether he and his The conclusion of Kornienko's book, a Here Kholodnaia voina particularly suf- fellow professionals bear any responsibility shortened version of a case set forth earlier fers by comparison to Kornienko's 1992 for them. at greater length and in greater detail in collaboration with Marshal Sergei Nezavisimaia Gazeta (16 August 1994), is Akhromeev, former Chief of the General David Stone is a Ph.D. candidate in the what his argument has been leading to all Staff and one-time personal aide to Mikhail History Department of Yale University. along: the Gorbachev era as the epitome of Gorbachev. This earlier book, Glazami unprofessionalism in foreign policy. It is a marshala i diplomata [Through the Eyes of
* * full-fledged condemnation of almost every a Marshal and a Diplomat] (Moscow, 1992), action undertaken by Gorbachev and covers in book-length form the Gorbachev
CHEN HANSHENG’S MEMOIRS Shevardnadze from 1985 through the final years which Kornienko discusses in a chap
AND CHINESE COMMUNIST collapse of the Soviet Union. In particular, ter. The lion's share is Akhromeev's work,
by Maochen Yu revolutionary in international politics. As ing the details of Soviet tactics in arms conKornienko reminds us, it was Lenin who trol negotiations. While nearly as condem- Chen Hansheng, My Life During Four Eras first enunciated the principle of “peaceful natory of Gorbachev as Kornienko, [Sige shidai de wo) (Beijing: China Culture
] coexistence” with the capitalist world (as Akhromeev as Chief of the General Staff was and History Press (zhongguo wenshi chupan another form of class struggle), and Stalin in a position to truly appreciate the steady she], 1988). actively endorsed the idea of coexistence decline of the Soviet Union under Brezhnev with the West as late as 1951. Ever since a and the need for radical reform, though he Post-Mao China has been marked by a rough nuclear parity had been achieved in parted company with Gorbachev on how
transition from a combination of totalitarithe 1960s, reasonable people on each side precisely reform needed to be implemented. anism and socialism
of had seen the need for an end to the arms race (Akhromeev killed himself in the wake of the authoritarianism and a "socialist market and confrontation. Gorbachev’s innovation failed coup of August 1991.) What Kornienko economy.” Along with this transition is the was not living in peace with the West, but misses in his evaluation of the Gorbachev gradual “withering away of the state,” which the unilateral “betrayal of the Soviet Union's years is precisely how desperate Gorbachev's
in turn has resulted in a looser government vital interests.
position was by the end of the 1980s. With control over publication on some historical Kornienko enunciates a number of spe- opposition to Gorbachev growing on all sides, issues previously considered taboo during cific examples of Gorbachev's craven be- an economy spiraling into free fall, Soviet the Mao era. One of the most fascinating havior-submission to the United States troops on hostile ground in Eastern Europe, new academic interests in China is the sudover the Krasnoyarsk radar station and So- and the specter of nationalism haunting the den surge of materials on Chinese Commuviet acquiescence in the use of force against Soviet Union, Gorbachev simply had no nist intelligence, triggered by a massive “poIraq—but his most substantial comments ground to stand on. It is this last factor- litical rehabilitation” of those Chinese Comare reserved for the reunification of Ger- nationalism—that Kornienko (and for that munist Party (CCP) intelligence veterans many. Kornienko, having passed over in matter Akhromeev) consistently ignores. It who were vanquished in Mao's ruthless camsilence the Soviet interventions in Czecho- seems he imagines that a stable end to the paigns. The publication of Chen Hansheng's
a slovakia and Hungary, takes pains to em- Cold War could have occurred with Eastern memoirs, My Life During Four Eras, is just phasize the right of the German people to Europe still occupied by Soviet troops, and one of the telling examples. self-determination, free from outside influ- he never noticed that half the Soviet Union's Chen Hansheng became an agent for ence. His objection is to the manner in population was non-Russian.
the Comintern in 1926 while a young profeswhich this unification took place and the Kornienko, then, continues to be a de- sor at Beijing University (p.35). His life as status of the resulting German state. Why, voted patriot of the collapsed empire he
acommunist intelligence official spans many he asks, should Germany remain in NATO served for four decades. While there is likely decades of the 20th century and involves and why should NATO troops remain in some truth to his assertions that Gorbachev some of the most important espionage cases. Germany with Soviet troops completely might have driven marginally harder bar- Chen Hansheng's memoirs add some new evacuated from Eastern Europe? The fact gains with the West than he in fact did, the and revealing dimensions to the present unthat Germany has stayed in NATO he at- real significance of any diplomatic triumphs derstanding of the much debated history of tributes to the absolutely incompetent way Gorbachev might have achieved is question- Chinese and international communism. In in which Gorbachev handled the German able. What can any diplomat achieve when
an authoritative manner, this publication question, avoiding the enunciation of any the state he or she represents crumbles away? helps answer many nagging questions long clear policy until too late, insisting on the Kornienko can complain that his voice was
in the minds of historians, chief among which