Soviet KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov on Friday disclosed a shakeup in the top ranks of the security police in which two generals in their 60s were replaced by younger men.
Among those promoted were the former counter-espionage boss and the head of KGB intelligence in former East Germany.Kryuchkov told the newspaper Izvestia that Gen. Filipp Bobkov, until recently the second most powerful man in the KGB, resigned last year and intended to work as a consultant with the Defense Ministry.
Bobkov, 66, served in the KGB for 45 years and was in charge of the Fifth Directorate, responsible for ideology, in the late 1970s and early 1980s under then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The Fifth Directorate, now disbanded, was much criticized for its aggressive pursuit of dissidents.
President Mikhail Gorbachev relaxed surveillance of dissident groups and allowed freedom of expression after coming to power in 1985. He has since sought to give the KGB a more human face.
Izvestia quoted informed sources as saying the shakeup at the top of the KGB had strengthened the organization and Kryuchkov, appointed KGB chief in 1988, had surrounded himself with people he could rely on.
Kryuchkov said his new first deputy was Viktor Grushko, who had headed Soviet counter-intelligence for about a year, the newspaper reported.
Lt. Gen. Gennady Titov, an experienced career intelligence officer who headed KGB operations in former East Germany, was given Grushko's job, he said.
"The leadership of the KGB has taken quite an unusual step, appointing extremely young men to important posts," Izvestia said. It did not say how old Grushko and Titov were.
Kryuchkov said 45-year-old Valery Vorotnikov was head of the KGB Directorate for Defense of the Constitution, the department which replaced the old Fifth Directorate.
A KGB deputy chairman, Vladimir Pirozhkov, 66, resigned after more than 20 years' service and will head the veterans' movement in the security police.