Anti-alcohol campaig in USSR (1985-1987). On Soviet archival documents and the declassified materials of CIA

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Аннотация / Annotation
В статье анализируются рассекреченные доклады ЦРУ, посвященные причинам, ходу и последствиям антиалкогольной кампании в СССР 1985-1987 гг. Сведения из этих источников сопоставляются с архивными документами и другими советскими источниками, посвященными данным проблемам.
The article analyses the CIA declassified documents devoted to the main reasons, development and the consequences of the anti-alcohol campaign in the USSR in 1985-1987. The information from these sources has been compared to the archive documents and other Soviet sources devoted to the following problems.

Ключевые слова / Keywords
Источник, пьянство, алкоголизм, антиалкогольная кампания, преступность. Source, drinking, alcoholism, anti-alcohol campaign, crime.

Interest to an "alcoholic" perspective in Russia periodically that flashes, fades. In many respects as the reason for that the political environment acts. But invariable there is one – understanding both political elite, and scientific community of that unbiased fact that the excessive alcohol drinking bears in itself a large number of negative social, economic and political and legal consequences. In this regard the appeal to the last "moist" law in the USSR is obviously important not only from the point of view of research interest, but also in the pragmatical plan.

As appears from article subtitle, speech in it will go, how the reasons, mechanisms of realization and a consequence of the last approach of the Soviet state on the alcohol, initiated in May, 1985. General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union M.S. Gorbachev, reflected in classified documents Central prospecting managements (CIA) of the USA and various documents of the Soviet period on this perspective.
Some words about CIA documents. In 1999 of CIA removed security classifications and confidentiality on a large number of the historical documents devoted to various aspects of activity of the USSR. Documents of CIA from a series «Historical reviews» are placed on an official site of the American prospecting department in a free access. The general for all declassified documents is their careful redaction analysts of CIA on purpose not to give out information sources if they can do much harm activity of intelligence service of the USA. Such places in the text are bleached and taken in square brackets.

The block of documents on Perestroika processes in the Soviet Union the extensive rather. Practically any of problems of the Soviet society of the second half of the 1980th didn't remain unaddressed experts from Langley. Really, in sight of reconnaissance service of the USA there were questions of economy, domestic and foreign policy of the new management of the USSR, problems and reorganization contradictions.
Antialcoholic campaign in the USSR appeared 1985-1987 one of such subjects. Among reports of CIA devoted to the matter, it is possible to allocate two: “Gorbachev’s Campaign Against Alcohol” and “The Illegal Economy Under Gorbachev: Growth and Implications”.
In these documents the complex of the problems connected with realization of antialcoholic campaign, actively realized in the USSR in 1985-1987 is most distinctly considered. Let's try to compare an assessment of events occurring in the Soviet Union reconnaissance service of the USA and their reflection in various Soviet sources.

Four sources of information on questions of an alcoholic situation in the USSR still aren't subject to announcement and in the text of the report of CIA they completely retouch. It is necessary to assume only about confidential sources of information which prospecting department of the USA had.
In CIA document from known in the west of work of the authoritative expert on an alcoholic problem the schedule is provided in the USSR Vladimir Treml “Alcohol in the USSR: statistical research”. On it dynamics of average per capita consumption of alcohol in the USSR at the age from 15 years is graphically presented and is more senior in 1955-1983. Growth both total amounts of the use of alcoholic production, and illegally made in house conditions isn’t. In the USSR for known reasons during this period this work couldn't be published.
In the report of CIA devoted to antialcoholic campaign in the USSR of the middle of the 1980th it was said that alcoholism seriously complicates a situation with labor discipline at the Soviet enterprises. It was noted that according to data of one of the Soviet researches, 20 % of men and 11% of women took alcohol on work.
Here is how estimated in CIA report “Gorbachev campaign against alcohol” influence of alcoholism on crime: “Various publications specify that 80 % of robberies, 75 % of murders and rapes and 50 % of thefts of personal property are made by people who were in an alcohol intoxication”.

The statistics of crime in the USSR the 1950th - was reflected 1985 in various departmental documents – the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, Prosecutor's office, the Supreme Court. Comparison of conclusions of analysts of CIA and archival documents of the Soviet period doesn't leave doubts that the American reconnaissance service as a whole in estimates appeared isn't far from a real situation, despite the most strict privacy of statistics of crimes and offenses in the USSR.
In CIA report “Gorbachev campaign against alcohol” isn't that this campaign appeared the most considerable in respect of fight against alcoholism and alcoholism in Russia since the dry law entered in the country with the beginning of the First World War.
The massed replacement of the state alcohol should stimulate underground production of alcohol drinks. By estimates of experts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR, in 1985-1987 volumes of realization of alcohol drinks per capita through the state trade decreased almost in 3 times. However this decrease was considerably if not completely, it is compensated by alcoholic substitutes and is underground the made moonshine.
In CIA report “Illegal economy at Gorbachev: growth and influence” the following this: “So, for example, antialcoholic campaign of 1985-1988 led to sharp increase in illegal production of alcohol and redirected the income of public sector on illegal producers and sellers of alcoholic production”.

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.