Friday, November 5, 2010


Chief of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate since 1972, Kryuchkov was appointed chairman of the KGB in 1988. However, he was arrested in 1992 following the collapse of the coup that attempted to seize power in Moscow from President Mikhail Gorbachev. Considered a shrewd intelligence professional and an unrepentant Communist apparatchik, Kryuchkov personally authorized the recruitment of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen and was respected by subordinates and adversaries alike. Ateetotaler, fitness fanatic, and workaholic, Kryuchkov came from a humble background and was fond of reminding people that he had been a factory  worker who had taken a correspondence course in law before becoming a criminal investigator. Having graduated from the Higher Diplomatic School, he spent five years at the Soviet embassy in Budapest, where he gained the trust of the ambassador, Yuri Andropov. When Andropov was appointed chairman of the KGB in 1967 Kryuchkov became head of his secretariat.