Shcherbitsky or as he was named behind his back «VV» was known in Ukraine not only as the activity organizer, the head of republican Communist Party, but also as the great admirer of football and pigeon-fancier. (The Fancies in hobby growing small in Ukraine, from pigeons to ...).
What can be said about that period of development from the point of view of history. There was stability about which today people gossip, but there were also the weaknesses and deformations in political-administrative sphere: incompetence of a management, the absence of resoluteness in practical affairs, complacency and self-calmness, and the main thing, domination of bureaucracy - Ukrainian scourge of history and modern times. The bribery became the norm of the official's life, that norm smoothly outgrew in our century. From 1968 the most part of the branch ministries became "union-republican" that meant economic strengthening of the union dictatorship center, on the one hand, but accurate performance of problems of the uniform state, on the other hand. In those days Ukraine was the second republic in the Union on the potential and value. But, except the economic component, people still wanted «bread and circuses». Circuses, as in Russian, so in Ukrainian language.
Not ten years had passed from the date of the beginning of "men of the sixties" movement and Khruschev's reforms, when the wave went in the opposite direction. In response to the number of arrests of the part of Ukrainian intelligency, calling to bring to life Lenin's principle «nations rights to self-determination», on November, 9th 1976 the «Ukrainian public group of assistance to the fulfillment of Helsinki contracts of 1975» was created, which in the people received the name «Helsinki group». This fact today is presented as the victory of the Ukrainian intelligency over Kremlin domination. Whether it was so? The matter is that the «Helsinki group» at first was created in Moscow, and its Ukrainian "branch" developed the ideas of Moscow intelligency on the open spaces of Ukraine. I'm not derogating the merits of our legal experts, but we shouldn't stick out the things that didn't happen to be. Today the whole world knows that: Alekseeva, Bernshtam, Bonner (Saharov's wife), Ginzburg, Grigorenko (the retired general), Korchak, Landa, Marchenko, Orlov, Rubin, Scharansky, Slepak, Meyman, Mnyuh, Kallistratova, Nekipelov, Osipov, Polikanov, Yarym-Agaev, Kovalev, Ternovsky and Serebrov were the organizers of "Helsinki group", as well as it was created for acceleration of consideration in the USSR the Jews departure to Israel. Subsequently, Ukrainians Oksana Meshko, Nikolay Rudenko, Oles Berdnik, Levko Lukyanenko, Nina Strokata-Karvanskaya, Miroslav Marinovich, Nikolay Matusevich, Oleksa Tyhiy and Ivan Kandyba joined to the group of Muscovites. Therefore I would like to say that the Ukrainian union «Helsinki group» happened to be, but it put a little bit different tasks before itself (means, its first period). Well, the group activation in Ukraine occurred at Gorbachev.
Today the Ukrainian Helsinki union of the human rights has already occupied its «niche in the rack» in the decisions on struggle for human rights, both in Ukraine, and behind its limits.
The whole epoch consisting of two decades wasn't marked by the events of such kind. There were also the fulfillments - from BAM (Baikal-Amur Mainline) to the gas pipeline "Druzhba". The same decades, the new wave of mass Ukrainians resettlement to Siberia and to the Far East, such «the Green Wedge - 2» began. Today the young generation doesn't know much about BAM, and for yesterday's members of the Komsomol that construction really became the century construction, when many Ukrainian guys and girls were involved in it.
And if you see the medal «For BAM» on the breast of today's young grandfather or grandmother, don't be lazy and bow unto them, after all they also accomplished the feat. Working in the terms of permafrost, living in temporary barracks, feeding the milliard horde of mosquitoes, they not only stood, but also constructed the BAM. There is also another point of view, concerning who was building and for what purpose. But the essence is that in those years the youth had something to go to and to be engaged in.
The second half of seventieth with showed that the necessity to depart from the past, including the «constitutional postulates» of 1936 ripened. At first 1977, and then 1978 years brought some changes to the social system after the acceptance of Union and republican Constitutions, but the general society development remained at the former level. Abusing the "rotting" capitalism, each Soviet person dreamt of the goods "therefrom", or about the trip "there". The country, and Ukraine, as well as its people went to the final straight easily, silently, and sometimes "stagnantly-mensaly". But, as it is known from the sports reporting, one always does the "jerk" on the final straight. Not less terrible word "Afgan" became that «jerk of the end acceleration».
Today it is difficult to give estimation to the necessity of bringing of troops in the far unequivocal country or to the control management over its areas. It's only known that the decision was accepted at the highest state level. And that decision caused the thousands of victims, to be more exact fifteen thousands; among them three thousands were Ukrainians.
That was their destiny, but also it strongly affected all further process of the Union and republic development.
Today, practically there are the monuments to Afghans i.e. soldiers-internationalists, not speaking about the monuments on the tombs of the lost soldiers in the each regional center of Ukraine. Some «specialists from the history» result the figures of our soldiers and officers losses and compare them to the quantity of victims in the road accident, on fires, accidents etc. and do it only with the purpose to show that there is anything terrible, more people perish on the citizen. But those «friends of the people» don't consider that more the half-million people went through "Afgan", having come back home, they turned to the new social unit - fighters for justice, fighters against bribery and corruption, fighters for honour of the family. In addition, the scornful relation to veterans, especially to invalids, roughness in reply to their lawful requests, and all this comparing to the country leaders, who, unfortunately, went away the people's problems.
Since the Great Patriotic War the condolence letter hadn't come to the houses (exclusive, the destructions of the ship "Novorossiysk" in 1955 and Hungarian events of 1956), there wasn't such heat which accompanies the human grief, and events of «Afghan ten-year war» became the catalyst of opposition between society and upper crust. It happened to be as in 1905 after the disgracefully lost fight with Japan which had outgrown in the first Russian revolution. That happened in the eightieth too. The country celebrated the anniversary of the deserved person, but on that background, except the joy for «dear Leonid Illich» there were questions, why they have privileges, and we - troubles, why they have soldering, and we - coupons (though it is simply incorrect to compare the privileges of heads of past and contemporary period). Nevertheless, on that interval of historical epoch, it was a serious sign of the bottoms to the tops, which essence was as in one Barykin's song «we want today, we want now». But what «Kremlin aged men» could to do when the «world of eternal memory» waited for them.
If someone has forgotten or doesn't know, I want to remind the events of the middle of eightieth - the photo of the most usual queue is an acknowledgement of that.
People of the senior generation knowingly named the first five years of the eightieth as the «mourning five-year period». Judge by you, as it began in 1982; it proceeded till March of 1985.
L.I. Brezhnev- November of 1982.
On November, 10th, 1982 «the Former Epoch» or in the normal sounding, Brezhnev's epoch ended, and the former Chairman of KGB Yury Vladimirovich Andropov occupied the post of the general Secretary of the Central Committee of CPSU on November, 12th, 1982. But the destiny gave him only 15 months of board, and the half of this term he supervised over the country from the Kremlin hospital. No, Andropov wasn't going to reconstruct radically all political system of the country - he only wanted to "put things in order" in the Soviet policy and economy by using administrative, frequently and simply repressive measures. Invisible struggle of Andropov and Brezhnev clans, KGB and Ministry of Internal Affairs began. During almost all 1983 there was an active replacement of Brezhnev's protégés on true to Andropov of people, and the third of all regional committee secretaries of CPSU and ministers had been updated almost for that small time period. But the main thing, why that 15-month's board of the former chief of KGB remembered - are the mass round-ups on the Soviet citizens, frankly violating the person's rights in the shops, cinemas, airports, restaurants, baths and other public places, for the purpose of revealing and prosecution of infringers to the order and labour socialist discipline. Also it is necessary to notice that there were many people, wishing to remember Stalin times and that general reactionary spirit was quickly picked up by the chiefs on places and extended to all spheres of state life. That campaign for putting in order got especially ugly forms on suburbs where the line was, frequently, crossed and trying to exceed "plan" as it had been accepted in the system, reported in impressive figures of the exposed shirkers, idlers and parasites. But the old error of Bolsheviks which Andropov adhered that it was simply enough to put things in order without serious reorganization of basic economic state bases on the places, to purge in the party, to strengthen the labour discipline on manufacture, to put more people from working environment on supervising posts, and all would be perfect and all other problems would be obviously solved - all that didn't bring expected results. Y.V.Andropov died on February, 9th, 1984 in 15 months after coming to power, not having had time to make anything really considerable. The Soviet people didn't know much about Andropov, when he was the head of KGB, and during his stay on the post of the state head representation about him didn't extended much. For that reason the general estimations of his activity and personality remained rather various and sometimes opposite. Well, Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko came to substitute him, who on that moment looked even worse, than Brezhnev on the eve of his death. Ideologist Chernenko at once started to struggle actively with the «alien bourgeois way of life» and initiated mass persecutions on the rock music and musicians. Vicious practice of every possible interdictions and censorship again blossomed with magnificent colour.
Y.V. Andropov - February 1984.
K.U. Chernenko- March 1985.
All those short-term epoch of leaders of the former epoch also affected people very strongly, and in Ukraine, particularly. The well-known «Swan's lake» together with the next obituary caused quite natural question in the people - who is the following (in direct and figurative sense). The political crisis became pressing.
There came March of 1985, and «Gorbachev's reorganization» which, firstly pleased people so that «it was better and cheerfully to live».
One of few heads of Brezhnev's epoch was still the first secretary of Central Committee KPU Vladimir Vasilevich Shcherbitsky.
Yesterday's contenders, but the party fellows Shelest and Shcherbitsky found the rest on Baikovoye cemetery in Kyiv. One saw the disintegration of the Soviet Union, another - failed to see that.