- Career milestones and track record
- Hostage of Gorbachev's ambitions
- Mistakes in national politics
- Fight against corruption and drunkenness
- Economic incidents
- Post-perestroika life and death of Gennady Kolbin
In Soviet times people like Gennady Vasilyevich Kolbin were said to be a strong business executive, a good performer, a faithful Leninist. But these qualities are clearly not enough to be a leader in the full sense of the word. In all likelihood, it was the lack of personal charisma and party foresight that caused G.V. Kolbin's tenure as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan to be problematic and ended too quickly.
Career milestones and track record
Kolbin Gennady Vasilyevich, whose biography could be considered quite ordinary and unremarkable outside of his tenure as head of Kazakhstan, was born on May 7, 1927 in Nizhny Tagil. In his hometown, he went from apprentice shoe tailor to shop foreman, and later became deputy chief engineer of a metallurgical plant.
G. V. Kolbin also advanced along the party line. First, he headed the party cell of his enterprise, then he was elected first secretary of the district branch of the CPSU, then continued to work in the same position in the city Central Committee of the Nizhny Tagil Communist Party. In 1970, Kolbin became the second secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee of the CPSU, and in 1975 he was transferred to a similar post in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia.
The year 1983 can be called a turning point in the career of Gennady Vasilyevich. The party leader, who was previously on the sidelines, is appointed first secretary of the Ulyanovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU, that is, the head of a region, if not large, but completely independent. Here he worked for about three years, exactly until cardinal changes began in the country.
Hostage of Gorbachev's ambitions
In December 1986, at the direction of the then head of the USSR and "steering perestroika" M. S. Gorbachev, the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan dismissed Dinmukhamed Akhmedovich Kunaev from the post of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh Republic and appointed G. V. Kolbin to this post. For people of the younger generation, it probably needs to be clarified: at that time, the position of the First Secretary of the Central Committee was the equivalent of a practically sovereign head of the region, akin to the current republican presidents or regional governors.
Kolbin's appointment caused a shock not only among the party leadership of Kazakhstan, but also among ordinary citizens. In the then capital of the republic, the city of Alma-Ata, Gennady Vasilyevich was received more than coldly. His nomination to such a high post was one of the main reasons forDecember unrest of youth in the squares and streets of the Kazakh capital.
Why, according to Gorbachev, Gennady Vasilyevich Kolbin should have stood at the helm of the third most populous and second largest republic in the USSR? History is silent about the true reasons for such a decision. But the fact that it was erroneous is recognized both by the witnesses of Gorbachev's changes and by modern researchers. For the sake of his ambitions, Mikhail Sergeevich broke not only the fate of people from close and distant circles. He managed to take down a huge country called the Soviet Union from the map of the world in one fell swoop.
Mistakes in national politics
Both Gorbachev and Gennady Vasilievich Kolbin himself could not but understand that such a step would be perceived ambiguously. But the first, feeling his boundless power, did not care too much about political ethics, and the second was really a good performer. Violation of party discipline would inevitably put an end to his career, which, of course, Gennady Vasilievich did not want.
Today, various versions of the reasons that did not allow Kolbin to stay as head of Kazakhstan are voiced. First of all, they name the tradition that existed at that time to nominate candidates for the highest positions in the republics of people of indigenous nationality. The second important point: Kolbin Gennady Vasilievich is a figure too small for such a huge republic as Kazakhstan.
But it seems that the first two reasons fade beforethe most important argument - he was a stranger. In the mid-1980s, the population of the Kazakh SSR was about 15.6 million people. In addition to the Kazakhs, many Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Uighurs, Koreans, Tatars lived here.
There were famous scientists, prominent politicians, successful directors of plants and factories, skillful chairmen of agricultural enterprises in the republic. If a respected person who has services to his people were appointed to the highest party post, then his candidacy would certainly be accepted favorably, regardless of nationality.
Fight against corruption and drunkenness
According to the testimony of politicians who at that time constituted the party elite of the republic, Kolbin Gennady Vasilyevich zealously set about cleaning the ranks from bribe-takers and embezzlers of socialist property. About 30% of the total number of responsible employees were removed from their positions. But there were suspicions that only those party members who express disagreement with Gorbachev's policy fall under the millstones. Gennady Vasilyevich was a devoted communist and was very responsible in following the instructions coming from Moscow.
The fight against drunkenness, which at that time was carried out on a scale of the entire Soviet Union, took on monstrous proportions in Kazakhstan. Vineyards were cut down, wine and liquor factories were closed, huge queues lined up in stores for alcoholic beverages, alcohol was forbidden to sell even in restaurants.
Former membersGovernments of Kazakhstan today remember with a smile how Gennady Vasilievich, speaking at a meeting of party activists, put forward the idea of selling cow and mutton carcasses to the population along with the skin. This measure, according to the head of the republic, would bring additional income to the treasury.
There were other, no less "valuable" initiatives. For example, in order to fulfill the plan for the production of meat, Kolbin proposed to start mass shooting of wild waterfowl. The specialists managed to moderate the ardor of the party functionary, explaining that the skins of cattle are a necessary raw material for the leather industry, and the destruction of birds will harm the environment.
In general, as eyewitnesses of those events noted, Kolbin Gennady Vasilievich did neither good nor bad for the republic. He only strictly followed the instructions from above, implementing Gorbachev's plans. In 1989, Gennady Vasilyevich was recalled to Moscow, offering the post of Chairman of the USSR People's Control Committee.
Post-perestroika life and death of Gennady Kolbin
The former leader of Kazakhstan did not work long in his new position, in 1990 he was honorably retired. Even before the official abolition of the CPSU, Gennady Vasilyevich voluntarily left the ranks of the party. He lived unpretentiously and modestly in his Moscow apartment, finding solace in the company of his daughter and grandson. In mid-January 1998, on his way to visit his family, he died in a subway car from a heart attack.
No one was looking for him, so the body of an unknown man is alreadywere going to be buried at public expense. Fortunately, one of the police officers identified him as a high-ranking official. Gennady Vasilyevich Kolbin was buried at the Troekurovsky cemetery. At the farewell ceremony were only the closest people. Official speeches, as is customary in such cases, did not sound at the grave. None of the former colleagues and party comrades-in-arms came to honor his memory.
This is how the faithful Leninist and principled party member Kolbin Gennady Vasilyevich passed away quietly and imperceptibly. Awards received for services to the motherland are kept in the family of the deceased. During the years of state and political activity, he was twice awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, as well as the Orders of Lenin, the October Revolution and the Badge of Honor.