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Ivashutin, Petr Ivanovich
Russian bureaucrat. First Deputy Chairman of KGB 1959-1963. GRU Chief 1963-1988. As GRU chief he was instrumental in establishing the requirements and directing development and operation of Russian optical surveillance and signal intelligence satellites.

Born: 1909-09-05. Died: 2002-01-01.

Biography: A volunteer in the punitive formations of the Special Purpose Units, Ivashutin came into Army counter-intelligence from 1931. During the war he held leading posts in Smersh. Even at this time Ivashutin had powerful enemies in the NKGB. In 1944-45 he was chief of Smersh on the 3rd Ukrainian Front and in that capacity waged a ferocious struggle against the Ukrainian insurgent army and played an active role in the establishment of communist order in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Hungary. It was at this time that he first met Brezhnev, and in all subsequent activities the two men always supported each other. At the end of the war Ivashutin took part in the forcible repatriation of Soviet citizens who did not want to return to the Soviet Union. He also played a special part in the liquidation of soldiers and officers of the Russian Liberation Army. After the disbandment of Smersh he managed to outlive its other leaders by a timely transfer out of the Abakumov faction into that of Beria. At Beria's downfall he went over to the Serov faction and was appointed head of the KGB 3rd Chief Directorate. He then took part in the arrest and liquidation of Serov. On Brezhnev's recommendation in 1963, Ivashutin was appointed chief of the GRU. In this position he had a number of very serious confrontations with the KGB and personally with Andropov. However, Ivashutin defended the interests of the Army with more vigour than any of his predecessors and, therefore, in spite of his past ties with the KGB, enjoyed unlimited support from the first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers, the chairman of the Military Industrial Complex Smirnov as well as Marshals Ustinov and Ogarkov. After Andropov's coming to power Ivashutin held on to his post in view of powerful support within the Army.



Country: Russia. Bibliography: 474.

1961 March 29 - .
  • State Commission on Vostok 1 - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Ivashutin, Ustinov. Program: Vostok. Flight: Vostok 1. Spacecraft: Vostok.

    The commission meets from 16:00 to 18:00 to assess readiness for launch. Korolev says he is ready to launch a man, following the two consecutive successful mannequin flights. Who will be selected to be the first man in space? The commission discusses the issue at some length. Afterwards, Kamanin meets with Ustinov at 18:30 and shows him a picture album of photographs taken from Vostok on the March 9 and 25 test flights. One taken over Turkey clearly shows the city of Alexandretta and the concrete runways of the airfields, demonstrating the military potential of the system. All is ready for the flight. The Central Committee of the Communist Party has issued a decree that the first man be launched into space between 10 and 20 April 1961. Three variant press releases are prepared, for 1) attainment of a successful orbit; 2) after a successful landing; and 3) in the event of an emergency landing with a request for international assistance in recovery and return of the cosmonaut. The consensus is that the APO destruct system used in the unmanned test flights will be deleted for the manned flight. Only Ivashutin is against this. Two successful ejection tests from an Il-28 bomber were reported from LII, finally completing a key milestone required for the flight.


1966 December 10 - .
  • Soviets view scope of American Apollo program with dismay - . Nation: Russia. Related Persons: Grechko, Ivashutin, Rudenko, Vershinin, Zakharov. Program: Soyuz, Apollo, Lunar L1.

    Grechko, Zakharov, Shtemenko, Ivashutin, Vershinin, Rudenko and with dozens of other generals view a film prepared by the GRU on the American Apollo program. It gives the viewers a clear idea of the immense scale of the American program, which dwarfs the resources the Soviets have devoted to their counterpart. Kamanin believes it clearly demonstrates why the Soviet Union is lagging in the space race and how illusory is the hope of ever regaining the lead.



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