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Last chief of Soviet KGB, Vadim Bakatin, dies at 84

Vadim Bakatin (Olga Kuzischina/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Vadim Bakatin, the last chief of the Soviet Union’s Committee of State Security, widely known under its Russian acronym KGB, has died at the age of 84.

Russian state television reported Bakatin’s death on August 1 but gave no details.

Bakatin was appointed to the post by the last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in August 1991 after a failed coup d’etat. He served at the post until the country’s dissolution in December that year.

Under his command, the KGB was reformed but not fully dissolved as many radical reformers demanded.

Bakatin served as the Soviet Union’s interior minister from 1988 to 1990.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bakatin worked at the Reforma foundation for economic and political reforms in Russia, and at the country’s largest investment company, Baring Vostok.