Brezhnev’s Dictum on Cheating

During last week’s public lecture at the Monterey Institute, the amazing “Maj. Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin”: told an anecdote, which meant to underline that the Soviets perceived cheating in strategic arms control as shameful.

At some point during the SALT negotiations, Soviet military experts supposedly told Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev that they knew of several potential loopholes (legal or technical, beats me), which could be exploited. Leonid Ilyich supposedly responded by saying:

bq. _Obmanyvat’ ne razreshu!_

Basically, he said that *cheating by his own people was something he would not put up with* (or, up with which he would not put, if you want the funny in there).

And I apologize beforehand to non-Russian speakers, but this classic impersonation of Brezhnev (if you imagine the style of delivery, it makes the anecdote more funny) by the duo from the show “Gorodok”: was something I couldn’t resist sharing. (The silly plot is as follows. _Brezhnev, hungover after a night out with “Erich Honecker”:, is giving out awards to “life savers” — a firefighter, a surgeon… When he comes up to the guy in the red sweater, it turns out that this last candidate for a medal is no lifesaver in the traditional sense — he sells beer someplace nearby. And since Brezhnev’s still feeling the impact of last night’s intense “discussions” about schnaps after the ones about the vodka…_)

One thought on “Brezhnev’s Dictum on Cheating

  1. Yossi, Jerusalem

    Anya, thanks!

    It’s very important to break the old anti-USSR demonization as it’s still applied to Russia. This false propaganda served no one in the past and will continue to poison international relations if not countered.

    Brezhnev’s integrity is yet another point that shows Soviet leadership (except Stalin) was not the crazy fanatics we were taught to think.

    My favorite personal hero is lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov who made the most difficult decision that can be, ignored the false alarm and prevented a nuclear WWIII at the price of his own career. It’s a pity children don’t learn about him at school.

    By the way, I heard there is a historian who thinks that Stalin was murdered to prevent a nuclear war with the US. Apparently his own people thought he was going crazy.


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