Moscow, Feb. 14 — The late Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev’s son-in-law has been removed from his job as first deputy minister in the Interior Ministry, the agency that controls the country’s uniformed police and other parts of the criminal justice system, the ministry confirmed today.

Yuri Churbanov, husband of Brezhnev’s daughter Galina, now has another job in the ministry, a spokesman said but he would not elaborate.

Churbanov’s demotion, said to have taken effect in December, follows the suicide that month of his former boss, Nicolai Shcholokov, who was awaiting trial on charges of corruption.

Although the reasons for Churbanov’s removal from his high-ranking position are unknown, it appears to be related to scandal and intrigue that began in the waning days of Brezhnev’s 18year reign.

Evidence that a crackdown against corruption in the Interior Ministry had begun in earnest came one month after Brezhnev’s death, when his successor, Yuri Andropov, dismissed Shcholokov, Brezhnev’s personal friend and the longtime interior minister.

Shcholokov was later dismissed from the Communist Party’s Central Committee and last December was stripped of his general’s rank.

It was widely known here that Shcholokov, during his long tenure, had turned the Interior Ministry into a personal fiefdom. He reportedly took personal possession of items confiscated by customs, a part of his domain, and he and his family were said to have owned 16 western made cars.

The Interior Ministry was one of the first targets of Andropov’s crackdown. As a former chief of the KGB, the secret police, Andropov was clearly aware of the extent of the problem and acted quickly to put one of his own aides, Vitally Fedorchuk, in charge of the ministry.

Even before Brezhnev’s death, an investigation into the Soviet visa office reportedly revealed that some officials were extorting money from applicants.

What connection Churbanov may have had to any of the scandals in the ministry is not publicly known. By marriage, Churbanov was connected to an other alleged scandal that involved friends of Galina Brezhnev. Rumors of these scandals spread rapidly through Moscow in the spring of 1982, when Brezhnev’s health was failing, and some analysts have since held that they were part of a campaign to discredit Brezhnev’s entourage.

The most famous and flamboyant figure in the scandals was Boris the Gypsy, reputed to have been a close friend of Galina Brezhnev, who was once married to a circus performer. Boris the Gypsy, a well-known character around Moscow, was said to have been arrested for holding quantities of diamonds.

His arrest was followed by that of an official in the Culture Ministry in charge of the country’s more than 80 circuses. A horde of more than $1 million worth of diamonds and $280,000 in foreign currency was reportedly found in the possession of Anatoly Kolevatov, chief of the, circus directorate.

The crackdown on corruptions has continued under President Konstantin Chernenko and Churbanov’s demotion suggests that changes at the Interior Ministry are still taking place.

Article extracted from this publication >>   February 22, 1985