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Soviet Union (former) The Elite
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The uppermost socio-occupational group, the elite, included leading party and state officials; high-ranking military, Committee for State Security (Komitet gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti--KGB), and diplomatic personnel; directors of the largest enterprises (see Glossary) and of the largest educational, research, and medical establishments; and leading members of the cultural intelligentsia, e.g., academics, editors, writers, and artists. These groups received the most income and had access to goods and services that those lower in the social hierarchy found difficult or even impossible to obtain. Unlike Westerners, members of the Soviet elite were not allowed to amass great wealth and bequeath it to their offspring. When a member of the elite died, even luxury items such as a dacha (a country cottage) or an automobile could revert to the state.

    Data as of May 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Soviet Union (former) on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Soviet Union (former) The Elite information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Soviet Union (former) The Elite should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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