Ted Kennedy and the KGB: Russian Files Declassified in 1990’s Reveal Repeated Offers of Advice from Sen Kennedy to Communist Leaders

Unlikely to be much recalled this week is the fact that, in 1983, Senator Edward Kennedy offered advice to the USSR on how to defeat U.S. efforts to build up the Western nuclear deterrent in Europe; sought the assistance of the USSR in Democratic Party efforts to defeat Ronald Reagan in the election campaign of 1984; and proposed the staging of a public Kennedy visit with Yuri Andropov in Moscow to help attain these ends. Senator Kennedy’s intermediary in his communications with the KGB and Yuri Andropov was John Tunney. An internal Soviet memorandum detailing Kennedy’s offer of assistance to the USSR was unearthed by a Times of London reporter in the 1990s when, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the KGB files were opened. The memorandum was written by Victor Chebrikov, who succeeded Yuri Andropov as head of the KGB when Andropov became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Chebrikov directed the KGB from 1982 to 1988.