The Soviet Union has executed a former deputy fisheries minister said to have been involved in a bribery scandal. The disclosure yesterday by the Communist Party newspaper Pravda suggested an intensification of the Soviet Union's anticorruption campaign.
The executed man, Vladimir I. Rytov, was believed to have been among 200 people arrested during a 1980 investigation into a conspiracy to sell caviar through illegal channels.
The article said Rytov was involved in a bribery scandal and put to death for crimes committed while in office, but offered few details of either his crime or execution. The Soviet Union usually executes by firing squad.
Western diplomats described the Pravda report of the execution as unusual, and suggested that pressure to crack down on official corruption may be growing as the country's economic difficulties mount. An anticorruption campaign has been under way here for several months.
Pravda's article, by Chief Prosecutor Alexander Rekunkov, insisted that "no clemency should be shown" to "parasites and swindlers."
"Everyone is equal before the law, which firmly defends the rights of the individual, but everyone should answer for their crime regardless of rank," Rekunkov wrote. He said corruption and negligence cost the state "many millions of rubles" annually.