The KGB said today that thousands of tons of government-purchased food are stuck at ports and railway stations, and officials said the Red Army has been drafted to help unload foreign food aid.
Deputy Prime Minister Lev Voronin, who heads a government commission overseeing the aid distribution, vowed that the “harshest measures” would be used against anyone caught diverting donated food to the black market.
KGB officials said more than 1.6 million metric tons of imported goods await unloading or shipment from Soviet ports and 7,000 railway cars need to be emptied at border stations.
“Thousands of railway containers laden with important goods, commodities and machinery are standing idle and unloaded. . . . In certain areas, whole trains are being simply abandoned on sidetracks. In the Irkutsk area (of Siberia), the number of such abandoned trains now stands at 52,” KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov told the Communist Party newspaper Pravda today.