In much the same way that the Japanese Contax were German engineered cameras manufactured in Japan the Kievs and FEDs were German cameras manufactured in the FSU. So as you point out, the engineering was good, but the quality was spotty.
There was no quality control to speak of. I have a few very nice ones that were made nice by Eddy Smolov for me. I have no clue how many carcasses he robbed for good parts to make them that way, and the dioper arm on one is just screwed down and frozen so it can't get fubarred again.
I guess I can say that for me the quality program was in Brooklyn!!