Category:Heads of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Pages in category "Heads of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"
The following 9 pages are in this category, out of 9 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 9 pages are in this category, out of 9 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Yuri Andropov – Later in 1982, he became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, a position he held until his death fifteen months later. Andropov was born in Nagutskaya, Stavropol Region, Russian Empire, Andropov was educated at the Rybinsk Water Transport Technical College and graduated in 1936. Both of his parents died early, leaving Yuri an orphan at the age of thirteen, as a teenager he worked as a loader, a telegraph clerk, and a sailor for the Volga steamship line. At 16, Yuri Andropov, then a member of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, was a worker in the town of Mozdok in the North Ossetian ASSR, during World War II, Andropov took part in partisan guerrilla activities in Finland. From 1944 onwards, he left Komsomol for Communist Party work, between 1946 and 1951, he studied at the university of Petrozavodsk. In 1947, he was elected Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Karelo-Finnish SSR, in 1951 Andropov was transferred, by the decision of the CPSU Central Committee, to its staff. He was appointed an inspector and then the head of a subdepartment of the Committee, in July 1954 he was appointed Soviet Ambassador to Hungary and held this position during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Andropov played a key role in crushing the Hungarian uprising and he convinced a reluctant Nikita Khrushchev that military intervention was necessary. He is known as ‘The Butcher of Budapest’ for his ruthless suppression of the Hungarian uprising, the Hungarian leaders were arrested and Imre Nagy and others executed. Andropov remained haunted for the rest of his life by the speed with which an apparently all-powerful Communist one-party state had begun to topple. In 1957 Andropov returned to Moscow from Budapest in order to head the Department for Liaison with Communist and Workers Parties in Socialist Countries, in 1961, he was elected full member of the CPSU Central Committee and was promoted to the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee in 1962. He gained additional powers in 1973, when he was promoted to member of the Politburo. During the Prague Spring events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia, Andropov was the proponent of the extreme measures. The KGB whipped up the fear that Czechoslovakia could fall victim to NATO aggression or to a coup, however his message was destroyed because it contradicted the conspiracy theory fabricated by Andropov. Andropov ordered a number of measures, collectively known as operation PROGRESS. After the assassination attempt against Brezhnev in January 1969, Andropov led the interrogation of the captured gunman, Ilyin was pronounced insane and sent to Kazan Psychiatric Hospital. On 3 July 1967, he made a proposal to establish for dealing with the opposition the KGBs Fifth Directorate. At the end of July, the directorate was established and entered in its files cases of all Soviet dissidents including Andrei Sakharov, the proposal by Andropov to use psychiatry for struggle against dissidents was implemented
2. Leonid Brezhnev – Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration, during Brezhnevs rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew dramatically, in part because of the expansion of the Soviet military during this time. His tenure as leader was marked by the beginning of an era of economic, Brezhnev was born in Kamenskoye into a Russian workers family in 1906. After graduating from the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum, he became an engineer in the iron and steel industry. He joined Komsomol in 1923, and in 1929 became a member of the CPSU. He was drafted into military service during World War II. While at the helm of the USSR, Brezhnev pushed for détente between the Eastern and Western countries. However, in December 1981 he decided not to intervene in Poland, instead allowing the countrys government to impose martial law. After years of declining health, Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982 and was succeeded in his post as General Secretary by Yuri Andropov. Brezhnev had fostered a cult of personality, although not nearly to the degree as Stalin. Mikhail Gorbachev, who would lead the USSR from 1985 to 1991, denounced his legacy, in spite of this, opinion polls in Russia show Brezhnev to be the most popular Russian leader of the 20th century. Brezhnev was born on 19 December 1906 in Kamianske in Ukraine, to metalworker Ilya Yakovlevich Brezhnev and his wife and his parents used to live in Brezhnevo before moving to Kamenskoe. Brezhnevs ethnicity was specified as Ukrainian in some documents, including his passport, like many youths in the years after the Russian Revolution of 1917, he received a technical education, at first in land management where he started as a land surveyor and then in metallurgy. He graduated from the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum in 1935 and became an engineer in the iron. Brezhnev joined the Communist Party youth organisation, the Komsomol, in 1923, in 1935 and 1936, Brezhnev served his compulsory military service, and after taking courses at a tank school, he served as a political commissar in a tank factory. Later in 1936, he director of the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum. In 1936, he was transferred to the center of Dnipropetrovsk and, in 1939, he became Party Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk. As a survivor of Stalins Great Purge of 1937–39, he was able to quickly as the purges created numerous openings in the senior and middle ranks of the Party
3. Konstantin Chernenko – Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko was a Soviet politician and the fifth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union from 13 February 1984 until his death thirteen months later, Chernenko was also Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 11 April 1984 until his death. Chernenko was born to a family in the village of Bolshaya Tes on 24 September 1911. His father, Ustin Demidovich, worked in mines and gold mines while his mother took care of the farm work. Chernenko joined the Komsomol in 1929, and became a member of the Communist Party in 1931. From 1930 to 1933, he served in the Soviet frontier guards on the Soviet-Chinese border, after completing his military service, he returned to Krasnoyarsk as a propagandist. In 1933 he worked in the Propaganda Department of the Novosyolovsky District Party Committee, a few years later he was promoted to head of the same department in Uyarsk Raykom. It was in the 1940s that Chernenko established a relationship with Fyodor Kulakov. In 1945, he acquired a diploma from a party training school in Moscow, the turning point in Chernenko’s career was his assignment in 1948 to head the Communist Party’s propaganda department in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. There, he met and won the confidence of Leonid Brezhnev, Chernenko followed Brezhnev in 1956 to fill a similar propaganda post in the CPSU Central Committee in Moscow. In 1960, after Brezhnev was named chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, in 1964 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was deposed, and succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev. During Brezhnevs tenure as Party leader, Chernenkos career continued successfully and he also monitored telephone wiretaps and covert listening devices in various offices of the top Party members. Another one of his jobs was to sign hundreds of Party documents daily, even after he became General Secretary of the Party, he continued to sign papers referring to the General Department. In 1971 Chernenko was promoted to membership in the Central Committee, Overseeing Party work over the Letter Bureau. In 1976 he was elected secretary of the Letter Bureau, in 1977 he became Candidate, and in 1978 full member of the Politburo, serving second to the General Secretary in terms of Party hierarchy. In 1979 he took part in the Vienna arms limitation talks, yuri Andropov died in February 1984, after just 15 months in office. Chernenko was then elected to replace Andropov, despite concerns over his own ailing health, yegor Ligachev writes in his memoirs that Chernenko was elected general secretary without a hitch. At Andropovs funeral, he could read the eulogy
4. Mikhail Gorbachev – Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman. He was the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, having been General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 and he was the countrys head of state from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991. Gorbachev was born in Stavropol Krai into a peasant Ukrainian–Russian family and he graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law. While he was at the university, he joined the Communist Party, in 1970, he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee, First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet in 1974, and appointed a member of the Politburo in 1979. Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, following the brief interregna of Andropov and Chernenko, before he reached the post, he had occasionally been mentioned in Western newspapers as a likely next leader and a man of the younger generation at the top level. Gorbachevs policies of glasnost and perestroika and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and this was Gorbachevs third attempt to establish a political party, having started the Social Democratic Party of Russia in 2001 and the Union of Social Democrats in 2007. Gorbachev was born on 2 March 1931 in Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union, into a mixed Russian-Ukrainian family of migrants from Voronezh, as a child, Gorbachev experienced the Soviet famine of 1932–1933. He recalled in a memoir that In that terrible year nearly half the population of my village, Privolnoye, starved to death. Both of his grandfathers were arrested on charges in the 1930s. His father was a combine harvester operator and World War II veteran and his mother, Maria Panteleyevna Gorbacheva, was a kolkhoz worker. He was brought up mainly by his Ukrainian maternal grandparents, in his teens, he operated combine harvesters on collective farms. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law, in 1967 he qualified as an agricultural economist via a correspondence masters degree at the Stavropol Institute of Agriculture. While at the university, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and soon very active within the party. Gorbachev met his wife, Raisa Titarenko, daughter of a Ukrainian railway engineer. They married in September 1953 and moved to Stavropol upon graduation and she gave birth to their only child, daughter Irina Mikhailovna Virganskaya, in 1957. Raisa Gorbacheva died of leukemia in 1999, Gorbachev has two granddaughters and one great granddaughter. Gorbachev attended the important twenty-second Party Congress in October 1961, where Nikita Khrushchev announced a plan to surpass the U. S. in per capita production within twenty years, Gorbachev rose in the Communist League hierarchy and worked his way up through territorial leagues of the party
5. Vladimir Ivashko – Vladimir Antonovich Ivashko, was a Soviet Ukrainian politician, briefly acting as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the period from 24 August 1991 to 29 August 1991. On 24 August Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, and on 29 August the CPSU was suspended by the Supreme Soviet, stripped of its leading role in society, the party lost its authority to lead the nation or the cohesion that kept the party united. Actual political power lay in the positions of President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev brought in his ally Ivashko in to replace the long-serving Volodymyr Shcherbytsky as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian SSR on 28 September 1989. Ivashko was elected by the communist majority to the post of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR on 4 Jun 1990. Since the abandonment by the Communists of their role in early 1990 this position now superseded that of First Secretary of the Communist Party as most powerful position in the Ukraine. He resigned his position as First Secretary on 22 June 1990 following opposition demonstrations against his occupation of both the First Secretary post and Chairmanship of the Rada, Ivashko retired in 1992 and died on 13 November 1994, at the age of 62 after an undetermined long illness. Volodymyr Ivashko in the Encyclopedia of History of Ukraine
6. Nikita Khrushchev – Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, Khrushchevs party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier. Khrushchev was born in the village of Kalinovka in 1894, close to the border between Russia and Ukraine. He was employed as a metalworker in his youth, and during the Russian Civil War was a political commissar, with the help of Lazar Kaganovich, he worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. He supported Joseph Stalins purges, and approved thousands of arrests, in 1938, Stalin sent him to govern Ukraine, and he continued the purges there. During what was known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War, Khrushchev was again a commissar, Khrushchev was present at the bloody defense of Stalingrad, a fact he took great pride in throughout his life. After the war, he returned to Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow as one of Stalins close advisers, in the power struggle triggered by Stalins death in 1953, Khrushchev, after several years, emerged victorious. On 25 February 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the Secret Speech, denouncing Stalins purges and his domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for defense, Khrushchev ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchevs rule saw the most tense years of the Cold War, flaws in Khrushchevs policies eroded his popularity and emboldened potential opponents, who quietly rose in strength and deposed the premier in October 1964. However, he did not suffer the fate of previous losers of Soviet power struggles, and was pensioned off with an apartment in Moscow. His lengthy memoirs were smuggled to the West and published in part in 1970, Khrushchev died in 1971 of heart disease. Khrushchev was born on 15 April 1894, in Kalinovka, a village in what is now Russias Kursk Oblast and his parents, Sergei Khrushchev and Ksenia Khrushcheva, were poor peasants of Russian origin, and had a daughter two years Nikitas junior, Irina. Sergei Khrushchev was employed in a number of positions in the Donbas area of far eastern Ukraine, working as a railwayman, as a miner, and laboring in a brick factory. Wages were much higher in the Donbas than in the Kursk region, Kalinovka was a peasant village, Khrushchevs teacher, Lydia Shevchenko, later stated that she had never seen a village as poor as Kalinovka had been. Nikita worked as a herdsboy from an early age and he was schooled for a total of four years, part in the village parochial school and part under Shevchenkos tutelage in Kalinovkas state school. She urged Nikita to seek education, but family finances did not permit this. In 1908, Sergei Khrushchev moved to the Donbas city of Yuzovka, fourteen-year-old Nikita followed later that year, while Ksenia Khrushcheva and her daughter came after
7. Vladimir Lenin – Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924, under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party socialist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, he developed political theories known as Leninism, born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brothers execution in 1887. Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empires Tsarist regime and he moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 and became a senior figure in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, after his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent party theorist through his publications. In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split, Lenins government was led by the Bolsheviks—now renamed the Communist Party—with some powers initially also held by elected soviets. It redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry, opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign orchestrated by the state security services, tens of thousands were killed and others interned in concentration camps. Anti-Bolshevik armies, established by both right and left-wing groups, were defeated in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922, responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin promoted economic growth through a mixed economic system. Seeking to promote world revolution, Lenins government created the Communist International, waged the Polish–Soviet War, in increasingly poor health, Lenin expressed opposition to the growing power of his successor, Joseph Stalin, before dying at his Gorki mansion. He became a figurehead behind Marxism-Leninism and thus a prominent influence over the international communist movement. Lenins father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, was from a family of serfs, his origins remain unclear, with suggestions being made that he was Russian, Chuvash, Mordvin. Despite this lower-class background he had risen to middle-class status, studying physics and mathematics at Kazan Imperial University before teaching at the Penza Institute for the Nobility, Ilya married Maria Alexandrovna Blank in mid-1863. Well educated and from a prosperous background, she was the daughter of a German–Swedish woman. Soon after their wedding, Ilya obtained a job in Nizhny Novgorod, five years after that, he was promoted to Director of Public Schools for the province, overseeing the foundation of over 450 schools as a part of the governments plans for modernisation. His dedication to education earned him the Order of St. Vladimir, the couple had two children, Anna and Alexander, before Lenin—who would gain the childhood nickname of Volodya—was born in Simbirsk on 10 April 1870, and baptised several days later. They were followed by three children, Olga, Dmitry, and Maria. Two later siblings died in infancy, Ilya was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptised his children into it, although Maria – a Lutheran – was largely indifferent to Christianity, a view that influenced her children. Every summer they holidayed at a manor in Kokushkino
8. Joseph Stalin – Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he was effectively the dictator of the state. Stalin was one of the seven members of the first Politburo, founded in 1917 in order to manage the Bolshevik Revolution, alongside Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Sokolnikov, and Bubnov. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and he managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin by suppressing Lenins criticisms and expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He remained General Secretary until the post was abolished in 1952, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in Gulag labour camps. The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–33, major figures in the Communist Party and government, and many Red Army high commanders, were arrested and shot after being convicted of treason in show trials. Stalins invasion of Bukovina in 1940 violated the pact, as it went beyond the Soviet sphere of influence agreed with the Axis, Germany ended the pact when Hitler launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Despite heavy human and territorial losses, Soviet forces managed to halt the Nazi incursion after the decisive Battles of Moscow, after defeating the Axis powers on the Eastern Front, the Red Army captured Berlin in May 1945, effectively ending the war in Europe for the Allies. The Soviet Union subsequently emerged as one of two recognized world superpowers, the other being the United States, Communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union were established in most countries freed from German occupation by the Red Army, which later constituted the Eastern Bloc. Stalin also had relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea. On February 9,1946, Stalin delivered a public speech in which he explained the fundamental incompatibility of communism and capitalism. He stressed that the system needed war for raw materials. The Second World War was but the latest in a chain of conflicts which could be broken only when the economy made the transformation into communism. Stalin led the Soviet Union through its post-war reconstruction phase, which saw a significant rise in tension with the Western world that would later be known as the Cold War, Stalin remains a controversial figure today, with many regarding him as a tyrant. However, popular opinion within the Russian Federation is mixed, the exact number of deaths caused by Stalins regime is still a subject of debate, but it is widely agreed to be in the order of millions. Joseph Stalin was born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, the Russian-language version of his birth name is Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. Ioseb was born on 18 December 1878 in the town of Gori, Georgia and his father was Besarion Jughashvili, a cobbler, while his mother was Ekaterine Keke Geladze, a housemaid. As a child, Ioseb was plagued with health issues