Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1965, as unofficial Chief Ideologue of the Party until his death in 1982. Suslov was responsible for the power separation within the Communist Party, his hardline attitude toward change made him one of the foremost orthodox communist Soviet leaders. Born in rural Russia in 1902, Suslov became a member of the All-Union Communist Party in 1921 and studied economics for much of the 1920s, he left his job as a teacher in 1931 to pursue politics full-time, becoming one of the many Soviet politicians who took part in the mass repression begun by Joseph Stalin's regime. He was made First Secretary of Stavropol Krai administrative area in 1939. During the war, Suslov headed the local Stavropol guerrilla movement, he became a member of the Organisational Bureau of the Central Committee in 1946. In June 1950 he was elected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
Since 16 October 1952 he was a full member of 19th Presidium of CPSU. Suslov lost much of the recognition and influence he had earned following the reshuffle of the Soviet leadership after Stalin's death. However, by the late 1950s, Suslov had risen to become the leader of the hardline opposition to Nikita Khrushchev's revisionist leadership. After Khrushchev was ousted in 1964, Suslov supported the establishment of a collective leadership, he supported inner-party democracy and opposed the reestablishment of the one-man rule as seen during the Stalin and Khrushchev Eras. During the Brezhnev Era, Suslov was considered to be the Party's chief ideologue and second-in-command, his death on 25 January 1982 is viewed as starting the battle to succeed Leonid Brezhnev in the post of General Secretary. Suslov was born in Shakhovskoye, a rural locality in Pavlovsky District, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russian Empire on 21 November 1902. Suslov began work in the local Komsomol organisation in Saratov in 1918 becoming a member of the Poverty Relief Committee.
After working in the Komsomol for nearly three years, Suslov became a member of the All-Union Communist Party in 1921. After graduating from the rabfak, he studied economics at the Plekhanov Institute of National Economy between 1924–1928. In the summer of 1928, after graduating from the Plekhanov institute, he became a graduate student in economics at the Institute of Red Professors, teaching at Moscow State University and at the Industrial Academy. In 1931 he abandoned teaching in favour of the party apparatus, he became an inspector on the Communist Party's Party Control Commission and on the People's Commissariat of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate. His main task there was to adjudicate on large numbers of "personal cases", breaches of discipline, appeals against expulsion from the party. In 1933 and 1934 Suslov directed a commission charged with purging the party in the Ural and Chernigov provinces; the purge was organised by Lazar Kaganovich Chairman of the Soviet Control Commission.
Author Yuri Druzhnikov contends that Suslov was involved with setting up several show trials, contributed to the Party by expelling all members deviating from the Party line, meaning Trotskyists and other left-wing deviationists. On the orders of Joseph Stalin, Suslov purged the city of Rostov in 1938. Suslov was made First Secretary of the Stavropol Krai's Communist Party in 1939. On the Eastern Front in World War II Suslov was a member of Military Council of the North Caucasian Front and led the Stavropol Krai Headquarters of the Partisan Divisions after the Germans occupied the area. According to Soviet historiography, Suslov's years as a guerrilla fighter were successful; these participants claim that there were a number of organisational problems which reduced their effectiveness on the battlefield. During the war, Suslov spent much of his time mobilising workers to fight against the German invaders; the guerrilla movement he led was operated by the regional party cells. During the liberation of the Northern Caucasus, Suslov maintained close contact with the Red Army.
During the war, Suslov supervised the deportations of Chechens and other Muslim minorities from the Caucasus. In 1944–1946, he chaired the Central Committee Bureau for Lithuanian Affairs. Anti-Soviet samizdat literature from the height of his power in the 1970s would accuse him of being responsible for the deportation and killings of nationalist Lithuanians who became political opponents of the Soviets during the course of Soviet re-entry into the Baltic states on their drive to Berlin in 1944. Suslov, in the words of historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, "brutally purged" the Baltics in the aftermath of the Great Patriotic War. In 1946, Suslov was made a member of the Orgburo, became the Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Central Committee. Within a year, Suslov was appointed Head of the Central Committee Department for Agitation and Propaganda, he became a harsh critic of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the post-war years. In 1947 Suslov was elected to the Central Committee Secretariat.
Suslov had the full confidence of Stalin, in 1948, he was entrusted with the task of speaking on behalf of the Central Committee before a solemn meeting on the twenty-fourth anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's death. From September 1949 to 1950 he was editor-in-chief of the central Party daily Pravda. In 1949 Suslov became a member, along with Georgy Malenkov, Lavrentiy Be
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was a Soviet Belarusian communist politician during the Cold War. He served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1988. In the 1940s Western pundits called him Mr. Nyet or "Grim Grom", because of his frequent use of the Soviet veto in the United Nations Security Council. Gromyko's political career started in 1939 with his employment at the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, he became the Soviet ambassador to the United States in 1943, leaving in 1946 to become the Soviet Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Upon his return to the Soviet Union he became a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, he went on to become the Soviet ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1952. During his tenure as Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union, Gromyko was directly involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis and helped broker a peace treaty ending the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War.
Under Brezhnev's leadership, he played a central role in the establishment of detente with the United States through his negotiation of the ABM Treaty, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, SALT I & II, among others. As Brezhnev's health declined during the latter years of his leadership, Gromyko formed a troika with KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov and Defense Minister Dmitriy Ustinov that dominated decision-making in Moscow. Henceforth, Gromyko's conservatism and hardline attitudes towards the West dictated the course of Soviet foreign policy until the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. Following Gorbachev's election as General Secretary, Gromyko lost his office as foreign minister and was appointed to the ceremonial office of head of state. Subsequently, he retired from political life in 1988, died the following year in Moscow. Gromyko was born to a poor "semi-peasant, semi-worker" Belarusian family in the Belarusian village of Staryya Gramyki, near Gomel on 18 July 1909. Gromyko's father, Andrei Matveyevich, worked as a seasonal worker in a local factory.
Andrei Matveyevich was not a educated man, having only attended four years of school, but knew how to read and write. He had fought in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. Gromyko's mother, Olga Yevgenyevna, came from a poor peasant family in the neighbouring city of Zhelezniki, she attended school only for a short period of time as, when her father died, she left to help her mother with the harvest. Gromyko grew up near the district town of Vetka where most of the inhabitants were devoted Old Believers in the Russian Orthodox Church. Gromyko's own village was predominantly religious, but Gromyko started doubting the supernatural at a early age, his first dialog on the subject was with his grandmother Marfa, who answered his inquiry about God with "Wait until you get older. You will understand all this much better". According to Gromyko, "Other adults said the same thing" when talking about religion. Gromyko's neighbour at the time, Mikhail Sjeljutov, was a freethinker and introduced Gromyko to new non-religious ideas and told Gromyko that scientists were beginning to doubt the existence of God.
From the age of nine, after the Bolshevik revolution, Gromyko started reading atheist propaganda in flyers and pamphlets. At the age of thirteen Gromyko became a member of the Komsomol and held anti-religious speeches in the village with his friends as well as promoting Communist values; the news that Germany had attacked the Russian Empire in August 1914 came without warning to the local population. This was the first time, as Gromyko notes, that he felt "love for his country", his father, Andrei Matveyevich, was again conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army and would serve for three years on the southwestern front, under the leadership of General Aleksei Brusilov. Andrei Matveyevich returned home on the eve of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia. Gromyko was elected First Secretary of the local Komsomol chapter at the beginning of 1923. Following Vladimir Lenin's death in 1924, the villagers asked Gromyko what would happen in the leader's absence. Gromyko remembered a communist slogan from the heyday of the October Revolution: "The revolution was carried through by Lenin and his helpers."
He told the villagers that Lenin was dead but "his aides, the Party, still lived on." When he was young Gromyko's mother Olga told him that he should leave his home town to become an educated man. Gromyko followed his mother's advice and, after finishing seven years of primary school and vocational education in Gomel, he moved to Borisov to attend technical school. Gromyko became a member of the All-Union Communist Party Bolsheviks in 1931, something he had dreamed of since he learned about the "difference between a poor farmer and a landowner, a worker and a capitalist". Gromyko was voted in as secretary of his party cell at his first party conference and would use most of his weekends doing volunteer work. Gromyko received a small stipend to live on, but still had a strong nostalgia for the days when he worked as a volunteer, it was about this time that Gromyko met Lydia Dmitrievna Grinevich. Grinevich was the daughter of a Belarusian peasant family and came from Kamenki, a small village to the west of Minsk.
She and Gromyko would have two children and Emilia. After studying in Borisov for two years Gromyko was appointed principal of a secondary school in Dzerzhinsk, where he taught, supervised the school and continued his studies. One day a representative from the Central Committee of the Communi
Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus, situated on the Svislač and the Nyamiha Rivers. As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region and Minsk District; the population in January 2018 was 1,982,444. Minsk is the administrative capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States and seat of its Executive Secretary; the earliest historical references to Minsk date to the 11th century, when it was noted as a provincial city within the Principality of Polotsk. The settlement developed on the rivers. In 1242, Minsk became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it received town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union.
Minsk will host the 2019 European Games. The Old East Slavic name of the town was Мѣньскъ; the direct continuation of this name in Belarusian is Miensk. The resulting form of the name, was taken over both in Russian and Polish, under the influence of Russian it became official in Belarusian. However, some Belarusian-speakers continue to use Miensk as their preferred name for the city; when Belarus was under Polish rule, the names Mińsk Litewski'Minsk of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania' and Mińsk Białoruski'Minsk in Belarus' were used to differentiate this place name from Mińsk Mazowiecki'Minsk in Masovia'. In modern Polish, Mińsk without an attribute refers to the city in Belarus, about 50 times bigger than Mińsk Mazowiecki; the area of today's Minsk was settled by the Early East Slavs by the 9th century AD. The Svislach River valley was the settlement boundary between two Early East Slav tribes – the Krivichs and Dregovichs. By 980, the area was incorporated into the early medieval Principality of Polotsk, one of the earliest East Slav principalities of Old Rus' state.
Minsk was first mentioned in the name form Měneskъ in the Primary Chronicle for the year 1067 in association with the Battle on the River Nemiga. 1067 is now accepted as the founding year of Minsk. City authorities consider the date of 3 March 1067, to be the exact founding date of the city, though the town had existed for some time by then; the origin of the name is unknown but there are several theories. In the early 12th century, the Principality of Polotsk disintegrated into smaller fiefs; the Principality of Minsk was established by one of the Polotsk dynasty princes. In 1129, the Principality of Minsk was annexed by the dominant principality of Kievan Rus. By 1150, Minsk rivaled Polotsk as the major city in the former Principality of Polotsk; the princes of Minsk and Polotsk were engaged in years of struggle trying to unite all lands under the rule of Polotsk. Minsk escaped the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1237–1239. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the expanding Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it joined peacefully and local elites enjoyed high rank in the society of the Grand Duchy.
In 1413, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland entered into a union. Minsk became the centre of Minsk Voivodship. In 1441, the Polish-Lithuanian prince and future king Casimir IV included Minsk in a list of cities enjoying certain privileges, in 1499, during the reign of his son, Alexander I Jagiellon, Minsk received town privileges under Magdeburg law. In 1569, after the Union of Lublin, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland merged into a single state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Afterwards, a Polish community including government clerks and craftsmen settled in Minsk. By the middle of the 16th century, Minsk was an important economic and cultural centre in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was an important centre for the Eastern Orthodox Church. Following the Union of Brest, both the Uniate church and the Roman Catholic Church increased in influence. In 1655, Minsk was conquered by troops of Tsar Alexei of Russia. Russians governed the city until 1660 when it was regained by King of Poland.
By the end of the Polish-Russian War, Minsk had just 300 houses. The second wave of devastation occurred during the Great Northern War, when Minsk was occupied in 1708 and 1709 by the army of Charles XII of Sweden and by the army of Peter the Great; the last decades of the Polish rule involved decline or slow development, since Minsk had become a small provincial town of little economic or military significance. Minsk was annexed by Russia in 1793 as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. In 1796, it became the centre of the Minsk Governorate. All of the initial street names were replaced by Russian names, though the spelling of the city's name remained unchanged, it was occupied by the Grande Armée during French invasion of Russia in 1812. Throughout the 19th century, the city continued to grow and improve. In the 1830s, major streets and squares of Minsk were paved. A first public library was opened in 1836, a fire brigade was put into operation in 1837. In 1838, the first
Belarus the Republic of Belarus known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested, its major economic sectors are manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, conquered by Soviet Russia; the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources; the republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR; the parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government. Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been criticized as unfair. Belarus is the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom, is rated as by far the worst country for press freedom in Europe in the 2013–14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Belarus 157th out of 180 nations. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation. Over 70% of Belarus's population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Russian; the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The second-most widespread religion, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following.
Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus has shown no aspirations for joining the European Union but maintains a bilateral relationship with the organisation, participates in two EU projects: the Eastern Partnership and the Baku Initiative; the name Belarus is related with the term Belaya Rus', i.e. White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, populated by Slavs, Christianized early, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as "White Rus'"; the name Rus is conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, thus Belarus is referred to as White Russia or White Ruthenia.
The name first appeared in Latin medieval literature. In some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is called "White Russia" to this day; the Latin term "Alba Russia" was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo." The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used "White Rus" to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the term Belorussia first rose in the days of the Russian Empire, the Russian Tsar was styled "the Tsar of All the Russias"
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was a Soviet politician. The fifth leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982. Ideologically, he was a Marxist-Leninist. Brezhnev was born to a Russian worker's family in Kamenskoye in the Russian Empire. After graduating from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum, he became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industry. After the October Revolution led to the formation of a one-party state led by the Communist Party, Brezhnev joined the party's youth league, Komsomol, in 1923, became an active party member by 1929. With the onset of World War II, he was drafted into immediate military service and left the army in 1946 with the rank of major general. In 1952 Brezhnev was promoted in 1957 to full member of the Politburo. In 1964, he succeeded Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the CPSU; as the leader of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev's conservatism and carefulness to reach decisions through consensus within the Politburo resulted in sustained political stability within the party and the country.
However, his hostility towards reform and tolerance of corruption ushered in a period of socioeconomic decline that came to be known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. On the world stage, Brezhnev pushed hard for the adoption of détente to relax tensions and foster economic cooperation between the two Cold War superpowers. Despite such diplomatic gestures, his regime presided over widespread military interventionism and a massive arms buildup that grew to comprise 12.5% of the nation's GNP. After years of declining health, Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982 and was succeeded as General Secretary by Yuri Andropov. Upon coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced his regime's pervasive inefficiency and inflexibility before overseeing steps to liberalize the Soviet Union. Brezhnev's eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration. During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew in part because of the expansion of its military during this time.
His tenure as leader was marked by the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union. Brezhnev was born on 19 December 1906 in Kamenskoye, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire, to metalworker Ilya Yakovlevich Brezhnev and his wife, Natalia Denisovna Mazalova, his parents used to live in Brezhnevo before moving to Kamenskoe. Brezhnev's ethnicity was specified as Ukrainian in main documents including his passport, Russian in some others. Like many youths in the years after the Russian Revolution of 1917, he received a technical education, at first in land management and in metallurgy, he graduated from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum in 1935 and became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industries of eastern Ukraine. Brezhnev joined the Communist Party youth organisation, the Komsomol, in 1923, the Party itself in 1929. In 1935 and 1936, Brezhnev served his compulsory military service, after taking courses at a tank school, he served as a political commissar in a tank factory.
In 1936, he became director of the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum. In 1936, he was transferred to the regional center of Dnipropetrovsk, in 1939, he became Party Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk, in charge of the city's important defence industries; as a survivor of Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–39, he was able to advance as the purges created numerous openings in the senior and middle ranks of the Party and state governments. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Brezhnev was, like most middle-ranking Party officials drafted, he worked to evacuate Dnipropetrovsk's industries to the east of the Soviet Union before the city fell to the Germans on 26 August, was assigned as a political commissar. In October, Brezhnev was made deputy of political administration for the Southern Front, with the rank of Brigade-Commissar; when Ukraine was occupied by the Germans in 1942, Brezhnev was sent to the Caucasus as deputy head of political administration of the Transcaucasian Front.
In April 1943, he became head of the Political Department of the 18th Army. That year, the 18th Army became part of the 1st Ukrainian Front, as the Red Army regained the initiative and advanced westward through Ukraine; the Front's senior political commissar was Nikita Khrushchev, who had supported Brezhnev's career since the pre-war years. Brezhnev had met Khrushchev in 1931, shortly after joining the Party, before long, as he continued his rise through the ranks, he became Khrushchev's protégé. At the end of the war in Europe, Brezhnev was chief political commissar of the 4th Ukrainian Front, which entered Prague in May 1945, after the German surrender. Brezhnev temporarily left the Soviet Army with the rank of Major General in August 1946, he had spent the entire war as a political commissar rather than a military commander. After working on reconstruction projects in Ukraine, he again became General Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk. In 1950, he became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union's highest legislative body.
That year he was appointed Party First Secretary in the Moldavian SSR. In 1952, he had a meeting with Stalin after which Stalin promoted Brezhnev to the Communist Party's Central Commit