Leaders of the Soviet Union
8 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev Biography

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev Biography | Leaders of the Soviet Union | Scoop.it
Learn about the final days of the Soviet Union and its last president, Nobel Prize-winner Mikhail Gorbachev. Read about the life of Gorbachev, and see video and photos, at Biography.com.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Nikita Khrushchev - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev[a] (April 15 [O.S. April 3] 1894 – September 11, 1971) 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, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's 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 Russian village of Kalinovka in 1894, close to the present-day 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 Stalin's purges, and approved thousands of arrests. In 1939, 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 (Eastern Front of World War II), Khrushchev was again a commissar, serving as an intermediary between Stalin and his generals. 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 Stalin's close advisers.

In the power struggle triggered by Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev, after several years, emerged victorious. On February 25, 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech," denouncing Stalin's purges and ushering in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. His domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in the area of agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for national defense, Khrushchev ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's rule saw the tensest years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Joseph Stalin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Stalin or Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин; born Ioseb Besarionis je J̌uḡašvili, Georgian: იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი, pronounced [iɔsɛb bɛsariɔnis dze dʒuɣaʃvili]; 18 December 1878[1] – 5 March 1953) was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalin was appointed General Secretary of the party's Central Committee in 1922. He subsequently managed to consolidate power following the 1924 death of Vladimir Lenin through expanding the functions of his role, all the while eliminating any opposition. He held this nominal post until abolishing it in 1952, concurrently serving as the Premier of the Soviet Union after establishing the position in 1941.

Under Joseph Stalin's rule, the concept of "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of Soviet society. He replaced the New Economic Policy introduced by Lenin in the early 1920s with a highly centralised command economy, launching a period of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in the rapid transformation of the USSR from an agrarian society into an industrial power.[2] However, the economic changes coincided with the imprisonment of millions of people in Soviet correctional labour camps[3] and the deportation of many others to remote areas.[3] The initial upheaval in agriculture disrupted food production and contributed to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–1933, known as the Holodomor in Ukraine. Later, in a period that lasted from 1936–39, Stalin instituted a campaign against alleged enemies of his regime called the Great Purge, in which hundreds of thousands were executed. Major figures in the Communist Party, such as the old Bolsheviks, Leon Trotsky, and several Red Army leaders were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the government and Stalin.[4]

In August 1939, Stalin entered into a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany that divided their influence within Eastern Europe, but Germany later violated the agreement and 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 and Stalingrad. 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.[5][6] The Soviet Union subsequently emerged as one of two recognized world superpowers, the other being the United States.[7] The Yalta and Potsdam conferences established communist governments loyal to the Soviet Union in the Eastern Bloc countries as buffer states, which Stalin deemed necessary in case of another invasion. He also fostered close relations with Mao Zedong in China and Kim Il-sung in North Korea.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

BBC - History - Historic Figures: Vladimir Lenin (1870 - 1924)

BBC - History - Historic Figures: Vladimir Lenin (1870 - 1924) | Leaders of the Soviet Union | Scoop.it
Discover facts about the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was succeeded by Stalin after his death in 1924.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Mikhail Gorbachev - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian: Михаи́л Серге́евич Горбачёв, tr. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov; IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil sʲɪrˈɡʲejəvʲɪtɕ ɡərbɐˈtɕof] ( listen); born 2 March 1931) is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the first (and last) president of the Soviet Union from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991. He was the only general secretary in the history of the Soviet Union to have been born during Communist rule.

Gorbachev was born in Stavropol Krai into a peasant UkrainianRussian family, and in his teens operated combine harvesters on collective farms. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law. While he was at the university, he joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and soon became very active within it. In 1970, he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Kraikom, First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet in 1974, and appointed a member of the Politburo in 1979. Within three years of the deaths of Soviet Leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko, Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo in 1985. 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.

Gorbachev's attempts at reform as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, ended the political supremacy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992 as well as Honorary Doctorates from University of Calgary[1] in 1993,[2]Durham University in 1995,[3]Trinity College in 2002[4] and University of Münster in 2005,[5] and Eureka College in 2009.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

BBC - History - Historic Figures: Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)

BBC - History - Historic Figures: Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) | Leaders of the Soviet Union | Scoop.it
Cold War Soviet leader during the Cuban Missile Crisis
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Vladimir Lenin Biography

Vladimir Lenin Biography | Leaders of the Soviet Union | Scoop.it
Vladimir Lenin led the Bolshevik Revolution, helped create the Soviet Union and launched the communist era in Russia. Learn more at Biography.com.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kris Kirsch
Scoop.it!

Vladimir Lenin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Владимир Ильич Ленин; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɪlʲˈjitɕ ˈlʲenʲɪn] ( listen); born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, Russian: Владимир Ильич Ульянов; 22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as the leader of the Russian SFSR from 1917, and then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, until his death. Politically a Marxist, his theoretical contributions to Marxist thought are known as Leninism, which coupled with Marxian economic theory have collectively come to be known as Marxism–Leninism.

Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin gained an interest in revolutionary leftist politics following the execution of his brother in 1887. Briefly attending the Kazan State University, he was ejected for his involvement in anti-Tsarist protests, devoting the following years to gaining a law degree and to radical politics, becoming a Marxist. In 1893 he moved to St. Petersburg, becoming a senior figure within the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Arrested for sedition and exiled to Siberia for three years, he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, and fled to Western Europe, living in Germany, England and Switzerland. Following the February Revolution of 1917, in which the Tsar was overthrown and a provisional government took power, he returned home.

As the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, he took a senior role in orchestrating the October Revolution in 1917, which led to the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government and the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Immediately afterwards, Lenin proceeded to implement socialist reforms, including the transfer of estates and crown lands to workers' soviets. Faced with the threat of German invasion, he argued that Russia should immediately sign a peace treaty—which led to Russia's exit from the First World War. In 1921 Lenin proposed the New Economic Policy, a system of state capitalism that started the process of industrialisation and recovery from the Russian Civil War. In 1922, the Russian SFSR joined former territories of the Russian Empire in becoming the Soviet Union, with Lenin as its leader.

more...
No comment yet.