(b. near Rostov, 17 Oct. 1903; d. Moscow, 26 Apr. 1976)
Russian; Minister of Defence 1967–76 Grechko served in the Red cavalry during the Russian Civil War, after which he received training at the Frunze Military Academy. He joined the Communist Party in 1928. In 1941 he completed a course at the General Staff Academy and thereafter held senior cavalry commands. From 1943 to 1944 his cavalry armies helped recapture the northern Caucasus and Kiev. From 1944 to 1945 he commanded the First Guards Army, which advanced through the Ukraine to Czechoslovakia. In 1945 he became commander of the Kiev Military District. In 1953 he was appointed Marshal of the Soviet Union and Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet occupation forces in Germany and in the same year he was in charge of the suppression of the uprising in East Germany. In 1957 he became First Deputy Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Ground Forces and was promoted in 1960 to Commander-in-Chief of Warsaw Pact Forces. In April 1967 he became Soviet Minister of Defence, holding this position until his death in 1976. In 1973 he was made a full member of the Politburo. In the period of détente he was a hard-liner, overseeing the continuous growth of the Soviet armed forces.