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Georgi Maksimilianovich Malenkov

(1902—1988)


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(1903–1988)

Soviet statesman. As a protégé of Stalin he became prime minister (1953–55) after Stalin's death, although the leadership of the party was taken from him by Khrushchev. He was awarded the Order of Lenin twice.

Born in Orenburg, in Russia, into a middle-class family, Malenkov interrupted his studies to join the Bolshevik army. During the civil war he served as political commissar for the Eastern and Turkestan districts, joining the Soviet Communist Party (CPSU) in 1920. After the war he entered the Moscow Technical College, from which he graduated in engineering in 1925. As secretary of the Bolshevik Students Organization, he attracted the attention of the central committee of the CPSU and was appointed to Stalin's personal secretariat (1925–30).

Malenkov became organizing secretary of the Moscow section of the CPSU in 1930. Rising rapidly through the party ranks, he was promoted to the inner secretariat of the party in 1939 and became a candidate member of the Politburo in 1941. During World War II he was one of the five members of the Committee of State Defence (war cabinet) (1942–44); he was also a leading member of the Committee for the Economic Rehabilitation of Liberated Districts. Appointed deputy prime minister and a full member of the Politburo in 1946, he became head of government as prime minister and first secretary of the CPSU in 1953, following the death of Stalin. Within days he was ousted from the secretaryship by Khrushchev (who formally secured the post six months later) but retained the premiership until 1955, when he was forced to resign over his inability to solve problems of agriculture and industrialization. He served as minister for electrical energy for the next two years but was dismissed from all his government and party offices in 1957 for attempting to overthrow Khrushchev. He was employed as manager of a hydroelectric power station in Kazakhstan until his retirement in 1963, but was expelled from the Communist Party in 1961.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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