(b. 25 Nov. 1895, d. 21 Oct. 1978).
President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 1964–5 The supreme survivor of Soviet politics was born in Sanain (Armenia), where he was educated at a seminary. After the Russian Revolution of February 1917, he joined the Bolsheviks, and rose quickly within the ranks of the regional Caucasian party hierarchy. He became a full member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1923, was a candidate (i.e. non-voting) member of the Politburo from 1926 and full member from 1935 until his retirement in 1966. In this position he held several governmental posts, serving as Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Council of Ministers from 1946) until 1964, when he became the formal head of the Soviet Union. His career was closely linked to his fellow Caucasian, Stalin, even more so as he survived (and participated in) the Great Purge and other acts of terror. It was a testimony to his political survival skills that he retained his position despite Khrushchev's anti-Stalinist campaigns.
Subjects: Politics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).