Sharaf Rashidovich Rashidov

(b. 1917)

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(b. Dzizak, Uzbekistan, 6 Nov. 1917; d. 31 Oct. 1983)

Uzbek; Uzbek First Secretary 1959–83 Rashidov was born into a peasant family and educated at the University of Samarkand. He worked as a schoolteacher and journalist before the Second World War. He joined the Red Army in 1941. He was badly wounded and discharged the next year. He became editor of the Uzbek Communist Party's newspaper. From the 1940s to the early 1950s he held various posts in the Uzbek Supreme Soviet and writers' union, and entered the Uzbek party bureau in 1954. In 1959, under Khrushchev he was made Uzbek party First Secretary. In 1961 he became a candidate member of the Presidium (the Politburo after 1966). Rashidov prospered under Brezhnev, whom he enthusiastically supported. He approved of the central government's encouragement of Uzbek cotton production without diversifying the republic's economy and announced a constant increase in cotton production, based on falsified statistics. Rashidov further pleased Brezhnev by producing false statistics for the success of his linguistic policies which apparently had made the Uzbek population bilingual in their native language and Russian by the early 1980s. After Rashidov's death in 1983 the party and administration of Uzbekistan were subjected to a widespread purge to root out corruption. In 1986 Gorbachev posthumously exposed Rashidov's crimes at the 27th Congress of the CPSU.

Subjects: Politics.

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