Aleksei Ivanovich Rykov

(b. 1881)

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Joseph Stalin (1879—1953) Soviet statesman, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR 1922–53


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(b. Saratov, 1881; d. Moscow, 15 Mar. 1938)

Russian; chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom) 1924–30 Rykov's father was a merchant of peasant origin. He had a very impoverished childhood after his father's death when he was 8. In 1900 he entered the Law Faculty of Kazan University, where he became a Marxist and worked as a revolutionary for the RSDLP both inside Russia and abroad. In 1903 he joined the Bolsheviks, but broke with Lenin in 1910 to lead the ‘party-minded Bolsheviks’ who were more tolerant of the Mensheviks. He supported the Bolshevik seizure of power in Moscow during the October Revolution of 1917 but thereafter advocated a coalition government of all socialist parties. Between 1918 and 1920 and 1923 and 1924 Rykov was chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy (VSNKh). From 1921 to 1924 he was deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom). After Lenin's death in 1924 he became chairman of Sovnarkom. Though he spoke for Party unity, Stalin accused Rykov of being a member of the ‘Right Opposition’. In 1930, he was forced to give up all his posts, but was then made Commissar for Transport. In 1937 he was arrested and executed the next year after a show trial. He was rehabilitated in 1988.

Subjects: Politics.

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