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The highest policy‐making committee of Communist Parties, modelled on the organizational structures of the Soviet Union. There, a Politburo was founded after the Russian Revolution of February 1917 to realize Lenin's organizational ideas for an elite cadre of leaders to guide the revolution. Once Communism had been established, the Politburo continued in its function as the highest executive organ of the Communist Party and the state. Its real workings changed over time. Under Stalin, its members were increasingly subject to the dictator's will. Khrushchev successfully invoked its theoretical responsibility to the Party Central Committee to overrule its decision in 1957 to topple him. Under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko, it became more the collective body it had originally been designed to be. It was abolished under Gorbachev. As the model for the governments of all the Communist Eastern Bloc countries, the institution of the Politburo was largely abandoned with the collapse of Communism (1988–9).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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