Kliment Voroshilov

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Voroshilov, Kliment Efremovich

 

Born Jan. 23 (Feb. 4) 1881, in the village of Verkhnee, Bakhmut District, present-day Voroshilovgrad Oblast; died Dec. 2, 1969, in Moscow. Soviet statesman and Party and military figure; marshal of the Soviet Union (1935); twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1956 and 1968); Hero of Socialist Labor (1960). Member of the Communist Party from 1903.

Voroshilov was born into the family of a railroad worker. In 1896, he began working at the lur’evka Metallurgical Plant (Alchevskaia Station) and in 1903, at Gartman’s locomotive plant in Lugansk. In 1904 he became a member of the Lugansk Bolshevik Committee. In 1905 as chairman of the Lugansk soviet he led a workers’ strike and organized combat groups. He was a delegate to the Fourth (1906) and Fifth (1907) Congresses of the RSDLP. From 1908 to 1917, Voroshilov was engaged in underground Party work in Baku, St. Petersburg, and Tsaritsyn. He was repeatedly arrested and spent time in exile. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the Petrograd soviet and a delegate to the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference and to the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP (Bolshevik). In March 1917 he became chairman of the Lugansk soviet and of the city duma. In November 1917 he was commissar for city administration in the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee. Together with F. E. DzierżyĔiski he helped organize the All-Russian cheka. In early March 1918, Voroshilov organized the 1st Lugansk Socialist Detachment, which defended Kharkov against German and Austrian troops. During the Civil War Voroshilov was commander of the Tsaritsyn group of forces, deputy commander and member of the Military Council of the Southern Front, commander of the Tenth Army, people’s commissar for internal affairs of the Ukraine, commander of the Kharkov Military District, and commander of the Fourteenth Army and of the Ukrainian Home Front. Voroshilov was one of the organizers of the First Cavalry Army and a member of its Revolutionary Military Council. In 1920 he was awarded the Honorary Revolutionary Arms Award for combat services. At the Eighth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik) in March 1919, Voroshilov sided with the ’’military opposition.” In 1921, as head of a group of delegates to the Tenth Party Congress, he took part in the suppression of the Kronstadt anti-Soviet mutiny. From 1921 to 1924 he was a member of the Southeastern Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) and commander of the troops of the Northern Caucuses Military District. From 1924 to 1925 he was commander of the troops of the Moscow Military District and a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR. From Nov. 6, 1925, to June 20, 1934, he was people’s commissar for military and naval affairs and chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR. From 1934 to 1940, Voroshilov was people’s commissar for defense of the USSR. In 1940 he was appointed deputy chairman of the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) of the USSR and chairman of the Defense Committee of the Sovnarkom of the USSR. During the Great Patriotic War, Voroshilov was a member of the State Committee for Defense, commander in chief of the troops on the Northwestern Axis of Operation, commander of the troops on the Leningrad Front, and commander in chief of the partisan movement. In 1943, Voroshilov took part in the Tehran Conference. From 1945 to 1947 he was chairman of the Allied Control Commission in Hungary. From 1946 to 1953 he was deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. He was chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from March 1953 to May 1960. From May 1960 he was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Voroshilov was a member of the Central Committee (CC) of the CPSU from 1921 until October 1961 and after 1966 and a member of the Politburo of the CC CPSU from 1926 until 1952. He was a member of the Presidium of the CC CPSU from 1952 until July 1960. He was a delegate to the Tenth through Twenty-third Party Congresses and a deputy to the first through seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. A Hero of the Mongolian People’s Republic, Voroshilov was also awarded eight Orders of Lenin, six Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First Class, the Order of the Red Banner of the Uzbek SSR, the Order of the Red Banner of the Tadzhik SSR, the Order of the Red Banner of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, and foreign orders and medals, as well as an Honorary Arms Award with a representation State Emblem of the USSR. Voroshilov is buried in Moscow on Red Square.

WORKS

Oborona SSSR: Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1937.
Rasskazy o zhizni (reminiscences), book 1. Moscow, 1968.