Shmyrev, Minai Filippovich
Born Dec. 11 (23), 1891, in the village of Punishcha, Velizh District, Vitebsk Province; died Sept. 3, 1964, in Vitebsk. One of the organizers of the partisan movement in Byelorussia during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. Hero of the Soviet Union (Aug. 15, 1944). Member of the CPSU from 1920.
The son of a peasant, Shmyrev was drafted into the army in 1913; he fought in World War I. After joining the Red Army in 1918, he fought against the White Guard troops of generals Kras-nov and Iudenich during the Civil War of 1918–20. From 1921 to 1923 he was commander of a detachment charged with controlling banditry in the Vitebsk region.
In 1923, Shmyrev became the head of the agrarian department of a volost (small rural district) in Vitebsk Oblast. He remained in the oblast and later worked as chairman of a kolkhoz, director of a paperboard factory, and director of a plant for the initial processing of flax.
Shmyrev organized a partisan detachment of factory workers in 1941. In the following year he commanded the 1st Byelorussian Partisan Brigade in Vitebsk Oblast from April through October and became a member of the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement.
After the war, Shmyrev engaged in soviet work in Vitebsk. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, and various medals. A museum devoted to Shmyrev has been opened in Vitebsk.