Valerian Kuibyshev

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Kuibyshev, Valerian Vladimirovich

 

Born May 25 (June 6), 1888, in Omsk; died Jan. 25, 1935, in Moscow. Soviet state and party leader. Member of the Communist Party from 1904; joined the revolutionary movement in 1903. Son of an officer.

While studying at the Omsk Cadet Corps, Kuibyshev, as a 16-year-old youth, joined the Omsk organization of the RSDLP and sided with the Bolsheviks. In 1905, Kuibyshev became a student in the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg and was active in the St. Petersburg Bolshevik organization. During the spring of 1906 he was expelled from the academy for participating in a student strike; hiding from the police, he moved to Omsk, where he was elected a member of the Omsk Committee of the RSDLP. Beginning in 1906, Kuibyshev conducted revolutionary work in Omsk, Kainsk (now the city of Kuibyshev, Novosibirsk Oblast), Tomsk (as a member of the committee of the RSDLP and leader of the military organization), Petropavlovsk (as a member of the committee of the RSDLP), Barabinsk, St. Petersburg (in 1914–15 as a member of the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP), Vologda, Kharkov, and Samara. He was arrested eight times and was banished to Eastern Siberia four times, where he continued to carry on revolutionary work. In Narym in 1910, together with la. M. Sverdlov, he created a Bolshevik organization and a party school.

In March 1917, Kuibyshev returned from exile to Samara, took charge of the Samara organization of the RSDLP (Bolshevik), and was elected chairman of its council. He was a delegate to the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP (B) in 1917. In October 1917 he was one of the leaders in the struggle to establish Soviet power in Samara; he became chairman of the Samara revolutionary committee and the Samara provincial committee of the party.

During the years of the Civil War (1918–20), Kuibyshev was one of the organizers and political leaders in the Red Army. In June 1918 he became political commissar and member of the revolutionary military council of the First Army, and in September 1918 he became political commissar and a member of the revolutionary military council of the Fourth Army on the Eastern Front; at the same time he was directing the Samara party organization. In April 1919, Kuibyshev became a member of the revolutionary military council of the Southern Group of the Eastern Front, and he worked together with M. V. Frunze in combating the armies of Kolchak. In August 1919, along with S. M. Kirov, he directed the defense of Astrakhan and became a member of the revolutionary military council of the Eleventh Army and the Turkestan Front; he was also a participant in the liberation of Central Asia from the White Guards. In October 1919 he was appointed deputy chairman of the Commission of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR, and the Central Committee of the RCP (B) for Turkestan Affairs.

After the Civil War, Kuibyshev was assigned to administrative trade-union and economic work. In December 1920 he was elected a member of the presidium of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, where he directed its economic section. In April 1921 he became a member of the Presidium of the Higher Supreme Council on the National Economy, and in November he became the head of Glavelektro (Central Board for Electrification); he directed the practical implementation of the GOELRO (State Commission for the Electrification of Russia) plan. From 1923 to 1926, Kuibyshev was people’s commissar of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate, as well as deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Council of Labor and Defense. In 1926 he became chairman of the Supreme Council on the National Economy. In November 1930 he became chairman of the Gosplan (State Planning Commission) of the USSR and at the same time, deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Council of Labor and Defense. He participated directly in drawing up the first and second five-year plans of national economic development. In February 1934 he became chairman of the Commission of Soviet Control; in May 1934 he became first deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Council of Labor and Defense.

Kuibyshev was one of the initiators of the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia and was a member of its chief editorial board. He was a delegate to the Seventh, Eighth, and Twelfth through Seventeenth Party Congresses. At the Tenth Congress of the RCP (B) he was elected a candidate member of the party’s Central Committee; at the Eleventh Congress he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the RCP (B); in April 1922 he became secretary of the Central Committee of the RCP (B). At the Twelfth Congress he was elected a member of the Central Control Commission; he was also chairman of the Central Control Commission of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate (1923–26). At the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Party Congresses, Kuibyshev was elected a member of the Central Committee of the ACP (B); from 1927 he served as a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ACP (B). He was buried in Red Square, near the Kremlin Wall.

WORKS

Izbr. proizv. Moscow, 1958.

REFERENCES

Berezov, P. V. V. Kuibyshev. Moscow, 1958.
V. V. Kuibyshevvydaiushchiisia proletarskii revoliutsioner i mysliteV. St., vospominaniia, dokumenty. Tomsk, 1963.
Dubinskii-Mukhadze, I. M. Kuibyshev [1888–1935]. Moscow, 1971.