Kleshchev, Aleksei Efimovich
Born Feb. 12 (25), 1905, in the village of Mikhnovichi, in present-day Kalinkovichi Raion, Gomel’ Oblast; died Dec. 13, 1968, in Moscow. Soviet statesman and party figure. Hero of the Soviet Union (Jan. 1, 1944). Became a member of the CPSU in 1928. The son of a peasant.
Kleshchev was chairman of a village soviet from 1924 to 1927 and director of a machine-tractor station from 1930 to 1939 in the Byelorussian SSR. In September 1939 he became chief of the land department of Pinsk Oblast. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) he created underground party organizations in occupied territory, was secretary of the Pinsk underground oblast committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia, and headed a large partisan unit. He became a major general in September 1943. In 1944 he became first secretary of the Pinsk oblast committee and then in 1946–48 was first secretary of the Polotsk oblast committee of the CP of Byelorussia. From 1948 to 1953 he was chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Byelorussian SSR and from 1955 to 1960 was first secretary of the Kokchetav oblast committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. He was a delegate to the Nineteenth through Twenty-first Congresses of the CPSU and a deputy to the second, third, and fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1961 he retired. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and medals.