Anastas Mikoyan

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mikoyan, Anastas Ivanovich


Born Nov. 13 (25), 1895, in the village of Sanain, in present-day Tumanian Raion, the Armenian SSR. Soviet government and party official. Hero of Socialist Labor (1943). Member of the CPSU since 1915.

Mikoyan graduated from the Armenian Theological Seminary in Tbilisi and attended the Echmiadzin Theological Academy for a year. After joining the RSDLP, he engaged in party work in Tbilisi and Echmiadzin and contributed to the Social Democratic press. After the Revolution of February 1917 he was an organizer of the Echmiadzin soviet and later, a propagandist in Tbilisi and Baku and a member of the Tiflis party committee. In October 1917 he was a delegate to the first congress of Caucasus Bolshevik organizations and later, a member of the Presidium of the Baku Bolshevik committee. He was editor of the Armenian-language newspaper Sotsial-demokrat and later, of Izvestiia Bakinskogo Soveta. In March 1918 he was wounded when he participated in the suppression of a counterrevolutionary uprising of the Musavatists. In the summer of 1918, during the struggle against the German-Turkish interventionists, Mikoyan was a brigade commissar in the Red Army and took part in directing combat operations on the front.

After the temporary fall of Soviet power in Baku in July 1918 he was chairman of the underground city party committee. He attempted to free the arrested Baku Commissars but was ar-rested in Krasnovodsk. Only luck saved him and several of his comrades from a firing squad. He was held in the Krasnovodsk Prison and later, in the Kizyl-Arvat and Ashkhabad prisons. In February 1919, on the demand of the Baku workers, the British occupiers were compelled to release Mikoyan and a group of prisoners. All of them were sent from Transcaspia to Baku.

In March 1919, Mikoyan became head of the Bolshevik underground in Azerbaijan. He was also a member of the Caucasus Krai Party Committee. Having established communications with Moscow and Astrakhan, he organized the delivery of petroleum products for the Red Army. In October 1919, on assignment from the Caucasus Krai Party Committee, he crossed the Denikin front and arrived in Moscow, where he met with V. I. Lenin and took part in meetings of the Politburo and the Organizational Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik), at which problems of party organization in Baku and Transcaucasia were resolved.

On Apr. 28, 1920, an armed uprising broke out in Baku. With a leading detachment of armored trains of the Eleventh Red Army, which was sent to support the insurgents, Mikoyan arrived in Baku, where he continued to exercise leadership. In October 1920 he became director of the agitation and propaganda department, a member of the bureau, and secretary of the provincial committee in Nizhny Novgorod (now Gorky). From 1922 to 1924 he was secretary of the Southeastern Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP(B) in Rostov-on-Don. He was secretary of the Northern Caucasus Krai Party Committee and a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Northern Caucasus Military District from 1924 to 1926.

From 1926 to 1930, Mikoyan was USSR people’s commissar for foreign and domestic trade, from 1930 to 1934, people’s commissar for supply, and from 1934 to early 1938, people’s commissar for the food industry. He was deputy chairman of the USSR Council of People’s Commissars from 1937 to 1946, a member of the bureau of the Council of People’s Commissars from 1941 to 1946, and from 1938 to 1946, people’s commissar for foreign trade.

During the Great Patriotic War he was chairman of the Committee for Food and Materiel for the Red Army (1941). As a member of the State Defense Committee from 1942 to 1945, he supervised the organization of all kinds of supplies to the troops. From 1943 to 1946 he was a member of the Council of People’s Commissars Committee for the Reconstruction of the Economy in Areas Liberated From Fascist Occupation.

From 1946 to 1955, Mikoyan was deputy chairman, and from 1955 to 1964, first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. He was minister of foreign trade from 1946 to 1949 and minister of trade from 1953 to 1955. Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 1964 to 1965, he became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in December 1965.

Mikoyan was a delegate to the Tenth through Twenty-fourth party Congresses. At the Eleventh Congress (1922) he was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee, and since the Twelfth Congress (1923) he has been a member of the Central Committee. He became a candidate member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) in 1926 and a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) in 1935. From 1952 to 1966 he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. In 1919 he was a candidate member and from 1920 to 1927 a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR, and in 1922 he became a member of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. He was a deputy to the first through eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Mikoyan has written many works on the Soviet economy and on party history. He has been awarded five Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner, and various medals.


Pishchevaia industriia Sovetskogo Soiuza. [Speeches and reports.] Moscow, 1939.
Mysli i vospominaniia o Lenine. Moscow, 1970.
Dorogoi bor’by, books 1—. Moscow, 1971—.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This document indicates that Shaumian, just like Anastas Mikoyan, was not shot along with the "26 Baku Commissars".
Soviet-watchers were once taught that if they needed to know who was in power in the Kremlin, they should look at whoever stood on either side of Anastas Mikoyan. The durable Mikoyan managed to survive as a Politburo member (the highest echelon in the Soviet leadership) under Lenin, Stalin, and then Khrushchev, until he was forcibly retired by Brezhnev.
February 1960 - Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Anastas Mikoyan visits Cuba, signs sugar and oil deals, first of many pacts over next 30 years.
Next thing he knew, Anastas Mikoyan was firmly taking the phone from his hand as he tried to talk to the cosmonauts, saying that it was time to be getting back to Moscow.
Anastas Mikoyan once filed a detailed, envy-filled report on American burger-frying techniques.
The Mikoyans and Khrushchevs lived in adjacent houses in Moscow's Lenin Hills, and Anastas Mikoyan and Khrushchev often took long walks together to discuss government problems.
The Nineteenth Party Conference in 1988 is repeatedly called the Twenty-Ninth; Anastas Mikoyan, rather than Andrei Gromyko, is cited as the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet in 1985-88; Geidar Aliyev is termed the first "vice-president," instead of the first deputy prime minister; the chairman of the KGB is described as KGB "president"; Kazakhstan, with a population of only 17 million in a territory the size of India, is termed "populous"; and so forth.