Avanesov, Varlaam Aleksandrovich
Born 1884; died Mar. 16, 1930. Soviet state figure. Born in the former Kara Oblast into the family of a peasant. Active in the revolutionary movement from the late 1890’s; member of the RSDLP from 1903 and a Menshevik; became a Bolshevik in 1914.
Avanesov was an active participant in the Revolution of 1905–07 in the northern Caucasus, where he conducted propaganda among the troops. He went to Switzerland in 1907 to recover from tuberculosis, living there until 1913. He was a graduate of the medical faculty of the University of Zürich. Avanesov was secretary of the RSDLP united group in Davos. After the February Revolution of 1917, he served as a member of the Presidium of the Moscow Soviet. In October 1917 he became a member of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, directing its press and information division. He was a delegate to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, where he was chosen a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. From 1917 through 1919 he was a member of the Presidium and secretary of the All-Russian CEC; in 1918 he became commissar for Armenian affairs under the People’s Commissariat for Nationalities. From 1919 he was a member of the Presidium of the All-Russian CEC. During the offensive of the White Guard forces of General Denikin, Avanesov was a member of the troika charged with the defense of Moscow Raion. From 1920 to 1924 he was deputy people’s commissar of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate; during the same period he served as a member of the board of Cheka. From 1922 to 1927 he was a member of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. During 1924–25 he was deputy people’s commissar for foreign trade. From 1925, Avanesov was a member of the Presidium of the All-Russian Council of the National Economy.