Kozlov, Vasilii Ivanovich
Born Feb. 18 (Mar. 3), 1903, in the village of Zagrad’e, present-day Zhlobin Raion, Gomel’ Oblast; died Dec. 2, 1967, in Minsk. Soviet party and state figure; Hero of the Soviet Union (Sept. 1, 1942); major general (1943). Member of the CPSU from 1927. Son of a peasant.
Kozlov was a fitter at the depot of the Zhlobin station from 1919 to 1925. He studied at the Lenin Communist University in Minsk from 1929 to 1933 and then worked as a party organizer on a kolkhoz. In 1934–40 he was director of the Starobin Machine and Tractor Station and first secretary of the Starobin raion committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia (CPB). In 1940, Kozlov was appointed deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Byelorussian SSR; in April 1941 he became second secretary of the Minsk oblast committee of the CPB.
At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Koszlov was left at the enemy rear as a representative of the Central Committee of the CPB to organize the partisan movement. In July 1941 he became first secretary of the Minsk underground oblast committee of the CPB and commander of the large Minsk Partisan Unit. From July 1944 to January 1948 he was first secretary of the Minsk oblast and city committees of the CPB. In 1947 he became chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR. In January 1948 he became chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR and deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was deputy to the second through seventh convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. At the Twenty-third Party Congress (1966), Kozlov was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was awarded five Orders of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals.