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Ponomarenko, Panteleimon Kondrat’evich
Born July 27 (Aug. 9), 1902, on the khutor (farmstead) of Shel-kovskii, now in Belorechensk Raion, Krasnodar Krai. Soviet statesman and party figure. Member of the CPSU since 1925. Son of a peasant.
Ponomarenko graduated from the Moscow Institute of Transportation Engineers in 1932. In 1918 he served in the Red Army, and in 1919 he began working in oil fields and in railroad transport. In 1922 he engaged in Komsomol work. From 1932 to 1936 he was in the Soviet Army and later worked as an engineer. In 1938 he was an instructor and deputy chief of a department of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik). From 1938 to 1947 he was first secretary of the Central Committee of the Byelorussian Communist Party (Bolshevik). In September 1939 he was a member of the military council of the Western Military District.
During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Ponomarenko was a member of the military councils of the Western, Central, Briansk, and First Byelorussian fronts. From 1942 to 1944 he was chief of the Central Staff of the Partisan Movement of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Command. He was made a lieutenant general in 1943.
From 1944 to 1948 Ponomarenko was chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and then of the Council of Ministers of the Byelorussian SSR. From 1948 to 1953 he was a secretary of the Central Committee of the ACP (B) and concurrently from 1950 to 1953, minister of procurements of the USSR. In 1953–54 he was minister of culture of the USSR. In 1954–55 he was first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. From 1955 to 1957 Ponomarenko was ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the USSR to the Polish People’s Republic; from 1957 to 1959, to India and at the same time to Nepal; and from 1959 to 1962, to the Netherlands. In 1961–62 he was a representative of the USSR at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
At the Eighteenth through Twentieth Party Congresses, Ponomarenko was elected a member of the Central Committee, in 1952–1953 a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee, and in 1953–54 a candidate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was a deputy to the first through fourth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1962 he retired on a special pension. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, four other orders, and various medals.