Kharchenko, Viktor Kondrat’evich
Born July 18 (31), 1911, in the city of Zhmerinka, in what is now Vinnitsa Oblast; died Jan. 10, 1975; buried in Moscow. Soviet military commander. Marshal of Engineer Troops (1972). Member of the CPSU from 1931.
The son of a Ukrainian peasant, Kharchenko joined the Red Army in 1932. He graduated from the Military Electrotechnical Academy in 1938 and from the K. E. Voroshilov Higher Military Academy in 1948. In 1941 and 1942, during the Great Patriotic War, Kharchenko was chief of staff of a special-operations directorate on the Western Front. From 1942 to 1945 he served as chief of staff and deputy commander of a separate special-purpose engineer brigade and of a separate motorized engineer guards brigade. The latter unit took part in the defense of Moscow, in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, in the forcing of the Dnieper, Bug, Vistula, and Oder rivers, and in the Berlin Operation. Within the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, Kharchenko became deputy chief of engineer troops in May 1961 and then chief in February 1965. Kharchenko died in the performance of official duties.
Kharchenko was awarded five Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Kutuzov Second Class, Orders of the Patriotic War First and Second Class, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals. He also received orders and medals from a number of socialist countries.