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(politruk).(1) An official in companies, batteries, and equivalent subunits of the Soviet armed forces from 1919 to 1942 with interruptions.
The institution of political leader was established by a decree of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic on Oct. 14, 1919. The political leader’s duties included the political and military molding of personnel. He was chief of personnel of his subunit, with rights equal to those of the commander. The political leaders were assistants to the political commissars in implementing in the army the policy of the Communist Party and the Soviet government. From 1925 to 1928, with the introduction of one-man command in the armed forces, the position of political leader was replaced by that of assistant commander for political affairs. The position of political leader existed again from May 10, 1937, to Aug. 12, 1940, and from July 16, 1941, to Oct. 9, 1942. It was then replaced by the position of deputy commander for political affairs, which existed from 1942 to 1967 with interruptions. After 1967 the position continued to exist in companies, batteries, squadrons, ships’ departments, and equivalent subunits.
(2) A military rank introduced by the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR on Sept. 22, 1935, for different categories of political personnel. There were the ranks of senior political leader, political leader, and junior political leader. The ranks were abolished on Oct. 9, 1942.
L. A. BUBLIK