Alexei Kosygin

Alexei Kosygin
Алексей Косыгин
05.11.1966. Kossiguine à Toulouse. (1966) - 53Fi3436 (cropped).jpg
Kosygin visiting Toulouse in 1966
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
of the Soviet Union
In office
15 October 1964 – 23 October 1980
Deputy
Preceded byNikita Khrushchev
Succeeded byNikolai Tikhonov
First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers
In office
4 May 1960 – 15 October 1964
PremierNikita Khrushchev
Preceded byFrol Kozlov
Succeeded byDmitriy Ustinov
Additional positions
Chairman of the State Planning Committee
In office
20 March 1959 – 4 May 1960
PremierNikita Khrushchev
Preceded byJoseph Kuzmin
Succeeded byVladimir Novikov
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR
In office
23 June 1943 – 23 March 1946
PremierJoseph Stalin
Preceded byIvan Khokhlov
Succeeded byMikhail Rodionov
Full member of the 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, & 25th CPSU Politburo
In office
4 May 1960 – 21 October 1980
In office
4 September 1948 – 16 October 1952
Candidate member of the 18th, 19th, & 20th CPSU Politburo
In office
29 June 1957 – 4 May 1960
In office
16 October 1952 – 5 March 1953
In office
18 March 1946 – 4 September 1948
Personal details
Born
Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin

21 February [O.S. 8 February] 1904
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died18 December 1980(1980-12-18) (aged 76)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
CitizenshipSoviet
NationalityRussian
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s)Klavdia Andreyevna (died 1967)
ResidenceHouse on the Embankment
ProfessionTeacher, civil servant[1]
AwardsHero of Socialist Labour Hero of Socialist Labour
Military service
AllegianceRussian SFSR
Branch/serviceRed Army
Years of service1919–1921[2]
RankConscript
CommandsRed Army
Battles/warsRussian Civil War

Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin (Russian: Алексе́й Никола́евич Косы́гин, tr. Aleksej Nikolajevič Kosygin, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksʲej nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ kɐˈsɨɡʲɪn]; 21 February [O.S. 8 February] 1904 – 18 December 1980)[3] was a Soviet-Russian statesman during the Cold War. Kosygin was born in the city of Saint Petersburg in 1904 to a Russian working-class family. He was conscripted into the labour army during the Russian Civil War, and after the Red Army's demobilisation in 1921, he worked in Siberia as an industrial manager. Kosygin returned to Leningrad in the early 1930s and worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. During the Great Patriotic War (World War II), Kosygin was a member of the State Defence Committee and was tasked with moving Soviet industry out of territories soon to be overrun by the German Army. He served as Minister of Finance for a year before becoming Minister of Light Industry (later, Minister of Light Industry and Food). Stalin removed Kosygin from the Politburo one year before his own death in 1953, intentionally weakening Kosygin's position within the Soviet hierarchy.

Stalin died in 1953, and on March, 20 1959 Kosygin was appointed to the position of Chairman of the State Planning Committee (Gosplan), a post he would hold for little more than a year. Kosygin next became First Deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. When Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power in 1964, Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev succeeded him as Premier and First Secretary respectively. Thereafter, Kosygin formed a troika with Brezhnev and Nikolai Podgorny, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, that governed the Soviet Union in Khrushchev's place.

During the latter half of the 1960s, Kosygin initially emerged as the most prominent figure in the post-Khrushchev troika. In addition to managing the Soviet Union’s economy, he assumed a preeminent role in the nation’s foreign policy by leading arms control talks with the US and directly overseeing relations with other communist countries. However, the onset of the Prague Spring in 1968 resulted in a severe backlash against his policies that enabled Brezhnev to eclipse him as the dominant figure in the Politburo. While he and Brezhnev disliked one another, he remained in office until being forced to retire on October 23, 1980, due to bad health. He died two months later on December 18, 1980.

Early life and career (1904–1964)

Kosygin was born into a Russian[4] working-class family consisting of his father and mother (Nikolai Ilyich and Matrona Alexandrovna) and his siblings. The family lived in Saint Petersburg. Kosygin was baptised (7 March 1904) one month after his birth.[5]

He was conscripted into a labour army on the Bolshevik side during the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922. After demobilisation from the Red Army in 1921, Kosygin attended the Leningrad Co-operative Technical School[6] and found work in the system of consumer co-operatives in[7] Novosibirsk, Siberia.[8] When asked[when?] why he worked in the co-operative sector of the economy, Kosygin replied, quoting a slogan of Vladimir Lenin: "Co-operation – the path to socialism!"[9] Kosygin stayed there for six years.

He applied for a membership in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1927[7] and returned to Leningrad in 1930 to study at the Leningrad Textile Institute [ru]; he graduated in 1935.[9]

After finishing his studies, Kosygin worked as a textile-mill director. Three years later, he was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Leningrad City Soviets of Working People's Deputies by the Leningrad Communist Party, and the following year he was appointed People's Commissar for Textile and Industry and earned a seat on the Central Committee (CC). In 1940 Kosygin became a Deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, and was appointed in 1943 as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR.

Kosygin worked for the State Defence Committee during the Great Patriotic War (World War II).[7] As Deputy Chairman of the Council of Evacuation,[10] he had the task of evacuating industry from territories about to be overrun by the Axis. During the Leningrad Blockade he participated in organising the construction of a supply route and a pipeline on the bottom of Lake Ladoga.[11] Kosygin became a candidate member of the Politburo in 1946, and a full member on 4 September 1948 (toward the end of Joseph Stalin's rule); he lost his seat in 1952.[12] He served as Minister of Finance in 1948,[11] and as Minister of Light Industry from 1949 to 1953.[13]

Stalin era

The House on the Embankment was a building completed in 1931 to house the government elite; Kosygin lived there.

Kosygin's administrative skills[14] led Stalin to take the younger man under his wing. Stalin shared information with Kosygin, such as how much money the families of Vyacheslav Molotov, Anastas Mikoyan, and Lazar Kaganovich possessed, spent and paid their staff. (A Politburo member earned a modest salary by Soviet standards[15] but enjoyed unlimited access to consumer goods.)

Stalin sent Kosygin to each home[when?] to put their houses into "proper order". Assignments such as these made Kosygin unpopular with certain members of the Soviet leadership. Kosygin told his son-in-law Mikhail Gvishiani, an NKVD officer, of the accusations leveled against his co-worker Nikolai Voznesensky, then Chairman of the State Planning Committee (in office 1942–1949) and a First Deputy Premier (in office 1941–1946), because of his possession of firearms. Gvishiani and Kosygin threw all their weapons into a lake and searched both their own houses for any listening devices. They found one at Kosygin's house, but it might have been installed to spy on Marshal Georgy Zhukov, who had lived there before him. According to his memoirs, Kosygin never left his home without reminding his wife what to do if he did not return from work. After living two years in constant fear, the family reached the conclusion[when?] that Stalin would not harm them.[16]

Kosygin, along with Alexey Kuznetsov and Voznesensky, formed a troika in the aftermath of World War II, with high-standing officials such as Stalin promoting all three up the Soviet hierarchy. Kosygin's life, which was connected to Kuznetsov through marriage, was hanging by a thread. How or why Kosygin survived the show trials remains unknown, but, as some jokes say, he "must have drawn a lucky lottery ticket".[17] Nikita Khrushchev blamed Beria and Malenkov for the innocent deaths of Kuznetsov (1 October 1950) and Voznesensky (1 October 1950), and accused Malenkov in 1957 of having concocted a plot so that either Malenkov or Beria would succeed Stalin upon the latter's death.[14]

Khrushchev era

Following Stalin's death in March 1953, Kosygin was demoted, but as a staunch ally of Khrushchev, his career soon turned around. While never one of Khrushchev's protégés, Kosygin quickly moved up the party ladder.[11] Kosygin became an official of the State Planning Committee in 1957, and was made a candidate member of the Politburo. He was promoted to the State Planning Committee chairmanship, and became Khrushchev's First Deputy Premier in 1960. As First Deputy Premier Kosygin travelled abroad, mostly on trade missions, to countries such as North Korea, India, Argentina and Italy. Later, in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kosygin was the Soviet spokesman for improved relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.[13] Kosygin regained his old seat in the Politburo at the 22nd Party Congress in 1961.[11]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Aleksey Kosıgin
български: Алексей Косигин
čeština: Alexej Kosygin
Esperanto: Aleksej Kosigin
Bahasa Indonesia: Aleksey Kosygin
مازِرونی: الکسای کوزگین
Nederlands: Aleksej Kosygin
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Aleksey Kosigin
português: Alexei Kossygin
Simple English: Alexei Kosygin
српски / srpski: Алексеј Косигин
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Aleksej Kosigin
татарча/tatarça: Алексей Косыгин