|Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
19 December 1957 – 4 May 1960
|Member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet|
12 July 1953 – 4 May 1960
|Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine|
16 December 1949 – 26 December 1957
|Born||25 February [O.S. 12 February] 1908
Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||28 December 1975
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Profession||Mechanical engineer, civil servant|
Alexei Illarionovoich Kirichenko (Russian: Алексе́й Илларио́нович Кириче́нко; 12(25) February 1908 – 28 December 1975) was a Soviet politician. Between 1957 and 1960 he was a Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and effectively the second person in the party after Nikita Khrushchev.
Kirichenko was born in the village Chernobayevka of Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire in a family of Ukrainian factory worker. From the age of 11 he started earning for living by working in the fields and then at railways. After graduating from a mechanical school he worked in Kazakhstan as an engineer in a sovkhoz. He then returned to Ukraine to receive a university degree (1936) and teach agricultural engineering. In 1938, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine and in 1941 its Secretary of Industry (later in 1949 he was promoted to the 2nd Secretary and in June 1953 to the 1st Secretary). During World War II, serving as a party functionary, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. In 1953, he became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and in 1957 one of the secretaries of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. During 1957–1960, Kirichenko was effectively the second person in the Communist Party after Khrushchev, who was his patron since the 1930s. However, Khrushchev gradually became disappointed with Kirichenko whom he saw as a somewhat arrogant bureaucrat, not capable or willing to understand and solve the management problems, either on the national or international scale. As a result, in 1960 Kirichenko was demoted to the position of the first secretary of the Party Committee of Rostov Oblast and retired in 1962. He died in 1975 and was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.