List of members of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the 1960s
A member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was a member of the nomenklatura, the country's de facto ruling class. Nikita Khrushchev chaired the Politburo from 1955 to 1964; Leonid Brezhnev succeeded him that year and chaired until 1982. In contrast to full members, candidate members of the Politburo could not vote during Politburo sessions. It was normal that a full member of the Politburo had previously served as a candidate member, but this was not always the case. During the 1960s 32 people held seats in the Politburo: 23 full members and 19 candidate members. In total, five candidate members were promoted to full membership in the Politburo during the 1960s. Not a single Politburo member died during this period while retaining office.
Alexei Kosygin and Nikolai Podgorny were elected to the Presidium in 1960 at a Central Committee plenum. Averky Aristov, Nikolai Belyaev, Yekaterina Furtseva, Nikolai Ignatov and Nutridin Mukhitdinov were either demoted or lost their Politburo seats at the Central Committee plenum of May 1960, held three days after the U-2 incident. The new Politburo was more evenly divided between the pro- and anti-Khrushchev factions. Alexey Kirichenko's successor as Second Secretary was Frol Kozlov, considered by many in the West at the time as an anti-Khrushchevite. The Central Committee and Politburo at the 22nd Party Congress (17–31 October 1961) was, according to sovietologists Merle Fainsod and Jerry F. Hough, elected unanimously. Brezhnev, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, was considered as an alternative to Kozlov as Second Secretary, but was instead made Third Secretary, the secretary responsible for industry. In 1963, for unknown reasons, possibly health reasons, Brezhnev took over Kozlov's duties at the Secretariat, and became the de facto Second Secretary. When a Western journalist asked Khrushchev in 1963 who would succeed him, Khrushchev responded bluntly "Brezhnev". After a prolonged power struggle, Khrushchev was ousted from power, and a collective leadership led by Brezhnev, Kosygin, Podgorny, Mikhail Suslov and Andrei Kirilenko was formed.
In the months following Khrushchev's ousting, three members were elected to the Politburo: Alexander Shelepin, the Chairman of the State Control Commission; Petro Shelest, the First Secretary of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine; and Kirill Mazurov, a First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers. At the 23rd Party Congress (29 March–8 April 1966), the first congress since Khrushchev's ousting, the Presidium reverted to its previous name, Politburo. Mikoyan and Nikolai Shvernik, the two oldest members, were not reelected to the Politburo, while Arvīds Pelše became the only Politburo débutant. While Brezhnev may have been General Secretary, he did not have a majority in the Politburo; when Kosygin and Podgorny agreed on policy, which was not often the case, Brezhnev found himself in the minority. Brezhnev could only count on three to four votes in the Politburo: Suslov, who often switched sides, Kirilenko, Pelše and Dmitry Polyansky. Brezhnev and Kosygin often disagreed on policy; Brezhnev was a conservative while Kosygin was a modest reformer. Kosygin, who had begun his premiership as Brezhnev's equal, lost much power and influence within the Politburo when he introduced the 1965–1971 Soviet economic reform. After the reshuffling process of the Politburo ended in mid-to-late 1970, the Soviet leadership evolved into a gerontocracy, a form of rule in which the rulers are significantly older than most of the adult population; this meant that fewer up-and-comers were promoted to top party positions.
List of members
Full- and candidate membership of the Politburo were taken from these sources:
- Fainsod & Hough 1979. How the Soviet Union Is Governed. pp. 230–231.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979. How the Soviet Union Is Governed. pp. 239–240.
- Dogan & Higley 1998, p. 128.
- Schmidt-Häuer 1986, p. 83.
- Huskey 1992, p. 38.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, pp. 125–127.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 244.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 245.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 230.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 452.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 242.
- Baylis 1989, p. 97.
- Cocks & Daniels 1976, pp. 56–57.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, p. 247.
- Fainsod & Hough 1979, pp. 238–239.
- Zemtsov 1989, pp. 102–103.
- Brown 2009, p. 403.
- Bacon & Sandle 2002, p. 12.
- Fainsod, Merle; Hough, Jerry F. (1979). How the Soviet Union is Governed. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674410305.
- Dogan, Mattéi; Higley, John (1998). Elites, Crises, and the Origins of Regimes. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978–0847690237.
- Schmidt-Häuer, Christian (1986). Gorbachev: The Path to Power. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781850430155.
- Huskey, Eugene (1992). Executive Power and Soviet Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Soviet State. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9781563240591.
- Baylis, Thomas A. (1989). Governing by Committee: Collegial Leadership in Advanced Societies. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978–0887069444.
- Cocks, Paul; Daniels, Robert Vincent; Whittier Heer, Nancy (1976). The Dynamics of Soviet Politics. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674218819.
- Zemtsov, Ilya (1989). Chernenko: The Last Bolshevik: The Soviet Union on the Eve of Perestroika. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412819459.
- Brown, Archie (2009). The Rise & Fall of Communism. Bodley Head. ISBN 9780307372246.
- Bacon, Edwin; Sandle, Mark (2002). Brezhnev Reconsidered. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333794630.