Ivan Mezhlauk

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Ivan Ivanovich Mezhlauk (Russian: Иван Иванович Межлаук; Latvian: Jānis Mežlauks) (30 September 1891 – 25 April 1938) served as the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR as well as its first President.

Ivan Mezhlauk was born in Kharkiv, in the Kharkov Governorate of the Russian Empire on 30 September 1891. He was of Latvian ethnicity.[1] He joined the Bolshevik Party in 1918 and served in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. He was president from 19 November 1924 until September 1925, when he was replaced with Khalmurad Sakhatmuradov. His term as General Secretary lasted longer. Mezhlauk served from 1924 to 1926.

He was succeeded as General Secretary by Shaymardan Ibragimov.

From 1930 to 1933 Mezhlauk worked in the Soviet economic planning apparatus, serving for a time as the Secretary of the Council of Labor and Defense (STO).[2]

Ivan Mezhlauk was the brother of Soviet economic planner Valery Mezhlauk, the head of Gosplan from 1934 to 1937.[2] Both brothers were arrested during the secret police terror of 1937-1938 and were among those executed. Ivan Mezhlauk was arrested on 3 December 1937, sentenced to death on 25 April 1938 and shot the same day.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Жертвы политического террора в СССР". Lists.memo.ru. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  2. ^ a b R.W. Davies, "Ivan Ivanovich Mezhlauk," in Archie Brown (ed.), The Soviet Union: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Macmillan, 1990; pp. 248-249.

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Political offices
Preceded by
position created
President of the Turkmen SSR
1924 – 1925
Succeeded by
Khalmurad Sakhatmuradov
Party political offices
Preceded by
position created
General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR
1924 – 1926
Succeeded by
Shaymardan Ibragimov