Nikolai Shchelokov

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Nikolai Shchelokov
Minister of Internal Affairs
(to 25 November 1968 as Minister of Public Order)[1]
In office
17 September 1966 – 17 December 1982
President Nikolai Podgorny[a]
Leonid Brezhnev[b]
Vasili Kuznetsov[c]
Prime Minister Alexey Kosygin
Nikolai Tikhonov
Preceded by Office reestablished
Succeeded by Vitaly Fedorchuk
Personal details
Born 26 November 1910
Almazna, Russian Empire (now in Ukraine)
Died 13 December 1984 (aged 74)
Moscow, RSFSR
Resting place Vagankovo Cemetery, Moscow
Nationality Ukrainian
Political party Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Alma mater Dzerzhinsky Metallurgical Institute

Nikolai Anisimovich Shchelokov (Николай Щёлоков; 26 November 1910 – 13 December 1984) was a Soviet statesman and Army General, who also served as interior minister for sixteen years from 17 September 1966 to 17 December 1982. He was fired from all posts on corruption charges and committed suicide on 13 December 1984.

Early life and education[edit]

Shchelokov was born in Almazna, a large cossack village near Luhansk in Donbas region of Russian Empire, on 26 November 1910.[1][2]

His father was a mine worker.[3] He also began to work in mines when he was fifteen years old.[3] He attended Dzerzhinsky Metallurgical Institute and received a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering in 1933.[2][3]


Soviet Communist Party[edit]

Shchelokov joined the Communist Party in 1931.[3] In 1938, he was appointed first secretary of the Communist Party committee of the Krasnogvardeysky district of Dnepropetrovsk.[4] From 1939 to 1941 he was the chairman of the Dnepropetrovsk City Soviet under Leonid Brezhnev, who was then first secretary of the Dnepropetrovsk province. Since then Brezhnev and Schchelokov forged very strong ties and continued supporting each other in their political careers until Brezhnev's death.[5]

World War II[edit]

At the start of World War II, Shchelokov was promoted to the rank of commissar in the Red Army while remaining the chairman of the City Soviet of Dnepropetrovsk. He served as a political commissar in the Soviet army from 1941 to 1946.[1]

Brezhnev's clan[edit]

After the war, Shchelokov resumed to work as a politician in Ukraine from 1947 to 1951.[1] He was part of the Dnepropetrovsk clan that refers to Soviet officials, who worked in Dnepropetrovsk together with Leonid Brezhnev in the Stalin era.[6] Brezhnev was serving as the regional party secretary in the city.[6] The clan also included Andrei Kirilenko and Vladimir Sherbitskii.[6] Shchelokov became second secretary of the central committee of the Moldavian communist party in 1951 where Brezhnev was first secretary.[3] In the same year Shchelokov was named first deputy premier of Moldova.[3] In addition he was a member in the Supreme Soviet at that time.[7]

Chief of the Soviet Police 1966 - 1982[edit]

Shchelokov was appointed by Brezhnev as Minister of Public Order on 17 September 1966.[8][9] On 25 November 1968, the Ministry of Public Order (MOOP) was renamed as Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) with the title of Shchelokov's office renamed accordingly.[5][8][10] He was promoted to the rank of general on 12 September 1976 while serving as interior minister.[11] He was also the Soviet Union's top police officer.[12] One of Shchelokov's deputies at the ministry was Brezhnev's son-in-law Yuri Churbanov.[13]


Five weeks after the death of Brezhnev, on 17 December 1982 Shchelokov was replaced as interior minister by KGB chairman Vitaly Fedorchuk, a measure seen as influenced by Yuri V. Andropov, Fedorchuk's predecessor as head of the KGB and newly elected General Secretary of the CPSU, who was Shchelokov's longtime rival. [14][15][16] Shchelokov's dismissal was due to corruption charges against him.[17][18]

After leaving office, Shchelokov began work as chief of a police unit at a gas pipeline construction site in Siberia.[3] On 15 June 1983 he was dismissed from the Central Committee of the CPSU on allegations of corruption during his tenure, as part of Andropov's anti-corruption campaign.[19][20] His son Igor was also removed from his post in the Komsomol shortly after.[21] Later reports argued that his wife and son had also been involved in illegal acts of selling and buying foreign cars.[22] It was further argued that Shchelokov spent huge amount of state money to buy luxury items for personal use.[23] On 6 November 1984, his military rank of army general was withdrawn by the state [17] and on 7 December he was expelled from the Communist Party. [4] In 1988, author Raul M. Mir-Haidarov argued that Shchelokov had been the godfather of the Uzbek mob.[24]


Shchelokov committed suicide by gunshot to his head using his own hunting rifle from his collection of rarities at his suburban mansion in Moscow on 13 December 1984.[1][22] He was buried on 15 December in the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow.[25] [1] His wife Svetlana had committed suicide on 19 February 1983.[4]

Honors and awards[edit]

Shchelokov was awarded the followings: the Order of Lenin (three times), the Order of the Red Banner (twice), the Order of Bogdan Khmelnitskii (Second Class), the Order of the Patriotic War (First Class), the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of the Red Star, Hero of Socialist Labour and various medals.[4][2]

He was stripped of all civilian awards and honors on 12 December 1984.[4]


  1. ^ As Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
  2. ^ As Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
  3. ^ Acting Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 10 November 1982 to 16 June 1983


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Index Sh-Sl". Rulers. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Shchelokov, Nikolai Anisimovich". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g William A. Clark (1993). Crime and punishment in Soviet officialdom: Combating corruption in the political elite, 1965-1990. M.E. Sharpe. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-56324-056-0. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Щёлоков Николай Анисимович". Герои Страны (in Russian). Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Patron-Client Relations". Country Data. May 1989. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Markevich, Andrei; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya (November 2009). "Career concerns in a political hierarchy: a case of regional leaders in Soviet Russia" (PDF). CEFIR/NES. Working Paper series 134: 1–48. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "New Minister". The Sydney Morning Herald. Moscow. 19 September 1966. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Soviet Ministries". Rulers. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Soviet Union: A Country Study (PDF). p. 782. 
  10. ^ "The Ministry of Internal Affairs". Intelligence Resource Program. May 1989. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Soviet security men promoted to general". Eugene Register Guard. Moscow. UPI. 12 September 1976. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Top Aide to Brezhnev Got Costly Gifts, Court Told". Los Angeles Times. Moscow. AP. 6 September 1988. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Shelley, Louise I. (2003). "Russia and Ukraine: Transition or tragedy?". In Roy Godson. Menace to Society: Political-criminal Collaboration Around the World. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4128-2848-2. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "K.G.B. CHIEF NAMED TO NEW POST; MOVE AGAINST CORRUPTION IS SEEN". New York Times. 18 December 1982. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Former KGB chief dies at 89". USA Today. Moscow. AP. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Stephen White (2011). Understanding Russian Politics. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-139-49683-4. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Ex-Police Minister in Soviet Is Stripped of General's Rank". New York Times. 7 November 1984. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  18. ^ Steve Goldstein (4 February 1987). "Brezhnev's Son-in-law Arrested By Soviets On Corruption Charges". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "LENINGRADER GETS HIGH SOVIET PARTY POST". New York Times. 16 June 1983. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  20. ^ Vasilevich Feofanov (1996). Politics and justice in Russia: Major trials of the post-Stalin era. M.E. Sharpe. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7656-3337-8. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "UNDER ANDROPOV, POLICEMAN'S LOT ISN'T HAPPY ONE". New York Times. 14 August 1983. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Stephen White (23 September 1993). After Gorbachev. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-521-45896-2. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  23. ^ Karl W. Ryavec (30 October 2005). Russian Bureaucracy: Power and Pathology. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-8476-9503-4. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Steve Goldstein (24 November 1988). "Unveiling A Mafia In Uzbekistan". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. 
  25. ^ "EX-GENERAL BURIED IN MOSCOW". New York Times. 16 December 1984. Retrieved 3 March 2017.