|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Byelorussia|
30 March 1965 – 4 October 1980
|Preceded by||Kirill Mazurov|
|Succeeded by||Tikhon Kiselyov|
|Candidate member of the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th Politburo|
8 April 1966 – 4 October 1980
|Born||26 February 1918|
Gomel Region, Russian Empire
|Died||4 October 1980 (aged 62)|
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Communist Party of Byelorussia|
Pyotr Mironovich Masherov (Belarusian: Пётр Міро́навіч Машэ́раў; Russian: Пётр Миро́нович Маше́ров; 26 February [O.S. 13 February] 1918 – 4 October 1980 was the first secretary of Belarusian committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union and a communist leader of Soviet Belarus.
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Masherov was born as Pyatro Mashera (according to family legend, descendent of a French soldier surnamed Macheraut, who was stranded in Belarus during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia) in a village in Vitsebsk region of Belarus and before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War in 1941 worked as a high school physics and math teacher. Between 1942 and 1944, Masherov led an underground group of Soviet partisans in Belarus and was awarded title Hero of the Soviet Union in August 1944.
In 1965, after holding some key positions in Belarusian regions and in Minsk, Masherov became the first secretary of the Communist party in Belarus: "if a party leader was honest and incorruptible - and there were category such as Masherov, party boss in White Russia, he acquired the reputation of a saint". He was de facto the president of Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic.
On the delay in repayment of agriculture and industrial credits by state financial authorities gave an "highly critical speech" at the July (1978) Plenum of the Belorussian Central Committee.
In 1980, Masherov published a book in which he openly criticized Soviet leadership as arrogant and conceited. The book showcased his dedication to Marxism Leninism and his opposition to Brezhnev.
After his death, conspiracy theorists believed it to be an assassination conducted by the Soviet national security agency the KGB.
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He died in an automobile accident when his car, escorted by police, collided with a produce truck (potatoes) that had unexpectedly entered the freeway. He was honored with a state funeral in Minsk, which was attended by the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania Petras Griškevičius. Later that year, Masherov Avenue (Now Victors Avenue) was named in his honor.
Honours and awards
- Hero of the Soviet Union
- Hero of Socialist Labour
- Seven Orders of Lenin
- Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the Birth of Vladimir Il'ich Lenin"
- Medal "Partisan of the Patriotic War" 1st class
- Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Medal "For the Development of Virgin Lands"
- Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "60 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Soviet Militia"
- Order of Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
- Walter Laqueur, Gorbachev and Epimetheus: The Origins of the Russian Crisis, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jul., 1993), p. 418.
- Chen, C. Peter. "Pyotr Masherov". WW2DB. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
- Robert F. Miller, The Politics of Policy Implementation in the USSR: Soviet Policies on Agricultural Integration under Brezhnev, Soviet Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr., 1980), p. 194.
- "Pyotr Masherov, 62, Leader Of Byelorussian Communists". The Washington Post. 6 October 1980. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
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