Rudenko on a 2015 Russian stamp
|Procurator General of the Soviet Union|
1 July 1953 – 23 January 1981
|Preceded by||Gregory Safonov|
|Succeeded by||Alexander Rekunkov|
30 July 1907|
Nosivka, Chernihiv Oblast, Russian Empire
23 January 1981 (aged 73)|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|Profession||Lawyer, civil servant|
Procurator-General of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1944 to 1953, Rudenko became Procurator-General of the entire Soviet Union after 1953. He is well known internationally for acting as chief prosecutor for the USSR at the 1946 trial of the major Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg. He was also chief prosecutor at the "Trial of the Sixteen" (Polish Underground leaders) held in Moscow the year before. At the time he served at Nuremberg, Rudenko held the rank of Lieutenant-General within the USSR Procuracy.
Ukraine to 1953
Rudenko was one of the chief commandants of NKVD special camp Nr. 7, a former Nazi concentration camp, until its closure in 1950. Of the 60,000 prisoners incarcerated there under his supervision, at least 12,000 died due to malnutrition and disease.
Soviet Union, 1953-1981
After the arrest of Lavrentiy Beria in 1953, Rudenko was judge at the closed trial at which Stalin's last secret police chief was sentenced to death.
As Procurator General of the Soviet Union, Rudenko played a major role in devising measures to deal with the growing dissident movement within the USSR.
In 1967, he and then KGB chairman Semichastny submitted proposals as to how to deal with those defending the writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky during and after their trial, without provoking a strong reaction abroad or within the country. This included mention of the "mental illness" suffered by several prominent dissidents. One measure, proposed jointly with Yury Andropov in late 1972, was to reduce the number of arrests and convictions by reinforcing the issue of "prophylactic" warnings to individuals, cautioning them that their activities could lead to prosecution under Articles 70 and 1901 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.
- Utley, Freda (1949). "6. The Nuremberg Judgments". The High Cost of Vengeance. Henry Regnery Company. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
- "The Soviet special camp No.7 / No. 1 1945 – 1950". Retrieved 22 April 2009.
- Powers, Francis (2004). Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 120. ISBN 9781574884227.
- Joint KGB-Procurator-General's Memorandum to Central Committee, 27 January 1967 (Pb 32/5), Bukovsky Archive online.
- Joint KGB-Procurator-General's Memorandum to Central Committee, 16 November 1972 (Pb 67/XVI), Bukovsky Archive online.
- Robert E. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1984, ISBN 0-88184-032-7
- Александр Звягинцев. «Руденко». Молодая гвардия, 2007 г. ISBN 978-5-235-03081-7
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