Sergei Kirov

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Sergei Kirov
Sergey Kirov (2).jpg
Kirov in 1920
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Azerbaijani Communist Party
In office
July 1921 – January 1926
Preceded byGrigory Kaminsky
Succeeded byLevon Mirzoyan
First Secretary of the Leningrad Regional Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
In office
1 August 1927 – 1 December 1934
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byAndrey Zhdanov
First Secretary of the Leningrad City Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
In office
8 January 1926 – 1 December 1934
Preceded byGrigory Yevdokimov
Succeeded byAndrey Zhdanov
Full member of the 16th, 17th Politburo
In office
13 July 1930 – 1 December 1934
Candidate member of the 14th, 15th Politburo
In office
23 July 1926 – 13 July 1930
Member of the 17th Secretariat
In office
10 February – 1 December 1934
Full member of the 17th Orgburo
In office
10 February – 1 December 1934
Personal details
Born
Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov

(1886-03-27)27 March 1886
Urzhum, Vyatka Governorate, Russian Empire
Died1 December 1934(1934-12-01) (aged 48)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of deathAssassination
NationalityRussian
Political partyRussian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks)
(1904–1912)
All-Union Communist Party
(1912–1934)

Sergei Mironovich Kirov[a] (born Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov[b], 27 March 1886 – 1 December 1934) was a Soviet politician and revolutionary whose assassination was used as a pretext to launch the first Great Purge.

Kirov was an early revolutionary in the Russian Empire and member of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Kirov became an Old Bolshevik and personal friend to Joseph Stalin, rising through the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ranks to become head of the party in Leningrad and a member of the Politburo.

On 1 December 1934, Kirov was shot and killed by Leonid Nikolayev at his offices in the Smolny Institute for unknown reasons. Kirov's death was later used as a pretext for Stalin's escalation of political repression in the Soviet Union and the events of the Great Purge, with complicity as a common charge for the condemned in the Moscow Trials.[1] Kirov's assassination is controversial and unsolved, and there is a widespread but unproven belief of the complicity of Stalin and the NKVD.[2]

Early life[edit]

Kirov as a child.

Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov was born on 27 March (O.S. 15 March) 1886 in Urzhum in Vyatka Governorate, Russian Empire, as one of seven children born to Miron Ivanovich Kostrikov and Yekaterina Kuzminichna Kostrikova (née Kazantseva). Their first four children had died young, while Anna (born 1883), Sergei (1886) and Yelizaveta (1889) survived.[3] Miron, an alcoholic, abandoned the family around 1890, and Yekaterina died of tuberculosis in 1893. Sergei and his sisters were raised for a brief time by their paternal grandmother, Melania Avdeyevna Kostrikova, but she could not afford to take care of them all on her small pension of 3 rubles per month. Through her connections, Melania succeeded in having Sergey placed in an orphanage, but he saw his sisters and grandmother regularly.[4]

In 1901, a group of wealthy benefactors provided a scholarship for Kirov to attend an industrial school at Kazan. After gaining his degree in engineering, Kirov moved to Tomsk, a city in Siberia, where he became a Marxist and joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) in 1904.[5]

Revolutionary[edit]

Kirov was a participant in the 1905 Russian Revolution and arrested, joining with the Bolsheviks soon after being released from prison. In 1906, Kirov was arrested once again, but this time jailed for over three years, charged with printing illegal literature. Soon after his release, Kirov again took part in revolutionary activity, once again being arrested for printing illegal literature. After a year in custody, Kirov moved to the Caucasus, where he stayed until the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II after the February Revolution in March 1917.

By this time, Kirov had shortened his last-name from Kostrikov to Kirov, a practice common among Russian revolutionaries of the time. Kirov began using the pen name "Kir", first publishing under the pseudonym "Kirov" on 26 April 1912. One account states that Kirov chose the name "Kir", the Russian version of Cyrus (from the Greek Kūros), after a Christian martyr in third-century Egypt from an Orthodox calendar of saints' days, and Russifying it by adding an "-ov" suffix. A second story is that Kirov based it on the name of the Persian king Cyrus the Great.[6]

Kirov became commander of the Bolshevik military administration in Astrakhan, and fought for the Red Army in the Russian Civil War until 1920. Simon Sebag Montefiore writes: "During the Civil War, Kirov was one of the swashbuckling commissars in the North Caucasus beside Ordzhonikidze and Mikoyan. In Astrakhan he enforced Bolshevik power in March 1919 with liberal bloodletting; more than 4,000 were killed. When a bourgeois was caught hiding his own furniture, Kirov ordered him shot."[7]

Career[edit]

Lobov, Nikolai Bukharin, Sergey Kirov and Vyacheslav Molotov on the City Communist Party conference in Leningrad, February 1926
Kirov with Sergo Ordzhonikidze in a Leningrad factory.

In 1921, Kirov became First Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, the Bolshevik party organisation in Azerbaijan. Kirov was a loyal supporter of Joseph Stalin, the successor of Vladimir Lenin, and in 1926 he was rewarded with the command of the Leningrad party organisation. Kirov was a close personal friend of Stalin, and a strong supporter of industrialisation and forced collectivisation. At the 16th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in 1930, Kirov stated: "The General Party line is to conduct the course of our country industrialisation. Based on the industrialisation, we conduct the transformation of our agriculture. Namely we centralise and collectivise."[8] In 1934, at the 17th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Kirov delivered the speech called "The Speech of Comrade Stalin Is the Program of Our Party", which refers to Stalin's speech delivered at the Congress earlier. Kirov praised Stalin for everything he did since the death of Lenin. Moreover, Kirov personally named and ridiculed Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov and Mikhail Tomsky – former party allies of Stalin. Bukharin and Rykov were later tried in the show trial called The Trial of the Twenty-One accused of Kirov's death, while Tomsky committed suicide expecting his arrest by the NKVD.

Nevertheless, Kirov did display some independence from Stalin.[9] Knight suggests that whereas Kirov "might have toed the line as others did, on the other hand he might have acted as a rallying point for those who wanted to oppose his [Stalin’s] dictatorship." Further, Knight suggests that Kirov would not have been a willing accomplice when the full force of Stalin’s terror was unleashed in Leningrad.[10] Knight’s contention is supported by the fact that whereas most of the elite tried to anticipate what Stalin desired and acted accordingly, Kirov did not always do what Stalin wanted. In 1934, Stalin wanted Kirov to come to Moscow permanently. Whereas all the other members of the Politburo would have complied, Stalin accepted that, as Kirov had no desire to leave Leningrad, he would not come to Moscow until 1938. Again, when Stalin wanted Medved moved from the Leningrad NKVD to Minsk, Kirov refused to agree and, rarely for Stalin, he had to accept defeat.[9] However, it would be wrong to claim Kirov had moral superiority over his colleagues. In modern St Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), there is a museum to show all gifts that Kirov accepted and used from inhabitants and businesses over which he ruled. The guides of the museum imply that these were bribes paid by people who needed Kirov’s favour.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Assassination[edit]

Milda Draule and Leonid Nikolayev circa 1928.

The Leningrad office of the NKVD – headed by Kirov's close friend, Filipp Medved (ru) – looked after Kirov's security. Stalin allegedly ordered Genrikh Yagoda, the NKVD Commissar, to replace Medved with Grigory Yeremeyevich Yevdokimov, a close associate of Stalin. However, Kirov intervened and had the order countermanded. According to Alexander Orlov, Stalin then ordered Yagoda to arrange the assassination of Kirov. Yagoda ordered Medved's deputy, Vania Zaporozhets, to undertake the job. Zaporozhets returned to Leningrad in search of an assassin; in reviewing the files he found the name of Leonid Nikolayev.[11]

Nikolayev was well-known to the NKVD, which had arrested him for various petty offences in recent years. Various accounts of his life agree that he was an expelled Party member and failed junior functionary, with a murderous grudge and an indifference towards his own survival. Nikolayev was unemployed, with a wife and child, and in financial difficulties. According to Orlov, Nikolayev had allegedly told a "friend" he wanted to kill the head of the party control commission that had expelled him. Nikolayev's friend reported this to the NKVD.[11] Zaporozhets then allegedly enlisted Nikolayev's "friend" to contact him, giving him money and a loaded 7.62 mm Nagant M1895 revolver.[11] However, Nikolayev's first attempt at killing Kirov failed. On 15 October 1934, Nikolayev packed his Nagant revolver in a briefcase and entered the Smolny Institute where Kirov now worked. Although Nikolayev was initially passed by the main security desk at Smolny, he was arrested after an alert guard asked to examine his briefcase, which was found to contain the revolver.[11] According to Alexander Barmine, a few hours later, Nikolayev's briefcase and loaded revolver were returned to him, and he was told to leave the building. The author thus claims that, though Nikolayev had clearly broken Soviet laws, the security police had inexplicably released him from custody and he was even permitted to retain his loaded pistol.[12] According to Barmine's account, with Stalin's approval, the NKVD had previously withdrawn all but four police bodyguards assigned to Kirov. These four guards accompanied Kirov each day to his offices at the Smolny Institute, and then left. On 1 December 1934, the usual guard post at the entrance to Kirov's offices was supposedly left unmanned, even though the building housed the chief offices of the Leningrad party apparatus and was the seat of the local government.[11][13] According to some reports, only a single friend, Commissar Borisov, an unarmed bodyguard of Kirov's, remained.[13][14] Other sources[who?] state that there may have been as many as nine NKVD guards in the building. Whatever the case, given the circumstances of Kirov's death, as former Soviet official and author Alexander Gregory Barmine noted, "the negligence of the NKVD in protecting such a high party official was without precedent in the Soviet Union."[12]

Molotov, Voroshilov, Stalin and Kalinin carrying Kirov's funeral bier.

On the afternoon of Saturday, 1 December 1934, Nikolayev arrived at the Smolny Institute offices and made his way to the third floor unopposed, waiting in a hallway until Kirov and Borisov stepped into the corridor. Borisov appeared to have stayed some 20 to 40 paces behind Kirov, with some sources alleging Borisov parted company with Kirov in order to prepare his lunch.[14] Kirov turned a corner and passed Nikolayev, who then drew his revolver and shot Kirov in the back of the neck.[14]

Kirov was buried in the Kremlin Wall necropolis in a state funeral, with Stalin and other prominent members of the CPSU personally carrying his coffin.

Aftermath[edit]

The Sergei Kirov Museum maintains that the circumstances of Kirov's death "remain unknown to this day." There are no doubts on the aftermath, however: "the bloodiest round of Stalin's terror and repression."[15] After Kirov's death, Stalin called for swift punishment of the traitors and those found negligent in Kirov's death. Nikolayev was tried alone and secretly by Vasili Ulrikh, Chairman of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR. He was sentenced to death by shooting on 29 December 1934, and the sentence was carried out that very night. The hapless Commissar Borisov died the day after Kirov's assassination, supposedly by falling from a moving truck while riding with a group of NKVD agents. According to Orlov, Borisov's wife was committed to an insane asylum and Nikolayev's mysterious "friend" and alleged provocateur, who had supplied him with the revolver and money, was later shot on Stalin's personal orders.[11]

Nikolayev's mother, brother, sisters and cousin, and some other people close to him, were arrested and later killed or sent to labour camps.[citation needed] Arrested immediately after the assassination, Nikolayev's wife, Milda Draule, survived her husband by three months before being executed as well, while their infant son Marx (named following the Bolshevik naming fashion) was sent into an orphanage. Marx Draule was alive in 2005 when he was officially rehabilitated as a victim of political repressions, and Milda was also found innocent retrospectively. However, Nikolayev was never posthumously acquitted.[citation needed] Several NKVD officers from the Leningrad branch were convicted of negligence for not adequately protecting Kirov, and sentenced to prison terms of up to ten years. According to Barmine, none of the NKVD officers were executed in the aftermath, and none actually served time in prison. Instead, they were transferred to executive posts in Stalin's Gulag labour camps for a period of time, in effect, a demotion.[12] According to Nikita Khrushchev, the same NKVD officers were later shot in 1937.[16] Lajos Magyar, a Hungarian communist and refugee from the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, was falsely accused of complicity in Kirov's assassination. Magyar was a convicted as a "Zinovievite-Terrorist" and sent to a Gulag, where he died in 1940.

According to Barmine, a Communist Party communiqué initially reported that Nikolayev had confessed his guilt, not only as an assassin, but an assassin in the pay of a "fascist power", having received money from an unidentified "foreign consul" in Leningrad.[17] The same author claims 104 defendants who were already in prison at the time of Kirov's assassination, and who had no demonstrable connection to Nikolayev, were found guilty of complicity in the "fascist plot" against Kirov, and summarily executed.[17] However, a few days later, during a subsequent Communist Party meeting of the Moscow District, the Party secretary announced in a speech that Nikolayev was personally interrogated by Stalin the day after the assassination, an unheard-of event for a party leader such as Stalin:[18]

Comrade Stalin personally directed the investigation of Kirov's assassination. He questioned Nikolayev at length. The leaders of the Opposition placed the gun in Nikolayev's hand![18]

Other speakers duly rose to condemn the Opposition: "The Central Committee must be pitiless – the Party must be purged... the record of every member must be scrutinised...." No one at the meeting mentioned the initial theory of fascist agents.[18] Barmine asserts Stalin even used the Kirov assassination to eliminate the remainder of the Opposition leadership, accusing Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Abram Prigozhin, and others who had stood with Kirov in opposing Stalin (or simply failed to acquiesce to Stalin's views), of being "morally responsible" for Kirov's murder, and therefore guilty of complicity.[17] All were removed from the Party apparatus and given prison sentences. While serving their sentences, the Opposition leaders were charged with new crimes, for which they were sentenced to death and shot.

Alexander Barmine, a Soviet defector who knew both Stalin and Kirov, asserted that Stalin arranged the murder with the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, who armed Nikolayev and sent him to assassinate Kirov.[19] Author and Marxist scholar Boris Nikolaevsky argued: "One thing is certain: the only man who profited by the Kirov assassination was Stalin."[20] Nikita Khrushchev, in his controversial Secret Speech in 1956, said that the murder of Kirov was organized by NKVD agents.[21] Khrushchev noted that the NKVD agents tasked with protecting Kirov were eventually shot in 1937, and assumed that this was to "cover the traces of the organisers of Kirov's killing".[21]

Pospelov Commission investigation[edit]

In December 1955, after Khrushchev assumed control of the Party, the Presidium of the Central Committee entrusted Pyotr Pospelov, Secretary of the Central Committee, to form the commission to investigate the repression of the 1930s (this was the same Pospelov who drafted the famous "Secret Speech" for Khrushchev at the 20th Congress). Khrushchev stated:

It must be asserted that to this day the circumstances surrounding Kirov's murder hide many things which are inexplicable and mysterious and demand a most careful examination. There are reasons for the suspicion that the killer of Kirov, Nikolayev, was assisted by someone from among the people whose duty it was protect the person of Kirov. A month and a half before the killing, Nikolayev was arrested on the grounds of suspicious behaviour, but he was released and not even searched. It is an unusually suspicious circumstance that when the Chekist [Borisov] assigned to protect Kirov was being brought for an interrogation, on 2 December 1934, he was killed in a car "accident" in which no other occupants of the car were harmed. After the murder of Kirov, top functionaries of the Leningrad NKVD were relieved of their duties and were given very light sentences, but in 1937 they were shot. We can assume that they were shot in order to cover the traces of the organizers of Kirov's killing.[16]

Pospelov subsequently spoke to Dr. Kirchakov and former nurse Trunina, former members of the party, who had been mentioned in a letter by another member of the commission, Olga Shatunovskaya, as having knowledge of the Kirov murder. Kirchakov confirmed that he did talk to Shatunovskaya and Trunina about some of the unexplained aspects of the Kirov murder case, and agreed to provide the Commission with a written deposition. He stressed that his statement was based on the testimony of one Comrade Yan Olsky, a former NKVD officer who was demoted after Kirov's murder and transferred to the People's Supply System[citation needed]. In his deposition, Kirchakov wrote that he had discussed the murder of Kirov and the role of Fyodor Medved with Olsky. Olsky was of the firm opinion that Medved, Kirov's friend and NKVD security chief of the Leningrad branch, was innocent of the murder. Olsky also told Kirchakov that Medved had been barred from the NKVD Kirov assassination investigation. Instead, the investigation was carried out by a senior NKVD chief, Yakov Agranov, and later by another NKVD bureau officer,[22] whose name he did not remember. During one of the committee sessions, Olsky said he was present when Stalin asked Leonid Nikolayev why Comrade Kirov had been killed. To this Nikolayev replied that he carried out the instruction of the "Chekists" (meaning the NKVD) and pointed towards the group of "Chekists" (NKVD officers) standing in the room; Medved was not among them.[citation needed]

Khrushchev's report, On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, was later read at closed-door Party meetings. Afterwards, new material was received by the Pospelov Committee, including the assertion by Kirov's chauffeur, Kuzin, that Commissar Borisov, Kirov's friend and bodyguard, who was responsible for Kirov's round-the-clock security at the Smolny Institute, was intentionally killed, and that his death in a road accident was not an accident at all.[23]

Politburo Commission headed by A. Yakovlev[edit]

Monument to Sergei Kirov in Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine, formerly known as Kirovhrad. The monument has since been dismantled.

The last attempt in the Soviet Union to review the Kirov murder case was the Politburo Commission headed by Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev which was established in the Gorbachev period in 1989, shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The investigating team included personnel from the USSR Procurator's Office, the Military Procuracy, the KGB, and various archival administrations. After two years of investigations, the working team of the Yakovlev Commission concluded that: in this affair no materials objectively support Stalin's participation or NKVD participation in the organisation and carrying out of Kirov's murder.[24]

Legacy[edit]

A portrait of Kirov from his the Sergei Kirov Museum in his former apartment in Saint Petersburg.

Kirov's assassination became a major event in the history of the Soviet Union because it was used by Stalin as an excuse to justify his reign of terror known as the Great Purge.[25] At the time of Kirov’s murder, Maxim Litvinov, the Soviet Foreign Minister, was out of the country; his daughter Tanya implied that Litvinov realised this event might be an excuse for Stalin to unleash a reign of terror.[26] This view was confirmed by Anastas Mikoyan’s son, who stated that the murder of Kirov had certain similarities to the burning of the Reichstag in Nazi Germany in 1933. Although it is not known whether the fire at the Reichstag was organised by the Nazis, it was used as a pretext for the mass persecution of the Communists and Social Democrats in Germany. The physical removal of Kirov meant the elimination of a future potential rival for Stalin, but the principal objective, as with the fire at the Reichstag, was to manufacture an excuse for repression and control.[27]

Many cities, streets and factories were named or renamed after Kirov in his honor, including the cities of Kirov (formerly Vyatka) and Kirov Oblast, Kirovsk (Murmansk Oblast), Kirov (Kaluga Oblast), Kirovohrad (formerly Zinovyevsk, now Kropyvnytskyi[28]) and Kirovohrad Oblast (Ukrainian SSR; now Ukraine), Kirovabad (Azerbaijani SSR; now Ganja, Azerbaijan), Kirovakan (Armenian SSR; now Vanadzor, Armenia), the Kirovskaya station of the Moscow Metro (now Chistye Prudy station), the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky Ballet), the massive Kirov Plant in Saint Petersburg, Kirov Square in Yekaterinburg, the Kirov Islands in the Kara Sea, and various small settlements. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, many of the locations and buildings named after Kirov have been renamed, especially outside of Russia. In order to comply with Ukrainian decommunization laws, Kirovohrad was renamed Kropyvnytskyi by the Ukrainian parliament on 14 July 2016.[28] Ukraine's Kirovohrad Oblast was not retitled because it is mentioned by name in the Constitution of Ukraine, and any alteration would require a constitutional amendment.[29] The S. M. Kirov Forestry Academy in Leningrad was named after him, but renamed the Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University.[30] For many years, a huge granite and bronze statue of Kirov dominated the city of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, erected on a hill in 1939. The statue was dismantled in January 1992, shortly after Azerbaijan gained its independence.[31]

The Kirov Prize, a speedskating match in the city of Kirov, was named for him. The Kirov Prize is the oldest annual organised race in speedskating, apart from the World Speed Skating Championships and the European Speed Skating Championships.

The English Communist poet John Cornford wrote an eponymous poem in his honour.[32]

The Soviet Navy cruiser Kirov was named after him, and by extension the Kirov-class cruiser.[33] The Kirov name was again used for the battlecruiser Kirov and the Kirov-class battlecruiser.

Personal life[edit]

Kirov was married to Maria Lvovna Markus (1885–1945) from 1911, although they never formally registered their relations. Their daughter, Yevgenia Kostrikova (1921–1975) was a famous tank company commander and World War II veteran.

See also[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Russian: Серге́й Миро́нович Ки́ров
  2. ^ Russian: Ко́стриков

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Whisperers, Orlando Figes, Allen Lane 2007, ps. 236–237
  2. ^ The Whisperers, Orlando Figes, Allen Lane 2007, note, p. 236
  3. ^ Lenoe, pp. 128–129
  4. ^ Lenoe, pp. 129–132
  5. ^ Compare: Smolska, Anna. "Sergey Kirov – Russiapedia Politics and society Prominent Russians". Russiapedia.rt.com. Retrieved 19 May 2016. Sergey Kirov began his political activity in 1904 when he joined the Bolsheviks, a faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) founded by Vladimir Lenin. At the time the revolutionary movement in Russia was in rapid development despite constant suppression by the Tsarist authorities.
  6. ^ Lenoe, p. 186
  7. ^ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (Random House, 2005: ISBN 1-4000-7678-1), p. 112.
  8. ^ Kirov, Sergey (1944). Selected articles and speeches 1918–1934 (Russian). Moscow Russia Valovay 28: OGIZ The State political literature publisher. pp. 106–117, 269–289.CS1 maint: location (link)
  9. ^ a b Holroyd-Doveton, John (2013). Maxim Litvinov: A Biography. Woodland Publications. p. 406.
  10. ^ Knight, Amy. Who Killed Kirov?. p. 268.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Orlov, Alexander, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes, New York: Random House (1953)
  12. ^ a b c Barmine, Alexander, One Who Survived, New York: G.P. Putnam (1945), p. 252
  13. ^ a b Barmine, Alexander, One Who Survived, New York: G.P. Putnam (1945), pp. 247–252
  14. ^ a b c Knight, Amy, Who Killed Kirov? The Kremlin's Greatest Mystery, New York: Hill and Wang (1999), ISBN 978-0-8090-6404-5, p. 190
  15. ^ Official page of the Sergei Kirov Museum, retrieved 17 October 2011; the museum is a non-profit organization run by the Russian state.
  16. ^ a b Khrushchev, N.S., On the Cult of the Individual and Its Consequences, London (1989), p. 21
  17. ^ a b c Barmine, Alexander, One Who Survived, New York: G.P. Putnam (1945), p. 248
  18. ^ a b c Barmine, Alexander, One Who Survived, New York: G.P. Putnam (1945), p. 249
  19. ^ Barmine, Alexander, One Who Survived, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons (1945), p. 55
  20. ^ Nikolaevsky, Boris, The Kirov Assassination: The New Leader, 23 August 1941
  21. ^ a b Nikita Khrushchev. "Speech to 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U". Marxists.org. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  22. ^ The other NKVD official may have been Yefim Georgievich Yevdokimov (1891–1939), a Stalin crony, mass-killing specialist, and architect of the Shakhty purge trials, who continued to lead a secret police team within the NKVD even after technically retiring from the OGPU in 1931.
  23. ^ P. N. Pospelov, Materials on the Question of the Murder of S. M. Kirov. 1955. Reprinted Svobodnaia mysl 8 (1992). Translated from the Russian by Ranjana Saxena; available online at http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1934-2/the-kirov-affair/the-kirov-affair-texts/murder-of-kirov/
  24. ^ A. Yakovlev, 'O dekabr'skoi tragedii 1934', Pravda, 28 January 1991, p. 3, cited in J. Arch Getty, 'The Politics of Repression Revisited', in ed., J. Arch Getty and Roberta T. Manning, 'Stalinist Terror New Perspectives', New York, 1993, p. 46.
  25. ^ Holroyd-Doveton, John (2013). Maxim Litvinov: A Biography. Woodland Publications. p. 407.
  26. ^ Conversation between John Holroyd-Doveton and Tanya, daughter of former Soviet Foreign Secretary Maxim Litvinov
  27. ^ Mikoyan, Stepan. Autobiography. p. 194.
  28. ^ a b Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols, BBC News (14 April 2015)
    (in Ukrainian) Verkhovna Rada renamed Kirovograd, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 July 2016)
  29. ^ Ukraine, The World Factbook
  30. ^ St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 April 2013)
  31. ^ "Best View of the Bay - What Happened to Kirov's Statue?". Azerbaijan International. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Sergei Mironovitch Kirov Poem by Rupert John Cornford – Poem Hunter".
  33. ^ Yakubov, Vladimir & Worth, Richard (2009). "The Soviet Light Cruisers of the Kirov Class". In Jordan, John (ed.). Warship 2009. London: Conway. pp. 82–95. ISBN 978-1-84486-089-0.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Grigory Kaminsky
First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Communist Party
1921–1926
Succeeded by
Levon Mirzoyan