Talk:Konstantin Chernenko

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Mikkalai, I don't know if

"Most of Chernenko's professional career had him signing documents. His daily tasks were dominated by time spent signing his signature. When Chernenko finally became General Secretary he was said to begin to feel like his signature was going to mean something. Ironically, when his health began deteriorating, he was no longer able to sign documents himself and so a facsimile signature was used in his place."

is factual or not, but it is at least qualified by "he was said..." It would be nice to know who said that, but that's no grounds for outright deletion of a paragraph without discussion. Everyking 02:26, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Thank you, I was just going to put this into the talk as well. My reasoning:
  • (1) The first sentence is not speciic to chernenko. All managers have this.
  • (2) The second sentence is not a fact by any reasonable standards.
  • (3) the third sentence can be verified solely by chernenko himself: memoirs or interview. Further, it is not fact, but an opinion. Therefore putting it without attribution is clear-cut copyvio.
  • (4) While I emotionally agree that the phrase 100% grasps the contribution of Chernenko as president, the form is derogatory (do you need explanations why I think so?). I myself told dozens of jokes, kind of "When Brezhnev died, Andropov, chernenko and gorbachov got together and...", but I am not going to put them into a serious encyclopedia. Mikkalai 03:11, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

.. and oh, btw, as to "he was said...": I smell a weasel here :-) Mikkalai 03:14, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I can accept that reasoning, although if someone can find a source for the claim that Chernenko said something about his signature finally having meaning, I think it should be added back in some form. I think it's fine to include famous anecdotes if they are told properly. Everyking 03:24, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
By all means, you put it exactly right: if told properly. I am perfectly aware this is less than nothing compared to, say, Clinton's case, and I am not "defending" chernenko's image, only the image of wikipedia. Mikkalai 07:51, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Just for the record, Chernenko did not leave any memoirs at all.

Hey, Mikkalai, mind finishing that joke for us? I'd like to hear it! ^-^ ~JessPKC

A am still a Belarus citizen (abroad), and I was told Belarus still has KGB. :-) Mikkalai 23:47, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Heh, in that case if you do finish the joke you better go make a page devoted to the Belarus KGB to appease them! Aika 09:08, 30 Mar 2004 (CST)

Was Chernenko of Ukrainian ancestry? Meursault2004 11:52, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I removed the following section from the article because of its questionable accuracy.

A photo believed to have been taken in 1978 or 1979, interestingly, shows the future Soviet leader licking the head of a small rodent, most likely a Siberian hamster. Had this photograph been made public during Chernenko's reign, the Soviet Union's position during the last few years of the Cold War would have been considerably weakened and the USSR might have disintegrated three to five years earlier than it actually did. Chernenko's official portrait -- a much more stately affair than the rodent photo -- is considered the best image of the man.

Also, I do not understand what the section is talking about. Why was he licking a rabbit? And why would that have weakened the USSR so much?


the cyrillic transliteration of his name is wrong. what should be T is m and what should backwards N is u.

It is correct. These are the cursive forms which are contained in the "italic" versions of Cyrillic fonts. See Cyrillic alphabet#Letter-forms_and_typography. 21:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Why have Chernenko's photos been deleted?[edit]

Chernenko's photo in his military uniform and the one where he is standing with Brezhnev have been deleted and instead a black and white photo has been placed. Why is that?The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Those are propaganda portraits and do not represent NPOV! It also remains questionable if they are not copyrighted! It should also be more favorable to see an acutal photo of the man.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .
I do not see how a two-decade old image of a man long dead can be propagandistic (of a state which is now defunct). The image is also in the public domain, as noted here. I also do not believe that an image can be POV without a context. The context of this image is an encyclopedia article. If you have other concerns regarding the article, please voice them on the article's talk page. Meanwhile I recommend that you leave the pictures alone.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 02:09, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
If you believe an image can not carry a POV, you are not aware of the job of photo journalists. An image, even out of context, carries a message. In this case the image takes a certain stance, as it was produced for a communist regime with specific agendas and is in its ideas through a number of political fractions still active in Russia and former countries of the eastern block. If the picture is PD remains in question: Who was the artist, did the website grant Wikipedia the right to use the scan, does the website in Norway itself have the rights to the image itself. I must also ascertain that you are biased in your opinion, as your home country may have you lean toward a certain view of its political figures. It is also of note that the person that apparently introduced this image to Wikipedia repeatedly defaced the entry on Germany, which leads me to the conclusion, that a bombastic view of stalinistc/communist figures was the intention with the introduction. I would kindly like to ask you to leave the actual b/w image until this is resolved. Thank you!The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .
Well, by your logic, just because an image of a political leader was created in the Soviet Union, it is automatically POV and propagandistic. But it's just a man's face! How is the b/w picture different then? It's of poor quality, it's black and white—is this what makes it NPOV? Should we remove all color pictures from Wikipedia, because every single one of them can be percepted as propaganda by at least one person? If you care about the picture's status, raise this on the picture's talk page, contact the uploader directly, or, if you believe its PD status was attributed to it incorrectly, report it as a possible copyvio. Until the picture is determined to be a copyvio, it stays in the article, simply because it is of better quality than anything else available. If you have a different good quality picture which is either available under GDFL or is in public domain and which you believe does not carry a "message", by all means go ahead and upload it. Me insisting on restoration of the image has nothing to do with my country of birth (trust me, no one in my family liked Chernenko when he was in power); in this case I simply care about the quality of the article, which is clearly improved when a better picture is used.
Additionally, why do you remove intewiki links to sr and hr versions?
Please stop reverting the page. If you continue, I will have to either block you for disruption or request that the article is protected. So far the arguments you provided have been far from convincing.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 03:35, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
It seems when you are not able to have your way you issue threats. Either leave the revert or put a dispute notice over the article, but don't just go and make things like you want them to, when you can't prove your point. And why don't you check the PD status of the image in question? After all, you are the administrator and keeping Wikipedia out of copyright trouble is one of the obligations in your position. Seeing the background of the person that uploaded the image, I wonder still more, why his contributions are not under close scrutiny. In other words: Do the difficult part of your position here. I am not criticiting you as a person, but would like you to acknowledge a different opinion.The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .
These are not threats. These are the statements of fact. Removing information from the articles without sufficient reason is a serious offense around here. So far the reasons you provided have been as follows:
  • the picture is propagandistic and thus should be removed—incorrect; we do not remove pictures merely because they had been used for propaganda in the past. Furthermore, this particular picture is relevant to the content of the article—it provides a good-quality portrait of the person being discussed.
  • the picture is a copyright violation—as you requested, I researched the origins of the image. I do not know on what grounds the site the picture comes from is using it (it is a Norvegian site subject to the Norvegian laws, with which I am not acquainted), but it can be used in Wikipedia under {{PD-RU-exempt}}, as it is an official picture used by the Soviet government and, as such, it falls under the provision of official documents, which are exempt from copyright. I have updated the image description to that effect. Additionally, prior activities of the uploader are not sufficient grounds to remove a perfectly good picture he found. It is regrettable that he defaced another article, but it has nothing to do with this dispute. The user, by the way, has been blocked for his offenses—if he returns and continues with vandalism, he will be blocked again. As you see, his edits are under close scrutiny.
Now, about yourself. As per your request, I will add an NPOV dispute notice to the article. I will also restore the interwiki links which you removed (without explaining why). I do, however, expect you to explain here, step by step, why the pictures are unacceptable. If possible, please quote a Wikipedia policy these pictures violate. If the pictures violate no policy, they will stay.
Respectfully, —Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 15:41, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

I will just said that the picture was probably taken before 1973. It's actually more like a paint rather than a picture, so I would say that there is no copyright violation with it. Messhermit 16:52, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, no. Chernenko was in power in 1983–1984, and this is an official picture of him. I vividly remember this particular picture on a cover of a magazine when Chernenko became a gensek. The reason it looks like a painting is because, as all such pictures, it was heavily retouched. So, the picture is not in public domain, because it was taken after 1973, but it can still be used under {{PD-RU-exempt}}.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 17:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

The configuration of photos in this version of the article is good, that way it includes both images, the b&w one which is more notable and the colour one which is a higher quality. The higher quality one should come first. If a higher resolution version of the b&w photo can be found I wouldn't oppose switching their places. A possibility would be to crop the picture/painting to remove the military medals or whatever. Although I don't see why this needs to be done. - FrancisTyers 16:54, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

See, the anonymous editor above is not really concerned with the quality/layout. His main concern is that the pictures are not NPOV, even in this context. I respectfully disagree, but s/he does not seem to accept my reasoning. If more people could point this out to him/her, it would be of benefit.—Ëzhiki (erinaceus amurensis) 17:29, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

big changes[edit]

Hi all Ive been doing lots of research on Chernenko, using then contemporary TIME articles, and newly published russian sources on him, so I am planning in the next couple of weeks to totally rewrite the articles with details on early life, family, and political decisions in his brief and ineffective rule. Also I will add a section on Chernenko's published works and numerous trips to other nations including the United States.

Also I am planning to add a references section, due to the fact that the facts about chernenko's memory have been edited out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yev900 (talkcontribs)

Restored content[edit]

I restored a couple of passages that had been deleted according to WP:BLP. The first mentioned Grishin, who is dead, so the policy doesn't apply to him. The second mentions Gorbachev but does not portray him in a negative light. What, then, is the rationale for the removal? Biruitorul 05:36, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

They were probably deleted as unreferenced. I've heard about the first fact, but not about the second one. I don't care here, but you better find refs: such funny facts will attract suspicion again sooner or later. `'mikkanarxi 05:44, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

"His son William lives near Detroit, Michigan while representing 6 children all in Michigan as well." What does it mean to be "representing 6 children"???? Raising?? Sponsoring?? Adopting??

His ethnicity?[edit]

It is obvious that Chernenko was not an ethnic Russian (he was even dubbed a Chukcha in a joke), and it is therefore interesting to specify his ethnicity in this article. --Humanophage (talk) 14:16, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

His name suggest that (at least) his father was (partly?) ethnic Ukrainian.... — Mariah-Yulia (talk) 22:47, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
his father is Ukrainian , hi immigrate in Russia at the end of 19th century (look ua and ru wiki)!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:38, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

in the preceded by/ succeeded by, it says Gorbachev succeeded him. Gorbachev says he was preceded by Gromyko. Gromyko says _he_ was preceded by Chernenko, which is correct? [no user name - not changing, just asking]2009.07.0476.167.164.52 (talk) 19:54, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

His father is Ukrainian and his mother was Yakut Ken — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Unverified claims[edit]

The section Brezhnev's shadow has multiple OR issues. Please make links to the sources or cleanup.--MathFacts (talk) 23:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


The article seems to present Chernenko as some insignificant irrespectful figure. Is this consistent with neutrality policy?--MathFacts (talk) 23:58, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Volkogonov as a source[edit]

Dm.Volkogonov's books are hardly reliable sources. (talk) 10:32, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Without specific critiques to support that, it sounds ridiculous. It's kind of like complaining on a physics article that Stephen Hawking or Richard Feynman are "hardly reliable sources". It prompts the reader to ask, "Says who? Based on what?" In this case, is it based simply on apologism or nationalism that hates Dmitri Volkogonov for being too honest? As another example, of course if you ask former members or supporters of the State Committee on the State of Emergency, they're going to tell you that anyone who supported perestroika and glasnost is by definition "hardly a reliable source", but what value does that assertion have to Wikipedia? (None, of course.) If someone says on a physics article "Stephen Hawking sucks" with no other constructive critique or support, we don't necessarily leave it there as a "valid" talk thread; it's trolling or trash suitable for talk page cleanup. That's about how this thread seems to me. — ¾-10 22:37, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)