Vasili Kuznetsov (politician)

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Vasili Kuznetsov
Василий Кузнецов
Vasily Kuznetsov (diplomat).jpg
First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
In office
7 October 1977 – 18 June 1986
LeaderLeonid Brezhnev
Yuri Andropov
Konstantin Chernenko
Andrei Gromyko
Preceded byNone – post established
Succeeded byPyotr Demichev
Full member of the 19th Politburo
In office
16 October 1952 – 5 March 1953
Candidate member of the 25th, 26th Politburo
In office
3 October 1977 – 6 March 1986
Member of the Orgburo
In office
18 March 1946 – 14 October 1952
Personal details
Born(1901-02-13)13 February 1901
Sofilovka, Kostroma Governorate, Russian Empire
Died5 June 1990(1990-06-05) (aged 89)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Resting placeNovodevichy Cemetery
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union (1927–1990)

Vasili Vasilyevich Kuznetsov (Russian: Василий Васильевич Кузнецов; 13 February [O.S. 31 January] 1901 – 5 June 1990) was a Russian Soviet politician who acted as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1983 (after the death of Brezhnev), for a second time in 1984 (after the death of Andropov), and for a third time in 1985 (after the death of Chernenko).

Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union was formally the highest state post. During the term of office, Kuznetsov was 81–82, 82–83, and 84 years old, respectively, so he is the oldest head of the Soviet and Russian state in history (he was older than all three predecessors in this post).


Vasily Kuznetsov (left) and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat

Kuznetsov was born in Sofilovka, Kostroma Governorate. He joined the Communist Party in May 1927. He took a break from his engineering education when he went to the United States to study metal processing at Carnegie Mellon University from 1931 to 1933.

Kuznetsov held a variety of government and Communist Party positions beginning in 1940. He was Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities from 12 March 1946 to 12 March 1950[1], and simultaneously Chairman of the Presidium of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions from 15 March 1944 to 12 March 1953. In 1955 he became First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. On 7 October 1977 he was elected as First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a position he held until 18 June 1986. Upon the deaths of Leonid Brezhnev (1982), Yuri Andropov (1984) and Konstantin Chernenko (1985), Kuznetsov became acting chairman of the Presidium until the election of a successor.[2] Also, on 31 December 1982, Kuznetsov congratulated the Soviet people on the New Year in a televised address.

He retired in 1986 and died in Moscow on 5 June 1990.[3] Kuznetsov was the longest-lived head of the Soviet and Russian states in history (89 years), until Mikhail Gorbachev broke this record.

Party political offices
Preceded by
Nikolay Shvernik
Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities
12 March 1946 – 12 June 1950
Succeeded by
Zhumabay Shayakhmetov


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  3. ^ "Vasily Kuznetsov, 90, Dies; Former Soviet Vice President", The Washington Post, 7 June 1990.