04.02.

Marshal Voroshilov – Stalin’s longtime Minister of Defense – 1881.

Marshal Voroshilov – Stalin’s longtime Minister of Defense – 1881.

He was one of the few Stalin associates who survived the Great Purge era.

Clement Efremovich Vorosilov, one of the first five marshals of the Soviet Union, was born on February 4, 1881. Namely, at the first appointment of Soviet marshals, on November 20, 1935, Voroshilov received this rank along with four other senior military commanders (Jegorov, Blyukher, Budjoni, and Tuhachevsky). Of these five original marshals of the Soviet Union, Voroshilov was the oldest (he was 54 years old, while the youngest marshal, Mikhail Tuhachevsky, was twelve years younger than him).

Voroshilov was also very active politically. He was a member of the Central Committee for forty years, from 1921 until 1961. From 1926 he was also a member of the Politburo, the narrowest supreme authority in the USSR, and remained there until 1960. The head of the Soviet Ministry of Defense (which also used slightly different variants of the name, including the People’s Commissariat) was Vorosilov from 1925 to 1940.

He is also one of the few Stalin associates who survived the Great Purge era. In comparison, of the five Soviet Marshals mentioned above, only he and Marshal Budjoni survived the purges. After Stalin’s death, he became President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (thus the head of state in the USSR), while Khrushchev came to the post of head of the party. Over time, he was pushed into the political shadow, and his role was reduced to a figurative one. Marshal Voroshilov passed away in 1969 in Moscow at the age of 89.

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