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Vyacheslav Molotov

Soviet politician

Died when: 96 years 244 days (1159 months)
Star Sign: Pisces


Vyacheslav Molotov

Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov (né Skryabin; 9 March [O.S. 25 February] 1890 – 8 November 1986) was a Russian politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s onward.

He served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars from 1930 to 1941 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956.

During the 1930s, he ranked second in the Soviet leadership, after Joseph Stalin, whom he supported loyally for over 30 years, and whose reputation he continued to defend after Stalin's death, having himself been deeply implicated in the worst atrocities of the Stalin years – the forced collectivisation of agriculture in the early 1930s, and the Great Purge, during which he signed 373 lists of people condemned to execution.

As People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in August 1939, Molotov became the principal Soviet signatory of the German–Soviet non-aggression pact, also known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

He retained his place as a leading Soviet diplomat and politician until March 1949, when he fell out of Stalin's favour and lost the foreign affairs ministry leadership to Andrei Vyshinsky.

Molotov's relationship with Stalin deteriorated further, and Stalin criticised Molotov in a speech to the 19th Party Congress.Molotov was reappointed Minister of Foreign Affairs after Stalin's death in 1953 but staunchly opposed Nikita Khrushchev's de-Stalinization policy, which resulted in his eventual dismissal from all positions and expulsion from the party in 1961 (after numerous unsuccessful petitions, Molotov was readmitted in 1984).

Molotov defended Stalin's policies and legacy until his death in 1986 and harshly criticised Stalin's successors, especially Khrushchev.The improvised incendiary weapon known as the Molotov cocktail is named after him.

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