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Aleksej Rykov

Aleksej Ivanovič Rykov

b. 13/25 Feb 1881, Saratov, Russian Empire [1]
d. 15 Mar 1938, Moscow, USSR

Title: Председатель Совета Народных Комиссаров СССР (Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR)
Term: 2 Feb 1924 - 19 Dec 1930
Chronology: 2 Feb 1924, appointed, resolution passed by the 1st session of the 2nd Central Executive Committee [2]
19 Dec 1930, discharged, decree of Presidium of the Central Executive Committee [3]
Other offices: Председатель Совета Народных Комиссаров РСФСР (Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR) [2 Feb 1924 - 18 May 1929] (see details)
Aleksey Rykov joined the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party in 1898 and sided with the Bolsheviks. He participated in the Russian Revolution of 1905 and was elected a full member of the party Central Committee (27 Apr 1905 - 19 May 1907). In 1907, Rykov was demoted to a candidate member (19 May 1907 - 17 Jan 1912). He broke with the Bolsheviks opposing reconciliation within the party and lost his seat on the Central Committee at the Prague conference directed by Vladimir Lenin. Having been exiled to Siberia, Rykov returned to Moscow after the February Revolution (1917) and became a member of the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets presidia. The 6th party congress reinstated Rykov as a full member of the Central Committee (3 Aug 1917 - 4 Nov 1917). He participated in the October coup and became people's commissar for internal affairs (27 Oct 1917 - 4 Nov 1917) in the first Bolshevik government, but resigned the office after a joint declaration with Lev Kamenev and other party members in support of a coalition government strongly opposed by Lenin. Kamenev, Rykov, Milyutin, Zinovyev and Nogin also declared their withdrawal from the Central Committee on 4 Nov 1917. Despite this schism, Rykov accepted the post of chairman of the Supreme Council of National Economy (3 Apr 1918 - 28 May 1921). During the civil war, Rykov served on the Revolutionary Military Council (8 Jul 1919 - Sep 1919) and as a special representative of the Council of Labor and Defense for food supplies for the Red Army and Navy (Jul 1919 - Aug 1921). He returned to the Central Committee at the 9th party congress as a full member (5 Apr 1920 - 10 Feb 1934) and was elected to the Orgburo (5 Apr 1920 - 23 May 1924). In 1921, he was made deputy chairman of the Council of Labor and Defense (26 May 1921 - 2 Feb 1924) and deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR (29 Dec 1921 - 2 Feb 1924). With creation of the Soviet Union, the Central Executive Committee approved Rykov as deputy chairman of the USSR Council of People's Commissars (6 Jul 1923 - 2 Feb 1924). By 1923 he occupied a strong position in the Soviet leadership as one of de facto acting premiers during Lenin's incapacity, full member of the Politburo (3 Apr 1922 - 21 Dec 1930) and chairman of the USSR Supreme Council of National Economy (6 Jul 1923 - 2 Feb 1924).  When Lenin died in 1924, Rykov succeeded him as head of governments of the Soviet Union and Russia (2 Feb 1924). Rykov supported the New Economic Policy initiated by Lenin and found an unexpected ally in the person of Iosif Stalin, who joined Rykov in advocating an economic policy that encouraged the development of a prosperous agricultural sector that would finance industrialization. In 1926-28 Rykov helped Stalin defeat his political opponents Lev Trotsky, Grigory Zinovyev and Lev Kamenev. In 1926, he took over from Kamenev the chairmanship (19 Jan 1926 - 19 Dec 1930) in the USSR Council of Labor and Defense. In the late 1920s Stalin turned against Rykov and his right-wing associates, Nikolay Bukharin and Mikhail Tomsky, labeled the "Right Opposition." Rykov lost his post as the head of Russian government (18 May 1929) and had to denounce publicly his own views at the Central Committee plenum in November 1929. Rykov's ultimate defeat occurred in December 1930, when Stalin orchestrated his dismissal from all important party and state posts including chairmanship in the USSR government (19 Dec 1930) and membership in the Politburo (21 Dec 1930). He was made people's commissar for post and telegraph (30 Mar 1931 - 17 Jan 1932) and demoted to a candidate member of the Central Committee (10 Feb 1934 - 27 Feb 1937) at the 17th party congress. After a transformation of the commissariat, Rykov served as people's commissar for communications (17 Jan 1932 - 26 Sep 1936). In 1936 Rykov was falsely accused of plotting against the Soviet state and Communist leadership by the defendants of the Zinovyev-Kamenev show trial. He was expelled from the Central Committee and party on 27 Feb 1937 at the Central Committee plenum and was immediately taken into custody. On 13 Mar 1938, the Military Board of the USSR Supreme Court sentenced him to death in the course of a show trial. He was executed two days later along with Bukharin, Chernov, Rosengoltz and others. Biography source: [4; 5]

[1] Rykov had some reservations about the date and place of his birth. According to [4], he was known to say that he might have been born in Kukarki, Yaransk region, Saratov province.
[2] 1 сессия ЦИК СССР II созыва. Стенографический отчет. М., 1924, с. 5.
[3] Sobranie zakonov i rasporjaženij, 1930, otd. 2, №. 62, St. 428.
[4] Шелестов Дм. Время Алексея Рыкова. М.: 1990.
[5] Государственная власть СССР. Высшие органы власти и управления и их руководители. 1923-1991 гг. Историко-биографический справочник / Сост. В.И.Ивкин. М.: РОССПЭН, 1999,