Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin (Russian: Алексе́й Никола́евич Косы́гин, tr. Aleksej Nikolajevič Kosygin, IPA: [ɐlʲɪkˈsʲej nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ kɐˈsɨɡʲɪn]; 21 February [O.S. 8 February] 1904 – 18 December 1980) was a Soviet-Russian statesman during the Cold War. He served as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1980 and was one of the most influential Soviet policymakers in the mid-1960s along with General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
|Chairman of the Council of Ministers |
of the Soviet Union
15 October 1964 – 23 October 1980
|Preceded by||Nikita Khrushchev|
|Succeeded by||Nikolai Tikhonov|
|First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers|
4 May 1960 – 15 October 1964
|Preceded by||Frol Kozlov|
|Succeeded by||Dmitriy Ustinov|
Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin
21 February [O.S. 8 February] 1904
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
|Died||18 December 1980 76) (aged|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1927–1980)|
|Spouse(s)||Klavdia Andreyevna (died 1967)|
|Residence||House on the Embankment|
|Profession||Teacher, civil servant|
|Years of service||1919–1921|
|Battles/wars||Russian Civil War|
Kosygin was born in the city of Saint Petersburg in 1904 to a Russian working-class family. He was conscripted into the labour army during the Russian Civil War, and after the Red Army's demobilization in 1921, he worked in Siberia as an industrial manager. Kosygin returned to Leningrad in the early 1930s and worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. During the Great Patriotic War (World War II), Kosygin was a member of the State Defence Committee and was tasked with moving Soviet industry out of territories soon to be overrun by the German Army. He served as Minister of Finance for a year before becoming Minister of Light Industry (later, Minister of Light Industry and Food). Stalin removed Kosygin from the Politburo one year before his own death in 1953, intentionally weakening Kosygin's position within the Soviet hierarchy.
Stalin died in 1953, and on 20 March 1959, Kosygin was appointed to the position of chairman of the State Planning Committee (Gosplan), a post he would hold for little more than a year. Kosygin next became First Deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers. When Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power in 1964, Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev succeeded him as Premier and First Secretary, respectively. Thereafter, Kosygin formed a troika alongside Brezhnev and Nikolai Podgorny, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, that governed the Soviet Union in Khrushchev's place.
During the early years of the post-Khrushchev troika, Kosygin initially emerged as the most influential figure in Soviet policymaking. In addition to managing the Soviet Union's economy, he assumed a preeminent role in its foreign policy by leading arms control talks with the US and overseeing relations with other communist countries. However, the onset of the Prague Spring in 1968 sparked a severe backlash against his policies, enabling Brezhnev to eclipse him as the dominant force in the Politburo. While he and Brezhnev disliked one another, he remained in office until being forced to retire on 23 October 1980, due to bad health. He died two months later on 18 December 1980.