Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov (Russian: Климе́нт Ефре́мович Вороши́лов (help·info), Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov; Ukrainian: Климент Охрімович Ворошилов, Klyment Okhrimovyč Vorošylov), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov (Russian: Клим Вороши́лов, Klim Vorošilov; 4 February 1881 – 2 December 1969), was a prominent Soviet military officer and politician during the Stalin era. He was one of the original five Marshals of the Soviet Union, the highest military rank of the Soviet Union, and served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the nominal Soviet head of state, from 1953 to 1960.
Born to a Russian worker's family in modern Ukraine, Voroshilov took part in the Russian Revolution of 1917 as an early member of the Bolsheviks. He served with distinction at the Battle of Tsaritsyn, during which he became a close friend of Stalin. Voroshilov was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1921, and in 1925 Stalin appointed him People's Commissar for Military and Navy Affairs (later People's Commissars for Defence). In 1926, he became a full member of the Politburo. In 1935, Voroshilov was named a Marshal of the Soviet Union. He played a central role during the Great Purge, denounced many of his own colleagues and subordinates, and personally signed over a hundred execution lists.
At the outbreak of World War II, Voroshilov was held responsible for Soviet failures in Finland during the Winter War and was replaced as Defense Commissar by Semyon Timoshenko. Following the German invasion in June 1941, he was recalled and appointed to the State Defense Committee. Voroshilov failed to stop the German encirclement of Leningrad and was again relieved from his command in September 1941.
After the war, Voroshilov oversaw the establishment of a socialist regime in Hungary. Following Stalin's death in 1953, Voroshilov was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. His fortunes declined during the rise of Nikita Khrushchev and the Supreme Soviet removed him from power in 1960. Voroshilov died in 1969 at the age of 88.