Kliment Voroshilov

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov (Russian: Климе́нт Ефре́мович Вороши́лов , Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov; Ukrainian: Климент Охрімович Ворошилов, Klyment Okhrimovyč Vorošylov), popularly known as Klim Voroshilov (Russian: Клим Вороши́лов, Klim Vorošilov; 4 February 1881[1] – 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.

Kliment Voroshilov
Voroshilov in 1937
Chairman of the Presidium of the
Supreme Soviet
In office
15 March 1953  7 May 1960
General SecretaryNikita Khrushchev
Preceded byNikolay Shvernik
Succeeded byLeonid Brezhnev
People's Commissar for Defense of the Soviet Union
In office
6 November 1925  7 May 1940
PremierAlexey Rykov
Vyacheslav Molotov
Preceded byMikhail Frunze
Succeeded bySemyon Timoshenko
Full member of the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th–21st Presidiums
In office
1 January 1926  16 July 1960
Personal details
Born
Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov

(1881-02-04)4 February 1881
Verkhnyeye, Bakhmut uyezd, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire
Died2 December 1969(1969-12-02) (aged 88)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
NationalitySoviet
Political partyRSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1905–1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918–1961, 1966–1969)
Spouse(s)Ekaterina Davidovna
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union (twice)
Hero of Socialist Labour
Order of Lenin (eight times)
Order of the Red Banner (six times)
Order of Suvorov
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Russia (1917–1922)
 Soviet Union (1922–1961)
Branch/serviceSoviet Army
Years of service1917–1961
RankMarshal of the Soviet Union
CommandsNorth Caucasus Military District
Moscow Military District
Leningrad Front
Battles/warsRussian Civil War
Polish–Soviet War
Winter War
World War II

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.