Vyacheslav Molotov

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov[lower-alpha 1] (/ˈmɒlətɒf, ˈm-/;[1]Skryabin;[lower-alpha 2] (OS 25 February) 9 March 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.

Vyacheslav Molotov
Вячеслав Молотов
Vyacheslav Molotov in 1936
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union
In office
19 December 1930  6 May 1941
Preceded byAlexei Rykov
Succeeded byJoseph Stalin
First Deputy Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union
In office
16 August 1942  29 June 1957
PremierJoseph Stalin
Georgy Malenkov
Nikolai Bulganin
Preceded byNikolai Voznesensky
Succeeded byNikolai Bulganin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
3 May 1939  4 March 1949
PremierJoseph Stalin
Preceded byMaxim Litvinov
Succeeded byAndrey Vyshinsky
In office
5 March 1953  1 June 1956
PremierGeorgy Malenkov
Nikolai Bulganin
Preceded byAndrey Vyshinsky
Succeeded byDmitri Shepilov
Additional positions
Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Acting
In office
April 1922  December 1930
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byLazar Kaganovich
Responsible Secretary of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)
In office
March 1921  April 1922
Preceded byNikolay Krestinsky
Succeeded byJoseph Stalin
(as General Secretary)
Full member of the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th Presidium
In office
1 January 1926  29 June 1957
Candidate member of the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Politburo
In office
16 March 1921  1 January 1926
Full member of the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th Secretariat
In office
16 March 1921  21 December 1930
Full member of the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th Orgburo
In office
16 March 1921  21 December 1930
Personal details
Born
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin

(1890-03-09)9 March 1890
Kukarka, Russian Empire
Died8 November 1986(1986-11-08) (aged 96)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
CitizenshipSoviet
NationalityRussian
Political partyRSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1906–1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918–1961)
Spouse(s)
(m. 1920; died 1970)
Children2
RelativesVyacheslav Nikonov (grandson)
Awards
Signature

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 1930, and the Great Purge, during which he signed 373 list of people condemned to execution.

As People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in August 1939 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. 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.[2]