Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (/ -/,; né Skryabin; (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.
|Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union|
19 December 1930 – 6 May 1941
|Preceded by||Alexei Rykov|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Stalin|
|First Deputy Chairman of the |
Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union
16 August 1942 – 29 June 1957
|Preceded by||Nikolai Voznesensky|
|Succeeded by||Nikolai Bulganin|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
3 May 1939 – 4 March 1949
|Preceded by||Maxim Litvinov|
|Succeeded by||Andrey Vyshinsky|
5 March 1953 – 1 June 1956
|Preceded by||Andrey Vyshinsky|
|Succeeded by||Dmitri Shepilov|
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin
9 March 1890
Kukarka, Russian Empire
|Died||8 November 1986 96) (aged|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||RSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1906–1918) |
Russian Communist Party (1918–1961)
(m. 1920; died 1970)
|Relatives||Vyacheslav Nikonov (grandson)|
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.