|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
|Chairman of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions|
|Preceded by||Viktor Grishin|
|Succeeded by||Alexey Shibaev|
|Chairman of the Committee for State Security|
25 December 1958 – 13 November 1961
|Preceded by||Ivan Serov|
|Succeeded by||Vladimir Semichastny|
|Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers|
19 May 1972 – 7 May 1973
|Preceded by||Mikhail Yefremov|
|Succeeded by||Zia Nureyev|
|First Secretary of the Komsomol|
30 October 1952 – 28 March 1958
|CPSU leader||Joseph Stalin|
|Preceded by||Nikolai Mikhailov|
|Succeeded by||Vladimir Semichastny|
|Born||18 August 1918|
Voronezh, Soviet Russia
|Died||24 October 1994 (aged 76)|
Moscow, Russian Federation
|Citizenship||Soviet (until 1991) and Russian|
|Political party||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
Alexander Nikolayevich Shelepin (Template:Lang-ru; 18 August 1918 - 24 October 1994) was a Soviet state security officer and party statesman. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its Politburo and was the head of the KGB from 25 December 1958 to 13 November 1961.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Shelepin was born in Voronezh. A history and literature major while studying at the Moscow Institute of Philosophy and Literature, Shelepin was in charge of recruiting guerrilla fighters during World War II; after the notorious execution by the Germans of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (whom he had selected) Shelepin caught Stalin's attention and his political fortune was made. He became a senior official of the Communist Youth League in 1943, and at the head of the successor organization, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, from 1952 to 1958. He accompanied Nikita Khrushchev on the Soviet leader's trip to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1954.
Shelepin then became the head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, which had been reorganized and reformed as the KGB after the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Khrushchev appointed Shelepin in part because of several major KGB defections in the 1950s during the tenure of Ivan Serov as head of the KGB. Shelepin attempted to return state security to its position of importance during the Stalinist era. He demoted or fired many KGB officers, replacing them with officials from Communist Party organizations, and, especially, from the Communist Youth League.
He left the KGB and was promoted to the Central Committee secretariat in November 1961, where it is believed he still exercised control over the KGB, which was taken over by his protégé Vladimir Yefimovich Semichastny. Shelepin became a First Deputy Prime Minister in 1962. He was a principal player in the coup against Khrushchev in October 1964, obviously influencing the KGB to support the conspirators.
Shelepin probably expected to become First Secretary and de facto head of government when Khrushchev was overthrown. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn suggested that Shelepin had been the choice of the surviving Stalinists in the government, who asked what "had been the point of overthrowing Khrushchev if not to revert to Stalinism?"
Rather, Shelepin's reward was to be made a full member of the ruling Politburo in November 1964—by a significant margin its youngest member. But he still held ambitions of becoming the "first among equals". His colleagues on the Politburo watched him carefully, seeking to halt his ambitions. He survived in that body until 1975, when he rapidly fell from power, being successively demoted to a number of lower positions, until his retirement in 1984.
Honours and awards[edit | edit source]
- Four Orders of Lenin
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour
- Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class
- Order of the Red Star
- Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
- Medal "For Valiant Labour in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Medal "Partisan of the Patriotic War" 1st class
|Head of Soviet Committee of State Security
1958 – 1961
de:Alexander Nikolajewitsch Schelepin et:Aleksandr Šelepin fr:Alexandre Chélépine lt:Aleksandras Šelepinas ja:アレクサンドル・シェレーピン no:Aleksandr Sjelepin pl:Aleksander Szelepin pt:Alexander Shelepin ru:Шелепин, Александр Николаевич sq:Aleksandr Nikolayevich Shelepin sv:Alexandr Sjelepin uk:Шелепін Олександр Миколайович