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Leonid Brezhnev

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Leonid Brezhnev is ...

Dead

Born 6 December 1906 in Kamianske
Died 10 November 1982 in Zareche and Moscow
Age 75 years, 11 months
Cause myocardial infarction

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and Soviet Union
Manner of death natural causes
Spouse Viktoria Brezhneva
Child Yuri Brezhnev and Galina Brezhneva
Occupation politician, engineer and military personnel
Position held General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union and List of heads of state of the Soviet Union
Awards Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin, Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Order of the Red Banner, Order of the Red Star, Order of the October Revolution, Order of Karl Marx, Order of the White Lion, Order of Klement Gottwald, Order of the Patriotic War 1st class, Order of Victory, Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, 2nd class, Medal "For the Defence of Odessa", Medal "For Battle Merit", Medal "For the Defence of the Caucasus", Medal "For the Liberation of Warsaw", Medal "For the Liberation of Prague", Medal "For the Restoration of the Black Metallurgy Enterprises of the South", Medal "For Strengthening of Brotherhood in Arms", Medal "For the Development of Virgin Lands", Gold medal of Karl Marx, Lenin Peace Prize, Gold Star, Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin, Gold Star, Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin, Gold Star, Hero of the Soviet Union, Order of Lenin, Gold Star, Hero of Socialist Labour, Order of Lenin, "Hammer and Sickle" gold medal, Order of Lenin, Order of Lenin, Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, Order of the Red Banner, Medal "For Valiant Labour in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Medal "In Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Leningrad", Medal "In Commemoration of the 1500th Anniversary of Kiev", Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR", Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR", Jubilee Medal "60 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR", Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945", Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin", Order of May, Hero of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Order of Georgi Dimitrov, Hero of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Order of Georgi Dimitrov, Hero of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Order of Georgi Dimitrov, Order of the Flag of the Republic of Hungary, Order of the Flag of the Republic of Hungary, Hero of Labor, Order of Ho Chi Minh, Gold Star Order, Order of Karl Marx, Order of Karl Marx, Star of People's Friendship, Star of the Republic of Indonesia, Star of the Republic of Indonesia, Order of the National Flag, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Order of José Martí, Order of Playa Girón, Order of Sukhbaatar, Order of Sukhbaatar, Order of Sukhbaatar, Order of Sukhbaatar, Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru‎, Grand Cross with Star of the Virtuti Militari, Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Order of the Cross of Grunwald, 2nd class, Medal of Victory and Freedom 1945, Grand Cross of the White Rose of Finland, Hero of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Hero of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Order of Klement Gottwald, Order of Klement Gottwald, Hero of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Order of Klement Gottwald, Order of the White Lion, Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945, Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945, Order of the Yugoslav Star, Order of Freedom, Gold Mercury International Award, Lenin Prize and United Nations Peace Medal
Member of Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

About Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (; Russian: Леони́д Ильи́ч Бре́жнев, IPA: [lʲɪɐˈnʲid ɪˈlʲjitɕ ˈbrʲɛʐnʲɪf] ( listen); Ukrainian: Леоні́д Іллі́ч Бре́жнєв, 19 December 1906 (O.S. 6 December) – 10 November 1982) was a Soviet Ukrainian politician who led the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982 as the General Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), presiding over the country until his death and funeral in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration. During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew dramatically, in part because of the expansion of the Soviet military during this time. His tenure as leader was marked by the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union. Brezhnev was born in Kamenskoye, Russian Empire (now Kamianske, Ukraine), into a Russian worker's family in 1906. After graduating from the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum, he became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industry, in Ukraine. He joined the Komsomol in 1923 and became an active member of the CPSU by 1929. With the onset of World War II, he was drafted into immediate military service and left the army in 1946 with the rank of major general. In 1952, Brezhnev was promoted to the Central Committee and, in 1957 to full member of the Politburo. In 1964, he succeeded Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. As the leader of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev's conservatism and carefulness to reach decisions by consensus with the rest of the Politburo resulted in sustained political stability within the country. However, his hostility towards reform and active cultivation of cronyism ushered in a period of pervasive corruption and socioeconomic decline that came to be known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. On the world stage, Brezhnev pushed hard for the adoption of détente, a commitment by both two superpowers towards the relaxation of Cold War tensions and economic cooperation. Despite such diplomatic gestures, Brezhnev's regime presided over a hawkish foreign policy characterized by widespread military interventionism and an arms buildup that ultimately comprised 12.5% of the nation's GNP. Ultimately, in December 1981, he opted not to have the Soviet military suppress unrest in Poland thereby marking the end of the interventionist Brezhnev Doctrine. After years of declining health, Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982 and was quickly succeeded in his post as General Secretary by Yuri Andropov. Andropov only held the office of General Secretary for less than two years until his 1984 death. Brezhnev had fostered a cult of personality, although not nearly to the same degree as Stalin. Mikhail Gorbachev, who would lead the USSR from 1985 to 1991, denounced his legacy and drove the process of liberalisation of the Soviet Union.