77 Facts About Alexei Kosygin


Alexei Kosygin served as the Premier of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1980 and was one of the most influential Soviet policymakers in the mid-1960s along with General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.


Alexei Kosygin was conscripted into the labour army during the Russian Civil War, and after the Red Army's demobilization in 1921, he worked in Siberia as an industrial manager.


Alexei Kosygin returned to Leningrad in the early 1930s and worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy.


Alexei Kosygin served as Minister of Finance for a year before becoming Minister of Light Industry.


Stalin died in 1953, and on 20 March 1959, Alexei Kosygin was appointed to the position of chairman of the State Planning Committee, a post he would hold for little more than a year.


Alexei Kosygin next became First Deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers.


Thereafter, Alexei Kosygin formed a troika alongside Brezhnev and Nikolai Podgorny, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, that governed the Soviet Union in Khrushchev's place.


Alexei Kosygin died two months later on 18 December 1980.


Alexei Kosygin was born into a Russian working-class family consisting of his father and mother and his siblings.


Alexei Kosygin was baptized one month after his birth.


Alexei Kosygin lost his mother in infancy and was brought up by his father.


Alexei Kosygin applied for a membership in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1927 and returned to Leningrad in 1930 to study at the Leningrad Textile Institute; he graduated in 1935.


Alexei Kosygin rose rapidly during the Great Purge, overseen in Leningrad by the provincial communist party boss, Andrei Zhdanov.


Alexei Kosygin was appointed director of the October Textile Factory in 1937, head of the Industry and Transport department of the Leningrad provincial communist party in July 1938, and in October 1938, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Leningrad City Soviets of Working People's Deputies, ie 'mayor' of Leningrad City.


In 1940 Alexei Kosygin became a Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars.


Alexei Kosygin was appointed by the State Defence Committee to manage critically important missions during the Great Patriotic War.


Alexei Kosygin managed clearing of congestions on the railroads in order to maintain their stable operation.


Alexei Kosygin was responsible for the procurement of locally available firewood.


In 1943 Alexey Alexei Kosygin was promoted to Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR.


Alexei Kosygin became a candidate member of the Politburo in 1946.


Alexei Kosygin was appointed USSR Minister for Finance in February 1948, and a full member of the Politburo on 4 September 1948, putting him among the dozen or so most ranking officials in the USSR.


Alexei Kosygin was relegated to the post of USSR Minister for Light Industry, while nominally retaining his membership of the Politburo until 1952.


Alexei Kosygin told his son-in-law Mikhail Gvishiani, an NKVD officer, of the accusations leveled against Voznesensky because of his possession of firearms.


Gvishiani and Alexei Kosygin threw all their weapons into a lake and searched both their own houses for any listening devices.


In September 1953, six months after Stalin's death, Alexei Kosygin was appointed USSR Minister for Industrial Goods, and in December he was reinstated as a Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, under Malenkov, Stalin's immediate successor, but lost that position in December 1956, during Khrushchev's ascendancy, when he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the State Economic Commission.


However, despite Khrushchev's reluctance, Alexei Kosygin's career made a steady recovery.


Later, in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Alexei Kosygin was the Soviet spokesman for improved relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.


When Khrushchev was removed from power in October 1964, Alexei Kosygin replaced him as Premier in a collective leadership that included Leonid Brezhnev as general secretary and Nikolai Podgorny who ultimately became Chairman of the Presidium.


Brezhnev was able to criticize Alexei Kosygin by contrasting him with Vladimir Lenin, who - Brezhnev claimed - had been more interested in improving the conditions of Soviet agriculture than improving the quality of light industrial goods.


At the 23rd Party Congress, Alexei Kosygin's position was weakened when Brezhnev's supporters were able to increase expenditure on defense and agriculture.


Unfortunately for Alexei Kosygin this was not often the case, and Alexei Kosygin and Podgorny were constantly disagreeing on policy.


Early on in his tenure, Alexei Kosygin challenged Brezhnev's right as general secretary to represent the country abroad, a function Alexei Kosygin believed should fall into the hands of the head of government, as was common in non-communist countries.


Alexei Kosygin, who had been the chief negotiator with the First World during the 1960s, was hardly to be seen outside the Second World after Brezhnev consolidated his position within the Politburo, but due to Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko's dislike of Alexei Kosygin meddling into his own ministerial affairs.


At the summit, which became known as the Glassboro Summit Conference, Johnson and Alexei Kosygin failed to reach agreement on limiting anti-ballistic missile systems, but the summit's friendly and even open atmosphere was referred to as the "Spirit of Glassboro".


In 1971, Alexei Kosygin gave an extensive interview to the American delegation that included David Rockefeller, presenting his views on US-Soviet relations, environmental protection, arms control and other issues.


Alexei Kosygin developed a close friendly relationship with the President of Finland Urho Kekkonen, which helped the USSR to maintain active mutual trade with Finland and to keep it away from Cold War confrontation.


In 1972, Alexei Kosygin signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the government of Iraq, building on strong Soviet ties to the Iraqi Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and previous close relations with Iraqi leader Abd al-Karim Qasim.


Alexei Kosygin protected Janos Kadar's economic reforms and his position as leader of the Hungarian People's Republic from intervention by the Soviet leadership.


Alexei Kosygin's stance became more aggressive later on when he understood that the reforms in Czechoslovakia could be turned against his 1965 Soviet economic reform.


Alexei Kosygin acted as a mediator between India and Pakistan in 1966, and got both nations to sign the Tashkent Declaration.


Alexei Kosygin became the chief spokesman on the issue of arms control.


In retrospect, many of Alexei Kosygin's colleagues felt he carried out his work "stoically", but lacked "enthusiasm", and therefore never developed a real taste for international politics.


Alexei Kosygin promised to send more economic and military aid, but rejected any proposal regarding a possible Soviet intervention, as an intervention in Afghanistan would strain the USSR's foreign relations with the First World according to Kosygin, most notably West Germany.


At the 23rd Party Congress Alexei Kosygin promised that the Ninth Five-Year Plan would increase the supply of food, clothing and other household appliances up to 50 percent.


The plan envisaged a massive increase in the Soviet standard of living, with Alexei Kosygin proclaiming a growth of 40 percent for the population's cash income in his speech to the congress.


In 1965 Alexei Kosygin initiated an economic reform widely referred to as the "Alexei Kosygin reform".


Alexei Kosygin sought to make Soviet industry more efficient by including some market measures common in the First World such as profit making for instance; he tried to increase quantity of production, increase incentives for managers and workers, and freeing managers from centralized state bureaucracy.


Alexei Kosygin overestimated the ability of the Soviet administrative machine to develop the economy, which led to "corrections" to some of Liberman's more controversial beliefs about decentralization.


Alexei Kosygin believed that decentralization, semi-public companies, and cooperatives were keys to catching up to the First World's contemporary level of economic growth.


Alexei Kosygin's reform sought a gradual change from a "state-administered economy" to an economy in which "the state restricts itself to guiding enterprises".


Alexei Kosygin lost most of the privileges he had enjoyed before the reform, but Brezhnev was never able to remove him from the office of Chairman of the Council of Ministers, despite his weakened position.


Alexei Kosygin initiated another economic reform in 1973 with the intentions of weakening the central Ministries and giving more powers to the regional authorities in republican and local-levels.


The reform's failure to meet Alexei Kosygin's goal led to its cancellation.


Alexei Kosygin was further pushed aside when Brezhnev published his memoirs, which stated that Brezhnev, not Alexei Kosygin, was in charge of all major economic decisions.


Rumours started circulating within the top circles, and on the streets, that Alexei Kosygin would retire due to bad health.


Alexei Kosygin's position was gradually weakened during the 1970s and he was frequently hospitalized.


Alexei Kosygin twice filed a letter of resignation between 1976 and 1980, but was turned down on both occasions.


The powers of the Premier diminished to the point where Alexei Kosygin was forced to discuss all decisions made by the Council of Ministers with Brezhnev.


Alexei Kosygin was hospitalized in October 1980; during his stay he wrote a brief letter of resignation; the following day he was deprived of all government protection, communication, and luxury goods he had earned during his political life.


Alexei Kosygin died on 18 December 1980 in Moscow, none of his Politburo colleagues, former aides, or security guards visited him.


Alexei Kosygin's funeral was postponed for three days, as Kosygin died on the eve of Brezhnev's birthday, and the day of Stalin's.


Alexei Kosygin was praised by Brezhnev as an individual who "laboured selflessly for the good of the Soviet state".


Alexei Kosygin was a very alert man, and performed brilliantly during negotiations.


Alexei Kosygin was able to cope quickly with the material that was totally new to him.


Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said Alexei Kosygin was like "Khrushchev without the rough edges, a fatherly man who was the forerunner of Mikhail Gorbachev".


Alexei Kosygin noted that Kosygin was willing to discuss issues so long as the Soviet position was not tackled head-on.


Former United States Secretary of State Henry A Kissinger said that Kosygin was devoted, nearly fanatically, to his work.


Alexei Kosygin was viewed by Western diplomats as a pragmatist "with a glacial exterior who was orthodox if not rigid".


Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet dissident, believed Alexei Kosygin to be "the most intelligent and toughest man in the Politburo".


David Rockefeller admitted that Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin was a talented manager doing miracles in ruling the clumsy Soviet economy.


Alexei Kosygin would prove to be a very competent administrator, with the Soviet standard of living rising considerably due to his moderately reformist policy.


Chernenko: The Last Bolshevik: The Soviet Union on the Eve of Perestroika author Ilya Zemtsov describes Alexei Kosygin as "determined and intelligent, an outstanding administrator" and claims he distinguished himself from the other members of the Soviet leadership with his "extraordinary capacity for work".


However, Brown does believe that Alexei Kosygin was "an able administrator".


Alexei Kosygin was viewed with sympathy by the Soviet people, and is still presently viewed as an important figure in both Russian and Soviet history.


Mikhail Smirtyukov, the former Executive Officer of the Council of Ministers, recalled that Alexei Kosygin refused to go drinking with Brezhnev, a move which annoyed Brezhnev gravely.


Alexei Kosygin was awarded two Hero of Socialist Labour ; one being on his 60th birthday by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1964, on this occasion he was awarded an Order of Lenin and a Hammer and Sickle Gold Medal.


The Moscow State Textile University was named in his honour in 1981, in 1982 a bust to honour Alexei Kosygin was placed in Leningrad, present day Saint Petersburg.