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Anastas Mikoyan, Stalin, & Orjonikidze
Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan (Անաստաս Հովհաննեսի Միկոյան in Armenian; Анаста́с Ива́нович Микоя́н in Russian) (November 25, 1895 – October 21, 1978) was an Old Bolshevik and Soviet statesman during the Stalin and Khrushchev years.
Mikoyan was born in the Armenian village Sanahin (now part of Alaverdi) and educated in a seminary. At the age of twenty, he joined the Bolshevik Party and became a leader of the revolutionary movement in the Caucasus. In 1918, he was arrested by interventionist British troops in Baku. After his release, he continued his Party work, rising in the ranks.
He supported Stalin in the power struggle that followed Lenin's death and was appointed to the Central Committee in 1923. He went on to become People's Commissar for external and internal trade in 1926 and imported ideas from the West, such as the manufacture of canned goods. In 1935, he was elected to the Politburo and was responsible for organizing the transport of supplies during World War II. In 1942 he became a member of the State Defense Committee, and in 1946, vice chairman of the Council of Ministers.
He remained in the government after Stalin's death, in the post of minister of trade under Malenkov. He supported Khrushchev in the power struggle to succeed Stalin and was made Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union in recognition of his services,but lost his influence after Khrushchev had blamed him for failing to solve the Hungarian crisis in 1956. However, he continued to hold numerous other posts in the field of trade, and made a number of state visits to the U.S., Japan, and Mexico.By 1963 he became convinced that Khrushchev had turned into a liability for the Party and masterminded the coup that brought Leonid Breshnev to power. He attended the funeral of U.S. President Kennedy in 1963, representing the Soviet Union.
His influence re-established under Breshnev, Mikoyan served as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 until 1965 and then retired. He wrote his memoirs in 1970.
He was the brother of Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, one of the designers of the MiG military aircraft.
Copyleft (CL) 2005 Wikipedia.org
Soviet Leader’s Statue Planned In Yerevan
Irina Hovhannisyan 02.05.2014
Earlier this week the city’s municipal council allowed Mayor Taron Markaryan’s office to place Mikoyan’s statue in a park in downtown Yerevan.
The municipality gave no clear explanation for the decision which is prompting growing criticism from Armenian civil society members. They point to Mikoyan’s role in the Stalin-era mass executions and imprisonments of people across the ex-USSR.
Born in a village (Sanahin) in northern Armenia in 1895, Mikoyan joined Stalin’s Politburo in 1935 and held other senior positions in Moscow during the Soviet dictator’s long rule. He inevitably played a part in Stalin’s “great purge” resulting in the deaths of millions of people. Some historians say, though, that he advocated leniency towards some prominent members of the Communist Party.
Mikoyan was infamously dispatched to Soviet Armenia in 1937 to oversee purges among local Communists and intellectuals. In a September 1937 letter publicized after the Soviet collapse, the then chief of the NKVD, the notorious Soviet secret police, informed Stalin that Mikoyan is asking him for permission to execute an additional 700 “anti-Soviet elements.”
Hayk Demoyan, a pro-government member of Yerevan’s Council of Elders, cited this and other “controversial facts” related to Mikoyan before voting against the proposed statue. Three other members, who are affiliated with the opposition Barev Yerevan bloc, also came out against it.
But the other councilors representing the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) voted for the statue.
The decision was recommended beforehand by the council’s committee on culture and education on the basis of an explanatory note submitted by the municipal government. Tamara Poghosian, the committee chairwoman, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the document made no reference to Mikoyan’s involvement in the Stalin-era purges.
Asked whether she herself is aware of that involvement, Poghosian said, “I’m not a historian and don’t have such information.”
“Why are we now putting a statue of a man who supported summary executions of Armenians?” asked Anahit Bakhshian, one of the Barev Yerevan councilors who voted against the monument. She said the Armenian authorities are thereby sending a wrong message to the nation.
Amatuni Virabian, the director of Armenia’s state archives, also spoke out against the statue, saying that there is ample documentary evidence of Mikoyan’s involvement in the atrocities. “I believe that those who went through 1937 must not have statues erected or streets named after them,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “We must simply leave those people alone. They had no choice.”
Despite signing death lists in the 1930s and 1940s, Mikoyan supported Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s historic 1956 speech that denounced Stalin’s personality cult and atrocities. Mikoyan remained a Politburo member even after Khrushchev was deposed in 1964. He was the Soviet Union’s nominal head of state in 1964-1965.