Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, 1914–1984

Born in Nagutskaya, Stavropol District, Andropov joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1939. He served as a Young Communist League (Komsomol) organizer and later secretary in Yaroslav and then in the newly formed Karelian Finnish Autonomous Republic. In 1951, he joined the staff of the Central Committee Secretariat in Moscow. In July 1953, he became counsellor at the Soviet Embassy in Budapest, where he went on to serve as ambassador from July 1954 to March 1957, playing an important part in the Hungarian-Soviet negotiations during the 1956 Revolution. After his return to Moscow, Andropov headed the CPSU Central Committee department for Eastern European affairs. He joined the Central Committee in 1961. In 1967, he was appointed head of the State Security Committee (KGB), for a period of office marked by persecution of political dissidents. As KGB head and a Politburo member alongside the ailing Leonid Brezhnev, Andropov successfully prepared to take over power on Brezhnev’s death on November 10, 1982, when he became general secretary of the CPSU. He also became president of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (head of state) in June 1983. He died in office on February 9, 1984.

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This page was created: Wednesday, 23-Aug-2000
Last updated: Wednes, 12-Sept-2001
Copyright © 2000 The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

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