Biography of Kuznecov, Vasilij - Archontology
Vasily Kuznecov

Василий Васильевич Кузнецов (Vasilij Vasil'evič Kuznecov)

b. 31 Jan/13 Feb 1901, Sofilovka, Kostroma province, Russian Empire
d. 5 Jun 1990, Moscow, USSR

Title: Первый заместитель Председателя Президиума Верховного Совета СССР (First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR)
Term: 7 Oct 1977 - 18 Jun 1986
Chronology: 7 Oct 1977, elected, 7th session of the 9th USSR Supreme Soviet [1]
18 Jun 1986, discharged, resolution of the 5th session of the 11th USSR Supreme Soviet [2]
Vasilij Kuznecov was educated at a polytechnical institute; joined the Communist Party in May 1927; worked as engineer at metallurgical plant and was sent to study at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. (1931-1933). In 1937 he received a job in the Glavspetzstahl, an enterprise subjected to the USSR people's commissariat for heavy industry. In 1940-1943 he served as deputy chairman of the USSR State Planning Commission (Gosplan). In 1943 he switched to work in trade unions as chairman of the ferrous metallurgy trade union. Then Kuznecov became chairman of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (1944-1953). A major shuffle in the party top leadership in March 1946 made Kuznetsov member of the Orgburo (18 Mar 1946 - 5 Oct 1952). Shortly after he was elected Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities (12 Mar 1946 - 12 Mar 1950), a chamber in the USSR's bicameral parliament. Kuznecov became a full member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (1952-1989) and was elected full member of its Presidium (16 Oct 1952 - 5 Mar 1953). Political career of Kuznecov dramatically changed with the end of Iosif Stalin's rule in 1953. He was discharged from his posts in the Central Committee Presidium and All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. For a short time in 1953 he served as Soviet ambassador to the People's Republic of China and then became deputy minister for foreign affairs of the USSR (1953-1955). He was promoted to first deputy minister (1955-1977) and worked with Andrej Gromyko for more than twenty years. In 1977, when Nikolaj Podgornyj was practically forced to resign from his state and party posts, Kuznecov was elected first deputy chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (7 Oct 1977 - 18 Jun 1986). He was made candidate member of the Politburo (3 Oct 1977 - 25 Feb 1986) and served as acting head of state of the Soviet Union on three occasions (10 Nov 1982 - 16 Jun 1983; 9 Feb 1984 - 11 Apr 1984; 10 Mar 1985 - 2 Jul 1985) when Leonid Brežnev, Jurij Andropov and Konsantin Černenko died in office one after another and their successors was yet to be elected by the USSR Supreme Soviet. Kuznecov retired in 1986. Biography source: [3, pp. 373-374]

[1] Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР, 1977, № 41, Ст. 620.
[2] Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР, 1986, № 26, Ст. 466.
[3] Государственная власть СССР. Высшие органы власти и управления и их руководители. 1923-1991 гг. Историко-биографический справочник / Сост. В.И.Ивкин. М.: РОССПЭН, 1999,