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Alexei Kosygin
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World Leader
    (February 21, 1904-December 18, 1980)
    Born in St. Petersburg, Russia
    Politburo member (1948-52,1960-80)
    Chair of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union (1964-80)
    Formed a troika with Anastas Mikoyan and Leonid Brezhnev that governed the Soviet Union after the overthrow of Nikita Khruschev
    He increasingly lost power to Brezhnev.
    His more moderate positions were consistently ignored.
    After suffering a heart attack (1976), he largely lost interest in his work.
    His funeral was postponed three days to avoid disrupting the celebration of Brezhnev’s birthday.
    During the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, he was sent to his hometown to oversee the construction of the ‘Road of Life’ across frozen Lake Ladoga, which provided the only access to the city.
    As a politician, he was considered a pragmatist rather than an ideologist.
    He introduced economic reforms that improved the standard of living for the Soviet people.
    Brezhnev grabbed the credit for his economic results.
    He argued against the Soviet Union’s disastrous invasion of Afghanistan.
    Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov called him ‘the most intelligent man in the Politburo.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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