Leonid Brezhnev

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1906–1982)

Leonid Illich Brezhnev (19 December 1906 – 10 November 1982)[1] was a leader of the Soviet Union. Born in 1906, Brezhnev was First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, effectively the dictator of the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982. During the Second World War, Brezhnev was a Political Commissar. He supervised various military units. There, he became a friend of Nikita Khrushchev.[2]

Leonid Brezhnev
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General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
(as First Secretary from 1964 to 1966)
In office
14 October 1964 – 10 November 1982
PresidentAnastas Mikoyan (until 1965)
Nikolai Podgorny (until 1977)
PremierAlexei Kosygin (until 1980)
Nikolai Tikhonov
Preceded byNikita Khrushchev
Succeeded byYuri Andropov
Personal details

Unlike Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union before him, Brezhnev did not agree with the process of destalinization, and did not support reform. Under Brezhnev, the Soviet economy mostly consisted of military spending. Because the country's resources were going to the armed forces, as they had under Joseph Stalin in wartime, consumer wants were ignored. The standard of living began to fall.[3][4]

Brezhnev died of a heart attack on November 10, 1982.[5]


  1. "Profile of Leonid Brezhnev". An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996, via Google Books.
  2. Childs, David (2000). The Two Red Flags: European Social Democracy and Soviet Communism Since 1945. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-17181-6.
  3. Hanson, Philip (2003). The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR from 1945. Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-29958-0.
  4. Dowlah, Alex F.; Elliott, John E. (1997). The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-95629-5.
  5. Brown, Archie (2009-06-09). The Rise and Fall of Communism. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-113879-9.
Preceded by
Nikita Khrushchev
General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party
Succeeded by
Yuri Andropov