Nikolai Bulganin Biography

Nikolai Alexandrovich Bulganin, a Soviet politician and staunch supporter of Joseph Stalin, rose to prominence in the Red Army during World War II. After Stalin’s death, he became the Minister of Defence under Nikita Khrushchev’s administration and later replaced Georgy Malenkov as the Premier of the Soviet Union. Bulganin’s tenure was marked by the Suez Crisis, during which he threatened the governments of the United Kingdom, France, and Israel. However, despite his important positions, Khrushchev revealed his lack of complete trust in Bulganin. Eventually, Bulganin began to doubt Khrushchev’s policies and aligned himself with the opposition group led by Vyacheslav Molotov. This led to his demotion and eventual retirement in 1960.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Nikolai Alexandrovich Bulganin
  • Died At Age: 79
  • Political Leaders
  • Russian Men
  • Political ideology: Communist Party of the Soviet Union
  • Died on: February 24, 1975
  • Place of death: Moscow, Russia

Childhood & Early Life

Nikolai Bulganin was born on June 11, 1895, in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia. He grew up in a well-to-do family and received his education at an excellent private school. Not much is known about his family and upbringing.

Pre-War Career

Bulganin became a member of the Bolshevik Party in 1917 and later joined the first secret police organization of Soviet Russia, Cheka. After the Russian Civil War, he worked as an industrial manager in the electricity administration. He quickly rose through the ranks and became the director of the Moscow electricity supply. He also served as the chairman of the executive committee of the Moscow City Soviet.

Service During World War II

During World War II, Bulganin held key positions in both the Red Army and the Soviet government. He was a trusted ally of Joseph Stalin and was made a colonel-general. He served on the State Defence Committee and later became the Minister for the Armed Forces. He was granted the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union.

Post-War Career

After Stalin’s death, Bulganin allied himself with Nikita Khrushchev and became the Premier of the Soviet Union in 1955. He supported Khrushchev’s policies and reforms, but Khrushchev had doubts about Bulganin’s loyalty.

Later Years and Retirement

Bulganin served as a public spokesperson for the government and accompanied Khrushchev on state visits. However, he developed misgivings about Khrushchev’s policies and was eventually forced to step down as Premier in 1958. He was demoted several times and eventually retired in 1960.

Awards and Personal Life

Bulganin received the Order of Lenin, the highest civilian distinction in the Soviet Union, twice. He was also awarded the Hero of Socialist Labour accolade. He was married to Elena Mikhailovna Korovina and had two children. Bulganin passed away in Moscow on February 24, 1975.

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