Gromov, Boris Vsevolodovich

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(b. 1943), Commander of Fortieth Army in Afghanistan, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Deputy Minister of Defense, Member of the State Duma, and Governor of Moscow Oblast (District).

Boris Gromov had a distinguished career as a professional soldier in the Soviet Ground Forces. In 1962 he graduated from the Suvorov Military School in Kalinin. From there he attended the Higher Combined Arms Command School in Leningrad and was commissioned in the Soviet Army in 1965. From 1965 Gromov held command and staff assignments. In 1974 he graduated from the Frunze Military Academy. From 1980 to 1982 he commanded a motorized rifle division in Afghanistan; on his return to the Soviet Union, he attended the Voroshilov Military Academy of the General Staff, graduating in 1984. In 1987 Gromov returned to Afghanistan as Commander of the Fortieth Army and led the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, which was completed in February 1989. His next assignment was that of Commander of the Kiev Military District, a post he held until November 1990, when, in an unexpected move, he was named First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Commander of Internal Troops. He held that post until August 1991. In the aftermath of the unsuccessful coup against Gorbachev, Gromov was appointed First Deputy Commander of Soviet (later Commonwealth of Independent States) Conventional Forces. In May 1992 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. In 1994 Gromov joined a group of senior Russian officers who broke with Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev and publicly warned against military intervention in Chechnya when Russian forces were unprepared. In the aftermath of that act, Gromov was moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1995 he stood for election to the State Duma on the My Fatherland Party ticket and won. In January 2000 he was elected Governor of the Moscow Oblast. Gromov received the Hero of the Soviet Union award for his service as army commander in Afghanistan.

See also: afghanistan, relations with; military, soviet and post-soviet


Baev, Pavel K. (1996). The Russian Army in a Time of Troubles. London: Sage Publications.

Gromov, Boris. (2001). "Wounds of a Bitter War." New York Times, No. 2767 (October 01, 2001), Op-Ed.

Jacob W. Kipp