Pytatakov, Georgy Leonidovich

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(18901937), a leading Bolshevik in Ukraine who opposed Vladimir Lenin's policy on a nation's right to self-determination.

An extraordinary economic administrator, Georgy Pytatakov held numerous important political positions including deputy chairman of Gos-plan (1922); deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy (VSNKh) (1923); chairman of the State Bank (1929); deputy chairman of the Commissariat of Heavy Industry (1930); and member of the Supreme Economic Council (1930).

In the 1920s Pytatkov allied with Leon Trotsky and ultimately became a leading figure in the Left Opposition (the so-called Trotskyite opposition). From 1922 to 1926 Pytatakov advocated rapid industrialization and supported Yevgeny Preobrazhensky's theory of "primitive socialist accumulation." In a public bid for rank-and-file support for the Left's position, Pytatakov took part in a demonstration at a Moscow factory Party meeting in 1926. He was subsequently removed from his position at VSNKh for being an oppositionist and sent abroad. The following year he was expelled from the Party.

In 1928 Pytatkov recanted his position and applied for readmission into the Party. It was granted the following year, along with an appointment to head the State Bank. Beginning in 1929 he published articles hailing Josef Stalin's genius and condemning oppositionists. However, this could not erase the stigma of his association with the Left Opposition. In 1936 he was arrested as a Trotskyite and, along with Karl Radek, was a central figure in the second Moscow Show Trial in 1937. Under torture and drugs, he confessed, was found guilty, and shot immediately after the trial.

See also: left opposition; trotsky, leon davidovich


Conquest, Robert. (1990). The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York: Oxford University Press.

Khlevniuk, Oleg. (1995). In Stalin's Shadow: The Career of "Sergo" Ordzhonikidze. New York: M. E. Sharpe.

Kate Transchel