Romanov, Grigory Vasilievich

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ROMANOV, GRIGORY VASILIEVICH

(b. 1923), first secretary of the Leningrad Oblast Party Committee during the Brezhnev years.

Grigory Romanov was born on February 9, 1923, to Russian working-class parents. He served in the Red Army during World War II. He joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1944, and received a night-school diploma in ship building in 1953. Romanov almost immediately went to work within the Leningrad party apparatus, climbing through the ranks from factory, to ward, to city, and ultimately to oblast-level positions. He served as first secretary of the Leningrad Oblast Party Committee from 1970 to 1983, and was known for encouraging production and scientific associations, as well as the forging of links between such groups to implement new technologies. As a result, Leningrad achieved enviable production levels under Romanov. He was named a candidate member of the Politburo in 1973, and was promoted to full membership in 1976. Romanov advanced to the CPSU Central Committee Secretariat in June 1983, with responsibility for the defense industry. Though mentioned as a candidate for the office of general secretary, his many years spent outside the Moscow left Romanov unable to build allies in the Politburo.

Once Gorbachev had claimed the general secretary post in March 1985, he began purging his rivals from the top leadership, and Romanov was among them. Despite his innovations in Leningrad, Romanov was a conservative, not inclined to alter the complacencyand corruptionof the Brezhnev era. Romanov was formally relieved of his duties on July 1, 1986.

See also: communist party of the soviet union; politburo

bibliography

Medish, Vadim. (1983). "A Romanov in the Kremlin?" Problems of Communism 32 (6): 6566.

Mitchell, R. Judson. (1990). Getting to the Top in the USSR. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

Ruble, Blair A. (1983). "Romanov's Leningrad." Problems of Communism 32 (6): 3648.

Ann E. Robertson