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Yuri Andropov

Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov (June 15, 1914 - February 9, 1984) was a Soviet politician and General Secretary of the CPSU from November 12, 1982 to February 9, 1984.

The place of birth and his parentage is uncertain, but he was probably born in Nagutskoye near Stavropol in southern Russia. He was briefly educated at the Rybinsk Water Transport Technical College before he joined Komsomol[?] in 1930. He graduated to the full party in 1939 and was first secretary of the Komsomol in the Karelo-Finnish Republic from 1940 to 1944. After the war, he moved to Moscow in 1951 and joined the party secretariat.

Following Stalin's death in March 1953 Andropov was demoted and 'exiled' to the Soviet Embassy in Budapest by Malenkov. He played an important role in the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

Andropov returned to Moscow to head the Department for Liaison with Socialist Countries (1957 - 1967) and was promoted to the Central Committee Secretariat in 1962, succeeding Mikhail Suslov[?], and in 1967 he was appointed head of the KGB. In 1973 Andropov became a full member of the Politburo, although he did not resign as head of the KGB until 1982.

A few days after Brezhnev's death (November 10, 1982), Andropov was the surprise appointment to General Secretary over Chernenko, he was the first head of the KGB to become General Secretary. He quickly added the posts of President of the USSR and chairman of the Defence Council. During his rule he made attempts to improve the economy and reduce corruption. In foreign policy he did little - the war continued in Afghanistan. His rule was also marked by the deterioration of relations with the USA, due to the rabid anti-Soviet stance of Ronald Reagan and exacerbated by the shooting-down of an off course civilian jet liner over Russia on September 1, 1983 and the deployment of Pershing missiles[?] in Europe.

He died of kidney failure on February 9, 1984 after several months of failing health and was succeeded by Chernenko.

See also Soviet Union/Leaders

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