Zinovyev, Grigory (Yevseyevich)

Zinovyev, Grigory (Yevseyevich)

biographical name

(born Sept. 23, 1883, Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died Aug. 25, 1936, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.) Soviet politician. Born to lower middle-class Jewish parents, he received no formal education, but during travels abroad in 1902–05 he attended lectures on law at Bern University. An early activist with the Bolsheviks (1903), he became Vladimir Lenin's close collaborator in exile (1909–17) and in the Russian Revolution of 1917, helping win public support for the Bolshevik regime. By 1921 he was head of the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) soviet and a member of the Politburo. He was chairman of the Comintern (1919–26) and helped Joseph Stalin oust Leon Trotsky. He was removed from power by Stalin in 1926. Although he was subsequently readmitted to the party, he never recovered his former prestige and was expelled again on two other occasions (1932 and 1934). In 1935 he was arrested for conspiracy and sentenced to prison. The following year he was retried in the first of the purge trials, found guilty on the fabricated charge of forming a terrorist organization to assassinate various Soviet leaders, and executed. In 1988 the Soviet Supreme Court annulled the sentence posthumously.


Zinovyev, Grigory (Yevseyevich) orig. Ovsel Gershon Aronov Radomyslsky

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