Grigol Ordzhonikidze

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გრიგოლ (სერგო) ორჯონიკიძე
Papildu vārdi:
Sergas Ordžonikidzė, Sergo Ordżonikidze, Григорий Орджоникидзе, Grigorijs Ordžonikidze, Григорий Константинович Орджоникидзе, Grigol (Sergo) Ordżonikidze, Grigorij Konstantynowicz Ordżonikidze,
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Grigol Ordzhonikidze (გრიგოლ (სერგო) ორჯონიკიძე - Grigol (Sergo) Orjonikidze, Григо́рий Константи́нович Орджоники́дзе, generally known as Sergo Ordzhonikidze (Серго́);  was a Georgian Bolshevik, later member of the CPSU Politburo and close friend to Joseph Stalin. Ordzhonikidze, Stalin and Anastas Mikoyan comprised what was jokingly referred to as the "Caucasian Clique."

Born in present-day Kharagauli, western Georgia to a Georgian noble family, Ordzhonikidze became involved in radical politics in 1903, and after graduating as a doctor from the Mikhailov Hospital Medical School in Tiflis, was arrested for arms smuggling. He was released and went to Germany, but in 1907 returned to Russia and settled in Baku where he worked closely with Stalin and others.

Sergo is now believed by historians to have been involved in the 1907 assassination of Prince Ilia Chavchavadze, a prominent Georgian poet and intellectual. Sergo also participated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution on a mission by the Bolshevik party and stayed in Tehran for a while around 1909.

He was arrested for being a member of the Social Democratic Party and deported to Siberia, but managed to escape three years later. He returned with Stalin to St. Petersburg in April 1912, but again was apprehended and sentenced to three years hard labour.

For a time he served on the collegium of the new Cheka. During the course of the Russian Civil War, he became a commissar for the Ukraine and took part in fighting against the White Army of Anton Denikin in theCaucasus. Appointed chairman of the Caucasian Bureau of the Russian Communist Party in 1920, he was instrumental in the incorporation of the Caucasus in the nascent Soviet Union. After Azerbaijan and Armenia had been taken over by the Bolsheviks, in 1921 Ordzhonikidze led a Bolshevik invasion of theDemocratic Republic of Georgia and established the Socialist Republic of Georgia. Later, he fought to reduce Georgian autonomy from the Russian SFSRand hence became a key figure involved in the Georgian Affair of 1922. During the same period, he also aided Mirza Koochak Khan in establishing the short-lived Socialist Republic of Gilan in northern Iran.

Ordzhonikidze was appointed to the Politburo in 1926, and became Commissar of the Soviet Heavy Industry in 1932. According to historian Roy Medvedev, Ordjonikidze opposed the purges of Stalin, Lazar Kaganovichand Nikolai Yezhov and the arrest of his deputy in the Commissariat of Heavy Industry, Georgy Pyatakov.

Historian Oleg Khlevniuk has found no evidence in Soviet archives that suggests Ordzhonikidze disagreed with the Moscow Trials, including the arrest, conviction, and execution of Pyatakov. According to them, Ordzhonikidze questioned Pyatakov personally, and was convinced of his guilt. He drafted a speech for the February–March 1937 Central Committee Plenum that left no doubt of his determination to uproot saboteurs like Pyatakov from his commissariat. There allegedly exists a copy of the speech, which was delivered to the Plenum by Molotov after Ordzhonikidze's death. In general, Khlevniuk maintains that Ordzhonikidze may have been a soft Stalinist but a Stalinist nonetheless.

The story that Ordzhonikidze committed suicide was first mentioned by Nikita Khrushchev during his Secret Speech of February 25, 1956. Khrushchev made this claim again in his speech to the 22nd Party Congress in 1961. In his memoirs Khrushchev gives two contradictory sources for this story: Anastas Mikoyan, who supposedly told him after the war, and Georgy Malenkov, who supposedly told Khrushchev about this during the war itself.

Ordzhonikidze died during the night of February 17–18, 1937. His death was ruled the result of a heart attack.

On February 19, Pravda published a report signed by three doctors and by the People's Commissar for Health Grigory Kaminsky, affirming that Ordzhonikidze "died of paralysis of the heart." 

However, it is understood that he had been shot, apprently as an act of suicide.

Roy Medvedev reports a rumor that Ordzhonikidze's files and papers were later confiscated by Lavrentiy Beria, and that Ordzhonikidze's bodyguards and personal secretary, along with his brothers Ivan and Konstantin, were also arrested. In fact his brothers were arrested, but at different times and apparently unrelated to Ordzhonikidze's death.

Several towns and districts in the USSR were renamed Ordzhonikidze after him, such as Vladikavkaz in Russia and Vahdat in Tajikistan. Sokol plant, the main producer of MiG fighters, was named in honour of Sergo Ordzhonikidze, as well as the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI).


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