Leonid Brezhnev Reports To Nikita Khruschev On Agriculture, 1949
Brezhnev temporarily left the Soviet Army with the rank of Major General in August 1946. He had spent the entire war as a political commissar rather than a military commander. After working on reconstruction projects in Ukraine, he again became General Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk. In 1950, he became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union's highest legislative body. Later that year he was appointed Party First Secretary in the Moldavian SSR. In 1952, he had a meeting with Stalin after which Stalin promoted Brezhnev to the Communist Party's Central Committee as a candidate member of the Presidium (formerly the Politburo).
Stalin died in March 1953, and in the re-organisation that followed, the Presidium was abolished and a smaller Politburo reconstituted. Although Brezhnev was not made a Politburo member, he was appointed head of the Political Directorate of the Army and the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant-General, a very senior position. Brezhnev's patron Khrushchev succeeded Stalin as General Secretary, while Khrushchev's opponent Malenkov succeeded Stalin as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Brezhnev sided with Khrushchev against Malenkov, but only for several years. On 7 May 1955, Brezhnev was made General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR. On the surface, his brief was simple: to make the new lands agriculturally productive. In reality, Brezhnev became involved in the development of the Soviet missile and nuclear arms programs, including the Baykonur Cosmodrome. The initially successful Virgin Lands Campaign soon became unproductive and failed to solve the growing Soviet food crisis. Brezhnev was recalled to Moscow in 1956. The harvest in the years following the Virgin Lands Campaign was disappointing, which would have hurt his political career had he remained in Kazakhstan.
In this 1949 document (untranslated), Brezhnev provides his superior, Nikita Khruschev, with a list of meetings pertaining to agriculture with statistics regarding the yields from various collective farms. He signs the document in blue ink, "L. Brezhnev"