Sergei Kirov Asks Marshal Voroshilov For Advice, 1920

A Bolshevik Party member and organizer, Sergei Kirov was arrested several times before the  1917 October Revolution. He moved rapidly up the ranks and in 1926 Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the party, transferred Kirov to head the Leningrad party organization.  After loyally supporting Stalin against his opponents, he was elected in 1930 to full membership in the Politburo.  As party boss of Leningrad he spurred the expansion and modernization of that cities industries. Although Kirov's official image remained that of a staunch Stalinist, in the early 1930s he demonstrated increasing independence in directing the activities of his Leningrad organization and gradually began to assume a position of power nearly rivaling that of Stalin. In 1934, Kirov was assassinated at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad by a youthful party member who was shot along with 13 suspected accomplices. Subsequently, Stalin claimed to have discovered a widespread conspiracy of anti-Stalin communists who were planning to assassinate the entire Soviet leadership. He therefore launched an intense purge, executing hundreds of Leningrad citizens and sending thousands more to forced-labor camps for their alleged complicity in the plot.  In 1956, Nikita Khrushev in his "secret speech" strongly implied that Stalin himself engineered Kirov's assassination. In this Top-Secret 1920 message from Kirov to Marshal Klimenti Voroshilov, he asks for advice on what to tell the Baltic Fleet.


Kirov With Stalin And Anastas Mikoyan, 1930's

Kirov Delivering A Speech in Leningrad During The 1930's

Kirov's Body On View In the Kremlin, 1934

At Kirov's Funeral in The Kremlin, (Left to Right), Andrei Zhdanov, Vyacheslav Molotov, Stalin, Marshal Klimenti Voroshilov, 1934

Statue Of Kirov In Kirovskaya Square, St. Petersburg