free download PNG images :Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Brezhnev (December 19, 1906 (operating system on December 6) - November 10, 1982) was a Ukrainian Soviet statesman. He served as general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, leading the Soviet Union (CPSU), and served as its president until his death and funeral in 1982. His 18 year term as general secretary is second only to that of Joseph Stalin. During Brezhnev's reign, the Soviet Union's global influence grew dramatically, partly because of the Soviet expansion. His tenure as leader also marked the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union.

Brezhnev was born in 1906 in Kamenskaya (now kamansk in Ukraine), a family of Russian workers. After graduating from kamenskaye University of metallurgical technology, he became a metallurgical engineer in the Ukrainian steel industry. He joined the Communist Youth League in 1923 and became an active member of the Soviet Communist Party in 1929. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was conscripted and left the army as a major general in 1946. In 1952, Brezhnev was promoted to a member of the Central Committee, and in 1957 he was promoted to a full member of the Political Bureau. In 1964, he took over Nikita Khrushchev as the first Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

As the leader of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev's conservative attitude and the cautious attitude of reaching consensus within the Politburo led to the sustained political stability within the party and the country. However, his hostility to reform and tolerance of corruption ushered in a period of socio-economic recession, which was called Brezhnev stagnation period. On the world stage, Brezhnev vigorously promoted the adoption of mitigation measures to ease tensions and promote economic cooperation between the two cold war superpowers. Despite this diplomatic stance, the Brezhnev regime has presided over a wide range of military interventionism and large-scale arms building, which eventually constitutes 12.5% of the country's GDP.

After years of deteriorating health, Brezhnev died on November 10, 1982, and was quickly appointed general secretary by Yuri Andropov. After coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced the general impotence and rigidity of his regime, and then supervised the liberalization steps of the Soviet Union.