Pidhirny, Mykola

Pidhirny, Mykola [Підгірний, Микола; Pidhirnyj. Russian: Подгорний, Николай; Podgorny, Nikolai], b 18 February 1903 in Karlivka, Kostiantynohrad county, Poltava gubernia, d 11 January 1983 in Moscow. Soviet official and Communist Party leader. A graduate of the Kyiv Technological Institute of the Food Industry (1930), he worked as an engineer at sugar refineries in Ukraine and rose to the position of deputy people's commissar of the food industry in Ukraine (1939–40, 1944–6) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1940–2). At the same time (1944–6) he oversaw the resettlement of Ukrainians from the borderlands retained by Poland. After serving as permanent representative of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR in Moscow (1946–50) he advanced quickly in the Party from the positions of first (1950–3) and second (1953–7) secretary of the Kharkiv Oblast Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine to those of second (1953–7) and first (1957–63) secretary of the CC CPU. In spite of Pidhirny’s failure to increase farm production Nikita Khrushchev promoted him to the Presidium of the CC CPSU (1960–77) and to the office of secretary of the CC CPSU (1963–5). After helping Leonid Brezhnev to overthrow Khrushchev Pidhirny was removed from the center of power by being appointed chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (1965) and member of the CC CPSU Politburo (1966). In 1977 he was retired from those positions.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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