Zhukov, Georgii

Zhukov, Georgii [Жуков, Георгий; Žukov, Georgij], b 1 December 1896 in Strelkovka, Kaluga gubernia, Russian Empire, d 18 June 1974 in Moscow. Marshal of the Soviet Union. He commanded the Soviet troops fighting the Japanese in Mongolia in 1939 and then was in charge of the Kyiv Military District. In 1941 Joseph Stalin selected him to be chief of general staff and deputy defense minister. When Gen N. Vatutin was mortally wounded by a unit of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Zhukov was given command of the First Ukrainian Front (March–May 1944). He formally accepted Germany’s surrender and became the supreme Soviet commander in Germany. In 1946 he was commander of Soviet land forces and deputy defense minister. Having played an important role in the power struggle after Stalin’s death, he was forced into retirement in 1957.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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