Zinovev, Grigorii

Zinovev, Grigorii [Зиновьев, Григорий; Zinovjev, Grigorij; pseudonym of Ovsel Radomyslsky], b 23 September 1883 in Yelysavethrad, Kherson gubernia, d 25 August 1936 in Moscow. Revolutionary and Soviet government official. A follower of Vladimir Lenin from 1903, he was a member of the first Politburo of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik). As general secretary of the Communist International (1919–26) he opposed giving the Borotbists and the Ukrainian Communist party the status of separate members and succeeded in forcing them to join the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine. In 1923, when Lenin became incapacitated by a stroke, Zinovev, Joseph Stalin, and L. Kamenev formed a triumvirate that ruled the Party and state until 1926. The United Opposition of Zinovev and Leon Trotsky against Stalin was defeated quickly, and the two leaders had been expelled from the Party by the end of 1927. Zinovev recanted and was readmitted to the Party, only to be expelled again in 1932. After S. Kirov’s murder in December 1934, Zinovev was imprisoned on charges of complicity. In 1936 he was tried for treason, condemned, and executed.

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

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