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Dmitry Yazov
Дми́трий Я́зов
Marshal Dmitry Yazov.jpg
Marshal Yazov in 2013
Minister of Defence
In office
30 May 1987 – 28 August 1991
PremierNikolai Ryzhkov
Valentin Pavlov
Preceded bySergei Sokolov
Succeeded byYevgeny Shaposhnikov
Personal details
Born (1924-11-08) 8 November 1924 (age 95)
Yazovo, Omsk Oblast, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Other political
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1941-1991)
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Branch/serviceSoviet Army
Russian Ground Forces
Years of service1941–1991
RankMarshal of the Soviet Union
Battles/warsWorld War II
Soviet–Afghan War

Dmitry Timofeyevich Yazov (Russian: Дми́трий Тимофе́евич Я́зов; born 8 November 1924) is the last Marshal of the Soviet Union to be appointed (on 28 April 1990) before the fall of the Soviet Union. He is the only Marshal of the Soviet Union to be born in Siberia. A veteran of the Great Patriotic War, Yazov is the last surviving Soviet Marshal and the only military marshal not to have been awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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When Mikhail Gorbachev assumed power in 1985, his goal was to bring the Soviet Union out of its economic and political deadlock, while still preserving socialism. Instead, he unintentionally ignited the process that led to the collapse of the whole Soviet system. BACKGROUND Mikhail Gorbachev was only fifty-four when he was elected General Secretary in March 1985. He brought fresh air and new thinking to the party. PERESTROIKA AND GLASNOST The Soviet model of a planned economy had completely fallen into crisis, and Gorbachev was determined to launch large-scale reform campaigns: Perestroika (restructuring), and Glasnost (openness). FOREIGN POLICY New economic reforms demanded funds and Russia could no longer keep up with the United States in the global arms race. Gorbachev proposed to end the arms race and establish warmer diplomatic relations. For this, he repeatedly met with President Ronald Reagan and relations did, indeed, relax. He ended the Afghan War and began pulling Soviet troops out of Eastern Europe. On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was taken down by the public during a mass demonstration. Meanwhile, other Eastern Bloc states also became democracies, which Gorbachev could not help but accept. POILITICAL REFORMS In 1989, Gorbachev’s reforms introduced presidential power and the first free elections in Russia in seventy-two years. The newly elected Congress of People’s Deputies assembled, for the first time, on 25 May 1989. REBELLIONS But Gorbachev’s economic reforms did not work, and the living standard of people worsened. In many Soviet Republics, the struggle for autonomy, and then for independence, gathered momentum. Moscow sent tanks to put down popular movements, but it was already too late. It became more and more evident that the Soviet Union was in itself a relic of the past. Gorbachev was juggling between the reformists and the reactionaries, and he was preparing the new Union Treaty to save the empire. Meanwhile, the importance of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic, and its president, Boris Yeltsin was growing. COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION On 19 August 1991, the August Putsch began. The reactionary group, led by Vladimir Kryuchkov, Dmitry Yazov, and Gennady Yanayev locked Gorbachev in his Crimean estate, and tried to establish power under the State Committee on the State of Emergency. Tanks were sent to Moscow, but people blocked their way and Boris Yeltsin took control. On his return, Gorbachev lost most of his authority to Yeltsin. On 8 December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk of Ukraine, and Stanislav Shushkevich of Belarus signed the creation treaty of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), without informing Gorbachev beforehand. The Soviet Union was officially dissolved on 26 December 1991.



Born in the village of Yazovo, Krestinsky volost, Kalachinsky district, Omsk province. His father Yazov Timofey Yakovlevich (died in 1933), his mother was Maria Fedoseevna Yazova, both peasants. The family had four children.

Minister of Defense Dmitry Yazov during a visit to the United States in 1989
Minister of Defense Dmitry Yazov during a visit to the United States in 1989

World War II

Joined the Red Army voluntarily in November 1941, a seventeen-year-old young man, not having time to finish high school. When he joined the army, he attributed to himself a year. He said that he was born in 1923.[1] He was enrolled in training at the Moscow Higher Military Command School (Evacuated due to the Battle of Moscow to Novosibirsk from November 2, 1941 to January 28, 1942) and graduated from it in June 1942.[2][3] He received a school graduation certificate only in 1953, already being a major.

On the fronts of the war

From August 1942 He fought on the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts as commander of a rifle platoon and commander of a rifle company, platoon commander of front-line courses of junior lieutenants of the 483rd Rifle Regiment of the 177th Rifle Division of the Leningrad Front. He participated in the battles of the Siege of Leningrad, in the offensive operations of Soviet troops in the Baltic states, in the blockade of the Courland Pocket. In 1944 he joined the CPSU.

After the war

In 1971–1973, he commanded the 32nd Army Corps in the Crimean region of the Odessa Military District. In 1979–1980, Yazov was commander of the Central Group of Forces in Czechoslovakia. He was commanding the Far East Military District in the northern summer of 1986, when, according to Time magazine, he made a favourable impression on General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to later promotions. He held the post of Soviet Defence Minister from May 1987. From June 1987 to July 1990, Yazov was a candidate member of the Politburo.[4] He was a key part of Black January. Yazov was responsible for deployment of Russian OMON commando units to Latvia and Lithuania in early 1991. During the August Coup of 1991, Yazov was a member of the State Emergency Committee, for which he was removed from his post by Gorbachev. During the Yeltsin period, Yazov was prosecuted and acquitted in 1994.

Yazov spent 18 months in Matrosskaya Tishina. According to the magazine Vlast' No. 41(85) of 14 October 1991 "...from the prison contacted the President with a recorded video message, where repented and called himself "an old fool"". Yazov denies ever doing so. He did accept the amnesty offered by Yeltsin, stating that he was not guilty. He was dismissed from the military service by Presidential Order and awarded a ceremonial weapon. He was awarded an order of Honor by the President of Russian Federation. Yazov later worked as a military adviser at the General Staff Academy.

Despite his selection by Gorbachev for the Defence Minister's position, William Odom, in his book The Collapse of the Soviet Military, repeats Alexander Yakovlev's description of Yazov as a "mediocre officer", "fit to command a division but nothing higher".[5] Odom suggests Gorbachev was only looking for "careerists who would follow orders, any orders".

In March 2019, Yazov was tried in absentia and convicted of war crimes by a Lithuanian court for his role in the military crackdown in Lithuania in January 1991, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Russia denounced the trial as politically motivated and refused to extradite Yazov.[6]

In popular culture

Yazov appears in Tom Clancy's Cold War espionage thriller The Cardinal of the Kremlin in his capacity as Defence Minister and the superior of the titular spy Colonel Filitov.

Awards and honors

President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Yazov on his 90th birthday, 8 November 2014
President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with Yazov on his 90th birthday, 8 November 2014

Soviet Union

Russian Federation




  1. ^ Последний маршал СССР Язов оценил реформы Горбачева, Сердюкова и Шойгу.// МК, 8-14 ноября 2013 г.
  2. ^ "Выпуск 1942'го года". Фото кремлёвцев по выпускам. МосВОКУ им. Верховного Совета РСФСР. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  3. ^ "Краткая история училища". МосВОКУ им. Верховного Совета РСФСР. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
  4. ^ "Dmitry Yazov". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  5. ^ Odom, 1998, p. 111
  6. ^ "Lithuania convicts Russians of war crimes under Soviet rule". BBC News. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Sergei Sokolov
Minister of Defence of Soviet Union
Succeeded by
Yevgeny Shaposhnikov
This page was last edited on 14 January 2020, at 12:36
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