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Mikhail Kalinin
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Mikhail Kalinin

Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin (Михаил Иванович Калинин) (November 19 (November 7, O.S), 1875 - June 3, 1946) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet politician.

Born to a peasant family in Verkhnyaya Troitsa village (Верхняя Троица), Tverskaya Gubernia, Russia, he moved to St. Petersburg in 1889 and became a metal worker. In 1898 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (РСДРП). From March 1919 to 1938 he was Chairman of the All-Union Executive Committee (ВЦИК, Vsesoyouznyi Tsentralnyi Ispolnitelnyi Komitet) and thus titular head of state. Kalinin was a candidate member of the Politburo from 1919 until 1925 when he became a full member. He remained on the body until 1946.

On March 5, 1940, members of Soviet politburo, including Kalinin, signed an order of execution (prepared by Lavrenty Beria) of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish prisoners of war. These killings were later known as the Katyn massacre.

He retired in 1946 and died shortly afterward in Moscow. The city of Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in his honor.

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