Sergey Kirov

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Sergei Mironovich Kirov (Russian: Серге́й Миро́нович Ки́ров; 27 March [O.S. 15 March] 1886 – 1 December 1934), born Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov, was a prominent early Bolshevik leader in the Soviet Union. Kirov rose through the Communist Party ranks to become head of the Party organization in Leningrad. Kirov was seen as a focal point of opposition to the more extreme policies of Joseph Stalin, and as a counterbalance to the increasing concentration of power in Stalin's hands.[citation needed]

On the 1st of December 1934, Kirov was shot and killed by a gunman at his offices in the Smolny Institute. Blame for his assassination has been directly attributed to Stalin and its facilitation by the NKVD, but hard evidence for this claim remains elusive.[1] Kirov's death served as a pretext for Stalin's escalation of repression against dissident elements of the Party, culminating in the Great Purge of the late 1930s in which many of the Old Bolsheviks were arrested, expelled from the Party, and executed.[2] Complicity in Kirov's assassination was a common charge to which the accused confessed in the show trials of the era.

The cities of Kirov, Kirovohrad, Kirovakan, and Kirovabad were renamed in Kirov's honor after his assassination. Following the collapse of Soviet Union Kirovakan and Kirovabad returned to their original names: Vanadzor and Ganja, respectively.

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