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Roman Andriyovych Rudenko (Ukrainian: Роман Андрійович Руденко, Russian: Рома́н Андре́евич Руде́нко, 30 July 1907 – 23 January 1981) was a Ukrainian Soviet lawyer.

Roman Rudenko
Рома́н Руде́нко
Rudenko on a 2015 Russian stamp
Procurator General of the Soviet Union
In office
1 July 1953 – 23 January 1981
PremierGeorgy Malenkov
Nikolai Bulganin
Nikita Khrushchev
Alexei Kosygin
Nikolai Tikhonov
Preceded byGregory Safonov
Succeeded byAlexander Rekunkov
Personal details
Born(1907-07-30)30 July 1907
Nosivka, Chernihiv Oblast, Russian Empire
Died23 January 1981(1981-01-23) (aged 73)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union
ProfessionLawyer, civil servant

Procurator-General of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1944 to 1953, Rudenko became Procurator-General of the entire Soviet Union after 1953. He is well known internationally for acting as chief prosecutor for the USSR at the 1946 trial of the major Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg. He was also chief prosecutor at the "Trial of the Sixteen" (Polish Underground leaders) held in Moscow the year before. At the time he served at Nuremberg, Rudenko held the rank of Lieutenant-General within the USSR Procuracy.

In 1961 Rudenko was elected to the CPSU Central Committee. In 1972 he was awarded the Soviet honorary title of Hero of Socialist Labor.

Ukraine to 1953Edit

Rudenko was one of the chief commandants of NKVD special camp Nr. 7, a former Nazi concentration camp, until its closure in 1950.[1] Of the 60,000 prisoners incarcerated there under his supervision, at least 12,000 died due to malnutrition and disease.[2]

In October 1951, as Procurator-General of the Ukrainian SSR, he personally led prosecution in the trial of OUN member Mykhailo Stakhur who in October 1949 killed the writer Yaroslav Halan.

Soviet Union, 1953-1981Edit

After the arrest of Lavrentiy Beria in 1953, Rudenko was judge at the closed trial at which Stalin's last secret police chief was sentenced to death.

In 1960, he acted as the chief prosecutor in U-2 pilot Gary Powers's espionage trial.[3]

As Procurator General of the Soviet Union, Rudenko played a major role in devising measures to deal with the growing dissident movement within the USSR.

In 1967, he and then KGB chairman Vladimir Semichastny submitted proposals as to how to deal with those defending the writers Yuli Daniel and Andrei Sinyavsky during and after their trial, without provoking a strong reaction abroad or within the country. This included mention of the "mental illness" suffered by several prominent dissidents.[4] One measure, proposed jointly with Yury Andropov in late 1972, was to reduce the number of arrests and convictions by reinforcing the issue of "prophylactic" warnings to individuals, cautioning them that their activities could lead to prosecution under Articles 70 and 1901 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.[5]


  1. ^ Utley, Freda (1949). "6. The Nuremberg Judgments". The High Cost of Vengeance. Henry Regnery Company. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  2. ^ "The Soviet special camp No.7 / No. 1 1945 – 1950". Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  3. ^ Powers, Francis (2004). Operation Overflight: A Memoir of the U-2 Incident. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 120. ISBN 9781574884227.
  4. ^ Joint KGB-Procurator-General's Memorandum to Central Committee, 27 January 1967 (Pb 32/5), Bukovsky Archive online.
  5. ^ Joint KGB-Procurator-General's Memorandum to Central Committee, 16 November 1972 (Pb 67/XVI), Bukovsky Archive online.

Further readingEdit