Stanisław Kosior

Stanisław Vikentyevich Kosior (Russian: Станислав Викентьевич Косиор, 18 November 1889 – 26 February 1939), sometimes spelled Kossior, was one of three Kosior brothers, ethnically Polish Soviet politicians. He was First Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, deputy prime minister of the USSR and member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). He was executed during the Great Purge.

Stanisław Kosior
Stanislaw Kosior2.jpg
First Secretary of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine
In office
14 July 1928 – 27 January 1938
Preceded byLazar Kaganovich
Succeeded byNikita Khrushchev
In office
25 March 1920 – 17 October 1920
Preceded byNikolay Bestchetvertnoi
Succeeded byVyacheslav Molotov
In office
30 May 1919 – 10 December 1919
Preceded byGeorgiy Pyatakov
Succeeded byRafail Farbman
Candidate member of the 15th Politburo
In office
19 December 1927 – 13 July 1930
Full member of the 14th, 15th Secretariat
In office
1 January 1926 – 12 July 1928
Personal details
Stanislav Vikentyevich Kosior

(1889-11-18)18 November 1889
Węgrów, Siedlce Governorate, Russian Empire
Died26 February 1939(1939-02-26) (aged 49)
Moscow, Soviet Union
CitizenshipRussian Empire (subject)
Soviet Union
Political partyRSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1907–1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918-1938)
Spouse(s)Yelizaveta Sergeyevna
ChildrenTamara and Vladimir
Alma materSulin industrial elementary school


Stanisław Kosior was born in 1889 in Węgrów in the Siedlce Governorate of the Russian Empire, in the region of Podlachia, to a Polish family of humble factory workers. Because of poverty, he emigrated to Yuzovka (modern Donetsk), where he worked at a steel mill. In 1907 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and quickly became the head of the party's local branch. He was arrested and sacked from his job at the party later that year, and the following year felt obliged to leave the area due to police activity. He used connections to get re-appointed at the Sulin factory in 1909, but was soon arrested again and deported to the Pavlovsk mine.[1] In 1913 he was transferred to Moscow and then to Kyiv and Kharkiv, where he organized local Communist cells. In 1915 he was arrested by the Okhrana (the Russian secret police) and exiled to Siberia.

After the February Revolution Kosior moved to Petrograd, where he headed the local branch of the Bolsheviks and the Narva municipal committee. After the October Revolution Kosior moved to the German-controlled areas of the Ober-Ost and Ukraine, where he worked for the Bolshevik cause. After the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, he moved back to Russia, where in 1920 he became Secretary of the CPSU. In 1922 he became head of the Siberian branch of the CPSU. From 1925 to 1928 he was Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

From 1919, Kosior was for some time a member of Ukraine's Politburo. In 1928 he became General Secretary of the Ukrainian SSR Communist Party. Among his tasks was the collectivization of agriculture in Ukraine.

In 1930 Kosior was admitted to the Politburo of the CPSU. In 1935 he was awarded the Order of Lenin "for remarkable success in the field of agriculture".[2] In January 1938 he also became head of the Soviet Control Office and deputy prime minister of the USSR. This was the peak of his political success.

On 3 May 1938, during the Great Purge, Kosior was stripped of all Party posts and arrested by the NKVD. "Stanislav Kosior withstood brutal tortures [at the hands of the NKVD] but cracked when his sixteen-year-old daughter was brought into the room and raped in front of him."[3] On 26 February 1939 he was sentenced to death by shooting and executed the same day by General Vasili Blokhin.[citation needed] Other Politburo members purged in this period were Jānis Rudzutaks, Robert Eikhe, Vlas Chubar and Pavel Postyshev.[citation needed]

After Stalin's death, Kosior was rehabilitated by the Soviet government on 14 March 1956. On 13 January 2010, Kosior was condemned by the Court of Appeals of Ukraine as a political criminal for organizing mass famine in Ukraine in 1932–1933; the court quashed criminal proceedings due to his death.[4]


  1. ^ Haupt, Georges & Marie, Jean-Jacques (1974). Makers of the Russian revolution. London: George Allen & Unwin. p. 149. ISBN 0801408091.
  2. ^ Guide to the history of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union 1898 – 1991.
  3. ^ Figes, Orlando (2007) The Whisperers, Allen Lane, London, ISBN 0312428030, p. 248
  4. ^ Kyiv court accuses Stalin leadership of organizing famine, Kyiv Post (13 January 2010)

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