They dealt with the prepared by I.V. Stalin's decision to appoint PK Ponomarenko head of the Soviet government instead of himself. Benediktov said: "The document on the appointment of PK Ponomarenko as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was endorsed by several members of the Politburo, and only Stalin’s death prevented him from fulfilling his will."
It is obvious that the interviewer was not ready to accept this important and previously unknown, and, therefore, sensational information. Therefore, his question after these words of Benediktov was: “But what about the exposure of the personality cult?” Moreover, the society in the spring of 1989 was not ready for the perception of this information. Then the April events in Tbilisi, the “Gdlyan case” were in the focus of attention, as well as many issues that were tied to the first Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR opened in May. Although PK Ponomarenko died just four years before the publication of the magazine, about who the person who almost headed the Soviet government was, many had already forgotten.
How Kubanets stood at the head of Belarus
Panteleimon Kondratievich Ponomarenko was born 27 on April 1902, in the Kuban Cossack farm of the Shelkovsky district of the Belorechensk district. In the 16 years, Ponomarenko joined the Red Cossack detachment and in the 1918 year he participated in the battles for Yekaterinodar, then renamed Krasnodar.
After the war, having worked as a mechanic, Ponomarenko entered the Krasnodar Rabfak, which he graduated from in 1927 year. He continued his education at the Moscow Institute of Transportation Engineers, which he graduated from at 1932. At the end of the MIIT, Ponomarenko was mobilized into the Red Army, where he served for three years as commander in the Far East.
During the years of military service, Ponomarenko continued to pursue the profession he acquired, and together with V.A. Rakovym wrote the book "Electric Locomotive", which was published in 1936 year. In the same year, Ponomarenko headed a group at the All-Union Electrotechnical Institute that was engaged in the development of electrification of railways.
However, in 1938, Ponomarenko switched to party work.
By joining the CPSU (b) in 1925, Ponomarenko belonged to those 90%
the then communists who joined the party after the civil war. In the middle of 30's. almost all leadership positions were held by those who became members of the party before 1921 (they accounted for 80% of delegates to the XVII Party Congress). The vast majority of them joined the party in 1917 - 1920. Their level of education was low: in 1920, 5% had Bolsheviks higher education, 8% - secondary. 3% of respondents were illiterate. The rest (84%) had "lower", "home" and other types of out-of-school education.
Even after 10 years in office, the educational level of the ruling stratum was not high. Among the delegates of the XVI Party Congress (1930), only 4,4% had a higher education and 15,7% - secondary.
At the same time, having become the leaders of the country during the years of the Civil War, these people learned to lead the command methods characteristic of those years. At the same time, they held onto power, trying to stop the upward movement of younger and more educated communists who had experience in modern production. These circumstances largely explain the resistance of the overwhelming majority of old personnel to secret, equal, direct elections to the Soviets on the basis of the USSR Constitution of 1936. In addition, the initial elections envisaged the nomination of several candidates for one deputy seat. Under the pretext that the “internal enemies” will take advantage of the elections, the majority of the members of the Central Committee spoke at the end of June - early July of 1937 with demands for the deployment of mass repressions. In addition to the intimidation of the population, these repressions were used to eliminate potential competitors from among the younger and more educated communists. Therefore, among the victims of repression was a lot of party members.
Since, following each repressed communist, they excluded from the party "for losing political vigilance" those who gave him recommendations about joining the party, members of the party bureau, and even his relatives, the size of the party began to decline rapidly. At the January (1938) plenary session of the Central Committee, the report "On Party Organizational Errors in Expelling the Communists from the Party and Formally Bureaucratic Attitudes to the Appeals of the Excluded from the CPSU (B.) And Measures to Eliminate these Defects", made the head of the department of the governing bodies of the CPSU CPSU ( b) G.M. Malenkov. Together with the "elimination of deficiencies" they began to gradually eliminate the initiators of repression. In their place came the representatives of the younger generation of party members.
In January, 1938 P.K. Ponomarenko was recalled from a research institute and became an instructor of the Central Committee, and soon - Deputy G.M. Malenkov.
In the middle of June P.N. 1938. Ponomarenko was elected first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, and in March 1939 he headed the delegation of Belarus at the XVIII Congress of the CPSU (b). At the end of the congress he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the party. The report of the credentials committee G.M. Malenkov said that the delegates who joined the party before the 1921 of the year were only 19,4%, i.e., 4 times less than at the previous congress. Accordingly, the level of education of the participants of the congress increased: 26,5% had a higher education, and 46% had a secondary education.
Speaking from the rostrum of the congress, Ponomarenko spoke about the success of Belarus in economic development. He mentioned 1700 enterprises built during the implementation of the second five-year plan. Pointing out that swamps make up 24% of the republic’s territory, Ponomarenko at the same time declared that the peat industry had been "re-created" in Belarus, and high yields of rye, barley, oats and cabbage were grown in the "swamps". Ponomarenko drew attention to the increase in the population of the republic by 1,2 million people over two five-year plans, that is, by 25%.
At the same time, Ponomarenko remarked: "Sovetskaya Belorussia has a western neighbor", who "proved himself to be well-known proximity to the so-called Berlin-Rome axis" and "was dreaming about some lands lying nearby." Therefore, the head of Belarus recalled the defeat of the Polish, Swedish and French invaders, who "left their bones in the vast Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian lands."
The first clash with Khrushchev
Only six months after this speech, the world witnessed the collapse of the Polish state, entangled in its relations with Berlin, and on September 17, 1939, part of the Red Army crossed the state border of the USSR, occupying the lands of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. All the ethnographic maps of Europe clearly marked the boundaries of the settlement of Belarusians and Ukrainians, and therefore Ponomarenko, in his conversation with academician of the RAS G.A Kumanev, recalled: “I didn’t think that ... any complications could arise” while establishing “the administrative border between new areas of the country. "
However, the first secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, N.S. Khrushchev presented his project of demarcation between the new western lands of the country, according to which almost all of them went to the Ukrainian SSR. 22 November 1939 Khrushchev and Ponomarenko were summoned to the Kremlin to Stalin. Even before the meeting in the Stalinist office, Khrushchev attacked the project presented by Ponomarenko. “Who cooked this nonsense for you and how can you justify it ?!” he shouted.
Stalin accepted the two first secretaries, saying: "Wow, hetmans, what about the border? Have you got into a fight yet? Did you not start a war from abroad? Did you not concentrate troops? Or did you agree peacefully?"
After careful study and comparison of the two projects of the administrative border of the republics, Stalin supported mainly the proposal of Ponomarenko. True, Stalin made an amendment, having drawn in one place the border to the north of the one that was marked on the map of Ponomarenko. Stalin explained this by "the desire of Ukrainians to get some forest."
During the dinner, held after the meeting, Khrushchev did not hide his resentment. Ponomarenko recalled: "By the face, by Nikita Sergeyevich's mood, it was felt that he was not satisfied with this outcome, and this history he will remember for a long time. "
Three hours after the start of the war, Stalin phoned Ponomarenko. After hearing the message from the head of Belarus, Stalin said: “The information we receive from the district headquarters, now the front, is extremely insufficient. The headquarters knows the situation poorly. As for the measures outlined by you, they are generally correct. You will receive this very soon instructions of the Central Committee and the government. Your task is to reorganize all the work on a military basis decisively and in the shortest possible time ... You personally transfer your work to the Military Council of the Front. these. "
However, the rapid encirclement of parts of the Western Front, led by General of the Army D.I. Pavlov, and their defeat led to the fact that the capital of Belarus 28 June was captured by German troops. On the same day PK Ponomarenko decided to organize sabotage on the airfields occupied by the enemy and sent for this purpose 28 groups, totaling a thousand people.
A day later, on June 30, Ponomarenko signed a directive "On the transition to the underground work of party organizations in the areas occupied by the enemy." Simultaneously began the transfer of partisan detachments and sabotage groups to the rear of the enemy.
Only in the second half of 1941 were 437 guerrilla units and sabotage groups numbered 7234 people transferred to various regions of Belarus.
The active actions of the partisans created great difficulties for the enemy. German corporal M. Hron wrote in the summer of 1941 of the year: “While we reached Minsk, our motorcade stopped and 4 was fired from machine guns and rifles”. On the way, the Germans had to repair the blasted bridge, and then "such a firing began, which became frightening. It continued until we jumped out of the forest. Yet in our car there were four killed and three wounded ... Until we got to the front, we they didn’t stop fighting with these “invisibles.” Not far from Berezino, we had a form fight with them, as a result of which 40 people were out of order in our company. ”
Only in two summer months and only one Gomel partisan detachment "Bolshevik" destroyed 30 vehicles and around 350 Nazis. In September, partisans of the Rudnensky district organized on the Minsk-Bobruisk road a wreck of a German military echelon.
In October 1942, the Army Group Headquarters Center reported to the German Army Headquarters: "The number of raids on railways multiplies during the daytime. Partisans kill railway guards. Especially a large number of explosions occur on those sections of railways that are our main supply routes and supply. On September 22, the Polotsk-Smolensk section as a result of three raids was put out of operation at 21 an hour and then at 10 hours. September 23 a section of the Minsk-Orsha-Smolensk railway was put out of operation at 28 hours. and again on the 35 watch. "
From July to November 1942 alone, partisans derailed 597 trains in Belarus, 473 railroad and highway bridges, 855 motor vehicles, 24 were blown up and burned. tank and armored vehicles, 2220 German soldiers, officers and policemen were destroyed.
The future historian, General Kurt Tippelskirch, then served "in a huge, wooded and marshy area almost to Minsk." This area, according to him, "was controlled by large partisan detachments and was never cleared of them in all three years, and moreover was not occupied by German troops. All the ferries and roads in this difficult-to-reach area covered with almost primeval forests were destroyed." Soviet institutions operated there, collective farms remained, Soviet flags flew over the village council buildings, and Soviet newspapers were published. They were led by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus, headed by Ponomarenko.
USSR Chief Partisan
It is not surprising that when the Kremlin decided to create a single center for guerilla movement in the occupied territories, PK was involved in the development of this issue. Ponomarenko. As he recalled, "in December 1941 of the year and in the first half of 1942, the work on the creation of the Central and Republican headquarters began in full swing. But suddenly, on January 26, GM Malenkov informed me that the State Defense Committee decided to suspend all preparatory activities." Later it turned out that the adoption of an important decision was postponed on the initiative of Khrushchev and Beria. Only 30 of May of the 1942 of the year was a meeting of the State Defense Committee, at which a report was made on the creation of the Central Headquarters of the Partisan Movement (CSPM) Beria. He proposed to put V.T. Sergienko, who was subordinate to Khrushchev, as the leader of Ukraine, and Beria, as the leader of the NKVD of the USSR.
However, this proposal was rejected by Stalin. “And you don’t regret giving the Center such good Ukrainian personnel?” Stalin asked not without irony, addressing Khrushchev and Beria. Following this, in a more harsh tone, he said, looking only at Beria: “You have a narrowly departmental approach to this extremely important issue.
The partisan movement, the partisan struggle is a popular movement, a popular struggle. And the party should lead and lead this movement ... The head of the central headquarters of the partisan movement will be a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) "." With these words, - said Ponomarenko from the words of Mikoyan, who was present at this meeting of the T-bills, - Stalin took the blue pencil, circled my last name on the list and put the arrow in the first place. "
According to Ponomarenko, “Khrushchev and Beria, especially Khrushchev, were unhappy with this decision and my appointment, considering it“ the defeat of Ukraine and the NKVD ”... Khrushchev ... regarded it as“ humiliation of Ukraine or “Belarusian podkop” under it. ”
Alien to a narrowly departmental and limited local approach, the head of the Central Headquarters of the partisan movement Ponomarenko organized partisan operations in all the occupied territories. Under the leadership of the headquarters, a plan of hostilities was developed for partisan detachments under the command of S.А. Kovpak and A.N. Saburova. Coming out of the Bryansk forests of 26 in October of 1942, the detachments made an 700-kilometer raid along the enemy’s deep rear and left in the middle of November in Right-Bank Ukraine. Similar raids were carried out by the partisans of Kalinin, Smolensk, Leningrad regions, Karelia, and Latvia.
Partisans were particularly active as the Soviet troops approached. Speaking of hostilities during the complete lifting of the blockade of Leningrad, Marshal Meretskov wrote: "The offensive undertaken by Soviet troops in the last decade of January coincided with a series of strikes made by German partisans on the rear of the guerrilla movement." The partisan detachments attacked the enemy units, and sometimes took the cities before the Red Army units entered them. So during the offensive of the Karelian Front, the partisans liberated 11 settlements and kept them until the approach of the Red Army.
Partisans of Belarus were involved in the operation
"Bagration". PC. Ponomarenko, who was given the military rank of lieutenant general, became a member of the military council of the 1 of the Byelorussian Front. By that time, 150 partisan brigades and 49 of separate detachments, with a total number of over 143 thousand people, operated in the republic. On the eve of the start of the operation, the partisan detachments took action to destroy the enemy’s rail lines. Only on the night of June 20 did partisans blow up over 40 thousands of rails. As a result, rail transportation on many routes through Belarus was completely disabled and partially interrupted.
The role of Ponomarenko in guiding the partisan movement is now widely recognized. Therefore, on the day of his 100 anniversary of 27 in July of 2002 in the Museum on Poklonnaya Hill, he was remembered as the “Chief Partisan of the USSR”.
In July, 1944, after his return to Minsk, P.K. Ponomarenko was appointed chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of Belarus. He had to deal with the restoration of the devastated republic. 74% of the housing stock of Belarus was destroyed. In rural areas, 1 200 thousands of houses were burned, the invaders brought to Germany or destroyed agricultural equipment and 70% of livestock. They killed 2,2 million inhabitants and prisoners of war. Over 380 thousands of people were hijacked to Germany.
A year later, during a conversation with Stalin during his trip to Belarus to Potsdam for a conference, Ponomarenko said that the republic had restored 320 destroyed machine-tractor stations and managed to fulfill the plan of spring field work by 138%. Ponomarenko also drew attention to the "restoration of orphanages in conditions when there are more than 300 thousand orphans left in Belarus", on "10 thousands of restored and built schools where classes have already begun." Although debris was visible from the windows of the Stalinist carriage, Ponomarenko said that housing construction was underway, and "about 100 thousands of families of defenders of the Motherland have moved to new houses from now to new houses."
Ponomarenko discussed with Stalin and the future of the Belarusian capital. Saying that Minsk is “destroyed to the ground”, Ponomarenko asked: “Is it necessary to restore it as it was? You can ask any unrealistic plans if you do not build several large industrial enterprises in Minsk and around it. They will pull everything along and housing and landscaping. Streets will have to be made wider and more direct, and other indicators will have to be added to the layout of the city. Great restoration efforts will have a great goal. "
Stalin also agreed with Ponomarenko’s proposal to build a powerful tractor plant in Minsk instead of the aviation one that had been designed before the war. So many features of the economy of Belarus and the appearance of its capital were identified on the initiative of Ponomarenko.
About a year before this meeting, Ponomarenko defended the borders of Belarus, which have survived to the present day. In August 1944, he was called to Moscow G.M. Malenkov. He was told that a decision had been taken on the territory of Belarus to form the Polotsk Region and transfer it to the RSFSR.
Ponomarenko objected to this, but Malenkov said that the issue was practically resolved. It turned out that Malenkov’s proposal was supported by Stalin. At a meeting of the Politburo, Ponomarenko argued that Polotsk "in the minds of Belarusians, especially the intelligentsia, is the center of Belarusian culture." He mentioned the great Belarusian enlightener Francis Skaryna and other cultural figures of Belarus who were born in Polotsk or worked in this city. The main thing, according to Ponomarenko, was the fact that during the war the Belarusian people suffered "the hardest victims on the fronts, in partisan and underground struggle ... And by the end of the war, Belarus is geographically and in population reduced due to the withdrawal of a number of areas to the RSFSR ". Ponomarenko believed that "it will not be understood by the people and will offend many."
As Ponomarenko recalled, “Stalin frowned, there was a pause, everyone was silent and waited for his decision. Finally, he stood up, slowly went back and forth along the table, then stopped and said:“ Well, let's finish this question, the Polotsk region must be formed, but in the composition of Belarus. The people are good and really shouldn't be offended. "
According to Ponomarenko, "Malenkov, the main initiator of the project, was upset and gloomy ... NS Khrushchev was hiding his annoyance badly."
5 May 1948 was approved by a poll of members of the Central Committee Ponomarenko
secretary of this supreme organ of the party. He was charged with overseeing the work of government planning, finance, commerce and transport. With 1950, Mr. Ponomarenko became also the Minister of Procurement. Therefore, a significant part of Ponomarenko’s speech at the 19th CPSU Congress was devoted to the issues of harvesting agricultural products, achievements and shortcomings in this matter.
By that time, despite the influx into the leadership of more educated and trained people, only those who became a communist before 1921 were represented in the highest party organ - the Politburo. Only one of the top leadership members (GM Malenkov) had 11 higher education. Politburo members occupied managerial positions during or shortly after the Civil War, retaining the same level of training and leadership habits of those years.
At the insistence of Stalin, 36 members were elected to the newly created after the XIX Congress of the Presidium of the Central Committee. Almost all the "newcomers" had a higher education. For the first time in the history of the party, three doctors of science were elected to the leadership. Among the new members of the Presidium of the Central Committee was PK. Ponomarenko.
In his speech at the October plenum of the Central Committee 1952, held after the end of the congress, Stalin announced that he was going to resign. By this time, Stalin’s health condition, undermined by hard work during the war years, had greatly deteriorated. This is reflected in its performance. According to Molotov, he did not sign many government documents for a long time. Therefore, since February 1951, three members of the Politburo (GM Malenkov, L.P. Beria, N.A. Bulganin) received the right to sign various documents instead of Stalin.
However, Stalin did not intend to nominate any of these three instead of himself after his resignation.
As wrote A.I. Lukyanov, who for a long time was responsible for the secret archive of the Central Committee of the CPSU, in December 1952 a document was prepared, which he mentioned in his memoirs by I.A. Benedict back in 1980
According to A.I. Lukyanova, usually the draft decisions were signed first by the first persons in the leadership, and then below by those who stood. This time, the first signatures were put by the candidates for the Presidium, and then by the full members of this supreme body of the Central Committee. Lukyanov emphasized: "Under the draft decision, there were not only the signatures of four members of the Presidium of the Central Committee: G. M. Malenkov, L. P. Beria, N. A. Bulganin and N. S. Khrushchev."
The unusual order of collecting signatures was probably caused by the desire of Stalin to confront the fact of those who considered themselves the most likely successors of him in leading posts. As A.I. Mikoyan, at the end of 40's. While on vacation, Stalin said in the presence of members of the Politburo that, as Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, he could have been replaced by N.A. Voznesensky, and A.A. Kuznetsov. Soon, compromising materials were brought against both of them and Stalin, and then both leaders were accused of an anti-state conspiracy. It seems that Stalin took into account this lesson and tried to hide his preference for Ponomarenko. He was not proposed by Stalin to the presidium of the congress, and his speech did not seem to be a statement by the applicant for the highest government position.
Therefore, none of those who considered themselves the most likely successors of Stalin, did not expect that instead of them preference would be given to PK Ponomarenko. In addition, as follows from the above, Khrushchev, Beria, Malenkov had long-standing personal insults on Stalin’s elect.
Obviously, the decision on the new Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers was to be put on the agenda of the session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which was to open, as it was before, on the first Wednesday of March. In 1953, this Wednesday was on March 4. Three days before that, on Sunday, dinner was to be held at the Stalin dacha, to which its owner invited the leaders of the party, as well as his children, Vasily and Svetlana. Perhaps, during lunch, he was going to talk about his decision, already approved by the overwhelming majority of the members of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
However, late in the evening, Malenkov, Beria, Bulganin and Khrushchev came to Stalin to the dacha. They sat at the table for a long time, drinking low-alcoholic Georgian wine. Separated only at five o'clock in the morning of March 1. The guards testified that Stalin was in a good mood.
Further events are known.
Although it was not possible to detect the fact of Stalin’s violent death, it is obvious that the prohibition of G.M. Malenkova, L.P. Beria, N.A. Bulganin and N.S. Khrushchev to call doctors can only be regarded as a criminal offense connected with failure to provide assistance to a seriously ill person.
According to the guards, they knew that they had taken Stalin from the floor, where he was lying unconscious. “No need to panic! Stalin is asleep!” The party leaders announced to the guards. Doctors arrived at the paralyzed Stalin only the next morning.
Two hours before Stalin’s death on the evening of March 5, the party’s leadership was quick to make a decision on personnel changes in the government and the Presidium of the Central Committee. In fact, this meant the exclusion from the Presidium of virtually everyone who was introduced into its composition after the XIX Congress. From the Presidium was removed and P.K. Ponomarenko.
10 days after Stalin’s death, at the session of the USSR Supreme Soviet, the creation of a ministry of culture that had never existed before was announced. PK was appointed Minister Ponomarenko. Obviously, they tried to confuse those who heard something about the appointment of Ponomarenko as Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Less than a year, Ponomarenko was sent to Kazakhstan as the first secretary of the party’s Central Committee in this republic. However, he did not stay long in Alma-Ata either - until August 1955.
This was followed by the appointment of the ambassador to India, Nepal, Poland, Holland, the IAEA. Ponomarenko was not yet 60 years old when he was sent to retire.