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Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko

party communist union leader

Chernenko, Konstantin Ustinovich (1911–85), leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1984–85). He joined the Communist Party in 1931 and became a protege of Leonid Brezhnev, thus rising in the hierarchy of the party. In 1978, Chernenko was elected a full member of the Politburo, the policymaking body of the Communist Party. He became general secretary of the Communist Party in Feb. of 1984. As its leader, Chernenko renewed arms control talks with the United States. He was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

See also: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

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