Budenny, Semyon Mikhailovich (sĭmyôn mēkhĪˈləvĭch bōdyôˈnē) [key], 1883–1973, Russian marshal. A sergeant major in the czarist cavalry, he joined the Communist party in 1919, helped to organize the Soviet cavalry, and served in the Russian civil war (1918–20). He was made marshal in 1935. He commanded in the war against Finland (1940) and was made deputy commissar for defense. In World War II, he was placed in command of the southwest Soviet forces. After Stalin denied him permission to abandon Kiev in the face of an imminent onslaught by Hitler's troops in late 1941, Budenny led the Russian soldiers to a severe defeat. He was replaced in the field, but in 1953 became inspector of the cavalry.
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