Grechko, Andrei Antonovich (əndrāˈ əntôˈnəvĭch grĕchˈkō) [key], 1903–76, Soviet army officer and minister of defense. As a World War II commander he took part in the liberation of the Caucasus, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. In 1953 he assumed command of Soviet troops in East Germany, suppressing the East German workers' rebellion of that same year. He became first deputy minister of defense in 1957, under the ailing Marshal Malinovsky. Assuming the top defense post in 1967, he deftly organized the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops (see Warsaw Treaty Organization) to suppress liberalization in that country. In 1973 he became a member of the Politburo. He is credited with modernizing the Soviet army.
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