Podgorny, Nikolai Viktorovich (nēkôlyĪˈ vēkˈtôrəvĭch pōdgôrˈnyē) [key], 1903–83, Soviet Communist leader, b. Ukraine. An engineer, trained at the Technological Institute of the Food Industry in Kiev, he became deputy commissar of the Ukrainian food industry before entering (1950) the official ranks of the Communist party. He was elected a member of the central committee of the party (1956) and of the presidium (1960, now the politburo). In 1965 he became chairman of the presidium, or chief of state, succeeding Anastas Mikoyan. He traveled widely and enhanced the position of president of the USSR. He was relieved of his chairmanship and removed from the politburo in a 1977 power struggle with Brezhnev, who wished to combine the posts of presidium chairman and party secretary-general.