Rykov, Aleksey Ivanovich (əlyĭksyāˈ ēväˈnəvĭch rēˈkôf) [key], 1881–1938, Russian revolutionary and Communist leader. A Bolshevik, he became commissar for the interior after the October Revolution of 1917 and a member of the Politburo in 1922. On Lenin's death (1924) he succeeded as chairman of the council of commissars (i.e., premier of the USSR). He joined Stalin in the 1926 polemical struggle which saw the humbling of Zinoviev and Kamenev and the exile of Trotsky. Rykov was in turn accused (1929) of "rightist deviation" when Stalin switched camps and advocated a drastic collectivization program, which Rykov had opposed. Rykov was forced to admit his "errors" and was expelled from the Politburo; Molotov succeeded him as premier. Rykov received a secondary post in 1931. He was a victim of the party purges of the 1930s and was executed after a public trial for treason.
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