Vishinsky or Vyshinsky, Andrei Yanuarievich (both: əndrāˈ yənōärˈyĭvĭch vĭshēnˈskē) [key], 1883–1954, Soviet diplomat and jurist. He studied law at the Univ. of Kiev, early entered the Social Democratic party, and fought in the Bolshevik ranks during the civil war (1918–20). Professor of law and later rector at Moscow State Univ., he became deputy state prosecutor (1933) and chief prosecutor (1935) of the USSR. Vishinsky served as Stalin's legal aide in the Communist party purges, and he was chief prosecutor at the Moscow treason trials (1936–38). In 1938 he was appointed vice premier. With the outbreak of World War II, Vishinsky became deputy commissar for foreign affairs (1940–49) and represented the Soviet Union on Allied commissions for the Mediterranean and Italy. He later (1944–45) represented Soviet interests in the Balkans, forcing King Michael of Romania to appoint a pro-Communist as premier by threatening military reprisals. As a major Soviet figure in the United Nations, he acquired a reputation for biting wit as well as for the violence of his attacks on the United States. He was foreign minister of the USSR from 1949 until 1953, when he was succeeded by Molotov and became permanent Soviet delegate to the United Nations. He died in New York City.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.