Voroshilov, Kliment Yefremovich (vôrəshēˈlŏf, Rus. klyĭmyĕntˈ yəfrĕmˈəvĭch vərəshēˈləf) [key], 1881–1969, Soviet military leader and public official. A Bolshevik from 1903, he was an active revolutionary prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and an outstanding Red Army commander in the civil war (1918–20) that followed it. As commissar for military and naval affairs, later defense (1925–40), Voroshilov helped reorganize the Red Army. In World War II he served as commander of the northwestern front. Voroshilov was a member of the politburo of the central committee of the Communist party from 1926 and a member of the Supreme Soviet from 1937. A close associate of Stalin, he became chairman of the presidium of the supreme council of the USSR (i.e., president of the USSR) on Stalin's death (1953). Implicated by Khrushchev in the 1957 "antiparty faction" against Khrushchev, he was forced to resign in 1960 and was dropped from the central committee in 1961. After Khrushchev's ouster he was reelected to the central committee (1966).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.