Zhdanov, Andrei Aleksandrovich (əndrāˈ əlyĭksänˈdrəvĭch zhdäˈnôf) [key], 1896–1948, Soviet Communist leader. A loyal supporter of Stalin, he was made (1934) secretary of the Leningrad Communist party and in 1939 became a full member of the politburo, the ruling body of the Communist party of the Soviet Union. As the party boss of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), he helped defend that city in the Finnish-Russian War (1939–40) and in World War II. After the war he was instrumental in formulating an aggressive, anti-Western foreign policy, and he organized (1947) the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), aimed at better coordination of Communist efforts in Europe. Zhdanov was largely responsible for the extreme nationalism and strict political control (known as Zhdanovism) of intellectuals and the arts in the postwar period. After his death in 1948, his Leningrad party organization was purged, ostensibly for its connections with Tito of Yugoslavia, but in fact to diminish the political influence of Leningrad relative to Moscow.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.