Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergey F. Akhromeyev during his visit to the United States in 1988
|Born||May 5, 1923|
|Died||August 24, 1991(aged 68)|
|Place of birth||Vindrey village, Torbeyevsky District, Mordovia, Soviet Union|
|Place of death||Moscow, Soviet Union|
|Years of service||1940-1991|
|Rank||Marshal of the Soviet Union|
|Commands held||Soviet General Staff, Far Eastern Military District|
World War II|
Soviet Afghan War
Order of the October Revolution
Order of the Patriotic War
Order of the Red Banner (2)
Order for Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR
Order of Sukhbaatar (Mongolia)
Sergey Fyodorovich Akhromeyev (Russian: Серге́й Фёдорович Ахроме́ев; May 5, 1923 – August 24, 1991) was a Soviet military figure, Hero of the Soviet Union (1982) and Marshal of the Soviet Union (1983).
Akhromeyev was a Naval Infantry junior officer during the German-Soviet War, serving with distinction on the Leningrad front. At one point he was ordered to guard and hold a road on which the German Army would be trying to advance. Despite a bloody battle, he was able to accomplish the task. Relating the story during a meal with Secretary of State George Shultz and Ambassador Ken Adelman in Reykjavik during the Reagan Administration, Akhromeyev told Shultz that his accomplishment was not only a great sign of his patriotism, as Shultz suggested, but also was because had he abandoned the road, Stalin would have had him shot.
In 1984-1988, Akhromeyev was Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. In that capacity he was heavily involved in the talks which brought an end to the Cold War. However, he grew increasingly dissatisfied with Mikhail Gorbachev's approach to reforming the military, in particular his insistence on dismantling the newest and most accurate ballistic missile in the Soviet Army — the SS-23 Spider - under the tenets of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and resigned from that position.
In March 1990, he was made Advisor to the President of the USSR on military affairs.
During the August Coup of 1991, Akhromeyev returned from a vacation in Sochi to offer his assistance to the coup leaders. Although he was never implicated in the coup, after its failure Akhromeyev committed suicide in his Kremlin office, hanging himself with a length of curtain cord. In addition to personal messages to his family, he left a note explaining that he could not continue living when the institutions to which he had devoted his life were disintegrating.
Shortly after his death, his grave was vandalized and his corpse stripped of the uniform in which it had been buried. The culprits were never found, and it is uncertain whether it was an act of pure desecration or if the grave-robbers hoped to sell the stolen uniform or its adornments for profit.
Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later the ambassador to the United Kingdom knew Marshal Akhromeyev and once called him a communist, a patriot, and a friend in that order.
Honours and awards
- Soviet awards
- Hero of the Soviet Union (7 May 1982)
- Four Orders of Lenin (23 February 1971, 21 February 1978, 28 April 1980, 7 May 1982)
- Order of the October Revolution (1 July 1988)
- Order of the Red Star, twice (15 September 1943, 30 December 1956)
- Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class (6 April 1985)
- Order for Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces of the USSR, 3rd class (30 April 1975)
- Lenin Prize (1980)
- Jubilee medal "For military prowess. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin"
- Medal for Combat Service
- Medal "For Distinction in Guarding the State Border of the USSR"
- Medal "For the Defence of Moscow"
- Medal "For the Defence of Leningrad"
- Medal "For the Defence of Stalingrad"
- Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Jubilee Medal "Forty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945"
- Medal "For Strengthening Military Cooperation"
- Jubilee Medal "30 Years of the Soviet Army and Navy"
- Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "60 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Jubilee Medal "70 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Medal "In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow"
- Medal "In Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of Leningrad"
- Medal "For Impeccable Service" 1st class
- Medal "Veteran of the Armed Forces of the USSR"
- Foreign Awards
- Order of Sukhbaatar (Mongolia, 1981)
- Medal "30 Years of Victory over Japan" (Mongolia, 1975)
- Medal "40 Years of Victory in Khalkhin-Gol" (Mongolia, 1979)
- Medal "60 Years of the Armed Forces of the MPR" (Mongolia, 1981)
- Scharnhorst Order (German Democratic Republic, 1983)
- Medal "Brotherhood in Arms", 1st class (GDR, 1980)
- Medal "30 Years of the People's Army of the GDR" (GDR, 1986)
- Order of Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria, 1988)
- Order "The People's Republic of Bulgaria", 1st class (Bulgaria, 1985)
- Order "September 9, 1944", 1st class with Swords (Bulgaria, 1974)
- Medal "For Strengthening brotherhood in arms" (Bulgaria, 1977)
- Medal "30 Years of Victory over Nazi Germany" (Bulgaria, 1975)
- Medal "40 Years of Victory over Fascism" (Bulgaria, 1985)
- Medal "90th anniversary of the birth of Georgi Dimitrov" (Bulgaria, 1974)
- Medal "100th Anniversary of Birth of Georgi Dimitrov" (Bulgaria, 1984)
- Medal "100 years of the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke" (Bulgaria, 1978)
- Order of the Red Banner (Czechoslovakia, 1982)
- Order of 25 February 1948 (Czechoslovakia, 1985)
- Medal "30 Years of the Slovak National Uprising" (Czechoslovakia, 1974)
- Medal "40 Years of the Slovak National Uprising" (Czechoslovakia, 1984)
- Order "For Military Merit" grade 1 (Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1985)
- Order of the Red Banner (Afghanistan, 1982)
- Order Saur Revolution (Afghanistan, 1984)
- Medal "From a grateful Afghan people" (Afghanistan, 1988)
- Medal "20 years of the Revolutionary Armed Forces" (Cuba, 1976)
- Medal "30 Years of Revolutionary Armed Forces" (Cuba, 1986)
- Medal "40 Years of Liberation of Korea" (DPRK, 1985)
- Medal "For Military Merit" (Romania, 1985)
- Medal "The Sino-Soviet friendship" (China, 1955)
- Medal "Brotherhood in Arms" (Poland, 1988)
- Jackson, Robert L. (August 16, 1991). "Friend's Suicide Saddens Retired Adm. Crowe - Military: 'We grew to be quite close,' former Joint Chiefs chairman says of Soviet Marshal Akhromeyev.". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1991-08-26/news/mn-938_1_former-joint-chiefs. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
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