Dmitry Ustinov, Soviet Defence Minister

Dmitry Ustinov, Soviet Defence Minister

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dmitry Feodorovich Ustinov (1908-84), Russian Minister of Defence. Ustnov was born at Samara into a working class family. He joined the Communist Party in 1927 and was trained as a mechanical engineer and worked in the arms industry. In World War 2 he supervised the transfer of the Soviet arms industries from Leningrad to east of the Ural mountains to take them beyond the range of German bombers. After the war he was a key figure in capturing German missile technology and engineers. As deputy premier of the Ministry of Defence Industry in the 1950s, Ustinov directed much of the industrial effort behind the Soviet space programme. An astute politician, he managed to survive numerous changes of leadership, including Stalin, Krushchev and Brezhnev, and in 1976 was appointed Minister of Defence and Marshal of the Soviet Union. Photographed in 1979.

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