Grigory Zinoviev

Zinoviev in 1920 Grigory Yevseyevich Zinoviev. Transliterated ''Grigorii Evseevich Zinov'ev'' according to the Library of Congress system.}} (born Hirsch Apfelbaum, – 25 August 1936), known also under the name Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky, was a Russian revolutionary and politician. He was an Old Bolshevik and a close associate of Vladimir Lenin. During the 1920s, Zinoviev was one of the most influential figures in the Soviet leadership and the chairman of the Communist International.

Born in Ukraine to a Jewish family, Zinoviev joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) in 1901. Following the RSDLP ideological split, he became one of the earliest members of the Bolshevik faction. Zinoviev engaged in revolutionary activities both in Russia and abroad and was a key supporter of Lenin, but disgreed with him over Soviet strategies during the October Revolution of 1917. Nevertheless, he remained an important figure in the Bolshevik echelon and was appointed chairman of the Petrograd Soviet in 1917 and head of the Communist International in 1919. In the latter capacity, Zinoviev was the architect of several failed Communist attempts to seize power in Germany during the early 1920s. He was also remembered as the alleged author of the Zinoviev letter to British communists, urging revolution, and published just before the 1924 general election. The message is widely dismissed as a fabrication.

During Lenin's final illness in 1923–24, Zinoviev allied with Lev Kamenev and Joseph Stalin, leading to the eventual downfall of Leon Trotsky. Stalin subsequently turned against his former allies and ousted Zinoviev from the Soviet political leadership in 1925. He was expelled from the party three times (in 1927, 1932 and 1934), after which he joined a secret bloc with Trotsky against Stalin. Zinoviev was arrested in 1935 following the assassination of Sergei Kirov and made a chief defendant in the August 1936 Trial of the Sixteen, which marked the start of the Great Purge. He was found guilty and executed the day after his conviction. Provided by Wikipedia