Anastas Mikoyan

Soviet revolutionary and statesman (1895–1978)

Anastas Hovhannesi Mikoyan (25 November 1895 {O.S. 13 November} – 21 October 1978) was an Armenian Old Bolshevik and Soviet statesman during the Stalin and Khrushchev years. During Stalin's reign, he was awarded with several high governmental posts including Minister of Trade. After the dictator's death, he backed Nikita Khrushchev and his de-stalinization policy. Mikoyan's influence was retained under Brezhnev as he was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1964 until his retirement in 1965. During his tenure under Khrushchev, he was considered the second most powerful man in the Soviet Union. Mikoyan died on October 21, 1978, at the age of 82 from natural causes and was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Russia. Mikoyan received a total of six commendations of the Order of Lenin. His brother, Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan, was the co-founder and one of the primary designers of the Soviet MiG military aircraft.

We think we have got freedom of the press. When one millionaire has ten newspapers and ten million people have no newspapers — that is not freedom of the press.

Quotes edit

Stalin's methods did not help.
We are watching the Germans closely; we are not forgetting what they did to us during the war.
  • Like Lenin Comrade Stalin is a leader of a higher type. He is a mountain eagle, without fear in the fight, who boldly leads the bolshevik party on unexplored roads toward the total victory of Communism.
    • Statement of 13 March 1939, as quoted in "Facts on Communism" (1960) by the United States Congress, p. 157
  • If Soviet Union were to fire over this zone with nuclear weapons directed at France, or if, conversely, the Americans or the French were to fire over this territory with nuclear weapons towards Russia, the resulting radioactive clouds would be driven into this territory by the west winds from the one side, and the east winds from the other, and the Soviet Union could certainly not request the winds to keep to a specific path.
    • Statement to Konrad Adenauer (April 1958), as quoted in "Konrad Adenauer" (1995) by Hans-Peter Schwarz, p. 308
  • All peoples enjoy freedom, and freedom for the development of their culture... There is no Jewish problem in the Soviet Union at all... I have many friends who are Jews.
    • Statement of January 1959, as quoted in "The Soviet Government and the Jews 1948-1967" (1984), p. 66
  • Stalin's methods did not help.
    • As quoted in "One Man Alone: Richard Nixon" (1969) by Ralph de Toledano, p. 243
  • The principle of collective leadership is elementary for a proletarian party and for a party of the Lenin type. Nevertheless, we must emphasize this old truth, because for about 20 years we have had practically no collective leadership; there flourished the cult of the individual which was condemned first by Marx and then by Lenin. And this, of course, could not but reflect negatively on the position of the party and its work.
    • As quoted in "The World Almanac and Book of Facts" (1969), p. 159
  • We are watching the Germans closely; we are not forgetting what they did to us during the war.
    • As quoted in "Soviet Foreign Policy Toward Western Europe" (1978) by George Ginsburgs and Alvin Z. Rubinstein, p. 105
  • Ordinary people abroad take a better attitude toward men who come as guests with their wives. And if they are accompanied by other members of their family, that disposes people even more favorably toward them. Therefore, I would propose that Khrushchev take Nina Petrovna with him and also include in the delegation other members of his family. This will be well received by ordinary Americans, and that would be better for us.
    • As quoted in "Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, Vol. 3 : Statesman" (2007), by Nikita Khrushchev, p. 95
  • If Stalin could only see us now, with the American Ambassador here, he'd turn in his grave.
    • As quoted in "MAYDAY: Eisenhower, Khrushchev, and the U-2 Affair" (1986) by Michael R. Beschloss, p. 42
  • While Zinoviev is in the majority he is for iron discipline.... When he is in the minority... he is against it.
    • Statement about Grigory Zinoviev, as quoted in "The Soviet Colossus : History and Aftermath" (2001) by Michael Kort, p. 172

Traveling With Mikoyan Quote By Quote (1959) edit

It is better to confess to one's errors than to persist in them.
"Traveling With Mikoyan Quote By Quote" in Time magazine (26 January 1959)
  • We think we have got freedom of the press. When one millionaire has ten newspapers and ten million people have no newspapers—that is not freedom of the press.
  • We are accused of all sorts of terrible things, of us wanting to undermine your market, of dumping and so forth. There was no such talk before, but when you had your recession, there were people who wanted to put the whole blame on the Russians. All these fables of us being such terrible devils are not well founded. We want to trade in earnest and well.
  • One former member of [the antiparty] group [Molotov] became an ambassador. True, the country [Outer Mongolia] may not be large, but it is an ambassadorship. I do not want to mention names, but you have some former Secretaries of State. I do not know where they are today, but they are not ambassadors. A second member of the group [Kaganovich] is now head of the state asbestos trust. Is that punishment, to head up a big monopoly? … It is better to confess to one's errors than to persist in them.
  • We cannot, after all, ignore the fact that the cold war is being fostered from the U.S. No one will deny that American bases around our country are not being reduced; in fact they are being strengthened. All of this is bound to cause suspicion, and it is bound to cause the Soviet leaders to be cautious and vigilant.
  • There are no U.S. flyers in our country. The bodies were handed over to the Americans. We have no other bodies of flyers or living flyers in the Soviet Union. If we had, why should we try to hide them?

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