Kliment Voroshilov

Soviet marshal and politician

Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov (February 4 [O.S. January 23] 1881December 2, 1969), also known as Klim Voroshilov, was a Soviet military commander and politician. He was re-elected to the Central Committee in 1966 and was awarded a second medal of Hero of the Soviet Union 1968. He died in 1969 in Moscow and was buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.

Whoever can lift a rifle, should have one.


  • Whoever can lift a rifle, should have one.
    • Quoted in "Epoch's end" - Page 149 - by Tārāśaṅkara Bandyopādhyāẏa, Hirendranath Mukerjee - 1945
  • It's a bad business. There is no firm front. We have separate strongpoints in which our units are holding off the attacks of superior enemy forces. Communications with them are weak.
    • Quoted in "The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad" - Page 182 - by Harrison E. Salisbury - History - 2003
  • I personally believe that war is highly unlikely.
    • June 9, 1927. Quoted in "Forging Stalin's Army: Marshal Tukhachevsky and the Politics of Military Innovation" - Page 57 - by Sally W. Stoecker - 1999
  • It was necessary to close the front against Germany and that it (victory) depended on us whether it was to be closed or not.
    • Quoted in "The unmaking of Adolf Hitler" - Page 377 - by Eugene Davidson - 2004
  • If we enjoy the benefits of peace, it is only because we have an excellent armed force and a fine socialist economy. Let us exert all efforts so that our further development may be strong and mighty, so that our numerous enemies may think well and long before they decide to attack our fatherland, and so that if they attack, they will quickly regret it.
    • Quoted in "Pacific Affairs" - Page 51 - by University of British Columbia, Institute of Pacific Relations
  • The Soviet Union, true to the Leninist principles of respect for the rights and national independence of all peoples great or small, has always been and is guided in its relations with other countries by the principles of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression, non-intervention in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefits, peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation.
    • Quoted in "The Nineteen Days: A Broadcaster's Account of the Hungarian Revolution" - by George R. Urban - 1957

About Voroshilov

  • Voroshilov was a striking figure, with a great deal of influence among the workers, so that the degree of influence of the committee on the workers and its success as regards recruitment depended primarily on him.
    • Leopold H. Haimson
  • The engagements in which Zhukov won his reputation were so massive that, inevitably, many outstanding Soviet military men were involved- either under Zhukov's command or in coordinated and associated movements. There was then, and there continued for years to be, a raging competition for military glory in these engagements. Deep lines of political cleavage and quarrels also underlay the military disputes. Not only military glory was involved; political intrigue, intra-Party quarrels, high-level Kremlin politics were at issue. The principal military rivals of Zhukov were his fellow marshals, Ivan S. Konev, Rodion Malinovsky, V. I. Chuikov, A. I. Yeremenko, Semyon Timonshenko, and to a lesser extent men like K. K. Rokossovsky, V. D. Sokolovsky, and the staff chiefs, A. M. Vasilevsky, Boris Shaposhnikov and, later on, S. M. Shtemenko. Rivals of a different category were Stalin's cronies, men like Voroshilov and Budenny, and police generals such as L. Z. Mekhlis and G. I. Kulik.
    • Harrison E. Salisbury (editor), Introduction to Marshal Zhukov's Greatest Battles (New York: Harper & Row, 1969) by Georgy Zhukov, translated from Russian by Theodore Shabad, p. 14-15
  • When my neighbor, who spoke German tolerably well, introduced himself as a former Soviet general, I was somewhat surprised, even under these circumstances in which virtually nothing came as a surprise. ... He told me all kinds of stories, of which the best (one he claimed to have witnessed firsthand) was about Trotsky, who was irked by Voroshilov's arrogant behavior toward him. Trotsky took advantage of a council of war over which he was presiding in Petrograd and, raising his voice, addressed Voroshilov thus: "Commander of the Tsaritsyn front! Comrade Voroshilov!," then, as if giving orders, "ATTEN-TION!" At this, according to the story, Voroshilov, frozen on the spot, stood to attention, and this marked the end of his insolence. Se non è vero... ["Even if it's not true, it's a good story."]
    • André Weil, The Apprenticeship of a Mathematician (1992), p. 135
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