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Vyacheslav Molotov

Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov (February 25, 1890 - November 8, 1986) was a Soviet politician. Molotov and Stalin himself were the only senior revolutionary Bolsheviks to survive the Great Purges of the 1930s.

Molotov (left) and Stalin at the Yalta Conference
He was born in Kukarka, Russia, as Vyacheslav Scriabin (he was a relative of the composer Alexander Scriabin). Molotov in 1906 joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He was, along with Alexander Shlyapnikov, the senior Bolshevik in Petrograd at the time of the February Revolution as figures such as Lenin were still in exile. After what appears to be an odyssey through the landscape of geographic and political Russia including an important role in the October Revolution and editing the newspaper Pravda for a while, he started working under Joseph Stalin in 1922. At the eve of World War II, he became People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs (Foreign Minister). After British-French-Soviet talks held in August of 1939 failed, he negotiated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with his German counterpart, Joachim von Ribbentrop.

Molotov died at the age of 96 on November 8, 1986, in Moscow, USSR, two years after the Communist Party rehabilitated him for his involvement in an attempted coup in 1957. Molotov was the last surviving major participant in the events of 1917.

Soldiers of the Finnish Army mockingly named the Molotov cocktail after him, as Molotov served as the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs during the time of the Russo-Finnish War (1939-1940).