Moskalenko, Kirill Semyonovich.

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Moskalenko, Kirill Semyonovich, born, 11-05-1902 in the village of Grishino, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire (present-day Krasnoarmiisk Raion, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine), in a family of Ukrainian peasants. He attended a number of military academies and joined the Red Army  in 1920 and fought on various fronts during the Russian Civil War. During the Soviet-Finnish War, he was the commander of artillery for the 51st Rifle Division.

When Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941, Moskalenko was the commander of an anti-tank brigade. Between June, 1941, and March, 1942, Moskalenko first held command of the 1st Anti-Tank Brigade, 15th Rifle Corps, 6th Army, and later of the 6th Cavalry Corps. He was the commander of the newly reformed 38th Army from March to July, 1942. He was then appointed commander of the 1st Tank Army (July–August 1942) and the 1st Guards Army (August–October 1942) before finally receiving command of the 40th Army, which was separate from the Voronezh Front, a position he held until October, 1943. Moskalenko led his troops during the winter counteroffensive and during the Battle of Kursk. Because of his contributions to a large number of key battles, such as Moscow, Stalingrad, and Kursk, Moskalenko was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

From October 1943 until the end of the war, Moskalenko was the commander of the 38th Army. He led his troops as they helped drive the Germans from the Ukraine, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

After the war, Moskalenko served in various capacities in the Moscow Military District, before being appointed its Commanding General in 1953.

On 25-07-1953, the CPSU Secretary Nikita Khrushchev along with Marshals Georgy Zhukov and Kirill Moskalenko secretly arrested First Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR Laventri Beria during a joint CSPU Presidium and Cabinet meeting. While Zhukov could not carry a gun into the Kremlin, Moskalenko sneaked into the Kremlin with a gun to arrest Beria. During the next six months, he and Sergei Rudenko  investigated the “Beria Case”. In December, 1953, the Soviet Supreme Court found Beria guilty after a five-day proceeding. On December 23, Beria was shot. Another version states that Beria was shot by machine gun during the military assault on his residential compound in Moscow.

Death and burial ground of Moskalenko, Kirill Semyonovich.

 

As a result of this operation, on March 11, 1955, Moskalenko, along with five other commanders, was given the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union. Moskalenko remained in the Moscow Military District until 1960, when he was made Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces. In 1962, he was made an Inspector General of the Ministry of Defense. He died on June 17, 1985. His body was buried in Novodevichy Cemetery. My friend Radec Hroch visited the cemetery and sent me these great pictures

 

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