Not all the wives of the leaders of the USSR were in sight. Active women like Nadezhda Krupskaya, Nina Kukharchuk and Raisa Gorbacheva were interspersed with those whose names were not heard, and their faces were not visible.
In the USSR, unmarried men were not allowed to lead - in fact, because an unmarried man could not make a political career. First, the family was a guarantee that he had something to lose. Secondly, proof that a comrade is not homosexual (an amusing superstition, since gay men have taken wives for centuries to obtain heirs or for reasons of propriety).
It was far from always obvious who is now the wife of the next leader. If Nadezhda Krupskaya never left politics, Nina Kukharchuk starred next to Jacqueline Kennedy, and Raisa Gorbacheva, it seems, did not leave television screens at all, then not everyone could immediately answer who Andropov, Brezhnev and Stalin were married to. These "first ladies" of the state were not at all the first in terms of public attention - their places were taken by other women famous in their profession.
Yuri Andropov and his Tatyana Filippovna
The leader of the country, remembered both for his fight against absenteeism at work and the removal of eighteen ministers caught in large-scale bribery and theft, as well as for the severe persecution of dissidents and people involved in creativity and not being members of the trade unions of writers, artists and and so on, was married twice in his life. He left his first wife for the second, and it was with the second that he became Secretary General.
Yury Vladimirovich's wife's name was Tatyana Filippovna. In her nee Lebedeva, unlike the proud Kukharchuk, she took her husband's surname. Their eldest son Igor was born a month after the German invasion of the USSR, their daughter Irina was born after the war.
I must say, Andropov was distinguished by very soft, liberal views on the family, and his wife was hidden from the public not to "know her place." The fact is that in 1956, when the anti-Soviet uprising happened in Hungary, Andropov was the Soviet ambassador in this country. The uprising was far from peaceful, and Tatyana Filippovna was seriously damaged in her mind from the cruel scenes she saw. She spent the rest of her life on medication. It was impossible to present it to the public, nor to force it to look at crowds of people.
All their lives together, the man who will become famous as the most severe general secretary, took care of his wife, made sure that her life was filled with family warmth as much as possible and, when the wife ended up in the hospital during exacerbations, snatched time for regular visits.
Such nepotism was not observed in Konstantin Chernenko, who replaced Andropov for a short time. He constantly cheated on his wives and left them easily, until the party demanded that he settle down under the threat of a suspension of his career. His last wife was Anna Dmitrievna Lyubimova, the mother of his three children.
Leonid Brezhnev and his Victoria Petrovna
The wife of the secretary general who became famous for his passion for kisses had her own unpleasant secret then: she, apparently, was Jewish. However, after the founding of the modern state of Israel, designed to revive the ancient Jewish statehood and urgently gathering Jewish scientists and other specialists from all over the world, Jews in the USSR began to be a priori suspected of intending to escape to Israel with all state secrets and, figuratively speaking, state secrets spent on their education. attachments.
This determined the domestic policy of the USSR as, to a certain extent, anti-Semite. It became inconvenient for a party member, and even more so for the general secretary, to have a Jewish wife, and Victoria Petrovna had to emphasize all her life that she received a non-Orthodox name in honor of some acquaintances of the family, Poles: they say, there were a lot of Poles in Belgrade on the railway.
She personally took care of her husband's diet and wardrobe. Even when he had cooks appointed by position, she taught them Leonid Ilyich's favorite dishes and gave instructions on dietary restrictions. Home imprisonment was given to her, at least outwardly, easily: she was not at all interested in politics, she was indifferent to public events where she sometimes had to appear.
Victoria Petrovna survived her husband by thirteen years. Most of the state property, unlike the Gorbachevs, was taken away from her. Victoria Petrovna suffered from diabetes by that time, which limited her mobility. She spent the last years of her life alone and died after the collapse of the USSR. Perhaps, before that, she repeatedly recalled the brightest moments of her life. For example, how her, a first-year student of a technical school, a future nurse, was invited to a dance by a pretty bumpkin Lenya.
Joseph Stalin and his Nadezhda Sergeevna
Judging by the circumstances under which Stalin conceived children, he was drawn to girls of middle adolescence. Nadezhda Alliluyeva, who is considered Stalin's main love and was his wife when he became the head of the country, was no exception. Stalin had an affair with her when she was sixteen.
Unusualness of the novel was given by the fact that Iosif Vissarionovich was once supposedly the lover of Nadezhda Sergeevna's mother and in this capacity spent time with little Nadia. Once he saved her when she was drowning. According to legend, it was this memory that made sixteen-year-old Nadezhda fall in love without memory when she met Joseph again in her life. He was then thirty-seven, and he returned from Siberia, where with another teenage girl he had two children from her fourteenth birthday.
In the fashion of the time, Nadezhda retained her maiden name. In the twenties, she had a son and a daughter. The daughter later recalled that her mother often left them for nannies, because her father wanted her to be there all the time, at all feasts. There is a version that out of jealousy for children, despite the desire of Nadezhda Sergeevna to give birth again, he forcibly sent her to abortions.
In 1932, Nadezhda Sergeevna committed suicide by shooting herself in the heart. Rumors spread that she did this after a quarrel with her husband. However, the adopted son, who grew up in the Stalin family, claimed that the main reason for Alliluyeva's instability was the most excruciating headaches that she, for reasons unknown to him, suffered in the last years of her life. A quarrel could only serve as a trigger.
In public life, Alliluyeva practically did not participate in any way: Stalin did not want to start a second Krupskaya next to him, and Nadezhda Sergeevna herself knew little about political intrigues. Once she tried to save eight of her former classmates who were arrested in the thirties: she called Yagoda demanding to let them go. Yagoda calmly replied that they had just died from some kind of infectious disease right in prison.
After Alliluyeva's death, Stalin often visited his wife's grave. Their daughter claimed that the first days after the funeral, he himself thought about suicide. She also testifies that his mother left him a farewell letter full of reproaches, and his father immediately destroyed this letter.