Soviet Union: The Civilian Soldier Fades Away

Dmitri Ustinov: 1908-1984

His khaki uniform, decorated with rows of multicolored ribbons, always set him apart from other members of the Politburo at Kremlin receptions. With the notable exception of Leonid Brezhnev, no one else in that select group could have boasted, as he could, of being a marshal of the Soviet armed forces. But for all his military trappings, Defense Minister Dmitri Fedorovich Ustinov, whose death last week at the age of 76 opened up a key post in the Kremlin hierarchy, was a civilian engineer who had never commanded soldiers on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!