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Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov
Birth: Sep. 26, 1937
Death: Mar. 30, 2003

Soviet Politician, Economist, Conspirator. He served as Prime Minister of the Soviet Union for seven months in 1991. Pavlov was one of the "Gang of Eight", a group of hardline communists responsible for the 1991 coup attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The unsuccessful plot triggered the demise of the USSR. Born in Moscow, Pavlov earned a doctorate in economics at the city's Institute of Finance and began his career in 1959 in the Soviet Finance Ministry. He joined the Communist Party in 1962. From the late 1970s he steadily rose in the Kremlin bureaucracy, serving as financial head of the State Planning Committee (1979 to 1986), Deputy Finance Minister (1986), Chairman of the State Committee for Prices (1986 to 1989), and Finance Minister of the USSR (1989 to 1991). In the latter capacity he tried to counter growing budget deficits by printing more currency, with a predictable rise in inflation. In January 1991, Gorbachev appointed Pavlov Prime Minister in a compromise between hardliners and liberals, though once in office Pavlov wasted no time revealing his position. Claiming that Western banks and the CIA were undermining the Soviet economy, he ordered the immediate withdrawal of 80 billion rubles in old bank notes from circulation, to be exchanged for new currency. With only a three-day window given for the exchange, this drastic attempt at monetary reform proved a spectacular failure; millions of citizens lost their savings and inflation skyrocketed. Undeterred, Pavlov demanded emergency powers for himself and other ministers to deal with the crisis. He won considerable support at a June 1991 address to the Supreme Soviet, though by then he knew that Gorbachev intended to replace him. Pavlov became an early member of a cabal of high-ranking officials styling themselves the "State Committee of the State of Emergency", and plotted to help them usurp government control. On August 19, 1991, they launched the coup in Moscow while Gorbachev was away on vacation, declaring at a press conference that he could no longer lead due to "health issues". Ironically, Pavlov disappeared from the event for the same reason. It was apparent he had been drinking heavily, and that evening he was dispatched to his country house to recover from the effects of either alcohol poisoning or hypertension. His fellow plotters were lamed by their lack of decisive action. They failed to arrest several key reformist leaders - most crucially, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin, who rallied opposition to the takeover and urged a general strike throughout Russia. Planned military support for the putschists was withdrawn in the face of massive civil resistance and by August 21 the coup had fallen apart. Most agree that the "Gang of Eight" hastened the downfall of the regime they had hoped to save. Although Gorbachev returned to office, the failed coup enabled Yeltsin to seize autonomous power within Russia and destabilized the already shaky Soviet power structure beyond repair. Gorbachev resigned as USSR President on December 25, 1991, and one day later the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist. All but one of the conspirators were charged with treason (Interior Minister Boris Pugo committed suicide to avoid arrest) but none would be convicted. Pavlov was released from custody on bail in January 1993 and granted amnesty in 1994. His later years were spent in international banking and defending his role in the coup. In 2001 Pavlov praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring, "The current leadership is making efforts to restore control over the country, as we tried to do in the Soviet Union in 1991". He died at 65 from a stroke. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Pyatnitskoye Cemetery
Moscow
Moscow Federal City, Russian Federation
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Erik Lander
Record added: Apr 01, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7320806
Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov
Added by: Creative Commons
 
Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov
Added by: Creative Commons
 
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- David Wend
 Added: Sep. 26, 2013
Rest in peace.
- Ken MacLeod
 Added: Aug. 8, 2013

- MKEEE
 Added: Sep. 26, 2011
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