Vitaly Ivanovich Vorotnikov (Russian: Вита́лий Ива́нович Воротнико́в; 20 January 1926 – 19 February 2012) was a Soviet politician and diplomat who was the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR between 1988 and 1990.
Early life and education
Vorotnikov was born in Voronezh, and in 1940 entered a local Aviation Industry community college, majoring in aircraft engine technology. After the Soviet Union entered World War II and adult workers left for the Red Army service, 16-year-old Vitaly took a job at the Voronezh Steam Locomotive Repair plant. Soon the front line approached the city, and he was evacuated to Kuybyshev, where he spent most of the war working for Kuibyshev aviation plant No. 18 and studying at Kuybyshev Aviation Technology School.
After graduation, Vorotnikov kept working at the plant after the war in both managerial and Communist Party organizing positions. At the same time he was taking evening classes at the Kuybyshev Aviation Institute, finally earning his engineering degree in 1954.
From the position of the chairman of the Communist Party committee at his plant (1950–1960) Vorotnikov advanced to a position of responsibility in the Kuybyshev Oblast Part Committee (1960). After occupying a number of positions of regional importance in Russia's Kuybyshev and Voronezh Oblasts for almost 20 years, he served as the Soviet ambassador to Cuba from 1979 to 1982. In fact, he was exiled by Brezhnev to this post.
After being recalled from Cuba when Brezhnev died and a short stint in charge of the Communists of Krasnodar Krai, Vorotnikov was finally brought to Moscow, where he was to occupy the top positions in the government of the RSFSR. He became a candidate member of the Politburo and soon a full member. From 1983 to 1988 he was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR, and from 1988 to 1990 Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR. During his long retirement, Vorotnikov wrote several volumes of memoirs.
Vorotnikov died on 19 February 2012 at the age of 86.
Decorations and awards