Sergei Akhromeyev
Sergey Fyodorovich Akhromeyev was a soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 figure, Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of the Soviet Union
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.-Overview:...

 (1982), Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the de facto highest military rank of the Soviet Union. ....


Akhromeyev was a Naval Infantry junior officer during the German-Soviet War, serving with distinction on the Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 front. At one point he was ordered to guard and hold a road on which the German Army would be trying to advance. Despite a bloody battle, he was able to accomplish the task. Relating the story during a meal with Secretary of State George Shultz and Ambassador Ken Adelman in Reykjavik during the first Reagan Administration, Akhromeyev told Shultz that his accomplishment was not only a great sign of his patriotism, as Shultz suggested, but also was because had he abandoned the road, Stalin would have had him shot.

In 1984-1988, Akhromeyev was Chief of the General Staff
Chief of the General Staff (Russia)
The Chief of the General Staff is the chief of staff of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He is appointed by the President of Russia, who is the commander-in-chief. The position dates to the period of the Russian Empire...

 of the Soviet Armed Forces
Soviet Armed Forces
The Soviet Armed Forces, also called the Armed Forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Armed Forces of the Soviet Union refers to the armed forces of the Russian SFSR , and Soviet Union from their beginnings in the...

. In that capacity he was heavily involved in the talks which brought an end to the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. However, he grew increasingly dissatisfied with Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

's approach to the reforms of the military, and resigned that position.

The cause of his resignation was Gorbachev's insistence on dismantling the newest and most accurate ballistic missile in the Soviet Army — the SS-23 Spider
R-400 Oka
The OTR-23 Oka was a mobile theatre ballistic missile deployed by the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War to replace the obsolete SS-1C 'Scud B'. It carried the GRAU index 9K714 and was assigned the NATO reporting name SS-23 Spider...

 under the tenets of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

In March 1990, he was made Advisor to the President of the USSR on military affairs.

During the August Coup of 1991, Akhromeyev returned from a vacation in Sochi
Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, situated just north of Russia's border with the de facto independent republic of Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast. Greater Sochi sprawls for along the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains...

 to offer his assistance to the coup leaders. Although he was never implicated in the coup, after its failure Akhromeyev committed suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 in his Kremlin
A kremlin , same root as in kremen is a major fortified central complex found in historic Russian cities. This word is often used to refer to the best-known one, the Moscow Kremlin, or metonymically to the government that is based there...

 office, hanging himself with a length of curtain cord. In addition to personal messages to his family, he left a note explaining that he could not continue living when the institutions to which he had devoted his life were disintegrating.

Shortly after his death, his grave
Grave (burial)
A grave is a location where a dead body is buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemeteries....

 was vandalized and his corpse stripped of the uniform in which it had been buried. The culprits were never found, and it is uncertain whether it was an act of pure desecration or if the grave-robbers hoped to sell the stolen uniform or its adornments for profit.

Admiral William Crowe
William J. Crowe
Admiral William James Crowe, Jr. was a United States Navy Admiral who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as the ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Bill Clinton.-Biography:Crowe was born in La Grange, Kentucky...

, former United States chief of staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 and later the ambassador to the United Kingdom
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
The office of United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom was traditionally, and still is very much so today due to the Special Relationship, the most prestigious position in the United States Foreign Service...

knew Marshal Akhromeyev and once called him a communist, a patriot, and a friend in that order.
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