Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was a Soviet politician of Ukrainian descent, who led the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982 as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). His eighteen-year term as General Secretary grew the global influence of the Soviet Union dramatically, in part because of the expansion of its military during this time. His tenure as leader was also marked by the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union.