Yevgeni Lipov

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Yvgeni Mikhailovich Lipov (Евге́ний Михайлович Липов) (9 March 1890 – 8 November 1986) was a SNORist politician and diplomat, a leading figure in the SNORist government from the 1920s until the time of his death. He rose to power as a protégé of Vissarionov, to 1961, when he was instated as Supreme Leader of the Russian people, replacing Andrei Vlasov. He was a major force in the negotiations and was the principal signatory of the German-Russian non-aggression pact of 1939 (also known as the Lipov-Von Korff Pact) as well as post-war negotiations. His treatment of minorities won him a drink named in his honor, the Lipov - a cocktail of Vodka and orange juice, known better in western society as a screwdriver.

Early Life

Born Yvgeni Mikhailovich Scriabin (Вячеслав Михайлович Скря́бин) in the village of Kukarka (now Sovetsk in Kirov Oblast), he was the son of a shop clerk. He was educated at a secondary school in Kazan, and joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1906. For his early political work he took the pseudonym Molotov (from the Russian molot, "hammer"). He was arrested in 1909 and spent two years in exile in Vologda. To avoid further trouble, he changed his political name to Lipov after a Bohemian village he had visited as a young man. In 1911 he enrolled at the St Petersburg Polytechnic, and also joined the editorial staff of Pure Truth (Чистая правда), the anti-Bolshevik newspaper of which Iossif Vissarionov was editor. In 1913 Lipov was again arrested and deported to Irkutsk, but in 1915 he escaped and returned to the capital.

Following the Revolution, he served in minor government positions, but did not see any true change in his fortunes until those of Vissarionov took a turn for the better, and he joined the upwardly mobile ranks of those who would become later leaders of the party.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Lipov and Vissarionov discussing policy during the Lipov-Von Korff treaty negotiations.

During his service as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lipov was critical in the negotiations of the Lipov-Von Korff treaty. As Foreign Minister he was one of few of Vissarionov's friends who managed to survive the paranoid purges of his later life. Because he had maintained his friendship with Vissarionov he was not immediately deposed by Vlasov when he came to power, and was able to continue serving in the government rather than face time in a Siberian gulag - and he was then chosen by the White Council when Vlasov was forcibly deposed.

Supreme Leader

Unlike his predecessors, Lipov was a civilian and not a military officer, and he never wore a uniform. He had in fact been the first civilian member of the White Council, which had before been merely a club of generals. In his capacity as Vissarionov's minister of foreign affairs he had been the architect of the Lipov-Von Korff Treaty, in which the Holy Roman Empire and Russia divided Europe into sphere of influence. Later, he became prime minister.

Lipov understood that the minorities had to be granted some limited form of regional autonomy, and in the mid-sixties, he abolished the old imperial administrative subdivision, which completely neglected ethnicity or language, and introduced national territories instead. This policy was not only motivated by reasons of propaganda; he genuinely wanted to find a solution for them. Needless to say that he encountered much opposition within the SNOR; after all, his policy went diametrically against the SNOR's ideology. But finally, even the most ardent fundamentalists had to accept that minorities did exist in Russia, and that one way or another the SNOR had to cope with them. And indeed, ideology became less important over the years: when it came to political control over the satellite countries, the SNOR sponsored any regime favorable to them.

Despite the existence of territorial entities for national and religious minorities the existing problems were not resolved - aside a few concessions, the oppression of minorities continued, and adherents of other religions were still subjected to forceful conversions and the like. Obviously, as later developments showed, this ambiguous policy would only accelerate the dissolution of the country.

"The Thaw", as historians would later call the period under Lipov's rule, came abruptly to an end in 1971 with his sudden and somewhat mysterious death.

Preceded by:
Andrei Vlasov
Supreme Leader of the Russian People
Succeeded by:
Pyotr Popovich