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Koltsov (Кольцов) Mikhail Efimovich
(1898—1942)

Koltsov (Кольцов) Mikhail Efimovich  (1898—1942)

Mikhail Efimovich Koltsov, born Mikhail Efimovich Friedland, was a Soviet journalist. He was the son of a Jewish shoemaker and the brother of Boris Efimov. Koltsov participated in the Russian Revolution of 1917, became a member of the Bolshevik party in 1918 and took part in the civil war. A convinced Communist, he soon became a key figure of the Soviet intellectual elite and arguably the most famous journalist in the USSR, chiefly due to his well-written satirical essays and articles, where he criticised bureaucracy and other negative phenomena in the Soviet Union. Koltsov founded popular journals such as Krokodil and Ogonyok and was a member of the editorial board of Pravda. As a correspondent of Pravda, he travelled to Spain to cover the Spanish civil war, while at the same time working for the NKVD. He described his experiences in The Spanish diary, which was published in 1938. In the same year, Koltsov was summoned from Spain and arrested on charges of anti-Soviet and terrorist activities as part of The Great Purges. He was sentenced to death and shot in 1940 or 1942, according to different sources. Like many other victims of Stalin's purges, Koltsov was rehabilitated after the dictator's death - in 1954.


USSR, 1988, Mikhail Koltsov

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