Nestor Lakoba

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Nestor Apollonovich Lakoba () (1 May 1893 – 28 December 1936) was an Abkhaz Communist leader and a victim of the Great Purge.

Biography

Nestor Lakoba was born in the village of Lykhny in Abkhazia and like many Caucasian Bolsheviks, began as a bandit persecuted by the Tsarist police, and he became a personal friend of Stalin's during their time together in the revolutionary underground.

In the years after the October Revolution, Lakoba greatly helped his career by first being a devoted follower of Lenin and then of Stalin, to whom he pledged unconditional allegiance and whose cult of personality he initiated in Abkhazia in the 1930s. In 1921, when Bolshevist Russia conquered Georgia, he became Communist Party chief (Chairman of the Central Executive Committee) in Abkhazia. Abkhazia for the next decade was a Union Republic associated with the Georgian SSR, but in 1931 Stalin made it an Autonomous Republic more firmly under Georgian control. This compelled Lakoba to make regular visits to the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, in order to intercede on behalf of his homeland.

Lakoba was a short, slightly reserved, and almost entirely deaf man, and he established good relationships with many Kremlin power-brokers, drawn as they were to holidays in his beautiful sub-tropical province.ibid. He regularly sent crates of tangerines to Moscow for...
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