Sergey Leonidovich Sokolov was the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR, the Head of the Operational Group of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the Marshal of the Soviet Union. He was born on June 18 (July 1), 1911 in the city of Yevpatoria in the family of an employee. After the revolution in 1918, the family moved to the town of Kotelnich, the Vyatka province (now it is the Kirov region). In 1927 he finished 9 grades of secondary school. He began his career in 1927 as a packer of dishes in the district consumer union, then he was among those who were transferred to responsible Komsomol work. In 1930-1932 he was a released secretary of the Komsomol organization of the industrial plant of mechanical workshops in the district dock, later he was elected as a member of the bureau of the Komsomol district committee. He served in the ranks of the Red Army since May 29, 1932. According to the Komsomol permit, he received the right to enter Gorky armored school. Having successfully passed the entrance tests, he was enrolled as a cadet, commanded a platoon and a company. In November 1934, having passed the army training course with honors, for further service he was sent to the Far East to the tank forces, where he commanded a platoon, a company and a separate battalion. In 1938, as a company commander, he participated in battles with Japanese militarists at Lake Hassan. He was a participant of the Great Patriotic War since June 1941. In June-September 1941 he was a Chief of staff of a tank regiment, he participated in battles on the Western Front. From October 1941 to April 1942 he was a Senior assistant to the head of the department, from April 1942 he was a Head of the Armored Vehicle Department, from June 1942 – a Chief of Staff of this department, from January 1943 to March 1944 he was the Chief of Staff of the Department of the Commander of armored and mechanized troops of the Karelian Front, in March-September 1944 he was the Commander of the armored and mechanized troops of the 32nd Army of the Karelian Front. He participated in the defence and liberation of the Arctic. Since September 1944, he was a student of the Military Academy of Armored and Mechanized Troops named after I.V. Stalin, from which he graduated in 1947. From November 1947 to May 1948 he was a commander of a tank regiment, from May 1948 to December 1949 he was a Chief of staff of a tank division. Since December 1949, he was a student of Voroshilov Higher Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1951. From January 1952 to December 1954 he was a commander of a mechanized division, from December 1954 to March 1958 he was a Chief of Army Staff, from March 1958 to January 1960 he was the Commander of the 18th Combined Arms Army. From January 1960 to July 1964 he was the Chief of Staff, he was the First Deputy Commander of the Moscow Military District, from July 1964 to October 1965 he was the First Deputy Commander, from October 1965 to April 1967 he was the Commander of the Leningrad Military District. From April 1967 to December 1984 he was the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the USSR. In 1980-1985, without leaving his post, he was the head of the Operational Group of the USSR Ministry of Defence in Afghanistan. Formally, he carried out interaction between Soviet and Afghan troops, in fact, he planned the conduct of combat operations of the Afghan army and a limited contingent of Soviet troops. By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated April 28, 1980, Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei Sokolov was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the award of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal for his personal courage and skillful command of troops shown in providing international assistance to the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. From December 22, 1984 to May 30, 1987 he was the Minister of Defence of the USSR. He was removed from the post of the Minister of Defense of the USSR after the scandalous flight of German pilot Mathias Rust from Hamburg via Helsinki to Moscow and landed on May 28, 1987 in Red Square.
Address: Moscow, Granatny lane, 10, p. 1