Valerian Vladimirovich Kuybyshev (Russian: Валериа́н Влади́мирович Ку́йбышев; 6 June [O.S. 25 May] 1888 – 25 January 1935) was a Russian revolutionary, Red Army officer, and prominent Soviet politician.
Kuybyshev was born in Omsk in the Russian Empire on 6 June [O.S. 25 May] 1888. He studied at the Omsk Military Cadet School. He joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1904. The following year, he entered a military medical academy, but was expelled in 1906 for controversial political activities.
Between 1906 and 1914, Kuybyshev performed subversive activities for the Bolsheviks throughout the Empire, for which he was exiled to Narym in Siberia where—together with Yakov Sverdlov—he set up a local Bolshevik organization. In May 1912 he fled and returned to Omsk, where he was arrested the next month, and imprisoned for a year. He was transferred to Tambov to live independently under police surveillance, but soon fled again, whereafter he spent 1913–14 encouraging civil unrest in the cities of St. Petersburg, Kharkov, and Vologda; relocated to Samara in 1917; and became president of the local soviet—a position he held at the time of the October Revolution and for the next year. During the Russian Civil War he chaired the revolutionary committee of Samara province and became a political commissar in the First and Fourth Red Armies.
In 1920 Kuybyshev was elected a member of Presidium of the Red International of Trade Unions, which charged him with the implementation of the GOELRO plan. From 6 July 1923 to 5 August 1926 he was the first economical inspector of the USSR. From 1926 to 1930 he chaired the Supreme Council of the National Economy, from 1930 to 1934 he directed Gosplan, and he served as a full member of the Politburo from 1934 until his death. As a principal economic advisor to Joseph Stalin, he was one of the most influential members in the Communist Party. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Kuybyshev was one of the initiators of the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia and was a member of its chief editorial board.
Kuybyshev died in Moscow on 25 January 1935 of heart failure and alcoholism. In 1938, at the height of the Great Purge, his former wife and brother were executed under obscure charges.
As Bolshevik tradition had established, he was buried outside the Kremlin walls.
Kuybyshev married twice, but never had any children. He was a practiced musician and poet. One of his wives was the niece of Yevgenia Bosch, Galina Aleksandrovna Troyanovskaya.
The city of Samara (the administrative city of the Samara Oblast, Russia), the town of Bolgar (in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia), and the town of Haghartsin, Armenia were all renamed Kuybyshev during the period between 1935 and 1991. The towns of Kuybyshev in Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia, and Kuybyshev, Armenia, still have his name.