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Zhivkov, Todor (1911–1998)

Long-time Communist leader of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov was the longest serving among all Eastern Bloc leaders. A printer by trade, Zhivkov was a member of Parliament for 35 years (1954–1989) and first secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party for 9 years (1962–1971). He served as prime minister and for 18 years (1971–1989) was the head of state.

Todor Zhivkov's career is related to the general development of Bulgaria when the country fell into the zone of influence of the Soviet Union under the Yalta treaties (1945). After the coup on September 9, 1944, the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP), supported by the Red Army advancing into the country, quickly managed to take absolute political and economic power. A totalitarian regime was imposed under ...

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