Some circumstances of Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov’s birth, as well as information about his parents, have remained somewhat unclear, giving rise to numerous rumors and legends.

Yuri Andropov wrote in his questionnaires that he was born on June 15, 1914, at Nagutskaya Station in the Stavropol Province. Nowadays, this village is Solu-Dmitrisvskoye in the Andropovsky District. According to his closest assistant, Kryuchkov, Andropov was actually born a year later. Yuri Vladimirovich added a year to himself to be accepted into a technical school that offered scholarships.

Interestingly, Kryuchkov’s words seem to be a legend, as an authentic birth certificate issued to young Andropov has been preserved.

“Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Tersky District Mozdok

City Council of Workers, Peasants,

Red Army, and Cossack Deputies

March 17, 1932


Issued stating that Andropov Yuri-Grigory Vladimirovich was born on the 15th day of June in the year 1914, as recorded in the civil registry book…”

It is noteworthy that the birth certificate indicates a double name — Yuri-Grigory, which is uncharacteristic for Russia. And this is not a typo. In the certificate of completion of the Mozdok Factory School issued on June 26, 1931, Andropov is simply named Grigory:


The bearer of this document, Andropov Grigory Vladimirovich, born in the year 1914, studied from 1923 to 1931 at the Mozdok Factory School and completed the full course in the year 1931…”

Yuri Andropov did not remember his father, Vladimir Konstantinovich. He died during the Civil War from typhus. Yuri Vladimirovich for some reason gives different years for his father’s death in various questionnaires. According to some sources, Vladimir Konstantinovich Andropov was a railway telegraph operator; according to others, he was a master; according to still others, he was a commercial auditor at Beslan Station, which much later became the site of one of the most terrible tragedies of the Second Chechen War.

“My father,” wrote Yuri Andropov in his most detailed autobiography, “was a duty officer at the station, then the station master of Nagutinskaya on the North Caucasus Railway. In 1915 (or 1916), my father moved to Beslan Station, where he worked as an auditor (or controller) of traffic. My father came from the Don Cossacks. His father (my grandfather) was either a teacher or a school inspector (I’m not sure, I’ve never seen him).”

In another autobiography, Andropov added: “My father studied at the Institute of Communications but was expelled from there for drunkenness. He had two uncles in the city of Rostov-on-Don (on his father’s side). I never saw them myself. According to my mother’s stories, both served on the railroad. They are both deceased now.”

Andropov’s mother, Evgenia Karlovna, widowed, remarried for the second time in 1921, also to a railway worker, Viktor Alexandrovich Fedorov.

“My stepfather,” wrote Andropov, “was an assistant locomotive engineer. In 1923 or 1924, due to severe financial difficulties, my stepfather stopped studying in Vladikavkaz (formerly Ordzhonikidze) at the Institute of Communications and came to live at Mozdok Station of the North Caucasus Railway. There, he first worked as a building superintendent, and then as a sanitary instructor.”

Dear friends, Yuri Mlechin’s book “Yuri Andropov: The Last Hope of the Regime” is available in our library.