Azerbaidzhanian. At the age of 18 entered the security service (NKVD) in Azerbaidzhan. In 1945 joined the CP. In 1957 graduated from Azerbaidzhan State University. Various senior positions in the local security service (Committee for State Security).
Deputy Chairman. 1964-1967, Chairman, 1967-1969. Majorgeneral, candidate member of the Central Committee of the Azerbaidzhan CP, 1966-1971. 1st Secretary and member of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Azerbaidzhan CP, 1969-1982.
Candidate member of the Politburo, 1976-1982. Full member from 1982. 1st Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers from December 1982.
One of two non-Slavs in the Politburo. Taken ill on 11 May 1987 while at work. Believed to have suffered a major heart attack.
Closely identified with the Brezhnev era, opponent of Gorbachev’s line. Excluded from the Politburo, 21 August 1987.