Metal worker, involved in revolutionary activity before WW1. During WW1, conscripted into the army, private, later sergeant, wounded 1915. Took part in the Bolshevik take-over in Samara.
Gained fame during the Civil War as a Red commander on the Volga and in the Urals, fighting Admiral Kolchak, later in the South against General Wrangel. In 1921-1922 again in the Far East. Minister of Military Affairs of the buffer state, Far Eastern Republic.
Soviet adviser to revolutionary Chinese armies in Kanton, 1924-1927. Commander of the Red Army during military actions against the Chinese, 1929. Virtual military dictator of the Far Eastern Soviet provinces.
During the purges of the Red Army, member of the military tribunal which sentenced Marshal Tukhachevskii and seven others to death, but this did not save him from a similar fate soon thereafter. Sentenced to death and executed. Rehabilitated during the Khrushchev years.
Born December 1, 1890