Joined the Bolshevik Party, 1904, and the Red Army, 1918. During the Civil War, organized groups of Red Cossacks on the Don River. In the 1920s political officer at the Frunze Military Academy.
Deputy Minister of Defence and Head of the Personnel Department for Leading Cadres of the Red Army (involved in the purges of the military), 1937. During World War II, Deputy Minister of Defence in charge of personnel and drafting into the armed forces. Member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, 1939-1941.
Demoted to non-voting member, 1941.