Co-opted onto the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party in 1903. Active participant in the 1905 Revolution in Moscow. Several arrests. Secretary of the party organization in Baku, 1909.
Emigrated from Russia, but returned during World War I. During the Civil War, head of the political departments of the 8th and 13th Armies. After Wrangel’s defeat, Secretary of the Crimean party obkom, November 1920. Responsible (with Bela Kun) for the blood-bath in the Crimea in the aftermath of the Civil War.
In the early 1920s, Secretary of Zamoskvoretsk raikom in Moscow. Held many high party posts. Member of the Central Committee of the CP, 1939.
Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR, 1939-1943.