Leonid Ilich Brezhnev was a high ranking Soviet official during the tenure of the Cold War. Leonid was also the Leader of the Soviet Union for a period of 18 years. Brezhnev declared himself part of the Communist Party in 1931, and studied at the metallurgical institute in Kamenskoye. After World War II, Leonid held many positions in the Soviet government. In 1953 (the year that Joseph Stalin died) Leonid was demoted on the Central Committee and had to accept the role as Deputy Head of The Political Department of the Ministry of Defense with the rank of lieutenant general. Later on after Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power, Brezhnev was appointed secretary of the Soviet Union. During the 1970s, Brezhnev tried to make relations better with The United States and West Germany through a process known as détente. Under his leadership, the Soviets accomplished a parity with the U.S over Nuclear Weapons and soon there space program dwarfed the U.S’s. Brezhnev would eventually retain the highest ranking in the Russian Military which is "Marshall". After this he tried to get a ballistic missile agreement signed between the U.S and USSR know as SALT II. The U.S senate refused it and soon afterwerds the USSR invaded the country of Afghanistan to help prop a underdeveloping communist governement there (1).

[1] "Brezhnev, Leonid Ilich." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 27 Sept. 2009 <http://www.school.eb.com/eb/article-9016402>.