Mikhail Kalinin
Kalinin (in film)
Kalinin as he appears in the parodies.


Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin

Place of Birth:

Verkhnyaya, Russian Empire

Positions held:

Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union


Stalin Parodies crew


Downfall Parodies crew

Known for:

Being the grumpy old man of the Stalin Parodies.

Portrayed by:

Yuri Nifontov

Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin (Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Кали́нин; 19 November 1875 – June 3, 1946), known familiarly by Soviet citizens as "Kalinych" or "Papa Kalinin", was a Bolshevik revolutionary and the nominal head of state of Russia and later of the Soviet Union, from 1919 to 1946. From 1926 he was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, where he was one of the inner circle of party leaders around Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, of whom he was an ally during the inter-party power struggle following Lenin's death in 1924.

However he opposed Stalin on several issues in the early 1930's, such as the repression of the 'Kulaks' (the rich peasants). But Kalinin kept a low profile during the Great Purge of 1937. He was well aware of the repression; thousands of high and low ranking party members (including men like Soviet Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky) were shot, and he often signed the orders along with other politburo members. Between 1937 and 1941 hundreds of people went to his dacha or sent petitions to him about asking help against the arrests. Although he opposed the executions of personal friends like Avel Enukidze, he remained submissive to Stalin, who under the pretext of 'protecting him' (cough cough) had his apartment always watched by NKVD officers. Even his own wife was arrested by the NKVD on 25 October 1938. She was forced under torture to confess to "counterrevolutionary Trotskyist activities" and sent to a labor camp. She was released in 1945, not long before her husband's death.

In the parodies

In the Stalin Parodies of Benad361 he is presented as a slightly grumpy, well-meaning, yet rather confused old man. He makes an appearence in The Showdown: The Medieval Escape of Himmler and Fegelein when he is approached by Tukhachevsky and asked to deliver to Stalin the Downfall parody scripts which Himmler and Fegelein have stolen and sold to him.

He is irritable (he tells Tukhachevsky to "get on with it" as he is an "old man" and wants his "cup of tea") and fearful of being caughtcarrying illegal Downfall parody scripts, reminding Tukhachevsky of the ominous, unmentioned Fate of Yagoda "when he was caught" in posession of some. He also seems somewhat senile, as Tukhachevsky adresses him as "Mikhail Ivanovich" and he responds with "Who?" as if he has forgotten his own name.

However, he perks up when Tukhachevsky passes him the scripts, delcaring that "Stalin's gonna' love these" with a sparkle in his eyes.

Despite being well meaning, he seems to have little practical value to the Stalin parodies crew most of the time. This is supported by his relatively few appearences and the fact that Tukhachevsky once mentioned that he asked him for advice: "but the old duffer is largely useless".


  • During his lifetime, three large cities — Tver, Korolyov and Königsberg — were named or renamed in his honor; the last has retained the name Kaliningrad after the fall of the USSR.
  • He is buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, alongside other senior party members.


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