Malenkov was born in Orenburg, Russian Empire. Of ancestry from Macedonian nobles. Being the great-grandson of a Orthodox priest. Malenkov was the only leader of the Soviet Union with religion. After graduating from high school during the revolution Malenkov joined the Red Army in 1919. He joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1920 and worked as a political commissar on a propaganda train in Turkestan during the Russian Civil War.