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Nikita Khrushchev

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Nikita Khrushchev
Никита Хрущёв
A portrait shot of an older, bald man with bifocal glasses. He is wearing a blazer over a collared shirt and tie. In his hands, he is holding a set of papers.
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In office
September 14, 1953 – October 14, 1964
President Kliment Voroshilov
Leonid Brezhnev
Anastas Mikoyan
Premier Georgy Malenkov
Nikolai Bulganin
Preceded by Joseph Stalin
Succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev
Premier of the Soviet Union
In office
March 27, 1958 – October 14, 1964
First Deputies Frol Kozlov
Alexei Kosygin
Dmitriy Ustinov
Lazar Kaganovich
Anastas Mikoyan
Preceded by Nikolai Bulganin
Succeeded by Alexei Kosygin
Personal details
Born 15 April 1894(1894-04-15)
Kalinovka, Dmitriyevsky Uyezd, Kursk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died September 11, 1971(1971-09-11) (aged 77)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Soviet
Political party Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s) Yefrosinia Khrushcheva (1916–1919, died)
Marusia Khrushcheva (1922, separated)
Nina Khrushcheva (1923–1971, survived as widow)
Signature A scrawled "Н Хрущёв"

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev[1] (15 April 1894 [2] – 11 September 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. He ruled from 1953–1964.

Nikita was born in the town of Kalinovka in Russia. He later moved to Ukraine. He worked in mines, and became part of the Bolshevik movement.

He moved his way up in the Communist Party, eventually becoming trusted by Joseph Stalin. When Stalin died, Khrushchev became the leader of the Soviet Union.

He died of heart disease on 11 September 1971.


When Nikita became the leader of the Soviet Union, he began something he called "De-Stalinization". He made a secret speech, in which he denounced Stalin as a man who committed many murders of innocent people. In early 1956, he took down all posters and statues of Joseph Stalin. Also, he moved Stalin's grave to a place where people could not see it.[3]

Relations with the "West"

He also had better contacts with the western countries like the USA, Britain, and France. This means the USSR and the west were friendlier. He visited America in 1959.[4][5]

But the USSR and the US still did not trust each other. In 1962 America and the USSR had problems over missiles being in Cuba (near the US), and could have had a war.[6] Khrushchev had bargained with the Americans to get rid of the missiles in Turkey, for the missiles in Cuba for only way of withdrawal.[7]

Relations with China

Also, during this time, the Soviet Union became a lot less friendly with China.[8] Because the Chinese leader Mao Zedong liked Stalin, he did not like it when Khrushchev became friendlier with the west, and when Nikita Khrushchev began a "destalinization" campaign.[9]


  1. Loudspeaker.png listen (info • help) Russian: Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв; IPA: [xruˈɕːʲof]
  2. Tompson 1995, p. 2. Soviet era reports list his birth date as April 17 (April 5 old style) but recent discovery of his birth certificate has made biographers accept the April 15 date.
  3. Jennifer Rosenberg. Body of Stalin removed from Lenin's tomb. Guide [1]
  4. Carlson 2009, p. 247.
  5. Taubman 2003, pp. 421–22.
  6. Whitman, Alden (1971-09-12), "Khrushchev's human dimensions brought him to power and to his downfall", The New York Times,, retrieved 2009-09-25 (fee for article, but available free here)
  7. Taubman 2003, p. 575.
  8. Taubman 2003, pp. 470–71.
  9. Zubok 2007, p. 136.
Preceded by
Josef Stalin
First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party
Succeeded by
Leonid Brezhnev
Preceded by
Nikolai Bulganin
Prime Minister of the Soviet Union
Succeeded by
Alexey Kosygin