Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894–1971) was a Soviet politician. He was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964. He pursued a policy known as "de-Stalinization."
In 1908 the family moved to Juzovka (today Donetsk). As a young man he got a job as an iron worker in Ukraine and got a trade certificate. As a skilled worker, he was exempted from military service during the First World War. He participated in professional work for better pay and working conditions and in the political struggle against Tsar Nicholas II. When the Tsar abdicated in 1917, Petrograd's Provisional Government had little control over Ukraine, and Khrushchev was elected to the local Soviet Union in Ruchchenkovo, and in May of that year he became its leader. He did not join the Bolsheviks until 1918, when the Russian civil war between the Communists and the whites intensified. When the new communist rulers signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers, the area was occupied by German forces, and Khrushchev fled east. In late 1918 or early 1919, he joined the Red Army as a political commissioner. When the civil war ended in 1921, he was demobilized and appointed commissioner of a labor brigade in the Donbas area of his home region of Donetsk.
World War II
Khrushchev was a prominent political commissar in the Red Army during World War II, most notably during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Khrushchev was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1953 to 1964 and the Prime Minister from 1958 to 1964.
Khrushchev wanted to liberalize the Soviet Union under Stalin's totalitarian rule. He introduced a policy that has become known as "de-Stalinization", and released many prisoners from the labor camps, the Gulag. He wanted to improve relations with the West. Khrushchev began producing more consumer goods and reduced its focus on the military.
In 1956, Khrushchev took a violent stand against Stalin, but the Soviet Union remained a dictatorship. Also under Khrushchev, writers were arrested for things they wrote.
In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States. After his visit to the United States, he reorganized Soviet agriculture by starting to grow cereals such as corn. The climate in the Soviet Union did not suit it, so several lands were empty and they had to buy food from other countries. Khrushchev's agricultural policy was a contributing factor to his removal as leader in 1964.
Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union during the Cuba crisis in October 1962. Some historians believe that Khrushchev's handling of the crisis was a contributing factor to his loss of power in the Communist Party and was deposed as leader two years later.
Khrushchev was on a state visit to Norway in 1964, where he lived at Bygdøy royal estate and visited Herøya. In Bergen, the Aquarium received four sturgeons as a gift named after the donor.
He was married to Galina (d. 1921) and had two children; Leonid and Linda. He later married Nina Petrovna (1924).
History of the Soviet Union (1953–1985)
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