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 Nikita Khrushchev


Born:   17 May 1894
Deceased:   11 September 1971

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, the Soviet Leader

      

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born in 1894 in the village of Kalinovka, the Kursk Region. He started work early and at the age of 12 young Nikita was accepted for a job as a miner. In 1918 Khrushchev joined the Bolshevist Party. He saw the Russian Civil War of 1917-1923 and after the War was over he became a delegate from Ukraine. In 1929 Khrushchev entered the Academy of Industry in Moscow, where he took up a post of a secretary of the Party Committee. In 1934 Nikita was elected as a member the Central Committee. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 Khrushchev was a member of War Councils of several frontlines and by the end of the War was confirmed in the rank of lieutenant-general. He never left behind his political ambitions, and after Stalin died, Khrushchev seized power.

The cult of Stalin’s personality had ruled the country for many years by that time, thus, on the first things Nikita Sergeyevich did when the Soviet Union lost the leader was disclosure of the Personality Cult. Stalin was accused of mass repressions and some other transgressions, that time not proved actually. Stalin’s disclosure adversely affected the relationships between the Soviet Union and contemporary China; several armed conflicts took place at the mutual border.

Nikita Khrushchev followed his own policy later called voluntarism. His sometimes unreasoned decisions slowed down the industrial growth. Khrushchev’s taxing policy almost destroyed private animal breeding, since peasants could raise poultry only.

After Khrushchev’s visit to the USA a new decree ordering corn to be grown everywhere was passed. Peasants had to grow corn irrespective of the fact that it is a heat-loving plant and can bear well only in the south of the country. Damage the changes caused is still not repaired: the USSR had to import grain, the country lacked foodstuff and the Stalin’s book “delicious and healthy food” illustrated with pictures of crabs was called dissident literature. A wave of protest actions broke out all over the country. The prices grew and the people showed their discontent, but all strikes were suppressed.

However, there were some bright points during Khrushchev’s regime. First of all, it refers to space exploration and Moscow’s International Youth and Students Festival. 4 October 1957 the USSR launched the first man-made sputnik (satellite), which showed technological level of the country – the carrier rocket could defeat the most remote cities of the potential enemy. 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin undertook the first flight into space; his image is a symbol of Soviet peacefulness.

The international Youth and Students Festival hold in Moscow in 1957 turned out to be national and attracted over 30 thousand young people from many countries. Nikita Khrushchev was famous for his impetuosity. E.g. when he saw works by avant-garde painters at the Exhibition in Moscow’s Manezh, he said they were daubed by a cow-tail; during his trip to the USA he threw corn ears at annoying journalists. His well-known speech at the UN is especially remarkable: he said “We will bury you” to the Americans and having taken off his shoe banged his desk with it.

Soviet Union – the USA relations grew extremely tense and in 1962 the world stood at the threshold of an atomic war, but diplomats managed to regulate the crisis.

The forcible policy of Khrushchev wasn’t welcomed by his comrades in the Central Committee. Khrushchev was discharged and pensioned off; his post was taken up by young Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev. The last days of his life Nikita Sergeyevich spent at the governmental Dacha (holiday home). He died in 1971 and was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery, not at the Kremlin Wall like his predecessors. There is a monument to the Soviet leader on the grave, it is made of white and black stone and symbolizes ambiguity of Khrushchev’s personality.

Sources:

    www.rustrana.ru
 

Olga Pletneva


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