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Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev
Khrushchev
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

In office

14 September 1953 – 14 October 1964

Chairman of the Council of Ministersof the Soviet Union

In office

27 March 1958 – 14 October 1964

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (15 April 1894 - 11 September 1971) was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during the first part of the Cold War. He backed the progress of the early Soviet space program, and instituted several relatively liberal reforms in domestic policy.

Stalin's death in 1953 triggered a power struggle, from which Khrushchev ultimately emerged victorious. In 1956, he denounced Stalin's purges and ushered in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, his domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in agriculture.

Khrushchev made the statement for which he became well-remembered, "We will bury you" (in Russian, "Мы вас похороним!"). While many in took this statement as a literal threat, Khrushchev said it in a speech on peaceful coexistence with the West. When questioned about it, Khrushchev stated he was not referring to a literal burial, but that, through inexorable historical development, Communism would replace Capitalism and "bury" it.

Khruschev's popularity was ultimately eroded by flaws in his policies. His party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary.

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