Khrushchev, Nikita (1894–1971)

Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the primary leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964. Khrushchev's accomplishments and failures during his 11 years in power helped shape and define many of the major trends during the Cold War period (1946–1991).

Khrushchev was an important transitional leader. Today his policies are viewed as an important precursor to the large-scale reforms later attempted by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He was instrumental in leading the Soviet Union away from the brutal repression of the Stalin era toward a more moderate form of communism. He was a leading proponent of peaceful coexistence with the West, and he attempted to grant a higher level of intellectual and artistic freedom to Soviet citizens. Khrushchev also tried to ...

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