Nikita Sergeyevich Kruschev (17 April 1894 – 11 September 1971) was leader of the Soviet Union, serving as General Secretary of the Communist Party, the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, following the death of Joseph Stalin, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964.
Kruschev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the world’s early space program, as well for several relatively liberal reforms ranging from agriculture to foreign policy. Kruschev’s party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev.
Kruschev trained and worked as a professional in various factories and mines. He became involved in trade union activities in World War I and, after the Russian Revolution of 1917, became a Bolshevik party member. Following the German occupation of Ukraine, Kruschev joined the Red Army and served as a junior commissar in the Southern Front of the Russian Civil War. In 1921, Kruschev was with the invading Red troops in Georgia.After the civil war, he worked at various management and Party positions in Donbass and Kiev.
May Day Parade, Moscow, 1937. Left to right Krushcev, G. Dimitrov, Stalin, V. M. Molotov and Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan.
In the post-Lenin power struggles, Kruschev allied himself with the Stalin faction of the Communist Party, especially with Lazar Kaganovich, a close associate of Stalin. In 1929, Kruschev moved to Moscow and enrolled into a school for party functionaries where he became acquainted with Stalin’s wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva. With her help, Kruschev was brought to Stalin’s attention and became the 1st Secretary of the Moscow City Committee (Moscow Gorkom) of VKP(b) in 1935. The Moscow city secretaryship was a traditional proving ground for rising stars in the party (cf Boris Yeltsin) and Kruschev apparently impressed with his leadership of the Moscow Metro works. In 1938, he became the 1st Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine, one of the most senior regional party positions and was diligent in carrying out Stalin’s orders. Kruschev became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow in 1934 and the Politburo in 1939.