Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (Kruschev, Krushchev) was the next leader of the Communist Party of USSR after Josef Stalin. He ruled the country from 1953 to 1964. This Russian politic was very extraordinary person. At this article I will tell about the most interesting directions of its activity.
First of all it’s necessary to say that Stalin patronized Khrushchev in the early stages of his career. Stalin’s wife Nadezhda Alliueva studied at the Academy, together with Khrushchev and he got acquainted with the whole environment of Stalin. Stalin supported Khrushchev as a friend of Nadezhda. Nikita sometimes entertained guests during of Stalin the feasts – danced squatting with a balalaika, and sang obscene songs.
Khrushchev against Stalin
However, after the death of Stalin, Khrushchev seized power and condemned Stalin, accusing him of mass murder of people and misguided policies. He began a massive campaign to fight against Stalin’s cult of personality. Khrushchev ordered to move Stalin’s body is Mausoleum on the Red Square, removed all the monuments to Stalin (from more than 100 cities), renamed all cities with Stalin’s name.
Futuristic project – Development of virgin lands
In the years after World War II, Soviet agriculture was destroyed. The largest country in the world was in need of food and bread. In early 1954, Kruschev announced an ambitious program of development of virgin lands in order to increase grain production. There was a discussion: to develop of agriculture in intensive or extensive way. Arguments for intensification were significantly louder, but the Soviet leadership in the face of Khrushchev preferred way of extensive agricultural development. The development of virgin land was a great feat of the Russian people – during two years they plowed 33 million hectares of land in Kazakhstan, Siberia, the Urals and the Volga region. Thanks to the extraordinary concentration of resources and people, as well as natural factors, the new lands in the early years gave extremely high yields. However, due to ecological imbalance and soil erosion, the effectiveness of the project in further years has fallen to zero.
During Khrushchev’s period there was a program of mass construction of cheap housing (which was popularly known as “Khrushchevki”). There were monotype houses built from cheap materials with small apartments. As a result of this reform, in Russia were built about 290 million m ² of total area (10% of the residential area of the country). To a large extent cities of Russia gained its modern view due to this reform.
The first success of the Space Program
In the years of Khrushchev’s leadership great successes have been achieved in the Soviet Space Program. Khrushchev was a dreamer, and space at that time was one of the most important directions of development. As a result, at April 12, 1961 the first person flew into space – it was Yuri Gagarin. Read about it in this article: Yuri Gagarin – the First Flight Into Space.
Caribbean crisis – Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
In 1961, the U.S. stationed in Turkey 15 nuclear missiles, threatening Moscow and the European part of USSR. In response, Khrushchev ordered to deliver the missiles with nuclear weapon on territory of Cuba and jeopardize the entire east coast of the United States. The missiles were delivered to the territory of Cuba at September 8, 1962. October 14 U.S. spy plane photographed the missiles that have already been installed. U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent a letter asking Khrushchev to remove the missiles and announced the naval blockade of Cuba. Khrushchev refused to deploy the ships going to Cuba with new missiles and said that if there is an aggression against them, the Soviet Union will have to take counter-measures. The world was on the brink of nuclear war. Military officials urged Kennedy to invade Cuba, which meant to start an international war. The Soviet authorities were ready for this and could launch missiles. But Kennedy refused the invasion and wrote a letter to Khrushchev that he was ready to dismantle the missiles in Turkey if the Soviet Union remove the missiles from Cuba and cease the supply of arms. Khrushchev wrote a reply, in which he agreed to these terms. This letter ended with the words: “You and I should not now pull on the ends of the rope in which we tie the knot of war.” Missiles both in Cuba and Turkey have been dismantled. This moment was a turning point in the Cold War.
Nikita Khrushchev – is a very controversial figure in Russian history. Despite all the mistakes he made, he became a conductor of positive changes: liberation from the rigid ideology and the restoration of human rights.
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