Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (September 11, 1971) led the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during part of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman
Premier of the Soviet Union
The office of Premier of the Soviet Union was synonymous with head of government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics . Twelve individuals have been premier...

 of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the partial de-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

 of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program
Soviet space program
The Soviet space program is the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991...

, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy.

1953    Lavrentiy Beria,head of MVD, was arrested by Nikita Khrushchev and other members of the Politburo.

1953    Nikita Khrushchev is elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1953    Nikita Khrushchev is appointed secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1956    The XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union begins in Moscow. On the last night of the meeting, Premier Nikita Khrushchev condemns Joseph Stalin's crimes in a secret speech.

1956    In his speech ''On the Personality Cult and its Consequences'' Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounces the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

1958    Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.

1959    At the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev have a "Kitchen Debate".

1959    Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.

1959    Nikita Khrushchev is barred from visiting Disneyland.

1959    Iowa farmer and corn breeder Roswell Garst hosts Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev.


Yes, today we have genuine Russian weather. Yesterday we had Swedish weather. I can't understand why your weather is so terrible. Maybe it is because you are immediate neighbours of NATO.

At a Swedish-Soviet summit which began on March 30, 1956, in Moscow. The stenographed discussion was later published by the Swedish quoted in Raoul Wallenberg (1985) by Eric Sjöquist, p. 119 ISBN 9153650875

Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will dig you in. (We will bury you|We will bury you.)

Remark to western ambassadors during a diplomatic reception in Moscow (18 November 1956)

I am very glad to hear this, since I come from the Ukraine. From now on I can sleep peacefully. I will immediately telegraph my daughter in Kiev.

Khrushchev's reply when the Swedish prime minister Erlander assured him that Sweden had no intention of repeating the 1709 Battle of Poltava in eastern Ukraine between Russia and Sweden. From a Swedish-Soviet summit which began on March 30, 1956, in Moscow, as quoted in Raoul Wallenberg (1985) by Eric Sjöquist, p. 125 ISBN 9153650875

If Konrad Adenauer|Adenauer were here with us in the sauna, we could see for ourselves that Germany is and will remain divided but also that Germany never will rise again.

Said during a late night visit to a sauna with Finland's president Urho Kekkonen|Kekkonen in June 1957. Translated from Våldets århundrade (2001) by Max Jakobson, p. 220 ISBN 9174866389

Mr. President, call the toady of American imperialism to order.

Shoe-banging incident|Remark in the United Nations General Assembly (12 October 1960), denouncing a speech by Philippines delegate Lorenzo Sumulong

If you start throwing hedgehogs under me, I shall throw a couple of porcupines under you.

As quoted in The New York Times (7 November 1963)

Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.

At the 20th Congress of the Communist Party during his secret report. (24 February 1956)

My arms are up to the elbows in blood. That is the most terrible thing that lies in my soul.

Told to Soviet playwright Nikolay Shatrov, as quoted in William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002)