Khrushchev was born in the Russian village of Kalinovka in 1894, close to the present-day border between Russia and Ukraine.
In the power struggle triggered by Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev, after several years, emerged victorious. On 25 February 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech," denouncing Stalin's purges (albeit exclusively against the leadership) and ushering in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union. His domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were often ineffective, especially in the area of agriculture. Hoping eventually to rely on missiles for national defense, Khrushchev ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's rule saw the tensest years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
His lengthy memoirs were smuggled to the West and published in part in 1970. Khrushchev died in 1971 of heart disease.
His tendency to drive forward his ideas, no matter how foolish, is quite infamous. It is perhaps because of this he received a telegram in 1964 telling him that he had retired due to poor health. His gifts to the Soviet Union included:
- Criticism of his old boss
- Corn being grown everywhere, because he saw corn in Montana and was impressed
- The Soviet Space Program
- Scrapping of all non-missile weaponry (tanks, planes, ships)
- The Tsar-Bomb
- Completely insane reforms of the Soviet economy (the bureaucratic system that bossed around factories)
Downfall parody universe
Khrushchev appeared in several parodies, including Khrushchev's Teacup of Doom and the Khrushchev reviews scene by AnticsGoddess. It uses scenes from the 2005 film Brezhnev (Брежнев).
- Khrushchev is known for an incident shoe-banging incident allegedly occurred during the 902nd Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly held in New York on 12 October 1960, when the infuriated leader of the Soviet Union was said to have pounded his shoe on his delegate-desk in protest of a speech by Philippine delegate Lorenzo Sumulong which accused the Soviet Union of having "swallowed up" Eastern Europe and deprived the population of "the free exercise of their civil and political rights". The incident was not filmed, and images showing the Soviet leader with a shoe in his hand are actually fake.