Nikita Khrushchev

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Russian politician who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionfrom 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, and for several relatively liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

Khrushchev was born in the village of Kalinovka in 1894, close to the present-day border between Russia and Ukraine.

He was employed as a metalworker in his youth, and during the Russian Civil War was a political commissar. With the help ofLazar Kaganovich, he worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy.

He supported Joseph Stalin's purges, and approved thousands of arrests.

In 1939, Stalin sent him to govern Ukraine, and he continued the purges there. During what was known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War (Eastern Front of World War II), Khrushchev was again a commissar, serving as an intermediary between Stalin and his generals. Khrushchev was present at the bloody defense of Stalingrad, a fact he took great pride in throughout his life. After the war, he returned to Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers.

In the power struggle triggered by Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev, after several years, emerged victorious. On February 25, 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech", denouncing Stalin's purges 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 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.

Some of Khrushchev's policies were seen as erratic, particularly by his emerging rivals within the Party, who quietly rose in strength and deposed him in October 1964. He did not suffer the deadly fate of some previous losers of Soviet power struggles, but he was pensioned off with an apartment in Moscow and a dacha in the countryside. His lengthy memoirs were smuggled to the West and published in part in 1970. Khrushchev died in 1971 of heart disease


Khrushchev kin allege family honor slurred    AP In this undated photo released by the Khrushchev Family, Leonid Khrushchev, the son of Soviet leader Nikita Khrusnchev, is seen. To those who defend Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's memory, the story of Leonid's supposed treachery suggests that Khrushchev's historic denunciation of his predecessor was motivated not by Stalin's cruelty but by a father's desire for revenge. (AP Photo/The Khrushchev Family)     By Douglas Birch, Associated Press Writer MOSCOW — Yulia Khrushcheva sat in the afternoon shadows of her Moscow kitchen, her delicate fingers brushing back her silver blond hair, talking of the anguish of seeing her family's reputation under attack.

The 68-year-old granddaughter of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev has filed a series of lawsuits against a state-owned TV network for airing a docudrama that, she says, falsely depicts her father, Leonid, as having been shot as a traitor in World War II.

These allegations of her father's treachery, which historians dismiss, have been published more than a dozen times in books, magazine articles and newspapers in the post-Soviet era, and sometimes she cannot bring herself to read them. "I am not that brave," she says.

Some members of the Khrushchev family and others say the persistent rumor is part of a quiet battle of political symbols, in which the champions of a strengthened state have tried to weaken democratic institutions.

The aim, they say, is to burnish the reputation of strong leaders, such as former President Vladimir Putin and Stalin, by tarnishing that of Khrushchev -- who denounced Stalin's mass arrests, executions and deportations in a secret 1956 speech to the Communist Party leadership that later became public.


The tactic, they say, is to smear the son with a bogus charge in order to defame his famous father, and then to claim Khrushchev's celebrated speech was actually motivated by a desire for revenge.

"This is not about Khrushchev or Stalin, it's about the future of Russia," said Sergei Khrushchev, Leonid's half brother and a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

Irina Shcherbakova of the Memorial, a Moscow human rights group, said authorities "undoubtedly" help spread the rumors of Leonid Khrushchev's alleged execution, as part of Russia's epic struggle between authoritarianism and reform -- of which Stalin and Khrushchev are the two icons.

"The reason these rumors persist ... is rooted in the fate of the country, when reformers are considered to be weak and tyrants strong," she said.

In an effort to rewrite history after a period of reform, she said, Russian autocrats have traditionally resorted to "banal myths, tabloid stories, loud TV talk shows."

However, some political analysts see in the attacks on Khrushchev's memory a settling of scores among the descendants of Soviet-era elites rather than any state-orchestrated campaign to undermine reform.

"I don't think Khrushchev is of any interest to today's Russian government," said Masha Lipman, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, who has often been critical of the Kremlin.

Still, the celebration of state power has been a major theme in Russian arts and education in recent years. The country's film industry, largely state-subsidized, has produced thrillers showing Russia under siege from the West, protected only by decisive czars, steely Communist Party first secretaries and vigorous modern presidents -- essentially, Putin.

New textbooks praise Putin's concentration of power and laud Stalin as a successful if brutal leader. Last year, Putin told history teachers that no one could make Russians feel guilty about Stalin's crimes because "in other countries even worse things happened."

Russian television, which is mostly state-owned or controlled, seems split over how to depict Stalin. Some recent entertainment programs, including a dramatization of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "First Circle," have been critical of the dictator. But viewers of a miniseries improbably titled "Stalin Lite" say it depicted Stalin as a hero.

In June, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, another Soviet-era reformer, urged the creation of a memorial to victims of Stalin's gulag, lamenting those who think of him as a "brilliant manager" rather than a murderous dictator.

Khrushchev is generally recalled in the West as the shoe-banging Soviet leader who confronted a youthful President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. But in Russia, he may be best remembered for the 1956 speech.

To those who defend Stalin's memory, the story of Leonid's supposed treachery suggests the speech was an act of vengeance.

According to official accounts, Senior Lt. Leonid N. Khrushchev, a fighter pilot, disappeared during an air battle near the town of Zhizdra southwest of Moscow on March 11, 1943. Leonid's fellow pilots presumed that the 26-year-old's plane had been shot down and he was killed. Neither he nor his aircraft was ever found.

His death certificate says he died on the day of the air battle. He was posthumously awarded the Order of the Great Patriotic War.

William C. Taubman of Amherst College, who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning 2003 biography of Nikita Khrushchev, flatly rejects stories of Leonid's alleged defection and execution. "I'm convinced Leonid was shot down and killed in the war, and that he was neither a captive nor collaborator of the Germans," he wrote in an e-mail.

However, a small but persistent group of authors have reasserted the claim repeatedly since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

In a 2004 encyclopedia titled "The Epoch of Stalin: The People and the Events," Vladimir Sukhodeyev wrote that Nikita Khrushchev fell to his knees and begged Stalin to spare Leonid's life. "Stalin asked him to stand up and get a hold of himself," Sukhodeyev wrote.

The author declined a request for an interview. "I have said everything in my book, there is nothing to add," he said.

Khrushchev, who died in 1971, did not mention the rumors about the circumstances of Leonid's death in his memoirs.

According to the Khrushchev family, the KGB spread rumors of Leonid Khrushchev's execution as part of an effort in the 1960s to rehabilitate Stalin following Nikita Khrushchev's ouster and the rollback of his reforms. Khrushcheva said she first heard the tales when they resurfaced in the late 1980s, presumably as part of a campaign against Gorbachev's reforms.

"It's not the truth. It is rumor," she said. "But then it became widespread."

Sergei Khrushchev said he believes the tales likely have at least the tacit endorsement of authorities. "Nothing happens in Russia without the support of the government," he said.

Putin's office -- he is now prime minister -- did not respond to a request for comment. Alexei Pavlov, a spokesman for President Dmitry Medvedev, said the Kremlin had no connection with the First Channel broadcast and could not comment.

For Yulia Khrushcheva, the May 2006 miniseries "Stars of the Era," was the last straw. She filed a lawsuit against broadcaster First Channel accusing it of "degrading the honor, dignity and good name of Khrushchev, L. N." The suit sought unspecified damages.

Russian courts have so far refused to hear the case, ruling that broadcasters have a right to air fictional accounts of historical figures. The miniseries was rebroadcast as recently as May on a different nationwide network.

First Channel repeatedly promised a response to The Associated Press' requests for comment, but none was received.

Yulia Khrushcheva has taken her case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

The court so far has not agreed to hear "Khrushchev vs. Russia."


Associated Press Writer Paul Sonne contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed


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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Леонид  ХрущёвЛеонид ХрущёвSon10.11.191711.03.1943
        2Sergei  KhrushchevSergei KhrushchevSon02.07.193518.06.2020
        Nedežda HruščovaDaughter
        Jeļena HruščovaDaughter00.00.193700.00.1972
        5Ņina HruščovaŅina HruščovaDaughter, Wife14.04.190013.08.1984
        Юлия ХрущеваDaughter00.00.191600.00.1981
        7Rada AdžubejaRada AdžubejaDaughter04.04.192913.08.2016
        Ефросинья ХрущеваWife
        9Алексей  АджубейАлексей АджубейSon in-law09.01.192419.03.1993
        10Любовь  СизыхЛюбовь СизыхDaughter in-law00.00.1912
        Роза ТрейвасDaughter in-law
        Gaļina ŠumovaDaughter in-law00.00.193518.01.2020
        13Jurijs  Hruščovs EtingersJurijs Hruščovs EtingersGrandson15.04.193507.12.2003
        14Юлия ХрущеваЮлия ХрущеваGranddaughter00.00.194008.06.2017

        21.01.1924 | Vai Ļeņinam palikt mūžam dzīvam jeb laiks apbedīt?

        Latvijas okupācijas gados 21.janvāris kalendārā bija iezīmēts ar melnu krāsu. Šajā dienā mira cilvēks, ko šodien daudzi dēvē par visu pasaules nelaimju cēloni – tas Vladimirs Uļjanovs (Ļeņins). Viņa mirstīgās atliekas jeb pareizāk būtu teikt, tas, kas vispār no tām palicis pāri, vēl joprojām glabājas Maskavas sirdī – Sarkanā laukuma mauzolejā. Vai nebūtu pienācis laiks tās apbedīt?

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        30.07.1937 | NKVD Order No. 00447

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        21.08.1937 | Padomju Savienībā tiek iznīcināti Polijas kompartijas līderi un biedri

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        30.01.1943 | Staļingradā (Volgogradā) kapitulē 6. vācu armija. Lūzums 2. Pasaules kara gaitā, vācieši sāk atkāpties

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        19.04.1943 | Cекретное постановление Совнаркома от 19 апреля 1943 года об управлении контрразведки СМЕРШ

        При выполнении боевых операций, а также в любых других условиях бойцы СМЕРШа не имели права уклоняться от боя ни на своей, ни на немецкой стороне.

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        01.10.1949 | Proklamēta Ķinas Tautas republika- šobrīd viena no vecākajām komunistiskajām valstīm

        Ķīnas Tautas Republika tika proklamēta 1949. gada 1. oktobrī Pekinā, pēc komunistu uzvaras pilsoņu karā pār gomiņdana partiju. Par Ķīnas Komunistiskās partijas (ĶKP) un valsts vadītāju kļuva komunistu līderis Mao Dzeduns. Komunistu valsts proklamēšanai sekoja 10 gadus ilgs "Lielais lēciens"

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        12.09.1953 | Nikita Krushchev was elected as the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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        19.02.1954 | The transfer of Crimea

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        18.05.1954 | Кенги́рское восстание

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        14.09.1954 | Sevišķi slepens atombumbas izmēģinājums "Sniedziņš" poligonā uz dzīvniekiem un cilvēkiem. Ap 43000 upuru

        PSRS tika veikta slepena operācija - Sniedziņš: atombumbas izmēģinājums poligonā, kur dažādos attālumos no epicentra tika izvietotas karaspēka daļas, mājdzīvnieki. Mēŗkis - pētīt sprādziena efektu. Ap 43000 bojāgājušie.

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        14.05.1955 | Communist states signed Warsaw Pact

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        10.08.1955 | Секретный бордель высших руководителей СССР - Дело гладиаторов

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        14.02.1956 | XX съезд КПСС - осуждение культа личности Сталина

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        25.02.1956 | Nikita Khrushchev sensationally denounced Josef Stalin in a speech at a Communist Party congress in Moscow

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        19.10.1956 | Październik 1956: rozpoczęło się VIII Plenum KC PZPR, na którego obrady bez uprzedzenia przybyła delegacja radziecka na czele z Nikitą Chruszczowem. W kierunku Warszawy zaczęły się przesuwać stacjonujące w Polsce oddziały Armii Czerwonej

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        23.10.1956 | Ungārijas pretkomunistiskā revolūcija

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        02.11.1956 | Ungārijas valdība paziņo par izstāšanos no Varšavas bloka un lūdz ANO aizsargāt no PSRS iebrukuma

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        04.11.1956 | Ungārijas revolūcija: PSRS bruņotie spēki iebruka Ungārijā, lai apspiestu sacelšanos pret PSRS marionešu režīmu

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        25.05.1957 | Atvērta lielākā PSRS viesnīca "Ukraina" Maskavā

        Mūsdienās - Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow

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        28.07.1957 | The 6th World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow

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        25.08.1957 | Выпуск первого советского корабля на подводных крыльях «Ракета».

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        29.09.1957 | Kyshtym (Mayak) disaster

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        03.11.1957 | Laika became the first dog to travel in space, aboard the Soviet spaceship "Sputnik 2"

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        07.01.1959 | Kubas komunistiskā "revolūcija"

        Kubas vadītājs bija viena no pretrunīgākajām personībām mūsdienu politiskajā pasaulē. Par spīti izteiktajam naidīgumam, ko pret viņu pauž, visspēcīgākā valsts pasaulē, kaimiņzeme – ASV, Kastro ir sasniedzis to, kas neizdevās Ļeņinam, Hruščovam un Brežņevam kopā, jo atrodoties tālu no tiešas PSRS ietekmes, spēja daudzus gadus saņemt subsīdijas no PSRS tikai par to, ka notur Kremlim uzticamu varu.

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        09.06.1959 | Rīgā ierodas PSKP CK 1. sekretārs. Latvijā tiek uzsākta pastiprināta rusifikācijas programma

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        01.05.1960 | The American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down over the Soviet Union

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        12.10.1960 | Przywódca ZSRR Nikita Chruszczow, chcąc wyrazić swą dezaprobatę wobec krytyki polityki jaką ZSRR prowadził w stosunku do krajów Europy Wschodniej, uderzał własnym butem w pulpit w czasie debaty w auli ONZ

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        12.10.1960 | на 15-й ассамблее ООН имел место курьёзный инцидент с Н. С. Хрущёвым и его ботинком.

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        24.10.1960 | Nedelin catastrophe

        The Nedelin catastrophe or Nedelin disaster was a launch pad accident that occurred on 24 October 1960 at Baikonur test range (of which Baikonur Cosmodrome is a part), during the development of the Soviet ICBM R-16. As a prototype of the missile was being prepared for a test flight, an explosion occurred when second stage engines ignited accidentally, killing many military and technical personnel working on the preparations. Despite the magnitude of the disaster, news of it was suppressed for many years and the Soviet government did not acknowledge the event until 1989. The disaster is named after Chief Marshal of Artillery Mitrofan Nedelin (Russian: Митрофан Иванович Неделин), who was killed in the explosion. As commanding officer of the Soviet Union's Strategic Rocket Forces, Nedelin was head of the R-16 development program.

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        03.06.1961 | Ņikitas Hruščova un Džona Fitdžeralda Kennedija divdienu sarunas Vīnē

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        13.08.1961 | Berlin Wall

        The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the Wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that had marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period. The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the "Anti-Fascist Protective Wall" (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) by GDR authorities, implying that the NATO countries and West Germany in particular were considered equal to "fascists" by GDR propaganda. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the "Wall of Shame"—a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt—while condemning the Wall's restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize a physical marker of the "Iron Curtain" that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Before the Wall's erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from which they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the Wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the Wall, with an estimated death toll ranging from 136 to more than 200 in and around Berlin. In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc's authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary.[9] After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of what was left. Contrary to popular belief the Wall's actual demolition did not begin until the summer of 1990 and was not completed until 1992. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.

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        17.10.1961 | The 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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        30.10.1961 | Novaja Zemļa arhipelāgā uzspridzināta lielākā ūdeņraža bumba vēsturē

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        30.10.1961 | PSKP Kongress nolemj novelt no PSKP vainu par miljoniem noslepkavoto uz mirušo Josifu Staļinu

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        31.10.1961 | Staļins tiek aizvākts no Ļeņina mauzoleja

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        02.06.1962 | Novocherkassk massacre

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        16.10.1962 | The Cuban missile crisis—known as the October Crisis or Caribbean Crisis

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        25.10.1962 | Kubas raķešu krīze

        Adlai Stīvensons (Adlai Stevenson) ANO Drošības padomē parāda fotogrāfijas, kurās redzams, ka Kubā ir uzstādītas Padomju Savienības raķetes. Tas noved pie ASV - Krievijas attiecību krīzes

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        26.10.1962 | Н. Хрущёв и Дж. Кеннеди договорились о возврате советских кораблей, везущих на Кубу ракеты

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        27.10.1962 | Kubas raķešu krīze: Virs Kubas ar padomju raķetēm tiek notriekta ASV izlūklidmašīna

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        28.10.1962 | Karību krīze: PSRS vadītājs Ņikita Hruščovs paziņoja, ka tiks izvāktas raķetes no Kubas

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        16.01.1963 | PSRS vadītājs Ņ. Hruščovs publiski paziņo, ka PSRS ir radījusi ūdeņraža bumbu

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        28.08.1963 | Vašingtonas Maršs par Darbu un Brīvību

        Vašingtonas Maršs par Darbu un Brīvību bija viena no plašākajām cilvēktiesību manifestācijām ASV vēsturē, tas notika 1963. gada 28. augustā. Marša mērķis bija panākt "krāsaino" reālu līdztiesību un izbeigt rasu segregāciju Par spīti valdības dienestu apgalvojumiem, maršā praktiski nepiedalījās komunisti, jo "krāaino" cilvēktiesību grupu vadītāji apzināti noraidīja jebkādu oficiālu sadarbību ar šiem, pārsvarā no PSRS finansētajiem cilvēktiesību pārkāpējiem, kuri jebkurus nemierus bija gatavi izmantot stāvokļa destabilizācijai.

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        14.10.1964 | Brezhnev appointed CPSU First Secretary

        Decade of stabilisation & some economic growth followed

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        15.10.1964 | Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power

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        08.04.1966 | Leonīds Brežņevs tiek ievēlēts par PSKP ģenerālsekretāru

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        26.12.1982 | Time Magazine pirmo reizi nomināciju "Man of the Year" (gada cilvēks) piešķīra personālajam datoram

        ASV žurnāls Time Magazine pirmo reizi nomināciju "Man of the Year" (gada cilvēks) piešķīra nevis dzīvam cilvēkam, bet gan personālajam datoram

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        26.12.1991 | PSRS oficiāli beidz pastāvēt

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