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Khrushchev, Nikita

[(ni-kee-tuh kroosh-chawf, kroohsh-chef, kroohsh-chawf)]

A Soviet political leader of the twentieth century. Khrushchev, who was premier of the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early 1960s, led a campaign, called de-Stalinization, to remove the influence of the late premier Joseph Stalin from Soviet society. He urged peaceful coexistence between his country and Western nations. Within the Soviet Bloc, however, Khrushchev suppressed resistance to communist government, sending troops into Hungary in 1956. He also aided the government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. He had Soviet military missiles installed there but removed them at the insistence of the United States. (See Cuban missile crisis.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.