Nikita Khrushchev assumed leadership of the Soviet Union during the period following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. Khrushchev served as a General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as a Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964.
In 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was forced to leave his post, and the Party leadership, a special “troika” representatives, consisting of Alexey Kosygin, Leonid Brezhnev, and Anastas Mikoyan initially replaced him. Brezhnev eventually assumed the central role among the three and under Brezhnev’s rule the Soviet Union expanded its sphere of influence to include much of Southeast Asia, Africa, parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Until his death, in 1971, the Soviet government closely monitored Khrushchev.
Khrushchev became famous and most recognized for his rejection of the “personality cult” that Stalin had fostered during his own thirty-year rule. Khrushchev also attempted the revival of the Communist campaign to suppress all remnant religious institutions in the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Khrushchev supported the invasion and crackdown on Hungary in 1956, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and the deployment of Soviet weapons in Cuba in 1962.