Russian History Online: The Khrushchev Years

The Khrushchev Years is a website structured as an online course on the life and career of one of the most important figures of the soviet era. Note that it is located off of RAO's site, and will open in a separate window. This site is currently available in Russian. We are in the process of translating the entire project into English, and when completed, the English site will be made available online.

While this version of the course is primarily intended for students of Russian universities and Slavic departments of USA universities, the authors hope that it will be useful to the general public as well. It can be used for both self-paced studies and for class lectures and seminars.

We hope that this site, a historical course accompanied by archival photos and film clips, will give students and visitors the opportunity to feel the spirit of the Khrushchev era and to see with their own eyes the realities of that time. This period in Russian history was later named "Ottepel"(The Thaw). This term accurately reflects the events and the atmosphere of that turning-point which came after Stalin's death.

Course topics:
  1. USSR between 1920s and early 1940s.
  2. Khrushchev's brief biography up to early 1950s
  3. 1945 until the beginning of 1953: The epoch of total fear
  4. 1953-1955: Struggle for power after the death of Stalin
  5. 1953-1955: Between the Cold War and peaceful co-existence
  6. The 20th CPSU Congress, and the liberation of society
  7. 1956: Conflicts and Peaceful co-existence.
  8. 1957 - 1961: Soviet ideology and the problems that come with liberalization after Stalin
  9. 1957 - 1961: Soviet's planned economy - Advances and failures
  10. 1957- 1959: USSR foreign policy
  11. 1960 - 1961: The eve of war: Berlin Wall and Caribbean Crisis
  12. The end of Khrushchev era

USA Project partners

University of Texas at Austin:
  • David Gracy, the Director of the Center for the Cultural Record
  • Thomas Garza, Professor
  • Oliver Chen, Assistant Professor
Abamedia, L.P.
  • J. Mitchell Johnson, President
  • Jen Tsai, Manager

Russian project partners

Keldysh Institute for Applied Mathematics RAS :
  • Yuri Bukhshtab, Head of Laboratory
  • Andrei Vorobiov, Senior Research Scientist
  • Natalia Evteeva, Senior Research Scientist

History Content written by Alexei Peskov, Professor, Moscow State University
Graphic Designer: Alexander Volkovich

Photo and video materials used in this course come from the Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archives at Krasnogorsk. The electronic catalog of film documentaries from the archives can be found on this site and from certain private collections.

The text of the course has been edited by Sergey Khrushchev, and his commentary is also included in the course.