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Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born in 1894 to an illiterate peasant family in Kalinovka a village near Russias border with Ukraine To supplement his familys meager income he began working at an early age but despite this and despite his fathers second job as a coal miner Khrushchevs family was unable to survive as farmers In 1908 they moved to an industrial center in Ukraine where young Nikita began working in a factory It was the beginning of his activist career at the age of 18 Khrushchev joined a group of workers who had organized a strike protesting working conditions He was fired Khrushchev found another job but continued his activism helping to organize strikes in 1915 and 1916 In 1917 after the Russian Revolution had ousted the Czar Khrushchev joined the Bolshevik forces of the Red Army in the Russian civil war serving as a political commissar He was now a dedicated communist After the war Khrushchev was given a series of political assignments and received his first formal training in Marxism at a Technical College After graduation he was appointed to a political post in Ukraine where Lazar Kaganovich a protege of Joseph Stalin was head of the Communist Party Khrushchev joined Kaganovich in supporting Stalin in his power struggles against Leon Trotsky and Nikolai Bukharin With Stalins success Khrushchevs career soared In the 1930s Khrushchev was promoted from one political position to the next until finally in 1935 he became second in command of the Moscow Communist Party In Moscow Khrushchev oversaw construction of much of Moscows subway system and in 1939 he became a full member of the Politburo Khrushchevs rise to power coincided with one of the darkest periods in Soviet history the Great Terror During the 1930s Stalin began a series of bloody purges to consolidate his power The terror spread throughout the Soviet Union and Khrushchev was part of it denouncing several
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