Full name Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev. Upon the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, he became the supreme leader of the Soviet Union, holding the posts of First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Council of Ministers. He strove for peaceful co-existence with the capitalist bloc led by the United States. He received the Order of Lenin for his achievements in building the Moscow subway system.

A fierce critic of Stalin, Khrushchev pursued a policy of peaceful co-existence with capitalist countries like the U.S. and France, thereby effecting a temporary "thaw" in the Cold War. He was a champion of space development, launching the Sputnik Project in 1957 and the Vostok Project in 1960, and expanding the USSR's lead over America in the Space Race. Khrushchev left behind an impressive cultural legacy, including his defense of dissident author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's criticisms of socialism, and his reduction of nuclear stockpiles on the advice of Andrei Sakharov, the father of the Russian hydrogen bomb. However, he also faced increasing domestic criticism over his concessions to U.S. President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his failed agricultural policies, and backlash against his criticism of Stalin. He became embroiled in an ideological struggle with Mao Zedong's People's Republic of China, leading to the Sino-Soviet Split. In 1964, senior members at an emergency meeting of the Central Committee demanded Khrushchev's ouster and he retired from his posts as First Secretary of the Communist Party and Chairman of the Council of Ministers (premier). He was succeeded by Leonid Brezhnev and Alexey Kosygin.

During Operation Snake Eater in 1964, Khrushchev sent a spy through the KGB to betray an American agent. His plan was to destroy the Brezhnev faction by seizing the Philosophers' Legacy from GRU Colonel Volgin. However, the Legacy passed into the hands of the United States, causing Khrushchev's downfall.