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Sergei Khrushchev

Sergei Khrushchev (1935–2020), Nikita Khrushchev’s son who became a U.S. citizen

by Linnea Crowther

Sergei Khrushchev was the son of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, and he became known for becoming a U.S. citizen and speaking about the Cold War.

  • Died: June 18, 2020 (Who else died on June 18?)
  • Details of death: Died in Cranston, Rhode Island at the age of 84.
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Dual citizenship

As Khrushchev grew up in the Soviet Union, his father advanced in the Communist Party, becoming the country’s leader in 1953 as the Cold War sharply escalated. The younger Khrushchev lived much of his life a Soviet citizen, becoming an engineer and working on cruise missiles and spacecraft. In 1991, not long after the fall of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev moved to the U.S. to take a position at Brown University’s Center for Foreign Policy Development. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1999, though he also maintained his Russian citizenship and always said he hadn’t defected, as the U.S. and Russia “were no longer enemies” at the time of his move. During his years in the U.S., Khrushchev served as an advisor to the Cold War Museum and educated U.S. audiences on the Soviet side of the Cold War.

Khrushchev on his first visit to the U.S., in 1959

“It was a different world. It was like the discovery America. It was like Columbus or anybody else. We were shocked by skyscrapers, the roads, and the cars. We expected these things, but everything was interesting. It was most interesting that America is not Manhattan. America is very different. It is individual homes, and very well developed infrastructure.” —from a 2008 interview with Kyle Kordon


What they said about him

Full Obituary: The Moscow Times

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