Khrushchev in Retirement

Khrushchev in Retirement

On October 2, 1964, shortly after his meeting with Sukarno, Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev flew south for a holiday, which he spent in his newly built dacha not far from Sochi. The dacha was a real palace: its indoor swimming pools were inlaid with marble brought from Italy. A high concrete wall, almost 2 km long, hid this most costly of all government dachas from the vulgar gaze of ordinary vacationers.

Khrushchev, however, did not feel the slightest bit ill or tired. He was full of energy and a thirst for work. Even on holiday he carried on receiving many government officials from West and East who were visiting the U.S.S.R., in particular parliamentary delegations from Japan and Pakistan. Also present at these meetings was the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, A. I. Mikoyan, who was also on holiday near Sochi at the time. October 12 was a particularly intensive day. The first three cosmonauts in history took off from earth in their space ship. The flight controllers were in constant telephone communication with Khrushchev, informing him of what was happening at the cosmodrome. When the space ship completed its third orbit, Khrushchev and Mikoyan linked up with the cosmonauts by radiotelephone and congratulated them on their success. In his jubilation and excitement Khrushchev did not notice that all the other telephones in his residence had stopped working and that all his links with the outside world had been cut off. That day in the Kremlin a session of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU had begun, in which Suslov and Shelyepin proposed the immediate removal of Khrushchev from all his posts.

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