History Quiz / Leaders of the USSR

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Can you name the Leaders of the USSR?

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YearsLeaderInformation
8 November 1917 - 21 January 1924Led the Bolsheviks through the Russian Revolution and was the first Chairman of the Sovnarkom, as well as being Premier of the Russian SFSR and the USSR until his long illness and eventual death in 1924.
2 February 1924 - 18 May 1929Succeeded Lenin as Premier of the USSR; although he was the de jure leader, he quickly lost most of his power during the leadership struggle of the 1920s, eventually being accused of 'right-wing deviationism', removed from his post and later executed.
1920s - 5 March 1953The General Secretary of the Communist Party assumed the leadership after a long power struggle following Lenin's death; ruling as a dictator, he removed his rivals in the purges of the 1930s, and his autocratic reign continued through World War II until his death in 1953.
5 March 1953 - 8 February 1955A member of his predecessor's inner circle, this leader came to power after his death as Premier. He was considered the most powerful politician in the country for a few years in the early 1950s, but lost out in the power struggle against the man who would succeed him.
27 March 1955 - 14 October 1964Serving as First Secretary from 1953, he emerged victorious from the power struggle of the 50s, assuming control in 1955. He led the country through agricultural reforms and, famously, the Cuban Missile Crisis, but was eventually forced from power in 1964.
14 October 1964 - 10 November 1982Assuming control in the 1960s, he was First Secretary and later Chairman of the Presidium. Under his 18-year tenure, the USSR's global power increased dramatically, but internal policies led to a long era of stagnation, which probably hastened the nation's dissolution. He died in office aged 75 in 1982.
12 November 1982 - 9 February 1984The former head of the KGB became Chairman after his predecessor's death. His short tenure saw an extremely tense period in the Cold War with relations with the West deteriorating and the threat of war becoming closer. However he died aged 69 in 1984, just 15 months after taking office.
13 February 1984 - 10 March 1985Despite his predecessor's wishes and his own poor health, this leader became First Secretary and Chairman of the Presidium in 1984. In his seventies, he was ailing quickly, and soon became unable to attend Politburo meetings. He died of heart and respiratory problems just a year after becoming leader.
11 March 1985 - 25 December 1991Becoming leader in 1985, he initiated a huge program of reforms, including glasnost and perestroika, in response to the problems caused by his predecessors' rules. He also embarked on highly important diplomatic meetings with Western leaders, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and ultimately led to the dissolution of the USSR altogether.

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