- Head of the secret police
- Stalin's cheif henchman from 1938-1953
- A sinister master of intrigue and a sexual predator who picked up women from the streets for his own pleasure.
- Despite his association with Stalin's apparatus of terror, there are indications that Beria would have introduced some liberal reforms if he had become Stalin's successor.
- He initiated the release of 1 million prisoners from Labour camps.
- He was to underestimate Khrushchev during the power struggle and was outmanoeuvred by the 'moon faced idiot'.
- Arrested and shot in 1953
- Rose through the ranks of the Communist Party under Stalin to become a Politburo member in 1946.
- On Stalin's death he held the positions of Prime Minister and head of the Party.
- His foreign policy was known as the 'New Course', and this encouraged better relations with the West.
-Within the Politburo he was also outmanouvred by Khruschev in 1957 and dismissed.
-He was then sent to Kazakhstan to run a hydroelectric plant but his active political career was over.
- Emerged as a leaver of the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin in 1953.
- Although he was a committed communist, Khruschev wanted to move away from the brutal policies of Stalin.
- He criticised Stalin's policies during a congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956 and encouraged De-Stalinisation
- In international relations Khruschev adopted a softer tone towards the West than Stalin had.
- He believed that the superpowers should accept each others existence, and put forward the idea of 'peaceful co-existance'.
-Yet when soviet power was under attack, Khruschev made threats to the West.
- His language was often colourful and undiplomatic.The Soviet climbdown during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was a personal embarrassment from which he never recoverd.
- He was sacked by the Soviet politburo in 1964 and died quietly in retirement in 1971