Reported in the News Letter on March 28, 1958: Khrushchev becomes dictator of Russia

editorial image

Mr Khrushchev yesterday supplanted Marshal Bulganin as Soviet Premier, and became virtually dictator of Russia. Like Stalin, he retains control of the Communist Party by continuing as its First Secretary.

His appointment to the Premiership was proposed by Marshal Voroshilov, who was re-elected President of the Soviet Union, at today’s meeting of the Supreme Soviet in the Kremlin.

Mr Khrushchev stood with bowed head as the proposal was received with acclamation. Marshal Bulganin clapped with the others, but he does not yet know what job is in store for him.

Mr Mikoyan, a Deputy Premier, was the first to seize the hand of Mr Khrushchev in congratulation and pump it up and down half-a-dozen times. Mr Khrushchev looked up and smiled.

The only other man to have held both the Premiership and the Party leadership since Stalin was Mr Maienkov, and he only for a week after Stalin’s death. Then Mr Khrushchev took the Party post.

The change appears to end the famous globe-trotting Bulganin-Khrushchev partnership, in which the two leaders visited Britain and many other countries together.

Marshal Bulganin also will no longer, as Premier, conduct his voluminous correspondence with the West, which made him known as the most prolific letter-writer among world statesmen.

Change in Soviet foreign policy is highly unlikely because Mr Khrushchev has become Premier. All that now happens is that the man who has made Soviet international policy in the background comes to the foreground, the Press Association diplomatic correspondent says.

[Nikita Khrushchev, 1894-1971, was Soviet Premier until 1964.]