Nikita Khrushchev during his visit to IndiaDmitry Baltermanz/MAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
What is probably engrained in everyone’s mind is the image of the leader of the proletariat as a passionate orator, delivering speech after speech from a platform. However, there are also rare photos of him as a man about town in Europe during his youth, or as a kindly-looking man in his later years.
Lenin (second from left) at the terrace of Maxim Gorky's villa on Capri, ItalyRussian State Archive of Social-Political History/russiainphoto.ru
Lenin taking notes at the Third Congress of the Comintern in the KremlinKarl Bulla/Sputnik
Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya riding around in their Gorki estate near MoscowSputnik
Lenin in Gorki estate, 1922Maria Ulyanova/Sputnik
Photographs of Stalin fell into a special category and were used for propaganda purposes. Many of them were never shown to the people and it was forbidden to take photos of him when he was off his guard. Still, some shots showing the ruthless figure of Stalin as an ordinary person have survived to this day.
Joseph Stalin in Uzbek national clothes, 1930sMAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Stalin (center) and Anastas Mikoyan (right) taking restSputnik
Stalin playing Russian folk game 'Gorodki', early 1920sPersonal archive of E.Kovalenko/Sputnik
Joseph Stalin, Sergei Kirov and Stalin's daughter Svetlana, 1930sPersonal archive of E.Kovalenko/Sputnik
Stalin and Churchill during the Yalta ConferenceGetty Images
Stalin laughing (!) on top of Lenin's MausoleumGetty Images
Khrushchev can be described as the most relaxed leader as far as his own appearance was concerned. Most of the jokes, funny stories and anecdotes about Soviet leaders involve him - the story of how he used the expression “I’ll show you Kuzma’s mother” [the rough equivalent of “I’ll show you what's what!”] during a UN address speaks volumes. The general secretary of the USSR Communist Party was a very spontaneous person, and even during official visits didn’t shy away from unfamiliar cameras.
Nikita Khrushchev as the First Secretary of Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party, 1935Boris Ignatovich/MAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Prime-Minister of Indian state Jammu and Kashmir, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, and Nikita Khrushchev during his visit to India in 1955. Mutual feeding, a Kashmiri hospitality custom.Dmitry Baltermants/МАММ/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Nikita Khrushchev taking a sunbath on a boatMAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Nikita Khrushchev, Roman Karmen and an unknown woman with a childLev Petrov/MAMM/MDF/russiainphoto.ru
Brezhnev’s most iconic photos - showing him kissing the leaders of friendly states on the lips - is immortalized in graffiti on the Berlin Wall [kissing DDR leader Erich Honecker]. He was one of the most “senior” leaders, hence his informal photos often show him on vacation and in the company of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Leonid Brezhnev in a sport suit drinking tea on his dachaVladimir Musoelyan/MAMM/MDF/TASS/russiainphoto.ru
Leonid Brezhnev and his great granddaughter GalyaVladimir Musoelyan/MAMM/MDF/TASS/russiainphoto.ru
Leonid Brezhnev in a banyaGetty Images
In the era of glasnost and perestroika ushered in by this leader, it was already difficult to hide any photographs from the people. In any case, Gorbachev behaved pretty immaculately. Almost always.
Mikhail Gorbachev (L) and French film star Gerard Depardieu at their meetin gduring a film festival in Moscow, 1993Reuters
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev puts a cowboy hat on backwards during a visit to the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, 1998AP
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