During Khrushchev's time at the helm, which lasted to 1964, life in the Soviet Union was much less harsh than it had been under Stalin.
Khrushchev instigated no purges, production of consumer goods was increased and apartment buildings began to sprout up instead of factories.
The USSR also made well meaning attempts to mend fences with communist rivals in Yugoslavia and Red China.
The sudden end to the bloody stalemate in Korea just after Stalin's death was no accident, but for all the friendly public relations initiatives,
Khrushchev's USSR was still welded to the old Stalinist goals of military superiority and fostering world revolution.
For all of his bluster Khrushchev himself was a dangerous foe who believed implicitly in the triumph of communism,
he believed it would happen in 1980.
Once the USSR had built its first nuclear bomb and blew it up in 1949,
the arms race boiled down to developing more effective means of delivering the deadly goods.
The US and its allies originally favoured long range bombers while the soviets experimented with rockets.