Oct 12, 2020
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Once a year, a shoe shoots: how Khrushchev made fun and frightened at the same time

© AP Photo

Shouts from the spot, laughter and abuse - at the 15th session of the UN General Assembly, the Soviet delegation was noisy. The apotheosis of "non-parliamentary behavior" was the act of Nikita Khrushchev: during a regular meeting, on October 12, 1960, the Soviet leader began to knock on the table with his shoe.

© RIA Novosti / Anatoly Garanin

Speech by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev at a session of the UN General Assembly in the framework of the official visit of the Soviet government delegation to the United States. New York. September 1959

It was impossible to drive out the "hooligans" from the General Assembly. They represented not just one of a hundred countries, but the USSR. We limited ourselves to a fine. The Soviet side paid $ 10,000: as they say, you will get "for breaking the dishes."

Emotion surged

What was discussed then in New York, few people remember. But many people know about "Khrushchev's boot". For some, he is a symbol of political power, for others - a clown trick. Still others believe that there was no shoe. However, historical photos have survived: Nikita Khrushchev is at the table, on the table in front of him is his shoe. More precisely, a light, light-colored low shoes. "There is evidence that Khrushchev knocked," says Evgeny Sobolev, a member of the Russian Association of American Historians:

"I explain this by Khrushchev's shocking. The Assembly discussed the issue related to the decolonization of Africa. Western countries promoted their approach, and Khrushchev insisted on the opposite Soviet position. He always spoke very emotionally. In this sense, he was an uncharacteristic Soviet leader. His emotions played as positive, and a negative role, including in the foreign policy of the Soviet Union. "

© AP Photo

First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Nikita Khrushchev in Beltsville, USA. 1959 year

Why did Khrushchev soar the most? In one "unfriendly speech", a parallel was drawn between African countries and those European countries that were part of the socialist bloc.

And then the word "x"

© RIA News

Nikita Khrushchev

Witnesses of the events say that the low shoes on Khrushchev's table appeared by accident. As if he was going to a meeting, someone stepped on his heel from behind, his shoes fell off, Nikita Sergeevich did not stop, reached the place and sat down half-shoe. And when they put in front of him what he had lost, he was in no hurry to put it on: he twisted it in his hand, examined the sole. So the Soviet leader tried to restrain himself, demonstrating indifference to what the delegate from the Philippines was saying at that moment. But the Filipino suggested: let's add the countries of Eastern Europe to the declaration on the decolonization of Africa, because they were "swallowed up by the Soviet Union." And then the Soviet delegation stamped their feet, beat them with their fists, and Nikita Khrushchev tapped him several times with his low shoe. Laughter interspersed with indignant hum passed through the hall, photographers jumped up, and Khrushchev understood: the impudent Filipino must be squeezed not like a child. I went to the podium and called him "American lackey." That was really offensive. But no one has found an adequate translation of the word "lackey". Neither was there a daredevil who would write the countries of Eastern Europe into the "African declaration".

Posted by Olga Bugrova, Radio Sputnik

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