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Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born in Kalinovka in southern Russia on April 17, 1894. As a child, Khrushchev attended a religious school where he learned to read and write. He also took a job taking care of cattle and continued until he was in his early teens. At the age of fifteen he became an apprentice mechanic in Yuzovka, a growing town in the Ukraine, where his father was working as a miner. When his apprenticeship ended, he was employed as a machine repairman in coal mines of the region, where he worked for nearly a decade.
In 1918, at the age of twenty-four, Khrushchev joined the Communist Party, a political party that believes goods and services should be owned and distributed by the government. As a Communist, he enrolled in the Red Army to fight in the civil war then in progress. At the time, the Russian Revolution was storming the country. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, were Communists that overthrew the czarist rule of Russia. Communism took control of Russia in 1917. But not all of Russia agreed with the new government and soon civil war broke out between the Red Guards, who supported the Bolsheviks and the Whites, who opposed the new rule.