The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum hosted its third Speaker Series event of the summer, as Dr. Sergei Khrushchev joined the museum for a lengthy Q&A session on July 31, 2014.
Dr. Sergei Khrushchev is the son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Dr. Khrushchev is now a United States citizen who lives in the US and is a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Dr. Khrushchev has several advanced engineering degrees and held various high-level engineering positions in the Soviet Union from 1968-1991. Such experience gives Dr. Khrushchev a wealth of knowledge about the Cold War from the Soviet Union’s point of view, specifically the Soviet Union’s nuclear program.
The evening began at the JFK Hyannis Museum where the JFK Foundation held a private reception with Dr. Khrushchev and guests. Following the reception, Dr. Khrushchev headed over to Barnstable High School for the main event. Upon arrival to Barnstable High School, Dr. Khrushchev was met with a sold out Knight Auditorium, marking the museum’s most successful Speaker Series event thus far this summer.
Rob Sennott hosted the event and spent the evening asking Dr. Khrushchev a plethora of wide-ranging questions that covered the Cold War, nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union, John F. Kennedy and Dr. Khrushchev’s father, former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Dr. Khrushchev spoke about his father’s respect for President Kennedy and the relationship that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev had during the early years of the Cold War. “The late 1960’s could have seen the end of the Cold War if both men had stayed in power,” said Dr. Khrushchev.
Dr. Khrushchev also spoke about the Space Race. However, perhaps the most interesting topic of the evening came with Dr. Khrushchev’s unique perspective on current day USA-Russia relations. Dr. Khrushchev was passionate that a constructive relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union is necessary for the good of both countries. However, he repeatedly insisted that the ongoing situation in the Ukraine is setting back relations between the two countries for years to come.
“Sanctions on Russia will not change Putin’s intentions,” said Dr. Khrushchev. “Putin will stand strong because he is afraid of losing the support of fellow politicans in Russia and his constituency.”
Following the end of the event, Dr. Khrushchev stayed to answer a number of questions from the media.
The next Speaker Series event will be held on August 13 at 6:00PM at the JFK Hyannis Museum. The event will feature author James Graham who recently wrote the book, “Victura: The Kennedy’s, a Sailboat and the Sea.” The book covers the Kennedy family passion for sailing and the sea. Tickets and more information can be found at www.jfkhyannismuseum.org.