John Rettie - the journalist who revealed Khrushchev speech

The Guardian today publishes the obituary of foreign correspondent John Rettie, who has died aged 83.

Rettie is best known for breaking the news of Khrushchev’s speech denouncing Stalin in 1956.

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During his journalistic career of nearly 50 years, he served as a correspondent in several parts of the world, including the Soviet Union and Latin America, as well as Finland, Mexico, Sri Lanka and India.

He wrote mostly for the Guardian and Reuters, and broadcast for the BBC World Service.

Throughout his life, he remained most proud of his 1956 scoop. He had spent two years in Moscow before buying the details of Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech denouncing the crimes of Stalinl.

The Guardian obituary described Rettie as “an old-fashioned liberal, an enthusiastic supporter of national independence, highly critical of the Soviet and, increasingly, the US empires. Endlessly witty and amusing, a wonderful storyteller and teacher – though possessing a caustic tongue – he had an immense, global army of friends.”



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