ideological and economic significance". On 7 November 1917, the Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, ending the rule of the Provisional Government and leaving all political power to the Soviets. Yuri Andropov was 68 years old and Konstantin Chernenko 72 when they assumed power; both died in less than two years. "Main Intelligence Administration (GRU) Glavnoye Razvedovatel'noye Upravlenie Russia / Soviet Intelligence Agencies". The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, pushed for socialist revolution in the Soviets and on the streets. On, Stalin died and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization of Soviet society through the Khrushchev Thaw. This is generally recognized as marking the official, final dissolution of the Soviet Union as a functioning state, and the end of the Cold War. Internally displaced Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, 1993 Country emblems of the Soviet Republics before and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (note that the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (fifth in the second row) no longer exists as a political entity of any kind and. 19 Throughout its existence, the Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space.