30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

End of the Cold War, 1989-1991

May 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2013 – Today the National Security Archive is publishing — for the first time in English — excerpts from the diary of Anatoly S. Chernyaev from 1973, along with edits and a postscript by the author. As in the previous installment of the diary, for 1972, Chernyaev, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee (and later a key foreign policy aide to Mikhail Gorbachev), continues to marvel at the contradictory and enigmatic person at the pinnacle of the Soviet leadership — General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.
May 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare By Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part II By Nate Jones, May 21, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part I By Nate Jones, May 16, 2013  
Apr 12, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2013 – Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who passed away this week, built a surprising mutual-admiration relationship with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s – including behind-the-scenes agreement against the reunification of Germany, and profound disagreement about nuclear abolition – according to translated Soviet records of key meetings between the two leaders, posted online today for the first time by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
May 25, 2012 | Briefing Book
Translated and edited by Anna Melyakova and Svetlana Savranskaya "Anatoly Chernyaev's diary is one of the great internal records of the Gorbachev years, a trove of irreplaceable observations about a turning point in history. There is nothing else quite like it, allowing the reader to sit at Gorbachev's elbow at the time of perestroika and glasnost, experiencing the breakthroughs and setbacks. It is a major contribution to our understanding of this momentous period." — David E.
Nov 22, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 22, 2011 - Marking the 20th anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Gorbachev Foundation hosted a two-day conference in Moscow on November 10-11, co-organized by the National Security Archive and the Carnegie Moscow Center, examining the historical experience of 1989-1991 and the echoes today.
Aug 19, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 19, 2011 -The hardline coup d’etat 20 years ago today in Moscow surprised its plotters with unexpected resistance from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, from Russian democratic opposition forces, and from the international community including the Bush administration, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
May 25, 2011 | Briefing Book
"Anatoly Chernyaev's diary is one of the great internal records of the Gorbachev years, a trove of irreplacable observations about a turning point in history. There is nothing else quite like it, allowing the reader to sit at Gorbachev's elbow at the time of perestroika and glasnost, experiencing the breakthroughs and setbacks. It is a major contribution to our understanding of this momentous period."
Jun 13, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 13, 2010 - The Washington summit 20 years ago this month between Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev brought dramatic realization on the American side of the severe domestic political pressures facing the Soviet leader, produced an agreement in principle on trade but no breakthrough on Germany, and only slow progress towards the arms race in reverse which Gorbachev had offered, according to previously secret Soviet and U.S. documents posted today by the National Security Archive.
May 25, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2010 - Today the National Security Archive publishes its fifth installment of the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, the man who was behind some of the most momentous transformations in Soviet foreign policy at the end of the 1980s in his role as Mikhail Gorbachev's chief foreign policy aide. In addition to his contributions to perestroika and new thinking, Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev was and remains a strong proponent of openness and transparency, providing his diaries and notes to historians trying to understand the end of the Cold War.
May 6, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2010 - Internal documents reveal that in the final years of the Cold War the top leadership of the Soviet Union debated the cover-up of their illicit biological weapons program in the face of protests from the United States and Great Britain. The documents, first disclosed in a new book by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy, are being posted in English translation today by the National Security Archive.

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