30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

May 25, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2017 –The National Security Archive marks what would have been Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev’s 96th birthday today with the publication for the first time in English of his extraordinary diary for 1977, written from inside the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, where he was then a Deputy Director of the International Department.
Mar 13, 2017 | News
Washington, D.C., March 13, 2017 – The National Security Archive mourns the passing of our dear friend, mentor, inspiration, and colleague, Anatoly Chernyaev, in Moscow at the age of 95. Anatoly Sergeyevich ranks as a leading protagonist of the peaceful end of the Cold War, a pioneer of “new thinking” on mutual security in international relations, and a transformative visionary for a demilitarized and democratic Soviet Union and a new Russia that tragically never came to be.
Feb 28, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. February 28, 2017 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower ruled out military intervention in Eastern Europe early in his administration, despite campaign rhetoric about rolling back world Communism, according to a U.S. Defense Department draft history published today by the National Security Archive. Fear of provoking war with the Soviet Union drove the decision, the study finds, based on research in a variety of government and public sources.
Jan 23, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 23, 2017 – The historic summit meetings between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and two U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, built an intensive learning process on both sides that ended the Cold War, but missed numerous other opportunities to make the world safer, according to the new book, The Last Superpower Summits, featured today in the Washington History Seminar at the Wilson Center.
Dec 25, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 25, 2016 – On Christmas Day 25 years ago, the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, stepped down and the hammer-and-sickle flags over the Kremlin were replaced with the red-white-and-blue of the Russian Federation. Triumphalists and conspiracy theorists ever since have attributed this epochal event to the machinations of U.S. policy makers.
Dec 20, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 20, 2016 – Soviet missile and space programs were among the most frequent topics briefed to the president of the United States by  U.S. intelligence during the administrations of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, according to a review of recently declassified excerpts of the President’s Daily Brief posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.
Dec 18, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 18, 2016 – Previously secret transcripts of the summit meetings between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev from 1985 to 1988, and then George H.W. Bush with Gorbachev from 1989 through 1991, show the Soviet leader pursuing an arms race in reverse, Reagan recommending quiet dialogue on human rights, and Bush seeking new nuclear weapons before coming around to cuts at the end, according to a new book published this month by the National Security Archive and Central European University Press.
Dec 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 12, 2016 – Newly declassified documents show that the risk of nuclear proliferation at the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 was even greater than publicly known at the time, with 3,429 Soviet strategic warheads scattered outside of Russia in various former Soviet republics, according to today’s posting by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Oct 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. October 12, 2016 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s radical proposal in January 1986 to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2000 met with derision on the part of many U.S. officials, who treated it as pure propaganda, but was welcomed by President Reagan, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The records reveal serious internal U.S. debates, consultations with allies, and support by the president that ultimately helped produce the historic Reykjavik summit 30 years ago.
Sep 30, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 30, 2016 – The unilateral nuclear withdrawals announced by President George H.W. Bush 25 years ago this week drew an eager response from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to produce what experts call “the most spontaneous and dramatic reversal” ever of the nuclear arms race, according to newly declassified documents from Soviet and U.S. files posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the anniversary of the Bush initiative.

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