30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Dec 10, 2018 | News
Washington, D.C., December 10, 2018 – The National Security Archive mourns the passing of Lyudmila Mikhailovna Alexeyeva, our dear friend, colleague and inspiration for all our work documenting human rights abuses globally. She passed away on December 8 at the age of 91.

Dec 7, 2018 | Briefing Book
The U.S. and NATO allies worried about losing control of the public narrative of the Cold War in December 1988 after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s offer of an arms race in reverse in his famous United Nations speech, according to declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive.  Senior Italian officials, for example, complained to U.S. envoy Paul Nitze that the public’s sense of a diminishing Soviet threat would undercut their ability to maintain defense spending – even as the Soviet leader was announcing unilateral troop withdrawals from Eastern Europe.

Nov 19, 2018 | Briefing Book
The National Security Archive is publishing a set of documents to commemorate the life and achievements of Llewellyn Thompson and highlight the publication of a biography of him written by his daughters, Jenny Thompson and Sherry Thompson (The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow (Johns Hopkins Nuclear History and Contemporary Affairs, 2018).  The posting contains never before published translations of Russian memcons with Khrushchev and Thompson’s cables from Moscow. 

Nov 5, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C.,  November 5,  2018 – Beginning in 1981, the KGB’s “main objective” became “not to miss the military preparations of the enemy, its preparations for a nuclear strike, and not to miss the real risk of the outbreak of war,” according to the text of a previously secret speech by then-KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov  found in the Ukrainian KGB archives and published today by the National Security Archive.

Oct 4, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2018 – Twenty-five years ago last night in Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered tanks and airborne troops to shell and storm the “White House,” the Russian Parliament (Supreme Soviet) building, to suppress the opposition trying to remove him. 

Oct 2, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 2, 2018 – President Bill Clinton saw Russian leader Boris Yeltsin as indispensable for promoting American interests following the collapse of the Soviet Union, often prompting him to take controversial steps to ensure Yeltsin’s political survival, according to top-level memoranda of conversation just released from the Clinton presidential library. 

Aug 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
U.S. nuclear war plans during the Johnson administration included the option of a retaliatory strike against nuclear, conventional military, and urban-industrial targets with the purpose of removing the Soviet Union “from the category of a major industrial power” and destroying it as a “viable” society.  This is one disclosure from a Joint Staff review of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) obtained via a Mandatory Declassification Review request by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive and posted on our site today.

May 25, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 25, 2018 - The National Security Archive marks what would have been Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev’s 97th birthday today with the publication for the first time in English of his extraordinary Diary for 1978, 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 responsible for International Communist Movement (ICM) and fratern

Apr 6, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 6, 2018 – Secret CIA interviews with East bloc scientists and technicians in the mid-1950s yielded invaluable insights into Soviet nuclear capabilities, according to recently declassified intelligence records posted today by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive. 

Mar 16, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Declassified documents from U.S. and Russian archives show that U.S. officials led Russian President Boris Yeltsin to believe in 1993 that the Partnership for Peace was the alternative to NATO expansion, rather than a precursor to it, while simultaneously planning for expansion after Yeltsin’s re-election bid in 1996 and telling the Russians repeatedly that the future European security system would include, not exclude, Russia.

Pages