30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Jun 2, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 2, 2020 – The Washington/Camp David summit 30 years ago today brought Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev together for three days of intense discussions of the future of Europe, the unification of Germany that would happen later that year 1990, the economic crisis facing the Soviet Union, and the tense stand-off between Moscow and the independence-minded Baltic republics, according to declassified Soviet and American documents published today by the National Security Archive.

May 25, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 25, 2020 –The National Security Archive marks what would have been Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev’s 99th birthday today with the publication for the first time in English of his extraordinary Diary for 1980 At the time, Chernyaev was Deputy Director of the International Department of the Central Committee responsible for the International Communist Movement (ICM) and fraternal parties.

Apr 15, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 15, 2020 - As the coronavirus puts at risk Russia’s celebration of Victory Day on May 9, 2020, with its huge military parade on Moscow’s Red Square, we are reminded of another event that threatened to undermine the festive atmosphere 25 years ago: the massacre by Russian troops of scores of Chechen civilians and the burning of their village of Samashki on April 8, 1995.  This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.   The 50th anniversary came just a few years after the demise of the Soviet Un

Feb 5, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2020 – In the eyes of U.S. intelligence and the military services, the greatest threat to American national security during the early Cold War was the emerging Soviet missile program with its ability to deliver nuclear weapons to targets across the United States.  Before the era of satellite surveillance, the U.S.

Dec 5, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 5, 2019 – Cooperative threat reduction by the U.S., Ukraine, and the Russian Federation successfully eliminated the world’s third largest nuclear weapons force in the 1990s – the ICBMs, strategic bombers, and nuclear warheads left in Ukraine when the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991 – according to declassified documents from all three countries published today by the National Security Archive.

Sep 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 9, 2019 – Seventy years ago, on 9 September 1949, Director of Central Intelligence Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter handed President Harry Truman a carefully worded report of “an abnormal radio-active contamination" in the Northern Pacific that greatly exceeded normal levels in the atmosphere.  While uncertain as to the cause, the DCI’s first hypothesis was “An atomic explosion on the continent of Asia.”  This proved to be accurate – it was the first Soviet test of a nuclear device.

Aug 15, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2019 – Documents from the highest levels of the Soviet Union, including notes, protocols and diaries of Politburo sessions in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, detail a sequence of cover-up, revelation, shock, mobilization, individual bravery, and bureaucratic turf battles in the Soviet reaction, according to the “Top Secret Chernobyl” e-book published today by the National Security Archive.

Aug 9, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 9, 2019 – Several previously unknown Henry Kissinger memoranda of telephone conversations – or telcons – from October 1973, uncovered by the National Security Archive, provide blunt and fascinating vignettes from a significant moment during the Nixon presidency. 

Aug 2, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 2, 2019 – The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty negotiated by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 not only eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons but also broke new ground in arms control verification, according to declassified documents on INF negotiations published today by the National Security Archive.

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