30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

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.

Dec 6, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 6, 2016 – On November 9, 1983, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a nuclear war against its nemesis, the Warsaw Pact, after NATO military commanders sought and received permission for “initial limited use of nuclear weapons” from the political leadership of the Western alliance.

Nov 1, 2016 | Blog Post
“Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War,” Nate Jones’s new book on how the United States “may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger” during the 1983 NATO nuclear release exercise, is now on shelves. David Hoffman, author of The Dead […]

Oct 21, 2016 | Blog Post
Archive FOIA Project Director and author of the new book, Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War, Nate Jones, recently presented the four key takeaways from his research to-date on the 1983 War Scare before a packed house at the Wilson Center. Jones, with commentary by Archive […]

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.

May 25, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2016 – Today the National Security Archive is publishing – for the first time in English – the diary of Anatoly S. Chernyaev covering the year 1976, along with edits and a postscript by the author.

May 12, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., May 12, 2016 – The legendary Moscow Helsinki Group celebrates its 40th anniversary today, marking four decades since the day in 1976 when dissident physicist Yuri Orlov gathered a small group of activists in the apartment of academician Andrei Sakharov to establish what is now the oldest functioning human rights organization in Russia.

Pages