30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

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.

Mar 2, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2016 – Marking the 85th birthday of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org) today posted a series of previously classified British and American documents containing Western assessments of Gorbachev starting before he took office in March 1985, and continuing through the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Feb 5, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 5, 2016 – The top leaders of the Soviet Union discussed the case of controversial CIA spy Adolf Tolkachev during the Politburo meeting on September 25, 1986, according to the transcript published today in the Russian original and in English translation by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Dec 22, 2015 | Briefing Book
The SAC [Strategic Air Command] Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, produced in June 1956 and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive www.nsarchive.org, provides the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear targets and target systems that has ever been declassified. As far as can be told, no comparable document has ever been declassified for any period of Cold War history. The SAC study includes chilling details.

Aug 29, 2015 | Briefing Book
Related Materials Nunn-Lugar Revisited U.S.-Russian cooperation on threat reduction from the Soviet Union in 1991 to Syria in 2013 National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 447 Project Sapphire 20th Anniversary More than a half-ton of weapons-grade uranium removed from Kazakhstan in 1994 National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 491   Photos 1.    The Bal Qar Gai conference “yurt.” Tom Blanton at the head of the conference table.  

May 25, 2015 | Briefing Book
"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.

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