30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Dec 11, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, December 11, 2013 – The last Soviet nuclear warheads in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis did not leave the island until December 1, 1962, according to Soviet military documents published today for the first time in English by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). At 9 o'clock in the morning on December 1, 1962, the large Soviet cargo ship Arkhangelsk quietly left the Cuban port of Mariel and headed east across the Atlantic to its home port of Severomorsk near Murmansk.

Nov 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 22, 2013 – The final shipment of highly enriched uranium from former Soviet nuclear warheads to the U.S. on November 14, and President Obama's award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Senator Richard Lugar on November 20, have brought new public attention to the underappreciated success story of the Nunn-Lugar initiative — the subject of a new research project by the National Security Archive, which organized the first "critical oral history" gathering this fall of U.S. and Russian veterans of Nunn-Lugar.

May 25, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2013 – Today the National Security Archive is publishing — for the first time in English — excerpts from the diary of Anatoly S. Chernyaev from 1973, along with edits and a postscript by the author. As in the previous installment of the diary, for 1972, Chernyaev, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee (and later a key foreign policy aide to Mikhail Gorbachev), continues to marvel at the contradictory and enigmatic person at the pinnacle of the Soviet leadership — General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev.

May 22, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare By Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part II By Nate Jones, May 21, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part I By Nate Jones, May 16, 2013  

May 21, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013

May 16, 2013 | Briefing Book
Related Links New Documents Reveal How a 1980s Nuclear War Scare Became a Full-Blown Crisis By Robert Beckhusen, Wired, May 16, 2013 The USSR and US Came Closer to Nuclear War Than We Thought By Douglas Birch, The Atlantic, May 28, 2013 War Scare By Nate Jones, ForeignPolicy.com, May 21, 2013 Nate Jones and Robert Farley Discuss Able Archer 83 Blogging Heads "Foreign Entanglements," May 31, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part III By Nate Jones, May 22, 2013 The 1983 War Scare, Part II By Nate Jones, May 21, 2013  

Apr 12, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2013 – Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who passed away this week, built a surprising mutual-admiration relationship with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s – including behind-the-scenes agreement against the reunification of Germany, and profound disagreement about nuclear abolition – according to translated Soviet records of key meetings between the two leaders, posted online today for the first time by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Dec 21, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2012 – On December 12, 1979, the Soviet Politburo gathered to formally approve the decision made several days earlier to send a "limited contingent" of Soviet forces into Afghanistan. The secrecy was so tight that the leadership hand-wrote the authorization document in one copy and hand-carried it to each Politburo member for signature. The order does not even mention Afghanistan by name and uses cryptic language to entrust Andropov, Ustinov and Gromyko to oversee the implementation of the decision.

Nov 12, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 12, 2012 – The U.S.-Soviet rivalry in the Third World created splits within the Carter administration and fundamental confusion in the Kremlin over the nature of U.S. motives to such a degree that they helped bring about the collapse of superpower detente, according to documents and transcripts from a conference of former high-level American-Russian policy-makers published today by the National Security Archive.

Oct 13, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 13, 2012 – Contrary to U.S. myths of a strategic Soviet offensive towards warm water ports on the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean, it was "mission creep" that led the Soviet Union into its ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, according to a new, richly documented account of early Soviet engagement in Afghanistan, published in English and in Russian today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org.

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