Washington, DC, March 11, 2015 – Thirty years ago today, in the Kremlin, the Soviet Politburo unanimously elected its youngest member, Mikhail Gorbachev, to the pinnacle of Soviet power — General Secretary of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Washington, D.C., March 24, 2022 – At four in the morning on 3 October 1979, Colonel William Odom, military assistant to national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, received a phone call from the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center informing him that an Air Force missile warning system had detected a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launch off the coast of Oregon. As it turned out, the situation was far from dangerous, but Odom had found it alarming.
Washington, D.C., January 25, 2022 – The National Security Archive updates today the publication last year of interview transcripts from eight former U.S. ambassadors to Russia, providing essential historical context to debates over U.S.-Russian relations, with three additional interviews with the deans of American diplomacy with Moscow – Jack Matlock, Thomas Pickering, and James Collins.
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2021 – On Christmas Day 30 years ago, the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, stepped down and the hammer-and-sickle flags over the Kremlin were replaced with the red-white-and-blue of the Russian Federation. Triumphalists and conspiracy theorists ever since have attributed this epochal event to the machinations of U.S. policy makers.
Washington, D.C., November 24, 2021 – The biggest train wreck on the track to NATO expansion in the 1990s – Boris Yeltsin’s “cold peace” blow up at Bill Clinton in Budapest in December 1994 – was the result of “combustible” domestic politics in both the U.S. and Russia, and contradictions in the Clinton attempt to have his cake both ways, expanding NATO and partnering with Russia at the same time, according to newly declassified U.S. documents published today by the National Security Archive.
Washington, D.C., June 16, 2021 – The National Security Archive marks today’s summit meeting in Geneva between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin by publishing detailed transcripts from interviews with eight former U.S. ambassadors to Moscow, courtesy of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey.
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2021 – U.S.-Soviet cooperation in space was a regular, if less noticed, feature of the final years of the USSR and continued well after the emergence of independent Russia, a compilation of declassified documents and interviews posted today by the National Security Archive underscores. In the second of a two-part posting, records from Russian and American archives highlight the successes of joint operations ranging from the Shuttle-Mir program to the International Space Station.
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic spaceflight 60 years ago, which made him the first human in space, prompted President John F. Kennedy to advance an unusual proposal – that the two superpowers combine forces to cooperate in space. In a congratulatory letter to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive, Kennedy expressed the hope that “our nations [can] work together” in the “continuing quest for knowledge of outer space.”
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2021 – Thirty years ago this week, the U.S.-led coalition launched its ground offensive in the Persian Gulf after spending months trying to get Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait and comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions without conditions or linkages to a wider settlement in the Middle East. Only 100 hours after the ground offensive started (the air war had run for more than a month previously), the U.S.