30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

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.

Mar 11, 2015 | Briefing Book
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.

Feb 4, 2015 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, February 4, 2015 – During much of the Cold War Soviet space activities — civilian and military — were a major focus of U.S. intelligence collection and analysis. As one of the key areas of technological competition with Moscow — one where the Soviet Union jumped to an early lead in some space activities — the space race generated profound concern in Washington over the need to understand and respond to new developments. To that end, U.S.

Nov 17, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 17, 2014 – Twenty years ago this week a team of American specialists completed an unprecedented operation known as Project Sapphire, working with the government of Kazakhstan to secure more than a half-ton of highly-enriched uranium that had been abandoned from a Soviet submarine project during the Cold War, according to declassified documents, video and photographs posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Aug 13, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, August 13, 2014 – Marking the 90th birthday of the human rights legend and distinguished physicist Yuri Orlov, the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org) and the Memorial Society in Moscow (www.memo.ru) today posted online an extensive collection of formerly secret Soviet and U.S. documents on Orlov's career as a Soviet dissident, including the first English-language translation of his historic 1956 speech at his physics institute in Moscow, and his 1976 founding of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

Jul 24, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 24, 2014 – Former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, who passed away on July 7, brought a new diplomatic style and candor to bear in changing U.S.-Soviet relations in the late 1980s and ending the Cold War, according to Soviet and U.S. declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

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