30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

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).

Jul 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, July 20, 2014 – Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his "one small step" for mankind, becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. The program that resulted in that historic event — managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — had been a very public one ever since its announcement by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Even the Soviet government had publicized aspects of its own effort. But there were also highly secret elements to the U.S.

May 25, 2014 | Briefing Book
Previous Chernyaev Diary Postings The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1973 Eigth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1972 Seventh Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1991 Sixth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, 1990 Fifth Installment of Former Top Soviet Adviser's Journal Available in English for First Time

Jan 3, 2014 | News
Washington, D.C., January 3, 2014 – Marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall later this year, CNN will begin re-airing its monumental, 24 part series — "COLD WAR" — starting tomorrow, January 4. The series broke new ground when it first aired in 1998-1999, offering an in-depth look at the period from the viewpoint of its various antagonists based on rare film footage, fresh interviews with leading historical figures, and essential declassified documentation.

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.

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