30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

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.

Sep 18, 2012 | Briefing Book
Moscow, Russian Federation, 18 September 2012 – The first-ever Web publication of previously secret U.S. documents on Soviet dissidents, matched with reports and letters by the dissidents themselves from the Memorial Society Archives in Moscow, illuminate the landmark turning point during Jimmy Carter's presidency in the late 1970s when U.S.

Aug 15, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, August 15, 2012 – High hopes for a "reset" of U.S.-Soviet relations in the late 1970s were shattered by ingrained suspicions and negative international trends to which both sides contributed under President Jimmy Carter and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, according to declassified documents and unique "critical oral history" transcripts posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Aug 12, 2012 | Special Exhibit
Starting in the early 1990s, the Carter-Brezhnev Project brought together not only policy veterans from the U.S. and USSR, but scholars from several institutions, with three main sponsors - the Watson Institute at Brown University, the National Security Archive, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. The Carter Presidential Center and Jimmy Carter himself supported the project and provided documents, while numerous other institutions and individuals contributed as well. About the Project

Jul 20, 2012 | Briefing Book
Moscow, Russian Federation, July 20, 2012 – Marking the 85th birthday of Russian human rights legend Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the National Security Archive today published on the Web a digital collection of documents covering Alexeyeva's brilliant career, from the mid-1970s founding of the Moscow Helsinki Group (which she now heads) to the current challenges posed by the Putin regime's crackdown on civil society. Today's posting includes declassified U.S.

May 25, 2012 | Briefing Book
Translated and edited by Anna Melyakova and Svetlana Savranskaya "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.

Nov 22, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 22, 2011 - Marking the 20th anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Gorbachev Foundation hosted a two-day conference in Moscow on November 10-11, co-organized by the National Security Archive and the Carnegie Moscow Center, examining the historical experience of 1989-1991 and the echoes today.

Aug 19, 2011 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., August 19, 2011 -The hardline coup d’etat 20 years ago today in Moscow surprised its plotters with unexpected resistance from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, from Russian democratic opposition forces, and from the international community including the Bush administration, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

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