30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Jun 13, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 13, 2010 - The Washington summit 20 years ago this month between Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev brought dramatic realization on the American side of the severe domestic political pressures facing the Soviet leader, produced an agreement in principle on trade but no breakthrough on Germany, and only slow progress towards the arms race in reverse which Gorbachev had offered, according to previously secret Soviet and U.S. documents posted today by the National Security Archive.

May 25, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2010 - Today the National Security Archive publishes its fifth installment of the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, the man who was behind some of the most momentous transformations in Soviet foreign policy at the end of the 1980s in his role as Mikhail Gorbachev's chief foreign policy aide. In addition to his contributions to perestroika and new thinking, Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev was and remains a strong proponent of openness and transparency, providing his diaries and notes to historians trying to understand the end of the Cold War.

May 6, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2010 - Internal documents reveal that in the final years of the Cold War the top leadership of the Soviet Union debated the cover-up of their illicit biological weapons program in the face of protests from the United States and Great Britain. The documents, first disclosed in a new book by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy, are being posted in English translation today by the National Security Archive.

Apr 29, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2010 - Previously unpublished documents from inside the Kremlin shed new light on how Soviet and American scientists breached the walls of Soviet military secrecy in the final years of the Cold War. The documents were first disclosed in a new book by by David E. Hoffman, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy. The book was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The documents are being posted today in English translation by the National Security Archive.

Apr 14, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 14, 2010 - Anatoly Fedorovich Dobrynin--the former Soviet Ambassador to the United States who served under five Soviet leaders and six U.S. Presidents, and was a long-time academic partner of the National Security Archive, died on April 6, 2010, in Moscow. Mr. Dobrynin became Soviet envoy to Washington in the critical year 1962.

Apr 8, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 8, 2010 - The new START Treaty signed today in Prague represents "real" but "modest" cuts in strategic nuclear forces comparable to some Cold War alternatives but still higher than the most far-reaching proposals considered by Presidents Reagan and Carter, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive.

Apr 7, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2010 - In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the Pentagon claims that "Poodle Blanket" contingency plans from 1961 for a possible confrontation over West Berlin (no longer divided) with the Soviet Union (no longer a country) still need to be secret for fear of damage to current U.S. national security, according to documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Feb 12, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., February 12, 2010 - For the first time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified substantive information on one of its most secret and sensitive schemes, "Project Azorian," the Agency codename for its ambitious plan to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean in order to retrieve its secrets. Today the National Security Archive publishes "Project Azorian: The Story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer," a 50-page article from the fall 1985 edition of the Agency's in-house journal Studies in Intelligence.

Dec 3, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 3, 2009 - President George H.W. Bush approached the Malta summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev 20 years ago this week determined to avoid arms control topics and simply promote a public image of "new pace and purpose" with him "leading as much as Gorbachev"; but realized from his face-to-face discussions that Gorbachev was offering an arms race in reverse, according to previously secret documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive (www. nsarchive.org).

Nov 18, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2009 - Secret messages from senior Soviet officials to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl after the fall of the Berlin Wall led directly to Kohl's famous "10 Points" speech on German unification, but the speech produced shock in both Moscow and Washington, according to documents from Soviet, German and American files posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive. Published for the first time in English in the Archive's forthcoming book, "Masterpieces of History," the documents include highest-level conversations between President George H.W.

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