30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Soviet-U.S. Relations

May 31, 2008 | Briefing Book
Left: President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev on Red Square in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral, May 31, 1988, with interpreter Pavel Palazhchenko to the right.  Just out of the picture is U.S. Navy lieutenant commander Woody Lee, carrying the “football” briefcase with U.S. nuclear war plan options and launch codes for missiles targeting Red Square.  [Photo courtesy of Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California]
Nov 2, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 2, 2007 - Then-national security adviser Henry A. Kissinger colluded with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to keep the U.S. Secretary of State in the dark about ongoing secret discussions between the Soviets and the Nixon White House, according to newly released Soviet-era documents, released last week by the Department of State.
May 25, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2007 - Today the National Security Archive publishes the second installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era--Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War--and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Oct 13, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. and Reykjavik, Iceland - President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev almost achieved a deal 20 years ago at the 1986 Reykjavik summit to abolish nuclear weapons, but the agreement would have required "an exceptional level of trust" that neither side had yet developed, according to previously secret U.S. and Soviet documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive of George Washington University and presented on October 12 in Reykjavik directly to Gorbachev and the president of Iceland.
May 25, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 25, 2006 - Today the National Security Archive is publishing the first installment of the diary of one of the key behind-the-scenes figures of the Gorbachev era - Anatoly Sergeevich Chernyaev. This document is being published in English here for the first time. It is hard to overestimate the uniqueness and importance of this diary for our understanding of the end of the Cold War - and specifically for the peaceful withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Nov 22, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. November 22, 2005 - Twenty years ago this week the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union concluded their Geneva Summit, which became the first step on the road to transforming the entire system of international relations.
Oct 26, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. October 26, 2005 - Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, who died in Moscow last week at the age of 81, was probably the best known "architect of perestroika." Soviet ambassador to Canada, then member of the Politburo and Mikhail Gorbachev's closest adviser, he could rightfully be called the "Father of Glasnost." Alexander Yakovlev rose through the Communist Party ranks to become one of the most vocal critics of the Stalinist past and a passionate advocate of democratization in the second half of the 1980s.
Oct 29, 2002 | Special Exhibit
Press releases, selected documents, photographs, audio clips and other material from the historic conference in Havana. Formerly secret documents from U.S., Cuban, Soviet and East Bloc archives. Listen in on White House intelligence briefings and hear the actual voices of President Kennedy, his brother Robert, and other advisers during meetings of the President's Executive Committee (ExComm). Images of Soviet missile and antiaircraft installations taken by U-2 spyplanes and U.S. Navy low-level reconnaissance aircraft in October-November 1962 used to brief President Kennedy and his advisers. Documents, naval charts and other declassified records on the U.S. hunt for Soviet submarines during the most dangerous days of the crisis.
Sep 25, 2001 | Briefing Book
In stark contrast to the close U.S.-Russian relationship of today, forty years ago serious tensions over Berlin and Germany and the danger of world war clouded Moscow-Washington relations. Fred Kaplan's article in the October 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, "JFK's First Strike Plan," shows that key White House officials and the President himself briefly considered proposals for a limited nuclear first strike against Soviet military targets in the event that the Berlin crisis turned violent.
Jun 15, 2001 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 15, 2001 – Forty-eight years ago, on June 17, 1953, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) erupted in a series of workers' riots and demonstrations that threatened the very existence of the communist regime.  The outburst, entirely spontaneous, shocked the GDR's ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) and their Kremlin sponsors, who were still reeling from the death of Joseph Stalin three months earlier.  Now, a new National Security Archive document volume based on recently obtained and translated records from archival sources throughout the former Soviet bloc and the Unite

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