How A Great Power Falls Apart

All countries end. Every society has its own rock bottom, obscured by darkness until impact is imminent. Already in the sixth century, Amalrik wrote, goats were grazing in the Roman Forum. As a theorist of his own condition, he was in many ways a fatalist. He believed that the Soviet Union lacked the nimbleness to engage in system-shaking reform […]

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The Jokes Always Saved Us: Humour In The Time Of Stalin

Stalinism. The word conjures dozens of associations, and ‘funny’ isn’t usually one of them. The ‘S-word’ is now synonymous with brutal and all-encompassing state control that left no room for laughter or any form of dissent. And yet, countless diaries, memoirs and even the state’s own archives reveal that people continued to crack jokes about […]

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The Island That Changed History

There was once an uninhabited islet lying close to the Chinese side of the Ussuri River, which marks the border between Russia and China in the Far East. “Was,” because it has since attached itself to the Chinese bank in a defiant act of geographic irony. But during the turbulent spring of 1969 this little […]

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How U.S., Soviets, India, Pakistan Vied To Shape A New Afghanistan In Late 1980s

U.S. Ambassadors Dean and Raphel warned Washington unconditional support to Pakistan and fundamentalist factions of mujahedin was destabilising the region. The Reagan administration supported India’s active role in connection with Soviet withdrawal, but changed position when Delhi tried to keep extreme fundamentalists from coming to power. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was major Indian concern in […]

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The New Disappeared

From the military juntas that ruled Argentina and Chile in the 1970s and 1980s to Joseph Stalin’s iron-fisted regime in the Soviet Union, dictatorships have a long history of making their detractors “disappear.” Today, this sinister practice seems to be making a comeback. Read Here – Project Syndicate

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Trump’s Soviet Approach To Intelligence

Collecting intelligence for someone who doesn’t want it is at best a waste of money, and at worst a prescription for disaster. Again, the Soviet example is a good one. In the lead-up to the second World War, and repeatedly during the war years, the Soviet Union squandered intelligence from the best spy network ever. […]

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Russia Struggles To Mourn the Romanovs 100 Years On

The death of Nicholas II and the Romanov family remains a controversial moment in Russia’s history. Tsarism and Bolshevism are — for the most part — not presented as conflicting forces in a battle in which one order defeated another. Rather, tsars, Bolsheviks and later communists, are seen as a succession of “greats.” In Moscow, […]

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They Saved Hitler’s Skull. Or Did They?

Seventy-three years ago, on Monday, Adolf Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker alongside his wife of one day, Eva Braun. With the Red Army closing in, their bodies were hastily burned and buried in a shell crater in the nearby garden. That’s the official story anyway. Read Here – Slate

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A Soviet Nerve Agent Triggers A New Cold War

The poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this month has significantly worsened already tense relations between Moscow and the West. The crime marks the first chemical weapons attack on Western Europe since the end of World War II.  Read Here – Der Spiegel

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