Soviet Union Events

Empowering Revolution: America, Poland, and the Moderates who Ended the Cold War

October 20, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Based on significant new international research, Domber reassesses the nature of Western influence on the end of the Cold War, highlighting where Soviet reforms created space for change in Eastern Europe and rejecting claims of any direct U.S. responsibility for the collapse of Communism.

"The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union"

October 03, 2014 // 10:00am11:30am
Kennan Institute
Serhii Plokhii presented his latest book, "The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union." Using recently declassified documents and original interviews, Plokhii examines the events leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He reveals that it was largely inter-republic disunity and not American influence that led to the surprising dissolution of one of the world's two superpowers. Plokhii provides new insight into the events leading up to 1991, which continue to reverberate to the present day.

The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

September 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée bring readers intimately close to the charming, passionate, and complex artist that was Boris Pasternak. First to obtain CIA files providing concrete proof of the agency’s involvement, the authors give us a literary thriller that takes us back to a fascinating period of the Cold War—to a time when literature had the power to stir the world.

Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

June 27, 2014 // 3:30pm5:00pm
Kennan Institute
The prevalence of drunkenness in Russia is often dismissed as cliché— a cultural quirk of little political significance. But just as vodka plays a central role in Russian society, so too is it central to understanding Russian history and politics.

Great Powers, Small Wars: Asymmetric Conflict since 1945

May 13, 2014 // 10:00am11:30am
Kennan Institute
In a sophisticated combination of quantitative research and two in-depth case studies, Larisa Deriglazova surveys armed conflicts post–World War II in which one power is much stronger than the other. She then focuses on the experiences of British decolonization after World War II and the United States in the 2003 Iraq war. Great Powers, Small Wars employs several large databases to identify basic characteristics and variables of wars between enemies of disproportionate power. Case studies examine the economics, domestic politics, and international factors that ultimately shaped military events more than military capacity and strategy.

Ivory Towers and Palace Guards: The Disconnect between Outside Expertise and Policymaking

May 12, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Kennan Institute
How does advice and information from outside experts and scholars reach top policymakers—or does it? Terms like “echo chamber” and “information bubble” are often employed to describe an environment where it is difficult for outside information to penetrate or influence the policy process. Author and consultant Suzanne Massie will share the inside story of her interactions with Ronald Reagan and how she provided him with an outside voice at a vital time. Reagan turned to Massie for her advice on understanding and dealing with Russians, and carried her suggestions — including the now famous Russian proverb, “trust but verify” — into his meetings with the new Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Webcast

Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours that Ended the Cold War

May 08, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Kennan Institute
In Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War, former arms control director Ken Adelman, gives readers a dramatic, first-hand account of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit -- the weekend that proved key to ending the Cold War. Based on now-declassified notes of Reagan’s secret bargaining with Gorbachev, and a front-row seat to Reykjavik and other key moments in Reagan’s presidency, Adelman gives an honest portrayal of the man at one of his finest and most challenging moments.

Russia in East Asia: History, Migration, and Contemporary Policy

May 05, 2014 // 9:00am11:00am
Kennan Institute
This talk explores Russia’s ties with East Asia through the lens of migration and policy. Russia spans the Eurasian continent, yet its historic and present connections with East Asia are often forgotten. At the turn of the 20th century, thousands of Asian migrants arrived in the Russian Far East, spurring fears of a “yellow peril.” A century later, the recent influx of new Asian migrants to Russia has generated similar sentiments. The talk discusses Asian migration in the context of cross-regional attempts to strengthen trade ties and diplomatic relations in the 21st century.

An Unwanted Visionary: Gorbachev's Unrealized Ambitions and the Soviets' Retreat from Asia

March 31, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Radchenko will offer a fresh interpretation of Mikhail Gorbachev’s foreign policy by showing how the Soviet leader tried to reshape the international order through engagement with China and India, and why his vision for a Soviet-led Asia ultimately failed. Relying on newly declassified records from Russian, Chinese and other archives, he will discuss lost opportunities and recount painful legacies of Soviet retrenchment from Asia.

Cancelled--Then and Now

March 03, 2014 // 4:00pm5:00pm
Kennan Institute
To the inclement weather, this event has been cancelled. Join us for a presentation by former Kennan Institute scholar and Russian novelist, Vladimir Voinovich. Voinovich will discuss his time researching in the United States during the period of perestroika and events in Russia today from his unique perspective. A discussion period will follow his remarks. Attendees are invited to a reception immediately following the event.

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