Soviet Union Events

Russia's Monotowns and the Politics of Labor in a Challenging Economic Climate

June 18, 2015 // 3:30pm4:30pm
Kennan Institute
During the 2008-2009 economic crisis, Russia’s monotowns — one-industry towns left from the Soviet era — gained widespread attention as potential sources of social protest and unrest. Will such worries resurface under the current economic conditions?

Sarajevo Roses, Tahrir Protests & Djerbahood: Injustice, Youth & Resilience

June 03, 2015 // 10:00am11:00am
Global Europe Program
In the Balkans, local youth, unsatisfied by attempts to deal with post-conflict and post-authoritarian injustice, launched their own forms of activism. Arnaud Kurze will discuss why and how, despite repressive politics, youth were able to create alternative spaces to express their political voice.
Webcast

The Second Baptism of Rus'?: The Return of Religion and the (Soviet) Origins of Russian Patriotism

June 01, 2015 // 3:30pm4:30pm
Kennan Institute
Despite the Soviet Union's commitment to atheism and secularization, religion remained a problem without a solution for most of the Soviet period--until, in 1988, it paradoxically returned to public life by invitation of the state itself. How did the regime's engagement with religion and atheism transform the Soviet Union's understanding of spiritual life? Dr. Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock will discuss how this Soviet legacy illuminates the ideological landscape of contemporary Russia.

Bursting the Plutonium Bubble: How Utopian Communities Made Dystopian Nuclear Landscapes

May 18, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Historian Kate Brown draws on official records and dozens of interviews to tell the extraordinary stories of Richland, Washington and Ozersk, Russia – the first two cities in the world to produce plutonium. To contain secrets, American and Soviet leaders created plutopias – communities of nuclear families living in highly-subsidized, limited-access atomic cities. Brown shows that the plants' segregation of permanent and temporary workers and of nuclear and non-nuclear zones created a bubble of immunity, where dumps and accidents were glossed over and plant managers freely embezzled and polluted.

Remembering WWII: the 70th Anniversary of Victory

April 20, 2015 // 3:00pm6:00pm
Kennan Institute
May 2015 marks 70 years since the momentous victory of the allied forces in Europe. Victory was achieved only through enormous sacrifice and global cooperation amongst the allies. The Kennan Institute hosted a panel discussion of U.S.-Soviet partnership during the war. The panel was followed by a reception, sponsored by the Russian Embassy, to launch a month-long exhibit of archival photos that chronicle the U.S.-Soviet war effort.

Book Talk: "Gulag Town, Company Town Forced Labor and Its Legacy in Vorkuta"

March 25, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Kennan Institute
What was the relationship between the Gulag and Soviet society? What was the legacy of Stalin's massive system of forced labor? This talk explored answers to these questions using the case of Vorkuta, one of the Soviet Union's most notorious prison camp complexes.

“Legacy of Soviet Dissent for Russia's Post-Soviet Generations”

February 24, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
Kennan Institute
Many young Russians, whether politically active or indifferent, know little about the dissidents of the Soviet era. They don’t understand what motivated people of the time to speak out, why some dissidents decided to leave the country, or what was the significance of samizdat, the “self-published” writings and poetry that people passed around in secret at the time. The Voice of America launched a documentary series in 2013 featuring interviews, documents, and narration to tell the stories from this part of Russian history.

Forecasting Nuclear War: Stasi/KGB Intelligence Cooperation under Project RYaN

December 01, 2014 // 1:00pm2:30pm
Cold War International History Project
Join us for a discussion with Bernd Schaefer, Nate Jones, and Benjamin Fischer on the unprecedented significance of newly translated documents detailing Soviet KGB and Easter German Stasi cooperation under Project RYaN, a system for detecting signs of an impending western nuclear first strike.

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.

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