Skip to main content

Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the Collapse of the Portuguese Empire in Africa, 1961-1975

Date & Time

Apr. 3, 2023
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only


Cold War Liberation traces the story of Soviet support for African revolutionaries who led armed struggles in three Portuguese colonies—Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau. While conventional wisdom says that Moscow had lost interest in Africa by mid-1960s, Telepneva argues that the Soviets redirected their attention to forging close links with the military and security services of their African clients. Telepneva also details how Soviet middle-ranking bureaucrats often shaped policy in Africa, including during the early stages of the Angolan Civil War, 1974-1975.

Natalia Telepneva is a Lecturer in International History at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. She is the author of "Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the Collapse of Portuguese Empire in Africa, 1961-1975". She has also published on Soviet and Czechoslovak intelligence for the International History Review and the Journal of Cold War Studies and has co-edited the “Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World" (2018). Natalia is a graduate of Columbia University and the London School of Economics (2015) and was the recipient of the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2020.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


Natalia Telepneva

Natalia Telepneva

Lecturer in International History, University of Strathclyde


Sergey Radchenko

Sergey Radchenko

Professor of International Politics, Cardiff University
Daniela Richterova

Daniela Richterova

Senior Lecturer in Intelligence Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more