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

Date & Time

May. 2, 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

Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
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

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

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