Soviet Union | Wilson Center

Soviet Union

Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941

In 1941, history’s largest, most horrific war ever broke out, between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.  Some 55 million people were killed worldwide in WWII, half in the Soviet Union.  Who was Joseph Stalin?  Who was Adolf Hitler?  Why did they clash?  This lecture, based upon a book of the same name, uses a vast array of once secret documents to trace the ri

Book Talk: Health Cooperation with Russia – an Example of Engagement that Really Worked

The Eurasian Medical Education Program was established in 1995 during a difficult period of transition for Russia. Created in partnership with the American College of Physicians, the program was designed to share clinical and scientific knowledge with Russian physicians by way of physician exchanges to Russian regional academic centers in 13 regions. The panelists will discuss how the program succeeded not only in the sphere of health but also in political and diplomatic engagement, and how elements of this success may be replicable today.

Interpreting the Bomb: Ownership and Deterrence in Ukraine’s Nuclear Discourse

Image: The SS-18 ICBM, produced in Soviet Ukraine, on display at the Strategic Missile Forces Museum in Pervomaysk. Photo by Polina Sinovets.

PsyOps goes Rodent

Image: Renowned Aboriginal tenor Harold Blair sings at an event organized by the Australian Soviet Friendship Society in honor of the Soviet Olympic team.

Anti-Soviet Protests at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games

One month after the start of the Hungarian Revolution, the 1956 Olympic Games began in Melbourne, forcing Soviet officials to work overtime to counter the impact of protests.

The 1957-58 Xinjiang Committee Plenum and the Attack on “Local Nationalism”

Soviet archives reveal a turning point in the Chinese Communist Party’s relationship with Uyghur and Kazakh elites in Xinjiang

Beginning in early 1957, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) embarked on a campaign to “rectify its style of work” (zhengdun zuofeng 整顿作风, or simply zhengfeng 整风), reviving methods of self-criticism and purge that had been pioneered in Yan’an in the 1940s.

The Uses of China

How Beijing helped keep Albanian Stalinism alive

Comrade Mao: You have never fallen ill in your life?

Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have fallen ill and we still do.

Comrade Hysni Kapo: One must always undergo cures.

Comrade Mao: One must always undergo cures against revisionism and Khrushchevism.

5 May 1966

The Soviet Intervention that Never Happened

Records of a Tito-Brezhnev call suggest the Kremlin mulled intervention in Yugoslavia in 1971

The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 reverberated far outside of Prague. In Yugoslavia, the local leadership assumed that Moscow’s assault on the CSSR—a maneuver characteristic of the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty—created a dangerous precedent.

Ukrainian-Jewish Cultural Encounters in the Early Soviet Union

In the history of Ukrainian-Jewish relations, it’s the dark moments that often dominate collective memory. Yet, throughout much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Russian and Soviet empires, Ukrainians and Jews had much in common that brought them together. The panelists will discuss the richness, diversity, and sheer complexity of Ukrainian-Jewish encounters through the lens of cultural production in the early Soviet Union.

People’s Diplomacy: A History of American Studies in the Soviet Union

In 1991, there were more than 1,000 "Americanists" – experts in U.S. history and politics – working in the Soviet Union. The Americanist community played a vital role in the Cold War, often directing the cultural consumption of Soviet society and shaping perceptions of the U.S.