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Tag: Soviet Union


Czeslaw Milosz: A Life

A new biography of one of the most significant poets of the past century shows what it was like to be politically engaged and spiritually conflicted in the 20th century.

Posted on May 19, 2017 READ MORE


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The Many-Sided, Overlapping Meanings of May Day

The working-class holiday has Marxist and anarchist industrial-era roots, but the significance of May 1 goes deeper than that.

Posted on Apr 29, 2017 READ MORE



The Final Stage of the Machiavellian Elites’ Takeover of America

Neoconservatism was born during the Cold War with an overt mission to roll back Russian/Soviet influence everywhere. That mission continues today.

Posted on Apr 27, 2017 READ MORE



How Neocons Push for War by Cooking the Books

To understand America’s drift into despotism over the last 40 years, we must de-encrypt the evolution of its secret “double government.”

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 READ MORE



My Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1932-2017)

The Russian poet, who died Saturday at 83, was at the forefront of the cult of poetry that swept the Soviet Union in the decades after Joseph Stalin’s death.

Posted on Apr 2, 2017 READ MORE



The Cold War Spurred Arctic Climate Research

Western postwar scientific studies in the Arctic were primarily driven by military concerns about Soviet activities in the region.

Posted on Jan 28, 2017 READ MORE



Reflections on the Death of Fidel

All previous socialist revolutionaries had seemed grimly puritanical; by contrast, Castro’s barbudos appeared almost to be bohemians with guns. Democracy and radical reform were poised to replace dictatorship and social misery.

Posted on Nov 26, 2016 READ MORE



A Genuine U.S. Reset With Russia Is Long Overdue

President-elect Trump’s willingness to rewrite the foreign and national security establishment’s playbook, and seek to normalize relations with Russia, is a welcome development.

Posted on Nov 15, 2016 READ MORE



Destruction Is All We Have to Show for a 15-Year War in Afghanistan

Since 2001, the U.S. has spent more than $103 billion on the Asian country—more than it spent on the entire European continent after World War II. And there is no end in sight for the debacle that George W. Bush began and Barack Obama continued.

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 READ MORE



The Plague of the Rule of Uzbekistan’s President for Life

President Islam Karimov wasn’t a partner in counterterrorism; he was a one-man terrorist-creation machine.

Posted on Sep 3, 2016 READ MORE



Where the Jews Aren’t

A new book examines the brief history of an autonomous Jewish region in Russia, founded in 1929. It lasted until Stalin ordered the eradication of its Jewish identity in 1948, burning Yiddish books, banning the Yiddish language, and executing by firing squad its Yiddish writers.

Posted on Sep 2, 2016 READ MORE



Add Russia’s Olympic Doping Scandal to the Rich History of Cheating in Sports

Seeking an unfair advantage in sports did not originate in the former Soviet Union, but state-sanctioned cheating is much more common in communist or former communist countries.

Posted on Aug 4, 2016 READ MORE



Inside Chernobyl: A Legacy of Ruin

Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer was the first American journalist to enter the surviving power plant in the former Soviet Union. On the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster, he recounts his experience in a Los Angeles Times column first published on April 9, 1987.

Posted on Apr 26, 2016 READ MORE



Are the Media Hyping the Threat From Islamic State?

President Obama is clearly frustrated that conservative radio and cable television—and even mainstream cable television—have cooperated with the more belligerent GOP presidential candidates to project Islamic State as some sort of evil superpower and an existential threat to the United States.

Posted on Dec 22, 2015 READ MORE



Controlling the Internet and Popular Opinion in Russia

A new book shows how technological advancement and a willingness by professionals to cooperate with the state combined to create a “wide-ranging, all-penetrating Internet surveillance and censorship system in Russia.”

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 READ MORE



The Real Enemy Is Within

If you are not dedicated to the destruction of empire and the dismantling of American militarism, then you cannot count yourself as a member of the left. It is not a side issue. It is the issue.

Posted on Sep 6, 2015 READ MORE



Delusionary Washington: The Desperate Plight of a Declining Superpower

Russia refuses to curtail support for armed separatists in Ukraine; China refuses to abandon its base-building endeavors in the South China Sea; the Islamic State movement refuses to capitulate in the face of U.S. airpower. What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of such defiance?

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE



Thomas K. Jones, Arms Negotiator Who Made the Derided ‘Enough Shovels’ Remark, Dies at 82

Thomas K. Jones, a high-ranking official in the Reagan administration who was likened to Dr. Strangelove because of his controversial comments, has died. Jones, in a 1982 interview with Robert Scheer (now Truthdig editor-in-chief), said that Americans could survive a Soviet nuclear attack by digging residential trenches.

Posted on May 25, 2015 READ MORE



Narkomfin: A ‘Six-Story Blueprint’ for the Emancipation of Women

Before the terminal interference of Stalinism, architects in Moscow were creating housing designed to allow newcomers from the countryside to enjoy and make full use of a “socially superior mode of life.”

Posted on May 11, 2015 READ MORE



Anti-Putin Politician’s Murder Lays Russian Realities Bare

The public assassination of one of Moscow’s leading critics, just feet from the walls of the Kremlin, is a blow to the liberal opposition but, paradoxically, also shows that there are still remnants of political pluralism.

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 READ MORE



Entirely Predictable: The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan Worse Off Than Before

Washington—now quietly withdrawing most American troops—has long backed only corrupt and criminal elements in the war-ravaged country.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



The Future Is Not Ours (and Neither Is the Past)

The famed fog of war is nothing compared to the fog of the future or, as I’ve often said, I’d be regularly riding my jetpack in traffic through the spired city of New York, as I was promised in my childhood. Our urge to predict the future is unsurpassed. Our ability to see it as it will be: next to nil.

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 READ MORE



Ukraine Pushes Tanks Toward Flashpoint Separatist City

Ukraine sent a large armoured column and special forces toward the flashpoint city of Slavyansk on Tuesday as Kiev’s fledgeling leaders tried to reassert control over the separatist east.

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 READ MORE



seanmcmenemy (CC BY 2.0)

The New Tribalism and the Decline of the Nation State

We are witnessing a reversion to tribalism around the world, away from nation states. The same pattern can be seen even in America—especially in American politics.

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 READ MORE


Former Ambassador: Russia Responding to Years of U.S. Hostility

The last U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine are a response to years of hostility from the United States, including the eastward expansion of NATO, the bombing of Serbia and the expansion of American military bases in Eastern Europe.

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN



ID1974 / Shutterstock.com

Russia Recognizes Crimean Independence Despite Sanctions

With the backing of his parliament and even Mikhail Gorbachev, Vladimir Putin on Monday officially recognized the results of Sunday’s referendum in Crimea to break away from Ukraine.

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 READ MORE



Suffering? Well, You Deserve It

An Oxford scholar warns that our outmoded economic model is a “warrant for inflicting pain” first on the poor and minorities and eventually on most of society.

Posted on Mar 2, 2014 READ MORE



The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center (CC BY 2.0)

Alone and Delusional on Planet Earth

In an increasingly phantasmagorical world, here’s my present fantasy of choice.

Posted on Sep 6, 2013 READ MORE



bunky pickle (CC BY 2.0)

The Cold War Redux?

Did Washington just give Israel the green light for a future attack on Iran via an arms deal? Did Russia just signal its further support for Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime via an arms deal? Are the Russians, the Chinese, and the Americans all heightening regional tensions in Asia via arms deals?

Posted on May 30, 2013 READ MORE



AP

The History That Birthed the Tsarnaev Boys

Chechen scholar Thomas Goltz gives a historical primer on the centuries old culture and struggle that shaped the Tsarnaev brothers, suspects in the bombings of the Boston Marathon.

Posted on May 17, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Richard Drew

Americans Fear Iran but There Is Much to Learn From Cuba

A Gallup poll issued this month says that 99 percent of the American public now has become convinced that Iran’s civilian nuclear program will threaten “the vital interests of the United States in the next ten years.” Eighty-three percent say this will be “a critical threat.” Why?

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 READ MORE



jurvetson (CC BY 2.0)

The Missile Crisis That Never Went Away

Fifty years after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. and Russian nuclear confrontation continues. Each nation still keeps a total of about 800 ICBMs at launch-ready status, ready to be fired on a few minutes’ warning.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 READ MORE



U.S. Embassy New Delhi (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Week the World Stood Still

In 1962, nuclear war with the Soviet Union was avoided by Khrushchev’s willingness to accept that the U.S. effectively owns the world by right and may deploy massive offensive force against those who even think of deterring the benign global hegemon. But we can hardly count on such sanity forever.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012 READ MORE



michael baird (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Washington Puts Its Money on Proxy War

From Asia and Africa to the Middle East and the Americas, the Obama administration is increasingly embracing drones and special operations forces to fight scattered global enemies on the cheap. A centerpiece of this new American way of war is the outsourcing of fighting duties to local proxies around the world.

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 READ MORE


Medvedev
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Medvedev to Romney: Get With the 2012 Program

When American politicians have flashbacks to a Cold War mentality, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is ready with a comeback and a friendly reminder to quit it with the ’70s nostalgia, as he did Tuesday in response to a comment Mitt Romney made the day before about Russia being America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 READ MORE



mobyhill (CC-BY)

Dead Americans, Dead Goats, and Half a Million Gunmen on the Loose

Since May 2007, 76 NATO soldiers have been killed and an undisclosed number wounded in 46 recorded “deliberate attacks” by members of the Afghan National Security Force. These figures suggest more than a recent “trend of Afghan treachery.”

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 READ MORE



streetartutopia.com

A Year’s Worth of Street Art

Did you see the one about the Bulgarian street artists who used a little color to repurpose a public monument commemorating the Soviet takeover of their country in 1944 into a cartoonish visual joke?

Posted on Jan 18, 2012 READ MORE


Sex Tourism: Is Ukraine Becoming the Thailand of Europe?

Today, Ukraine holds the unwanted title of being one of the world leaders in global prostitution—a reality fueled by the country’s harsh economic climate since emerging from the former Soviet Union. Despite the fervent efforts of anti-sex-tourism groups such as FEMEN, the illegal industry, which exploits children as well as women, is booming.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 WATCH & LISTEN



AP / The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Tomita

No Nukes Is Good Nukes

An important lesson that should be reinforced by the ongoing disaster in Japan is to worry more about the elimination of those nuclear weapons designed to explode, and another is to be concerned about the prospect of sabotage of nuclear power plants.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011 READ MORE


Gorbachev
AP / Dmitry Lovetsky

Gorbachev Takes Stock of New START

He knows a thing or two about the nuances of U.S.-Russian relations, not to mention nuclear disarmament, and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev flexed his knowledge in a New York Times op-ed piece about the New START treaty this week ...

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 READ MORE



National Archives / White House

Henry Kissinger’s Appalling Human Rights Record

In light of Henry Kissinger’s comment, captured in the Nixon White House and released this month, that “if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern,” Think Progress has compiled a brief history of the former secretary of state’s complicity in human rights abuses.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 READ MORE


NATO Summit Unlikely to Answer the Most Important Questions

To adapt to secular use a phrase from medieval mysticism, “the cloud of unknowing” deepens as the war-waging countries of North America and Western Europe approach their NATO “summit.”

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

For Sale: Weapons-Grade Uranium

Are you in the market for some highly enriched uranium? If so, then look no further than the exquisite black markets of Georgia, where evidence in a secret trial has shed light on smuggled uranium that is allegedly for sale in the former Soviet satellite state.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 READ MORE


Gorbachev
AP / Dmitry Lovetsky

Gorbachev to NATO: You Can’t Win in Afghanistan

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev knows a thing or two about warfare in Afghanistan, having ordered Soviet troops out of the country two decades ago, and Wednesday he passed on a little advice to the NATO troops and allied forces fighting there now ... (continued)

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 READ MORE


China and Taiwan
AP

The Chinese Aren’t Coming

Peace has descended on the most contentious point of conflict between East and West for the past six decades—but don’t expect the folks at the Pentagon or their military contractors to celebrate.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Mikhail Metzel

Russia Has Trouble Escaping the Past

Russia has come a long way, but geopolitics in Eastern Europe are still overshadowed by a mutual distrust rooted in World War II.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE


The NATO Nuisance

Large and firmly implanted bureaucratic organizations are almost impossible to kill, even when they have no reason to continue to exist, as NATO has not since the Soviet Union, communism and the Warsaw Pact all collapsed.

Posted on Apr 27, 2010 READ MORE



Matti Paavonen (CC-BY-SA)

Ukraine Agrees to Hand Over Nuclear Material

Score one for President Barack Obama’s nuclear summit. The White House announced Monday that Ukraine will give up its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium by 2012 and convert its research reactors to stop producing the stuff.

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 READ MORE


Wilson
AP / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Former Congressman Charlie Wilson Dies at 76

Former Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose name became familiar outside political circles because of George Crile’s 2003 book, “Charlie Wilson’s War,” as well as director Mike Nichols’ big-screen adaptation, died Wednesday at age 76 in Lufkin, Texas.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Haunted by Gorbachev’s Ghost

No invading army has ever “won” in Afghanistan, and nothing unites the people more than infidel soldiers on their holy soil: What Obama could learn from Gorbachev.

Posted on Nov 15, 2009 READ MORE


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