soviet union

A military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing

China’s Nuclear Program Baffled Soviet Intelligence

Declassified documents show how Moscow struggled to understand Beijing’s efforts.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gives an interview in Yerevan on Oct. 6.

Without Russian Aid to Armenia, Azerbaijan Has the Upper Hand in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has overplayed his hand by spouting belligerent nationalist rhetoric and refusing to negotiate—and Putin isn’t coming to his rescue.

Republican Vice President Richard Nixon and Democratic Sen. John F. Kennedy

Document of the Week: The Birth of the Televised Presidential Debate Was a Sober Affair. Then Came Trump.

In an earlier age, the Democratic and Republican front-runners reserved their sharpest criticism for the Soviet Union and treated each other with respect.

Then-Afghan President Mohammed Najibullah smiles as he meets Red Army soldiers.

In Afghanistan, the Dead Cast a Long Shadow

With Afghanistan again facing a political crisis, Mohammed Najibullah’s tarnished memory is being rehabilitated by some. But the crimes of the last Soviet-supported president, who was killed by the Taliban, are hardly forgotten.

Sculptures of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet-era statues and busts sit in a former National Guard Armory in Culver City, California—now the permanent home of the Wende Museum—in 2014.

Tearing Down Statues Won’t Undo History

From the Berlin Wall to Confederate monuments, destroying a historic marker means destroying a learning opportunity.

U.S. soldiers stand guard at the K1 Air Base near Kirkuk in northern Iraq on March 29, during its handover ceremony. The K1 base is the third site U.S.-led coalition troops have left in March.

To Stop a U.S.-Iran War, Finlandize Iraq

By treating Iraqi territory as a neutral zone, Washington and Tehran can avoid conflict.

Various photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin

How Putin Changed Russia Forever

President Vladimir Putin has transformed his country and its relations with the world. We asked 11 leading experts to look back at his 20-year reign and predict what the future may bring.

Bekhzod Tashkenbaev of Uzbekistan participates in the first World High Wire Championships, over the Han River in Seoul, on May 3, 2007.

The United States Forgot Its Strategy for Winning Cold Wars

The plan that worked to defeat the Soviet Union can work today against China—it’s just not what you think.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch of Russia Kirill lay flowers at a monument in Moscow's Red Square on Nov. 4, 2018.

Selling Your Soul to the Kremlin

A new book chronicles the Faustian bargain that Russians—from holy men to human rights activists—have made with Vladimir Putin’s government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath laying ceremony on the 75th anniversary of the Leningrad siege near St. Petersburg on Jan. 18.

Vladimir Putin Wants to Rewrite the History of World War II

The Russian president’s amateur history lessons are outraging neighboring countries. While he is right to criticize a recent EU Parliament resolution, his historical revisionism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

An altar with photographs of the victims who were killed in a plane crash in Iran is seen at a vigil in Ottawa, Ontario, on Jan. 9.

Canada’s Path to Justice from Iran Over Shot-Down Flight Will Be Hard

States have been historically reluctant to take responsibility for attacks on civilian planes.

soviet-union-nuclear-test-volcano-1949-document-article

How the U.S. Found Out About Russia’s First Nuclear Test 70 Years Ago

A newly published report shows it took the Truman administration nearly two weeks to confirm the news.

A Solidarity union supporter holds a sign as she and several thousands gather for an open-air Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in Gdansk on June 12, 1987.

Donald Trump and the War for Polish History

The Law and Justice party is trying to reframe the fight against the Nazis and communism—and the U.S. president is a useful pawn.

A scene from season 1 of HBO’s 'Chernobyl.'

‘Chernobyl’ Shows How the Soviets Squashed Scientists

The brutal legacy of industrialization left the “scientific-technical intelligentsia” in the cold.

Workers spray contaminated houses within the “no-go” cordon around Chernobyl (Igor Kostin/Sygma via Getty Images)

Meltdown at Chernobyl

On the podcast: A journalist reconstructs the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Egyptian army commandos go through a hand-to-hand combat drill at their camp somewhere in the Saudi desert on Nov. 27, 1990. (MIKE SARGENT/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. Has Wasted Billions of Dollars on Failed Arab Armies

Military cooperation with Middle East allies can work—if Washington rethinks its premises.

Vladimir Putin poses for a photo with the Kremlin-friendly rapper, Timati, during a meeting with his campaign activists in Moscow, on March 5, 2012.

Putin’s Public Enemy

The Kremlin is going after Russian rappers, but the government can't control a culture it doesn't understand.

A member of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces takes down a tattered Islamic State flag in Tabqa, Syria, in April 2017. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The New Face of Terrorism in 2019

Forget the Middle East—it’s time to prepare for attacks from the former Soviet Union.

U.S. President George H.W. Bush in the White House on Sept. 27, 1991 (Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)

 George H.W. Bush’s Misunderstood Presidency

The late 41st U.S. president’s prudence was once derided as the wimp factor, but it has aged well.

A convoy of Russian troops makes its way through the mountains in the village of Dzhaba on August 9, 2008 as Georgian troops battled with Russian forces over breakaway provinces.

Ethnic Nationalism Gave Georgia Freedom. Now It Needs Civic Nationalism to Survive.

The Caucasus is a complex ethnic and religious patchwork, and only a shared identity can help Georgians push back against Putin.