Russia

The mural was painted on the side of a building damaged by Russian airstrikes. 

Banksy Reveals Seven Murals Throughout War-Torn Ukraine

The news comes amid speculation about the anonymous graffiti artist's whereabouts

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaking in July

Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Wartime Speeches Tell the Story of Ukraine

The Ukrainian president will publish a collection of 16 handpicked addresses later this year

“Ulitsa Sezam” sought to teach young viewers the skills they would need to thrive in a nascent market economy, with Muppets serving as fluffy mascots of democratic values.

When the Muppets Moved to Moscow

A new book details the tangled tale of "Ulitsa Sezam," a "Sesame Street" spinoff that aired until visions of Russia's democratic future faltered

A photo of Ales Bialiatski on display in the Nobel’s garden at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Human Rights Activists in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia

Belarus political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties jointly won this year’s award

Gas leaking from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on September 27. 

Burst Pipelines in Baltic Sea May Be the Largest Methane Leak Ever

Some officials believe the cause was deliberate

Young artist Andres Valencia and his family at the opening of “No Rules,” his solo exhibition at New York’s Chase Contemporary gallery

This 10-Year-Old Boy Makes Art That Sells for Over $100,000

Fifth-grader Andres Valencia’s inspirations range from Picasso to Pokémon

Against all the odds—of her sex, ethnicity and time—Seacole would launch herself into the heart of the war effort, and with it earn herself a unique place in the British public’s consciousness.

A Historian's Quest to Unravel the Secrets of Mary Seacole, an Innovative, Long-Overlooked Black Nurse

During the Crimean War, the Jamaican businesswoman operated a storehouse and restaurant that offered food, supplies and medicine to British soldiers

Mikhail Gorbachev died on August 30, 2022, at age 91.

The Contradictory Legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev

The Soviet leader, who died on August 30 at age 91, attempted to enact "revolution from above"

In the not-so-distant past, the Russian and American governments talked up the shared crucibles of their two mid-19th century leaders as a way of improving diplomatic relations.

Before Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, This Russian Czar Freed 20 Million Serfs

The parallels between the U.S. president and Alexander II, both of whom fought to end servitude in their nations, are striking

Despite the Russian invasion, traditional Ukrainian folk singers performed as part of the celebrations for Kyiv Day  on May 28, 2022.

Can Cultural Treasures in Occupied Ukraine Be Saved?

The podcast 'Sidedoor' goes behind-the-scenes with the Smithsonian Culture Rescue Initiative and its heroic efforts to safeguard the nation’s heritage

This mosaic depicts the International Space Station as pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour in November 2021.

Russia Says It Will Leave the International Space Station After 2024

The United States and Russia jointly built and now operate the station

The U.S. government seized the Amadea, a yacht it says is owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

'Alleged' Fabergé Egg Found Aboard a Seized Russian Oligarch's Yacht

The rare egg may not be authentic—but if it is, it could be worth millions

A meeting of the Soviet Republics’ Esperanto Union, held in Moscow in 1931

Why Hitler and Stalin Hated Esperanto, the 135-Year-Old Language of Peace

Jewish doctor L.L. Zamenhof created Esperanto as a way for diverse groups to easily communicate

The trident, also known as the tryzub, is ubiquitous in modern Ukraine, but its origins lie in the medieval period.

How Medieval Money Shaped Ukraine’s Modern Identity

The country's distinct history is revealed in banknotes, coins and other monetary objects, says the Smithsonian’s curator of numismatics

Communist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg speaking at a conference in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907

History of Now

The 20th-Century History of Anti-Semitic Attacks on Jewish Politicians

Russian rhetoric against Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoes the language directed toward Jewish leaders in post-WWI Europe

Unable to return home, dancers from the Kyiv City Ballet rehearse for a fundraising performance; ticket sales will go toward relief efforts in Ukraine.

Stranded Abroad, Kyiv City Ballet Announces Its First American Tour

The dance company has been staying in Paris since the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Vassily Maximov, A Sorcerer Comes to a Peasant Wedding, circa 1875

In Early Modern Russia, the Majority of Accused 'Witches' Were Men

Orthodox Russians deployed magic for practical purposes, like inflicting illness, harming business competitors and attracting lovers

The U.S.S.R. sent legions of “liquidators” to clean up in the aftermath of the meltdown. 

Past and Presence

Footage Shows How Daily Life Didn't Change After Chernobyl—and the Cover-Up's Toxic Aftermath

A new documentary shows how the disaster transformed—and endangered—those who lived near the nuclear plant

Adorned in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, Victoria Franco takes part in a protest near Los Angeles City Hall on March 19, weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

How Ukrainian and Russian Immigrants View the War From Afar

To residents of Southern California with ties to the Eastern European nations, the conflict feels close to home

Soldiers transported the amphorae, which were in excellent condition, to a local museum for safekeeping.

Ukrainian Soldiers Uncover Fourth-Century Urns While Digging Defense Trenches

The amphorae are the latest archaeological find in a country whose cultural treasures are threatened by war

loading icon