USSR

Visitors lay wreaths at the “Square of Nations,” a memorial site at the former Flossenbürg concentration camp’s crematorium, on April 24, 2022.

History of Now

At a Former Concentration Camp, Holocaust Survivors Draw Parallels Between Nazi and Russian Rhetoric

Speakers at a ceremony marking the liberation of Flossenbürg condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims of demilitarizing and de-Nazifying Ukraine

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

A collage of Vladimir Putin placing his hand on Joseph Stalin's shoulder. Richard Cohen's new book Making History details the links between the two Russian leaders.

History of Now

Vladimir Putin's Rewriting of History Draws on a Long Tradition of Soviet Myth-Making

Much like Joseph Stalin, the Russian president has used propaganda, the media and government-sanctioned books to present an ahistorical narrative

A view of the Babyn (Babi) Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kyiv on March 2, 2022

History of Now

What Happened at Babi Yar, the Ukrainian Holocaust Site Reportedly Struck by a Russian Missile?

During WWII, the Nazis murdered 33,000 Jews at the ravine over just two days. Last week, a strike near the massacre site drew widespread condemnation

The debate over how to remember Ukraine's World War II history, as well as its implications for Ukrainian nationalism and independence, is key to understanding the current conflict.

History of Now

The 20th-Century History Behind Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

During WWII, Ukrainian nationalists saw the Nazis as liberators from Soviet oppression. Now, Russia is using that chapter to paint Ukraine as a Nazi nation

Occupying forces murdered all the inhabitants of 629 razed Belarusian villages, in addition to burning down another 5,454 villages and killing at least a portion of their residents. Pictured: A statue of Khatyn survivor Iosif Kaminsky in front of a Belarusian village destroyed in 1941

How the 1943 Khatyn Massacre Became a Symbol of Nazi Atrocities on the Eastern Front

Decades after the murder of 149 residents of a Belarusian village, the tragedy has taken on layers of meaning far removed from the attack itself

A KGB spy pistol used by female operatives and designed to look like a tube of lipstick

You Could Own a Lipstick Gun, a Poison-Tipped Umbrella and Other KGB Spy Tools

Next February, Julien's Auctions will sell some 3,000 items from the shuttered KGB Espionage Museum's collection

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev talking with President John F. Kennedy during Vienna Summit.

Imagining a World Where Soviets and Americans Joined Hands on the Moon

Before he was assassinated, JFK spoke of a cooperative effort in space

Items on display at the recently opened KGB Spy Museum in New York

The Incomplete History Told by New York's K.G.B. Museum

Designed to be apolitical, the attraction offers whiz-bang tech without the agency's brutal past

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. The thing sticking up in the middle is the bust of Lenin.

These Places Are Actually The Middle of Nowhere

These "poles of inaccessibility" are among the world's most remote places

A shot from the famed 1965 film version of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago"

How Boris Pasternak Won and Lost the Nobel Prize

Today in 1958, the "Doctor Zhivago" author won the Nobel Prize, but the Soviets made sure he never got it

President Kennedy meets with Gen. Curtis LeMay and the pilots who discovered the Cuban missiles.

JFK Faked a Cold to Get Back to Washington During the Cuban Missile Crisis

The president was in Chicago when he got the news that he needed to make a decision

President John F. Kennedy sits in the Oval Office with West Berlin's Mayor Willy Brandt in 1961.  The Berlin Wall would be erected only a few months later.

Where the Myth of JFK's 'Jelly Donut' Mistake Came From

The misinterpretation didn't arise until years after his death

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