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Soviet Union

Created on 30 December 1922, following the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War. Nominally a federation of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia, its power was centralized in Moscow.... read more

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'Monumentally bad diplomacy, worse strategy, chaotic military organisation and inept generalship' - Thomas Tulenko describes how great powers have failed in their attacks on Afghanistan. Penned as...

The collapse of the USSR after 1989 opened up Russia’s Arctic region to a degree of scrutiny previously denied historians. Katherine Harrison and Matthew Hughes examine the Soviet approach to nuclear testing.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Chris Corin ressurects the life of a Soviet survivor whose remarkable and significant career deserves to be better known.

Issue: 70 2011

On a research trip to Moscow in the late 1990s, Deborah Kaple was given a package of papers by a former Gulag official who believed its contents would be of great interest to a western audience.

Volume: 61 Issue: 3 2011

The death of Stalin in 1953 marked a shift in the Soviet Union. Robert Hornsby discusses the underground groups that mushroomed in the aftermath and how the state responded to them.

Volume: 61 Issue: 7 2011

Chris Corin elucidates important documents relating to the power struggle after Lenin's death.

2011 2011

Robert Service reconsiders Norman Pereira's revisionist account of Stalin's pursuit of power in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, first published in History Today in 1992.

Volume: 61 Issue: 12 2011

After he was formally condemned to death in Moscow, the Mexican government offered Trotsky refuge and protection, on December 6th 1936.

Volume: 61 Issue: 12 2011

John Etty shows the vital importance of aviation in the Stalinist Soviet Union.

Issue: 67 2010

Twenty years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall Martin Evans introduces a short series looking at changing attitudes to history in the former Communist states.

Volume: 59 Issue 9 2009

Catherine Merridale examines competing versions of Russia's troubled past in the light of present politics.

Volume: 59 Issue 9 2009

Ian D. Thatcher defends the record of Josef Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, and sees him as a forerunner of Gorbachev.

Issue: 63 2009

Ed Dutton looks at how the experience of Finland during the period 1945 to 1989 has led to a historical identity crisis for the nation that remains unresolved.

Volume: 59 Issue 10 2009

Richard Cavendish explains how, on September 12th, 1959, the Soviet Union launched Luna 2, the first spacecraft to successfully reach the Moon.

Volume: 59 Issue 9 2009

John Swift examines a vital element of the Cold War and assesses the motives of the Superpowers.

Issue: 63 2009

International alarm over the terrorist threat is not new. Anthony Read relates how the appearance of Bolshevism created a state of near hysteria throughout the Western world.

Volume: 58 Issue: 4 2008

Clive Pearson assesses the Soviet dictator’s war record.

Issue: 62 2008

The Cold War has become this year’s hot media topic. Taylor Downing welcomes the chance to look more critically at the era of ‘mutually assured destruction’.

Volume: 58 Issue 8 2008

Richard Cavendish marks the anniversary of the events of February 15th, 1957

Volume: 57 Issue: 2 2007

Fifty years after Khrushchev’s famous denunciation of Stalin at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, John Etty examines what was at stake.

Issue: 56 2006

Russell Tarr explains how the Bolsheviks established their grip on Russia after the 1917 Revolution, and at what cost.

Issue: 55 2006
Geoffrey Hosking looks at the place of Russia within the Soviet Union, a position fraught with paradoxes that still resonate today.
Volume: 56 Issue: 4 2006

The Soviet leader gave his famous speech on 'The Personality Cult and its Consequences' in a closed session on February 25th, 1956.

Volume: 56 Issue: 2 2006

Chris Corin restores two Old Bolsheviks to their rightful places in Soviet History.

Issue: 54 2006

Robert Pearce gives a historian’s-eye view of George Orwell’s classic novel.

Volume: 55 Issue: 8 2005

Ian Thatcher refuses to take Trotsky at his own valuation.

Issue: 52 2005

Paul Dukes assesses the roles of the major statesmen from Britain, the USA and the USSR during the Second World War and the onset of the Cold War.

Issue: 52 2005

Vincent Barnett contrasts Marxist idealism with the changing economic reality in the USSR.

Issue: 53 2005

John Etty charts the complex, and highly significant, relationship between Lenin and Stalin.

Issue: 49 2004

Vincent Barnett argues that surface differences should not cover up deep-seated similarities.

Issue: 49 2004
Clive Foss investigates how Stalin changed the calendar to keep the Soviet people continually at work.
Volume: 54 Issue: 9 2004

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