Soviet Union

The Death of Stalin’s Son

The death of Joseph Stalin’s son Yakov Dzhugashvili in a German concentration camp 80 years ago was kept a secret for decades.

Stealing a Living

Theft in East Germany was so common as to be nicknamed ‘the people’s sport’. Why were citizens of the GDR so light-fingered?

The USSR in Afghanistan

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its effect on the international politics of the late Cold War era.

Concrete Plans

The architects who adapted to the demands, whims and chicanery of the Stalinist state.

Loveless Letters

In 1935 Stalin declared ‘life has become better’. This was clearly not the case for everyone, but feelings had to be expressed very carefully.

Can’t Go On

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, had aimed to bring new life to a system in which he believed until the last. 

Revolution in the air

Those who control the media control the state. Lenin knew this, but by 1991 his Soviet successors had forgotten, to their ultimate cost.