History Stories
CATEGORY: Soviet Union
The Chernobyl Cover-Up: How Officials Botched Evacuating an Irradiated City
May 10, 2018

With Chernobyl's nuclear radiation raining down, Communist party officials dithered, delayed and hid the truth. Then they gave residents of nearby Prypiat 50 minutes to evacuate. Read More

How Photos Became a Weapon in Stalin’s Great Purge
April 20, 2018

Stalin didn’t have Photoshop—but that didn’t keep him from wiping the traces of his enemies from the history books. Even the famous photo of Soviet soldiers raising their flag after the Battle of Berlin was altered. Read More

Was the Soviet Union’s Collapse Inevitable?
April 17, 2018

Some blame Mikhail Gorbachev for the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the economy and political structure were already in deep decay. Read More

Why Poland Wants Germany to Pay Billions for World War II
March 7, 2018

Germany settled its war debts decades ago. So why do Polish officials want more? Read More

The Humiliation that Pushed Putin to Try and Recapture Russian Glory
February 23, 2018

From Soviet apparatchik to self-styled macho superhero, Putin embodies Russia’s struggle for power and relevance. Read More

The California Activists Who Scared the Soviets Away From the 1984 Olympics
February 21, 2018

The last time Russia skipped the Olympics, it was due to a fringe group encouraging mass defections of its athletes. Read More

These Historic Military Parades Turned Heads
February 8, 2018

From ancient Rome to contemporary Paris, the flexing of military muscle is a longstanding tradition. Read More

The Bizarre ‘Sausage War’ That Inspired Hitler
November 30, 2017

Starving Soviets couldn’t resist the smell of Finnish cooking. Read More

Meet the Night Witches, the Daring Female Pilots Who Bombed Nazis By Night
July 7, 2017

They were a crucial Soviet asset to winning World War II. Read More

Russia and U.S. Relations: Lessons of the “X Article”
April 17, 2017

With U.S.-Russia relations in the news, let's take a look back at George Kennan’s influential Cold War-era strategy, and how it might still be relevant today. Read More