Category: Red Star

The Wolf and the Bear: The First Chechen War

Chechnya is a small region in the Caucuses that has long resented Russian rule. The Chechens had fallen victims to Stalin’s deportations and purges, and they had a long history being repressed by Moscow. Chechen also objected to Russian rule for religious reasons, as the vast majority of Chechens were Muslims.  Therefore, when the Soviet Union fell […]

Russia’s Vietnam

The late 1980s to mid-1990s was a period that oversaw a profound shift in the geopolitical world order, as the hegemon of the Eastern Hemisphere seemingly collapsed overnight. Although the dismantling of the Soviet Union seemed rapid, in reality it took many years and was characterized by a number of bloody and fractious conflicts. One […]

Home Brewers

Russia is no stranger to alcohol; in fact, it is known for its consumption of alcohol in day-to-day life, events, and celebrations. Alcohol served as a large portion of state revenue up until 1985 which is when Russia’s entered into a dry period. Mikhail Gorbachev came to power as the General Secretary of the Communist […]

Televised Youth

Globally, television was booming in the 1970s and 1980s, as it became an industry that entertained and often pushed certain political agendas. Similar to the Soviet film culture that historically challenged the values of the Soviet Union, TV shows had the opportunity to weekly immerse viewers in anti-communist satire, and the “signal reached roughly 70% of Soviet territory by 1970″ (KVN Canceled). The Soviet game show that was first broadcast in 1961, Club of the Merry and Resourceful (also known as KVN), was an attempt to combine elements of sport, youthful rebellion, and political satire into a form of entertainment that would attract …

Rock Behind the Curtain

One of the most important effects of the emergence of “Rock & Roll” in the United States during the 1950’s was the social revolution that came along with it. The older generations were shocked by Elvis Presley and the way he shook his hips, the sexual energy of performers like Little Richard, and the personal […]

Czech Yourself

While the end of the Khrushchev-era meant a turn away from reform in the Soviet Union, not all Warsaw pact states wanted to halt the thaw. In Czechoslovakia, Alexander Dubcek’s leadership and the “Czech Action Programme” led to a period of liberalization across the country. Changes in the Czechoslovakian Communist party regarding secret balloting, set term limits, and … Continue reading Czech Yourself