The Soviet Union’s Vietnam War

One of the biggest wars of the Cold War took place in Afghanistan. Before the Taliban, UN Forces, and the War on Terror brought this remote country into focus, Afghanistan was a hot-spot in the Cold War, “the only time the Soviet Union invaded a country outside the Eastern Bloc – a strategic decision met […]

A Stroll Through Havana

The Cold War, from 1945-1989, is broadly defined as a geopolitical struggle between the West and the East, democracy and communism. In reality, the Cold War was an extremely complex situation, with many layers to it, ranging from politics to proxy wars. One of the biggest sources of tension between the two sides was the […]

Khrushchev’s Harvest

The post-Stalin Soviet Union changed politically, culturally, and economically in countless different ways. Politically, Stalin’s cult of personality was denounced and his name was intentionally forgotten and excluded from Soviet daily life. Even his body, on display next to Lenin, was removed after divine intervention appealed to a woman at the 21st Party Congress, asking […]

The Soviet “VA” and the Veterans of WW2

The Great Patriotic War took an unbelievable toll on Russia and its people. German atrocities were widespread: villages were burned to the ground, women raped. men enslaved, and children killed. Most of the people of the Ukraine and other parts of Western Europe lots all they had to the enemy. The people of cities like […]

A Palace Fit for a King (or Stalin)

The 1930s in the Soviet Union was a decade marked by political and military upheaval and a continuation of the modernization of the country, dominated by the growing cult of personality surrounding Joseph Stalin. A man never meant for power, Stalin ruthlessly consolidated his control over their country and went about reforming it his way with […]

The Successes and Flaws of a Socialist City of Steel

The Great Turn, the period following Lenin’s death during the late 1920s, oversaw a radical reshaping of Russian life, including politics, social life, and the economy. The most important aspect of this period was the economic progress made. Stalin himself claimed that “we are 50 to 100 years behind advanced countries. We must cover this […]

Oppression and Violence – a Russian Tradition

When the Bolsheviks emerged from the Russian Civil War victorious, they found themselves in shaky control of their new nation. Although in political control of Russia, they still had to win over the majority of the population who were uninformed and resistant to Communist rule. In Kronstadt,  a naval base outside of St. Petersburg, the […]

Calling all Kadets

When all hell finally broke loose in Russia in 1905, multiple political groups and factions rose up to rebel against the Tsar and his autocratic government. Starting with Bloody Sunday on January 9th, 1905, the Revolution of 1905 was critically important in the revolutionary phase of Russian history. With strikes, bloodshed, and revolts, and mutinies, […]

An Industrial Russia? Say it ain’t so!

As the personal photographer to Tsar Nicholas II, Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii traveled across the vast lands of Russia photographing various scenes of Russia for the Tsar and his family. Born into a noble family in 1863, Prokudin-Gorskii was considered a “pioneer of color photography, talented scientist and inventor, educator, and social activist” ( Above all else, his work […]