AIDS and the "high-risk" group

The magnitude of the AIDS epidemic could not be overstated. This period of panic was not only seen in the United States, but in the Soviet Union as well. While we tend to view these two superpowers as being opposites we see a similar response to the spread of AIDS and a similar labeling of “high risk” groups.

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The Baltic Independence Movement

During the Soviet’s rule over the region, the Baltic States were subjected to Moscow’s imposition of a communist framework on all levels of society. Despite this imposition of Soviet culture unto these states, the people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania held on to their unique Baltic identities.

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All the Lies We Cannot See

In 1983, the KGB fabricated a letter supposedly written by “a well-known American scientist.” It stated that AIDS was a result of Pentagon attempts to create biological weapons – purportedly, they had infected prisoners with the disease but were then unable to control its spread.

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Explosion? What Explosion?

On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station occurred due to a surge of power in their no. 4 reactor. Despite the extreme danger of the situation, the Kremlin was silent. Soviet officials refused to elaborate on the extent of the accident- but they soon found that the accident would be hard to hide.

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Greatest Hits

The Sino-Soviet Split

Mao Zedong and Stalin (BBC News On February 24th, 1956 Nikita Khrushchev gave his “Secret Speech” “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences” to the assembled delegates of the Communist Party’s Twentieth Congress. In it, Khrushchev harshly criticized Stalin both politically and personally for the violent nature of his government, the cult that surrounded … Continue reading The Sino-Soviet Split

Betrayal at the Kremlin!

Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev on the tribune of Lenin’s Mausoleum, Moscow, Soviet Union, c1935-c1937. Look at these two men! Don’t they look like they could be best friends? Don’t you think they would share a bottle of good ol’ Russian vodka together? Khrushchev was a member of Stalin’s inner circle. Within 6 months of…

A Dog Called Laika

With the successful launch of the Sputnik satellite, the Soviets gained a foothold in their ongoing Space Race with the United States. As they did not have the capability to create a single rocket to launch the satellite into space, the Soviet scientist in charge of the project designed a cluster of rockets which, when …

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The Girl with the Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle.

From a western perspective, female roles during wartime are kept nearly exclusively to the home front. Women are placed in temporary industry jobs in order to advance the war effort, which is where iconic personas such as Rosie the Riveter emerge. However, this concept of females roles vary on the eastern front. During World War … Continue reading The Girl with the Tokarev SVT-40 semi-automatic rifle.

Maksim Gorky

The 1930s in the USSR was a period of great change on the cultural front, a period in which revolutionary values were replaced with Stalinist ideology and policies. A crucial part of this “Great Retreat”, as it is now called, was the re-unification of literature with Party values; thus making a move away from the … Continue reading Maksim Gorky

The Roles of Women & Revolution

“Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, government, cultural, political and other public activity.”                                                                                     –Constitution of the U.S.S.R., Article 122           (Stalin Society of North America) With this declaration in the Constitution of the U.S.S.R in 1924 the Bolsheviks stated that women would be … Continue reading The Roles of Women & Revolution

Women: Powerful or just Domestic?

This image, entitled “The Delegate” from the visual essay, “Models & Counter-models of Gender” within the subject of Revolutionary Manliness reminded me of Liuda in the silent film, “Bed and Sofa.” This image depicting women in the communist 1920’s is grouped with four others, each different from the next. Below are two starkly contrasting photographs, …

Continue reading Women: Powerful or just Domestic?

Episode 1: The Phantom Railways

By the middle of the 19th century the Russian Empire found itself lacking in reform and by the start of the 20th century it found itself in a questionable circumstance. Imperial Russia was late to the game in the industrialized arena, but it did attempt to westernize itself. In the process, the introduction of  new […]

Community Within a Divided Country

In 1861, Tsar Alexander II, Alexander the Liberator, had liberated the serfdom population of Russia. The once reigning feudal system had come to a halt and was replaced with the idea of equality. However, serfdom reform was not about a moral obligation but rather political gain. Alexander justifies his decision with a blunt statement, “It […]