Month: April 2020

45 Years of Unification: The liberation of Saigon

On this day 45 years ago, the People’s army of Vietnam along with the Liberation army of South Vietnam(Vietcong) captured Saigon the capital of the puppet state of South Vietnam and dissolved the Saigon government, officially marking the end of colonial domination of Vietnam and unification.

Summer Darty planned? Russian Anti-Alcohol Campaign will make you think twice

It should not come as a surprise that alcohol is intrinsically connected to Russia culture. From the perspective of the government, alcohol is providing a hefty financial benefit. In 1979, Russia pulled in over 25.4 billion rubles for taxes related to alcohol purchases which totaled up more than income tax revenue from the entire population.Continue reading “Summer Darty planned? Russian Anti-Alcohol Campaign will make you think twice”

Chernobyl: Not The Only Soviet Meltdown of the Late 20th Century

On Friday afternoon, April 26, 1986, life in Pripyat Ukraine was wonderful. The newly founded city was flourishing with men, women, and children, all enjoying the modernism of the new nuclear city. It is estimated that at the time, there were roughly 50,000 people living and working in Pripyat, essentially all in support of the …

Continue reading “Chernobyl: Not The Only Soviet Meltdown of the Late 20th Century”

Consumerism, Speculative Fiction and Tensions Abroad: The Soviet Seventies

Vladimir Vysotsky's grave - Moscow

Grave Site of Vladimir Vysotskii. Vaganskoe Cemetery. (from 17 Moments)

The full range of the Soviet experience was evident in posts this week, which covered topics ranging from the social and political significance of the “Second Economy” to some of the most fraught episodes of the Cold War. We have featured content that focuses on The Prague Spring, the nostalgia for rural life as well as generational rebellion at home (in the form of consumer demand for Western fashion) and abroad (as youth in Czechoslovakia challenged their leaders to implement reforms that would give Socialism “a human face’).

Final Blogpost Guidelines

We end our study of Soviet history with yet another turbulent decade – one that began with the invasion of Afghanistan and the Moscow Olympics, and ended with the entire Soviet system on the verge of collapse. Mikhail Gorbachev’s leadership ushered in an era of increased freedom, opportunity, and hope for Soviet citizens, even as it fostered economic uncertainty, political instability, and the threat of chaos. For your final blog post, please choose a topic that gives you some insight on the dynamics of the late Soviet period and the social transformation that would result in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

With Their Tanks, and Their Bombs, and Their Bombs, and Their Guns: Soviet Arms Exports

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Soviet Union was the largest arms exporter in the world. According to Robbin Laird’s article “Soviet Arms Trade with the Noncommunist Third World”, in 1980 the USSR was responsible for 34% of the world’s arms exports. A CIA report from 1980 places the value of those salesContinue reading “With Their Tanks, and Their Bombs, and Their Bombs, and Their Guns: Soviet Arms Exports”

The USSR in Afghanistan: A Really Bad Foreign Policy Move

Before combing through 17 Moments and the Current Digest, I didn’t really have a firm understanding of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  However, I very quickly found out that among the events that took place in the 1970s under Brezhnev’s leadership, the invasion of Afghanistan proved to be a troubling turn of events for the […]

Vasilii Shukshin: The Soviet Unions Brad Pitt

During a complex era that called upon the Soviet Union for “Developed Socialism” [1], an international legend of film was born. Though the progress towards communism was slowed politically, the revolution of film and the Soviet Union’s introduction to western culture was propelled. At the forefront of film from the Soviet Union was Vasilii Shukshin, […]