Modern Roman Construction and Ancient Roman Ruins

Ancient aqueduct construction illustration / Creative Commons From Dr. Stephen T. Muench (by student Mia Celizaga) / 12.04.2015 Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington Introduction C‍onstruction can be a lengthy process. First, someone is assigned to design and plan a structure and the finances are worked out and the proper materials and machines[…]

Conserving Moscow’s Melnikov House

The Melnikov House. View from the courtyard. 2015. © Pavel Kuznetsov A new grant will enable conservation specialists to study this cylindrical house by Russian architect Konstantin Melnikov in preparation for its restoration as a public museum. By Antoine Wilmering / 08.28.2017 Senior Program Officer Getty Foundation Over the past four years the Getty Foundation[…]

In Letters from Stalin’s Labor Camps, a Window into Soviet Political Oppression

Over a period of 30 years, millions of criminals and political prisoners were sent to Soviet labor camps. Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Emily Johnson / 05.07.2017 Associate Professor of Russian University of Oklahoma In 2011, I was at the Hoover Institution Archives sifting through the papers of the Latvian poet and journalist Arsenii Formakov (1900-1983)[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1985-1992: Afghans to Perestroika-Glasnost and Baltic Independence to Dissolution

Boris Yeltsin (left) and Mikhail Gorbachev (right) / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University The Afghans Tanks retreat through the mountains of Afghanistan (1985) / Wikimedia Commons The analogy between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the undeclared American war in Vietnam was impossible[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1980-1985: From a Siberian Rail to an Underground Economy

Trans-Siberian Railroad / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University Baikal-Amur Mainlin (BAM)   Left: The Seventh Spring of BAM, by Aleksandr Iakovlev (1982) / Moscow: Sovietskii khudozhnik Right: BAM, by A.B. Iakushin (1975) / Moscow: Sovietskii khudozhnik The last great hero project of the[…]

The Romanovs and the Russian Revolution

The Romanovs / Wikimedia Commons The period between the Russian Revolution of February 1917, which resulted in the overthrow of the autocracy and the establishment of a provisional government, and the Bolshevik Revolution in October of that same year, offers an instructive example of revolutionary processes at work. During this interval, the fate of Nicholas[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1968-1973: The Chinese Border to Tol’iatti

Tol’iatti, Russia / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University Aeroflot and Pan Am When Flying was First Class (1968) / Life Magazine, 07.26.1968 Finalized after many years of top-level negotiations, the launch of a direct New York-Moscow air route in 1968 signaled an early[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1961-1968: Anti-Parasite Law to Thaw Poets

By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University Anti-Parasite Law People’s Public Order Detachment / Dzherzhinskii District, Moscow Full employment, achieved in the course of the First Five-Year Plan (1928-31), was widely celebrated in the Soviet Union as indicative of the advantages that Soviet workers enjoyed over their[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1956-1961: Scientific Communities to War Films

Sputnik 1, first artificial Earth satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 / Photo from the Science Museum, London By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University Akaderngorodok   Left: Morskoi Prospect today / Wikimedia Commons Right: Academician Mikhail Alekseevich Lavrentiev / From Akaderngorodok: Town of Science[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1954-1956: Crimean Transfer to the Virgin Lands Campaign

Nikita Kruschev announcing the creation of the Soviet hydrogen bomb, January 16, 1953 / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University The Gift of Crimea Ukrainian Pioneers Celebrate Union with Russia, photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1954) / From The People of Moscow, by Henri Cartier-Bresson[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1943-1947: Battle of Kursk to Wartime Evacuation

By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University 900 Days Heroic Leningrad, by The Aladzhalov Brothers (1944) / Wikimedia Commons By 1943, Leningraders were enduring their second winter of the German army’s siege of their city. The siege began in September 1941 after the Army Group North under[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1934-1936: Stalin’s Men to the Writers’ Congress

Stalin on building of Moscow-Volga canal. It was constructed from 1932 to 1937 by Gulag prisoners. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 09.24.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University All Stalin’s Men   Left: To Comrade Stalin on His 50th Birthday (1928) / Wikimedia Commons Right: Mikoyan, Stalin, Molotov (1935)[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1924-1929: Propaganda and Youth Organization

Stalin visiting the ailing Lenin at his dacha in Gorki. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 12.28.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University Antireligious Propaganda   Left: Gesundheit!, by Mikhail Cheremnykh (1923) / Moscow: M.K.R.K.P Right: Religion is the Opiate of the People / Hoover Political Poster Database Among the[…]

History of the Soviet Union, 1921-1924: Comintern to the Workers’ Opposition

By Dr. Lewis Siegelbaum / 12.28.2015 Professor of Russian and European History Michigan State University 1921-1924 Comintern   Left: Long Live the Third International! (1920) / Poster for the Second Congress of the Third International, Moscow Right: Greeting the Third International, by Boris Kustodiev (1917) The Third or Communist International (typically abbreviated as Comintern) was[…]

Peter the Great: Tsar and Emperor

Peter the Great portrait by Paul Delaroche / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. John Merriman / 09.15.2008 Charles Seymour Professor of History Yale University Peter the Great and the Territorial Expansion of Russia Russian Empire in 1914 / Wikimedia Commons The Russian empire is one of those empires that continued, arguably — not arguably, it was[…]

U.S. Intelligence Report: Putin Directed Cyber Campaign Aimed at Getting Trump Elected

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin makes his annual New Year address to the nation in Moscow, Russia, December 31, 2016. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS Reuters / 01.06.2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “an influence campaign” in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election with the goal of undermining the democratic process and denigrating Democratic rival Hillary[…]

The Twisted Trump-Russia Romance – A Dictator Couldn’t Be More Thrilled

CagleCartoons.com What’s the Deal with Trump and Russia? By Eugene Robinson / 01.06.2017 Washington Post Columnist Coming from a presidential candidate, Donald Trump’s misty-eyed admiration of Russia and its autocratic leader was weird. Coming from a president-elect, it’s nothing short of alarming. I repeat the questions I asked back in September: What’s the deal with[…]

The Russians Tried Once Before to Meddle in a U.S. Presidential Election

The Moscow Kremlin / Photo by Jorge Láscar, Flickr/Creative Commons By Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne / 12.29.2016 Historian The CIA has concluded that the Russians interfered with the 2016 Presidential election, including hacking into and releasing e-mails from the Clinton campaign, to help Donald Trump. That may have determined the outcome of the election. President[…]

Ukraine Says Hit by 6,500 Hack Attacks, Sees Russian ‘Cyberwar’

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, right, and Oleksandr Turchynov, Chairman of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, chair a council meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 11, 2016. Both Poroshenko and Turchynov have made cybersecurity a strategic priority. / Reuters Reuters / 12.29.2016 Hackers have targeted Ukrainian state institutions about 6,500 times in the past two months,[…]

Six Important Questions about the Trump-Russia Connection

By Dick Polman / 12.16.2016 The latest intelligence revelations about Russia’s cyberpush for Donald Trump are so persuasive that even congressional Republican leaders have been compelled to take notice. There will indeed be investigations and hearings, in both chambers. It appears, for now anyway, that they actually view this unprecedented national security breach as nearly[…]