Kievan Rus’: The Medieval History of Northwestern Russia

Pskov Veche, by Apollinary Vasnetsov, 1908 / Tretryakov Gallery, Wikimedia Commons Kievan Rus′ was the early, mostly East Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev from about 880 C.E. to the middle of the twelfth century. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Kievan Rus′ was the early, mostly East[…]

Religion, Values, and the Kremlin’s Ideological Battle against the West

Kremlin. Voznesenskaya Square / Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons This article analyses the role of religion and moral values in the framework of Russian policies, the Kremlin intent to attract “people’s hearts, minds and souls” in different places all over the world, and the moral dimension of Moscow hybrid warfare against the West. By Dr. Juan[…]

The Princes of Rus: Varangians to the Rise of Moscow

From The Rurik Dynasty Exhibition / Visit St. Petersbug The Varangians ruled the medieval state of Kievan Rus between the 9th and 11th centuries. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.29.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Rurik and the Foundation of Rus’ Introduction to Rurik Rurik (also spelled Riurik) was a Varangian chieftain who arrived in the Ladoga[…]

Women and the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Exploring how women’s lives changed during the Russian Revolution, tracing the history of female revolutionaries in Russia and the different ways women documented and participated in events. By Katie McElvanney AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Candidate Queen Mary University What was life like for women before the Russian Revolution? The life experiences of women in the Russian[…]

Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini: A Trifecta of 20th-Century Tyranny

Seduction, propaganda, and ultimate power and control. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Benito Mussolini and Fascism in Italy (1922-1939) Mussolini in an official portrait / Wikimedia Commons Benito Mussolini, born into a poor blacksmith’s family, was so named by his radically socialist father (his mother was a devout Catholic schoolteacher)[…]

Propaganda in the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Looking at the various forms of propaganda in circulation during the Russian Revolution. By Dr. Katya Rogatchevskaia Lead Curator, East European Collections British Library Is there such a thing as ‘good’ propaganda? Over the 20th century, the word ‘propaganda’ acquired predominantly negative connotations and to many, it is associated with totalitarian regimes. Back in 1928,[…]

Reporting the Russian Revolution

Public Domain Exploring how events of the Russian Revolution and civil wars were reported within Russia and abroad, and how the press was used to inform, persuade, or even repress, the masses. By Katie McElvanney AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Candidate Queen Mary University The two Russian revolutions of 1917, and subsequent civil wars, not only caused great political[…]

‘An Inexperienced and Incompetent Chauffeur’: The British-Soviet Invasion of Iran

British supply convoy with Russian escorts in Iran, September 1941 / Public Domain At dawn on August 25, 1941, the people of Iran awoke to a full-scale invasion of their country by the combined forces of Britain and the Soviet Union. By Dr. Ursula Sims-Williams / 07.11.2018 Lead Curator, Persian Collections British Library At dawn[…]

A History of Russian-Kurdish Relations

Russia’s relations with various Kurdish groups date back almost two centuries. By Pietro A. Shakarian / 11.12.2017 PhD Candidate in Russian History The Ohio State University    1986 CIA map of Kurdish-inhabited areas in the Middle East and the Soviet Union (left), and 1960 Soviet ethnographic map of the Near East with Kurdish populations in[…]

Russia 75 Years after the Battle of Stalingrad

Wikimedia Commons Stalingrad was hailed in February 3’s Pravda (Truth) newspaper as “the greatest battle in history” and “a catastrophe of titanic proportions” for the German invaders. By Dr. Ian Garner / 02.22.2018 Scholar of Russian Literature and History Queen’s University, Ontario February 3, 2018 marked 75 years since the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad. After almost[…]

Chernobyl, Over Three Decades Later

Ariel view of the destroyed reactor, 1986 Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly military conscripts and reservists, were mobilized in a desperate struggle with the consequences of the explosion.  By Dr. David Moon 11.28.2016 Anniversary Professor of History University of York Fire fighters and power station workers struggled to put out the fire. Two people were[…]

The Avars: From Mongolia to the Pontic Steppe

East Roman Empire, 6th century CE, showing the territories of the Avars, Goths, Franks, Lombards, Saxons, Thuringians, Slavs. / Image by William R. Shepherd, Wikimedia Commons The Avars were a confederation of heterogeneous people consisting of Rouran, Hephthalites, and Turkic-Oghuric races who migrated to the region of the Pontic Grass Steppe (an area corresponding to modern-day Ukraine. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 12.17.2014[…]

Why Russia Gave Up Alaska, America’s Gateway to the Arctic

Denali is the highest peak in North America, and the tussle over its name symbolizes the U.S. relationship with Alaska’s Natives. Al Grillo/AP Photo The tale of how and why Russia ceded its control over Alaska to the U.S. 150 years ago is actually two tales and two intertwining histories. By William L. Iggiagruk Hensley / 03.29.2017 Visiting Distinguished Professor University of Alaska[…]

The Man Who Prevented the Outbreak of World War III

“Vasili Arkhipov is arguably the most important person in modern history, thanks to whom October 27, 2017 isn’t the 55th anniversary of WWIII.” – Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute, October 27, 2017. By Douglas Gilbert / 04.15.2018 Adjunct Professor of Mathematics York Technical College Two men fought. With explosions deafening their ears[…]

Russification-Sovietization in East-Central Europe after 1917

Soviet leaders Red Square, Moscow, USSR celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution / Photo by L.Y. Leonidov, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Theodore R. Weeks / 12.03.2010 Professor of History Southern Illinois University Abstract Under tsarist and Soviet rule respectively, russification and sovietization were intended to ensure state control over a diverse population. The Russian[…]

A Sociopolitical Geography of Russia

Figure 3.1 Map of Russia / CIA World Factbook Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction – Identifying the Boundaries Russia is the largest country in physical area—almost twice the size of the United States. The country extends from its European core, where most of the population live, across the Ural Mountains into[…]

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[…]