This is a blog for use in both of my HIS 241 and HIS 242 Russian history survey courses at Northern Virginia Community College.

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21 September 2009


Interesting article in the Washington Post, How Gorbachev Slowed the Arms Race (21 September 2009), b David Hoffman and adpated from The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (2009)--aside, the article was buried on page A11. Anyway, it remains somewhat amazing to me why few Russians to this day appreciate the kind of efforts that Gorbachev undertook to end the arms race (and thus the Cold War). In addition, there was his attempt to re-invigorate Soviet society and re-orient the economy away from military and heavy industry spending. I still believe that he was the major player in bringing about the end of communism in Eastern Europe, the destruction down of the wall, and really the end of the Cold War.
ps. Another fine article in the Post dealt with the effort to control fissionable Uranium in the former republics of the Soviet Union, in this case Kazakhstan, Half a Ton of Uranium -- and a Long Flight by David E Hoffman.

September Days

Recent news that Russia was willing to scrap missiles along the Polish border after the US declared something about abandoning a European missile shield. What nonsense. As if anyone in Russia believed that the US was still aiming missiles at Russia--actually who knows where they are pointing these days. And as if the Poles were a real security threat to the integrity of Russia. Ah, the games people play.