Tag: Cold War Era

How to Make Peace in Afghanistan? Moscow Has Some Lessons

On Feb. 15, 1989, a column of Soviet armored vehicles crossed the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan into the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan. In a theatrical gesture, Lt. Gen. Boris Gromov, who was overseeing the withdrawal, dismounted and walked the final few feet to Soviet soil. There was not a […]

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Putin Quashes Japanese Hopes of End to Island Dispute

MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Tuesday dashed Japanese hopes of a settlement to a territorial dispute that has festered since 1945, declaring after a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan that there was still much “hard work” ahead. In his remarks to […]

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Past Tense: Castro Takes Manhattan: Vintage Pictures of the Cuban Conqueror as Tourist

Whatever else he was — liberator, totalitarian despot, bombastic blowhard — Fidel Castro was a showman, and Americans, as we know, can be suckers for a showman. His visit to New York in April 1959, four months after the overthrow of the authoritarian Fulgencio Batista, was managed by a public […]

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Editorial Observer: A Changing of the Guard

They are in their 80s and 90s now, national security titans from years past when certain values were broadly shared, like the imperative of America’s global leadership and the nation’s commitment to democracy, diplomacy and the North Atlantic alliance. And with George H.W. Bush gone, it’s hard not to wonder […]

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Moscow Dispatch: Stalin’s Soaring Moscow Towers Sorely Need Body Work

ImageThe Moscow State University building, at nearly 800 feet, is the biggest of the so-called “Stalin high-rises” that were built to symbolize the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany and which transformed Moscow’s skyline.CreditSergey Ponomarev for The New York Times MOSCOW — Mikhail Posokhin still remembers the lip-smacking displays in […]

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The Writer Who Destroyed an Empire

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, pundits offered a variety of reasons for its failure: economic, political, military. Few thought to add a fourth, more elusive cause: the regime’s total loss of credibility. This hard-to-measure process had started in 1956, when Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave his so-called secret speech […]

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Lyudmila Alexeyeva, ‘Grandmother’ of Russia’s Human Rights Movement, Is Dead

Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva, a leader of the Russian human rights movement in the Soviet Union and the era of President Vladimir V. Putin, has died, a government official said. She was 91. Ms. Alexeyeva, who though frail took part in street protests until about eight years ago, died Saturday in […]

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Global Leaders Praise Bush as a Calm and Vital Statesman

BERLIN — To Germans, the 41st president of the United States, George Bush, was the man who helped ensure the peaceful reunification of their country. To Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, he exemplified great kindness. To many Kuwaitis, he was a hero, lauded for the 100-hour ground […]

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The Essay That Helped Bring Down the Soviet Union

Fifty years ago this Sunday, this paper devoted three broadsheet pages to an essay that had been circulating secretly in the Soviet Union for weeks. The manifesto, written by Andrei Sakharov, championed an essential idea at grave risk today: that those of us lucky enough to live in open societies should fight for the freedom […]

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On Soccer: The World Cup Changed Russia, but for How Long?

MOSCOW — More than anything, Boris Belenkin was excited by the prospect of finally being able to get his hands on some good, quality chewing gum. As the 1980 Summer Olympics approached, the Soviet authorities wanted to make sure the tens of thousands of international visitors they were expecting got the best possible impression of […]

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At Summit Meetings, Kremlin Often Tried to Steamroller U.S. Presidents

Whether in Helsinki or elsewhere, a summit meeting held by any American president with a Kremlin counterpart has proved to be a momentous occasion, particularly during the Cold War when such talks held the promise of staving off Armageddon. Not that they always went well. In June 1961, newly elected President John F. Kennedy brushed […]

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Lord Carrington, 99, Former British Foreign Secretary, Dies

In 1956 he was named high commissioner to Australia, where his father had been born and where his family had extensive interests. He had a deep attachment to Australia. In and out of public life, he visited the country almost every year and was popular there, known for his informality and dry wit. He was […]

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Why NATO Matters

But NATO is not a golf club, and money, the only thing Mr. Trump prizes, is just one, narrow measure of the costs and benefits of belonging. This president has shown no understanding of the power of partnership, and the reciprocal nature of its bonds, in an alliance that stands for something far bigger than […]

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The Tragedy of Angela Merkel

I support our chancellor completely, because she proved herself to be an energetic humanist, because she has acted as a true Christian and has remained a stoic European despite Europe’s internal turbulence. She shows the world the friendly face of human rationality. That wonderful mistake that she made three years ago brought Ms. Merkel a […]

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Trump-Kim Deal Promises Answers for Families of Korean War M.I.A.’s

Air Force Lt. Hal Downes’s B-26 bomber was on a nighttime run over North Korea when it went down in 1952. Did he die in the crash? Was he captured? His family never knew. They hoped they might at least be able to bring his body home when the fighting was over. But the war […]

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Op-Ed Columnist: In Diplomacy, Trump Is the Anti-Reagan

Third, Kim knows what happened to Gorbachev, whose spectacular fall served as a lesson to dictators everywhere about the folly of attempting to reform a totalitarian system. Kim may pursue a version of perestroika to stave off economic collapse, but there will be no glasnost. The survival of his regime depends domestically on state terror […]

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Op-Ed Columnist: The Obama-Trump Grand Strategy

At the same time, the Trump partisans and apolitical normies who like the North Korea summit need to recognize that the problems that beset Obama’s attempt at “offshore balancing” could beset Trump’s efforts as well. Hegemony’s burdens are considerable, but often when the hegemon pulls back the new equilibrium turns ugly enough to pull us […]

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