;

Russian history


  • Russians' Disapproval of Gorbachev Shouldn't Dominate How He is Remembered

    by Walter G. Moss

    The combination of post-Soviet hardship, resurgent nationalism, and the destructiveness of the Ukraine war have led many Americans to embrace Russians' dim view of Mikhail Gorbachev. A historian of Russia says the leader had his faults, but his furtherance of humane values has been underrated. 



  • Gorbachev Never Understood What He Set in Motion

    by Anne Applebaum

    Sometimes seen as a visionary reformer, Gorbachev may have started the USSR's economic death spiral by restricting the sale of vodka to increase worker productivity. 



  • Gorbachev's Greatness Was in His Failure

    by Tom Nichols

    Gorbachev's personal decency made him the wrong man for his chosen task of saving Soviet Communism from collapse; today his reputation is far higher in the west than in the former USSR. 



  • Gorbachev's Vacuum: His Legacy and Russia's Wars

    by Michael Kimmage

    The last Soviet leader failed to intuit the ultimate consequences of the changes he unleashed, from the collapse of the USSR to the revival of Russian imperialsm. 


  • On Putin's Vacant Moral Imagination

    by Walter G. Moss

    Russia's stances toward Ukraine and the west in general reflect its leaders' inability, perhaps nurtured by the Soviet system, to view world affairs through another's perspective. 



  • Where Witches Were Men: Magic in Early Modern Russia

    by Valerie Kivelson

    In Orthodox Russia, unlike Catholic and Protestant western Europe, the nature of hierarchy and power meant that the majority of people accused of witchcraft were men, and the popular image of a witch was male. 



  • How Putin Conquered Russia's Oligarchs

    A key for Putin's consolidation of power was not eliminating the post-Soviet oligarchy but shaking it down for protection money and political obedience.



  • "We Need New Stories of Post-Soviet Jews"

    A team of historians and Jewish and Russian Studies scholars introduce a project to examine the more recent history of Jews in the former Soviet Union. 



  • Tim Snyder: How Putin Misjudged the Western Response

    Did Putin interpret the January 6 attack on the Capitol as evidence that American democracy and the Biden administration were too fracture and weak to coordinate a response to the invasion of Ukraine?