NEWS ABOUT: Soviet Union

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How Howard Hughes Helped CIA Hunt a Sunken Sub

The public believed he was crazy enough to do it

(Newser) - Howard Hughes: billionaire, aviator, engineer … and CIA asset? Yep. Hughes once provided the necessary cover for a secret operation codenamed Project AZORIAN, in which the CIA tried to retrieve a Soviet sub from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean without anyone being the wiser, the Houston Chronicle reports. The... More »

US Troops Carried 'Backpack Nukes' for 25 Years

Elite units were trained to use these weapons on battlefields

(Newser) - The US kept quite an arsenal of nuclear bombs and missiles during the Cold War, but not everyone knows about its plans to use "backpack nukes," reports the Smithsonian via Foreign Policy . Elite troops learned to use the bombs—called B54 Special Atomic Demolition Munitions (SADMs)—in case... More »

This Is the World's Tallest Abandoned Structure

Meet the leaning (TV) tower of Yekaterinburg

(Newser) - It's not the kind of engineering milestone that anyplace wants to have, but the Russian city of Yekaterinburg has learned to live with it—the world's tallest abandoned structure. As kuriositas.com explains, the 720-foot tower that dominates the landscape is actually a half-finished TV tower. Soviet engineers... More »

Congressman Likens Sex-Ed to Soviet Police State

Louie Gohmert of Texas thinks the government should keep out

(Newser) - It's not the fact that Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas voiced his opposition to sex education that's making headlines. It's the eyebrow-raising parallel he drew with the old Soviet Union that has triggered stories at sites such as Roll Call and Right Wing Watch . In his podcast... More »

Soviet Soldier Found in Afghanistan—33 Years On

Rifleman now practices herbal medicine

(Newser) - Veterans' groups trying to track down the 264 Soviet soldiers still listed as missing in Afghanistan have scratched one off the list. Bakhretdin Khakimov, a rifleman who went missing months after the 1979 Soviet invasion, has been found living among Afghans in the western province of Herat, the BBC reports.... More »

What's World War II? Siberian Family Lived Isolated for 40 Years

Smithsonian recounts tale of geologists finding them in 1978

(Newser) - Smithsonian has a fascinating story about a family of six that lived deep in the Siberian wilderness for 40 years with zero contact from other humans until geologists found them in 1978. Meaning they missed, among other things, all of World War II. The father, who belonged to a... More »

Man Honors Protester by Setting Fire to Himself

Czech man commemorates one immolation with another

(Newser) - A man set himself on fire in Prague today, apparently to commemorate a student who died by self-immolation there some 44 years ago, Reuters reports. Today's incident occurred in front of the National Museum in Wenceslas Square, where a Czech 36-year-old set fire to his jacket and had it... More »

Soviet Spy Under FDR Likely Set Off Pearl Harbor

Harry White subtly influenced policy on Japan

(Newser) - Not all of us know about the Soviet mole who apparently inspired the attack on Pearl Harbor. Harry White was a top Treasury official in FDR's government when he began leaking information to Russian intelligence in the 1930s, reports Time . His Russian handler, Vitalii Pavlov, had one goal in... More »

Fidel Castro Had Secret Nukes: Transcript

But Soviets removed the tactical nukes after relations soured

(Newser) - Think the threat of a nuclear Cuba ended with the Cuban Missile Crisis? Apparently not—because the Soviets had only removed their medium-range nuclear missiles under US pressure in November of 1962, and left about 100 tactical nukes unknown to the United States, Foreign Policy reports. But the Soviets decided... More »

Russia Plans Moonwalk by 2030

Leaked documents reveal deadline

(Newser) - Russia will finally send a human to the moon. At least it's planning to—by 2030, according to a leaked document from Roskosmos, the Russian Space agency. The Russians have intermittently laid forth enthusiastic goals for space exploration in recent years, reports the Telegraph , but never with a set... More »

Secret Cold War Project Revealed After 45 Years

Project Hexagon collected crucial intelligence on Soviets and Chinese

(Newser) - An ultra-secret clan of scientists and engineers who toiled in a gigantic enclave in Danbury, Conn., can finally reveal its covert activities. Declassified in September, project Hexagon launched the most successful spy satellite network of the Cold War and collected crucial data for decades that helped undermine the Soviet Union,... More »

Josef Stalin's Daughter Dies in Wisconsin

Lana Peters defected from Soviet Union in 1967

(Newser) - Josef Stalin's only daughter has died in Wisconsin at the age of 85. Lana Peters—born Svetlana Alliluyeva Stalin—handed the US a massive Cold War publicity coup when she defected to the US in 1967, publicly burning her Soviet passport, and declaring: "I have come here to... More »

Putin: Time for 'Eurasian Union'

'Economic and currency' alliance wouldn't be new USSR: prime minister

(Newser) - Russia’s former—and likely next —president wants to join former Soviet countries in a “Eurasian Union.” The entity would be rooted in Russia’s Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, to allow labor, capital, and trade to flow freely among the countries beginning next year, Reuters... More »

Soviets Lied About Flawed '61 Space Flight

Yuri Gagarin's flight did not go perfectly, new book claims

(Newser) - When Yuri Gagarin took the first manned flight into space in 1961, the Soviet Union touted it as a major Cold War triumph for Communist ideology. But the flight wasn’t as perfect as Soviet officials claimed, a new book asserts. In truth, due to two miscalculations by scientists, Gagarin... More »

Saddam Sought Soviet Help in '91

Declassified records reveal attempt to head off US attack

(Newser) - A frustrated Saddam Hussein pleaded with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for diplomatic assistance as the Operation Desert Storm ground battle began in 1991, reveal newly declassified records from Iraqi archives. The records—part of a huge archive containing millions of documents and thousands of hours of video footage captured after... More »

Nixon Tapes: Kissinger Is a 'Vile Creature'

When will people stop paying to listen to him speak?

(Newser) - Ever since Watergate, Henry Kissinger has deserved to be “shamed, ostracized, and excluded”—yet, for some reason, people still pay him to speak and have “dinners in his honor,” complains Christopher Hitchens on Slate . Well, the new Nixon tapes should finally change that: quotes reveal that... More »

FBI Suspected Irving Kristol of Soviet Ties

5-month investigation ultimately cleared neo-con giant

(Newser) - During the late 1980s, the father of neoconservatism—who is also the father of Fox News commentator and Weekly Standard boss Bill Kristol—was investigated by the FBI over possible contact with a suspected Soviet agent, Gawker finds in a study of FBI documents. The much-redacted documents suggest contact information... More »

US Now in Afghanistan as Long as Soviets

9 years, 50 days: Same length, different fight, analysts say

(Newser) - As of today, the US military has been fighting in Afghanistan for 9 years and 50 days—exactly as long as the Soviets did during their doomed campaign to turn the country into a socialist state. Analysts say that while the Soviet invasion and the NATO campaign have very different... More »

Gorbachev: Russia Is Reverting to Bad Old Days

He writes critical op-ed on 25th anniversary of perestroika

(Newser) - Mikhail Gorbachev warns that Russia is in danger of backsliding into the dark days of the Soviet Union in a critical op-ed piece that seems aimed directly at Vladimir Putin. The country's parliament is no better than a rubber stamp, its courts lack independence, and there's still no real party... More »

Medvedev Blames Bureaucrats for Olympic Flop

President calls for overhaul of Soviet-era sports system

(Newser) - Russia's president on Monday demanded resignations from the "fat cat" sports bureaucrats behind his country's worst-ever Winter Olympic showing. "Unprecedented investments are being made in sports, but money is not everything," he says. Russia must focus on putting athletes, not "sports federations and their executives,"... More »

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