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Soviets Invade Afghanistan

In the 1970s, Afghanistan was in turmoil.  Over a short period, the government violently changed from a monarchy in 1975 to a new Soviet-friendly government in 1978.  The new leader,  Nur Mohammad Taraki, gained the support of Leonid Brezhnev and the … Continue reading

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Dubcek’s Socialist Dilemma

After the Second World War, Czechoslovakia became a communist state under the influence of the Soviet Union and Moscow.  Czechoslovakia had been an independent state until the start of the Second World War, when it came under German influence.  So, … Continue reading

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The Reds and the Hydrogen Bomb

In August 1953, only six months after the death of Stalin, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear weapon in Kazakstan.  This weapon was the first hydrogen bomb developed by Igor “The Beard” Kurchatov, Stalin’s hand-picked head of the Soviet nuclear … Continue reading

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The Gold is Back in the Red Army

When the Red Army was first formed in the years following the Revolution of 1917, it defied many precepts of a modern, European military.  Lenin wanted “the standing army to be replaced by the arming of the entire people,” and … Continue reading

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The Great Fergana Canal and Uzbekistan

  In the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of workers began working on massive irrigation projects in Uzbekistan.  The purpose of this construction was to cultivate and water agricultural fields in Uzbekistan, in order to grow crops, especially cotton.  Cotton requires … Continue reading

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Dissolution of the Church

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet state fluctuated between tolerant and actively antagonistic.  In 1918, the state instituted stringent restrictions and penilties for the Church.  An additional law was passed … Continue reading

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The Muslim East and the Soviet Conquest

The Muslim dominated regions in the southern portion of asiatic side of the Russian Empire continued to be subjugated to the new regime that came to power in October 1917.  An interesting aspect of the eastern/Muslim role  in the October … Continue reading

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The October Revolution and the Smolny Institution

In October 1917, the Bolsheviks started their revolution to overthrow the Provisional Government in Petrograd.  With Vladimir Lenin at the front, the Bolsheviks (meaning “majority&#8221 led peasants and workers in a revolution to establish a socialist society and in the end, … Continue reading

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Bloody Sunday – The Start the 1905 Revolution

On January 22nd, 1905 (Old Style: January 9th), Russian demonstrators marched to petition Tsar Nicholas II for political and economic reform.  The demonstrators, members of the Assembly of Russian Factory Workers, peacefully marched towards the Tsar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. … Continue reading

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Church of the Resurrection – Prokudin-Gorskii

    My name is Connor Williams and this is my first blog post for my 20th Century Russian History class at Virginia Tech.  Here we go… In the late 19th and early 20th century, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii traveled around … Continue reading

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