A Sick State

Russian health collapsed with the Soviet state, worsening during the political instability of the 1990′s, and continuing to suffer in the 21st century. In 1991, Russia’s Ministry of Health reported a…

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Party’s Over

Last post highlighted the immediate effects of Mikhail Gorbachev’s governmental reforms. As the 1980s came to a close, Gorbachev struggled to maintain control of the crumbling Soviet Union. One of the most popular men in the country during his first … Continue reading

The Rise of Vladimir Putin

There is no shortage of infamous characters in Russian history. Recently, one figure has appeared determined to insert his name, Vladimir Putin, to the list. Putin first came to power in 1999 when he was appointed Prime Minister by Boris Yeltsin. Shortly after, Yeltsin resigned as President, appointing Putin as his successor. In a matter […]

Melting Down and Moving Forward

1991 - Ukraine leaves the Soviet Union

Welcome to the final edition of the weekly digest for the fall of 2014. The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign proved to be the most popular topics by far, but the dissolution of the Warsaw pact, the problems of the Soviet health system, the Russian fascination with Western music, and the failing economy all inspired good posts that shed insight on the collapse of Soviet communism.

The End of Soviet Afghanistan

By the mid-1980′s, the Soviets were struggling in Afghanistan.  Troops were no longer deployed outside of urban areas, which left the Afghan countryside to the control of the West- and foreign-funded militants.  These militants would end up fighting each other after the Soviets eventually withdrew from Afghanistan, they managed to band together and fight the […]


26 April 1986- The Number 4 reactor in the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine explodes after a power surge, releasing tons (figuratively, not literally) of radiative dust and radiation into the air.  38 people were killed as a result of the explosion, and an estimated 100,000 more were killed or suffered sever health degeneration in […]