Articles on Soviet Union

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Lithuania’s soldiers are seen during a celebration of Lithuanian Independence Day in Vilnius, Lithuania, on March 11, 2018. The country was marking the 28th anniversary of its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

What I learned about Eastern European democracy from Lithuania’s youth

A stint teaching university students in Lithuania leaves a longtime economics professor optimistic about the future of Eastern Europe as it continues its transition to a free-market economy.
Karl Marx Monument in Chemnitz, in eastern Germany. AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Should we celebrate Karl Marx on his 200th birthday?

A scholar of literary radicalism asks whether Marx's writings are at all relevant to the world's struggles with inequality today and why he's no longer being relegated to the dustbin of history.
On the streets of Petrograd on July 4, 1917, when troops of the provisional government opened fire on demonstrators. Viktor Bulla/Wikimedia Commons

Conquered city, site of revolutions from above and below

The physical and political space of cities can be shaped from above or below, but few have had more revolutionary changes, first under the tsars, then the communists, than St Petersburg.
Members of a North Korean delegation cheer while holding the unified Korea flag at the pairs figure skating free program at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics on Feb. 15, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

North Korean Sport Diplomacy: The Olympic event where everyone loses

The International Olympic Committee has banished dopers from the Winter Games. Shame it hasn't treated North Korea, a noted human rights violator, with the same resolve.
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has been the subject of much scrutiny during his rise to the party’s top position. GCIS/GovernmentZA/Flickr

South Africans are trying to decode Ramaphosa (and getting it wrong)

The study of Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's deputy president and new head of its governing party, is generating a great deal of heat, and not much light.
Vladimir Lenin and Nadezhda Krupskaya. Antoon Kuper/flickr

Nadya Krupskaya: the Russian revolutionary

Russian revolutionary Nadezhda Krupskaya, like other leading women in the new Stalin-led state, was marginalised. But in her case, because she was Lenin's widow.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s clampdown on dissent in Matabeleland claimed up to 20 000 lives. EPA/Aaron Ufumeli/ Pool

British policy towards Zimbabwe during Matabeleland massacre: licence to kill

The effects of President Mugabe's post-independence security clampdown that led to the murder of between 10 000 and 20 000 Zimbabweans, known as the Matabeleland massacre, continue to be felt.
The 1976 memorial at the Babi Yar massacre site only recognised Soviet victims, despite the killing of more than 30,000 Jewish people. In 1991 a Jewish memorial was installed nearby. Jennifer Boyer/Flickr

Decoding the music masterpieces: Shostakovich’s Babi Yar

On September 29 1941, Nazis murdered more than 30,000 Jews in a ravine outside Kiev. Dmitri Shostakovich's 13th Symphony, Babi Yar, is a damning critique of the Soviet Union's lack of recognition of the massacre, and a condemnation of Stalinism.

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