Tag: USSR (Former Soviet Union)

It Spied on Soviet Atomic Bombs. Now It’s Solving Ecological Mysteries.

Not being able to see the forest for the trees isn’t just a colloquialism for Mihai Nita — it’s a professional disadvantage. “When I go into the forest, I can only see 100 meters around me,” said Dr. Nita, a forest engineer at Transylvania University of Brasov, in Romania. Dr. Nita’s research interest — the […]

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The Artists Who Redesigned a War-Shattered Europe

Hostile times don’t automatically engender great art. Let’s put to rest that chestnut, which resurfaced during and after the 2016 election — and which, as the presidency of Donald J. Trump draws to a close, is looking pretty deflated. A crisis can inspire your vision, but just as easily it can wash you out. And […]

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Along Russia’s ‘Road of Bones,’ Relics of Suffering and Despair

The Kolyma Highway in the Russian Far East once delivered tens of thousands of prisoners to the work camps of Stalin’s gulag. The ruins of that cruel era are still visible today. By Andrew Higgins Photographs and Video by Emile Ducke The prisoners, hacking their way through insect-infested summer swamps and winter ice fields, brought […]

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Jonathan Pollard, Convicted Spy, Completes Parole and May Move to Israel

WASHINGTON — Jonathan J. Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel in one of the most notorious espionage cases of the late Cold War, completed his parole on Friday, the Justice Department said, freeing him to go to Israel as he has said he intends to do. The Justice Department’s decision to let his […]

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A New Front Opens in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Borscht

BORSHCHIV, Ukraine — The roadside cafe is called Borscht, advertised with a gigantic beetroot red sign, leaving little doubt what people around here like to eat. The fields are planted with beets. The town is named Borshchiv, which means “belonging to borscht.” It is just one of a dozen cities and villages in Ukraine named […]

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For Nagorno-Karabakh’s Dueling Sides, Living Together Is ‘Impossible’

SHGHARJIK, Armenia — The concrete memorial to 30 Azerbaijani soldiers — pockmarked, stained and cracked — pokes out of the craggy mountainside next to the crumbling remnants of two junked cars. They died fighting for the Soviet Union in World War II, but the time has come, the current head of the village says, for […]

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The Conflict Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Could Spiral Out of Control

YEREVAN, Armenia — Taking shelter in a hospital basement, 19-year-old George Alexanian can hear the suicide drones buzzing overhead in the city of Stepanakert. A few days ago, he said, one of them headed toward the hospital but was struck down before it could explode. Yet being there, he told me, is better than staying […]

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Did the U.S. Try to Assassinate Lenin in 1918?

THE LENIN PLOTThe Unknown Story of America’s War Against RussiaBy Barnes Carr In a famous speech shown on Russian television in 1984, President Reagan spoke directly to the Soviet people. “Our governments have had serious differences,” he declared. “But our sons and daughters have never fought each other in war.” Just over two decades later […]

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Germany’s Far Right Reunified, Too, Making It Much Stronger

BERLIN — They called him the “Führer of Berlin.” Ingo Hasselbach had been a clandestine neo-Nazi in communist East Berlin, but the fall of the Berlin Wall brought him out of the shadows. He connected with western extremists in the unified city, organized far-right workshops, fought street battles with leftists and celebrated Hitler’s birthday. He […]

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Glimpses of the Isolated Communities Along a Remote Siberian River

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions in place worldwide, we launched a new series — The World Through a Lens — in which photojournalists help transport you, virtually, to some of our planet’s most beautiful and intriguing places. This week, Emile Ducke shares a collection of images from Siberia. Every night […]

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Missions to Venus: Highlights From History, and When We May Go Back

Carl Sagan once said that Venus is the planet in our solar system most like hell. So when are we going back? Astronomers on Monday reported the detection of a chemical in the acidic Venusian clouds, phosphine, which may be a possible sign of life. That has some planetary scientists itching to return to the […]

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‘Space Dogs’ Review: No Dogs Go to Heaven

The otherworldly documentary “Space Dogs” begins fittingly with a story of oblivion. A narrator recounts the pioneering flight of Laika, the Muscovite street dog who orbited the Earth when the Soviets launched her into space in 1957. The camera seems to recreate her journey, floating around glowing blue. But this peacefulness derails as the narrator […]

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New Video Shows Largest Hydrogen Bomb Ever Exploded

Hydrogen bombs — the world’s deadliest weapons — have no theoretical size limit. The more fuel, the bigger the explosion. When the United States in 1952 detonated the world’s first, its destructive force was 700 times as great as that of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. And in the darkest days of the Cold […]

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Impossible, Unthinkable Change Is Happening in Belarus

MINSK, Belarus — It rained all Tuesday night in Minsk, but people still came out the next morning to support striking factory workers. They weren’t alone: President Alexander Lukashenko’s most loyal and most brutal police force was out in full force, too, seeking to intimidate and arrest — or worse — the strikers and their […]

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Belarus Says Longtime Leader Is Re-elected in Vote Critics Call Rigged

MINSK, Belarus — He bungled the coronavirus pandemic, alienated his longstanding foreign ally and last week faced the biggest anti-government protests in decades, but on Sunday, President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus was on course to win his sixth term in office, in an election his critics dismissed as rigged. According to a government-sponsored exit […]

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Twilight of the Liberal Right

Anne Applebaum’s new book, “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism,” begins cinematically, with a party she threw at a Polish manor house to mark the dawn of the new millennium. Applebaum’s husband was then the deputy foreign minister in Poland’s center-right government; she was a right-leaning journalist who would go on to write […]

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