The Wars of History: What Putin’s Attempts to Rewrite the Past Say About Russia’s Future

history of cold war

The Crimean resort town of Yalta was the setting for a historic meeting in February 1945 of British, US and Soviet leaders – Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. With the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Big Three Allies agreed to jointly rule post-war Germany, while Stalin promised fair and open elections in Poland.

history of cold war

The decision by the United States to use the atomic bomb against Japan in August 1945 was credited with ending World War II. Hundreds of thousands of people were immediately killed or killed by radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the bombings.

history of cold war

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives a speech at Westminster College on March 5, 1946 in Fulton, Missouri. “From Stetin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent,” he declared.

history of cold war

On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union made a bid for control of Berlin by blocking all land access to the city. Berlin was divided into four regions under US, British, French and Soviet control, but the city was located entirely in Soviet-occupied East Germany. From June 1948 to May 1949, US and British aircraft carried 1.5 million tons of supplies to the residents of West Berlin. After 200,000 flights, the Soviet Union lifted the blockade. Here, a cracked-up group of Berliners stand among the ruins of a building near Tempelhof airfield as a C-47 cargo plane brings food to the city.

history of cold war

In August 1949, President Harry Truman signed the North Atlantic Treaty, which marked the beginning of NATO. Two years ago, he requested Congress for $400 million in aid to combat communism in Greece and Turkey. The Truman Doctrine pledged to provide American economic and military aid to any nation threatened by communism.

history of cold war

Joseph Stalin, left, meets with Mao Zedong in Moscow in December 1949. In June 1949, the Chinese Communists declared victory over the nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek, who later fled to Taiwan. On October 1, Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China. Two months later, Mao traveled to Moscow to meet with Stalin and negotiate the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance.

history of cold war

On June 25, 1950, the Communist forces of North Korea invaded South Korea. Two days later, President Truman ordered the US military to aid the South Koreans. Here, US Marines descend on Inchon as battle unfolds. Three years later, an armistice agreement was signed along the border between the North and the South, as was the case in 1950. The desire of China and North Korea to end the fighting was responsible for Stalin’s death in March.

history of cold war

School children learn to defend themselves in case of a nuclear attack by practicing a duck-and-cover drill in their classroom in 1951.

history of cold war

Stalin’s body is seen in his coffin after his death after suffering a stroke on March 5, 1953. By 1961 the mutilated body of the Soviet communist leader was on display.

history of cold war

On March 29, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of selling American nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. Rosenberg was sent to the electric chair in 1953, despite the outcry from liberals who portrayed him as an anti-communist witch hunt.

history of cold war

Rosenberg’s conviction helped fuel the rise of McCarthyism, an anti-communist campaign led by U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s. About 400 Americans – including generals, celebrities and some wearing US military uniforms – were interrogated in secret hearings, facing allegations of their alleged involvement in communist activities by McCarthy and his staff. While McCarthy garnered public attention and initially pursued her career with the introduction of hearings, the tide turned. His harsh treatment of army officers in secret hearings led to his downfall.

history of cold war

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth. In 1958, the United States created NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the space race was in full gear.

history of cold war

In 1959, leftist forces led by Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista’s government in Cuba. Castro soon nationalized the sugar industry and signed trade agreements with the Soviet Union. The next year, his government confiscated American assets on the island.

history of cold war

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev speaks at the 1960 Paris summit, which was interrupted when an American high-altitude U-2 spy plane was shot down on a mission over the Soviet Union.

history of cold war

U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers poses with his flying helmet among other evidence relating to his Moscow test in 1960. After the Soviet Union announced the capture of Powers, the United States reiterated an earlier claim that the aircraft was on a weather research mission.

history of cold war

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in a spacecraft named Vostok 1. After parachuting from the craft near the Russian village of Smelovka, Gagarin landed a hero—and a great embarrassment to the United States, which had already been stunned. The Soviet Union launched the first-in-the-race Sputnik 1 satellite four years ago.

history of cold war

A young woman, with her boyfriend, stands in the Berlin War in 1962 to talk to her mother on the side of East Berlin. The wall divided the eastern and western areas of the city. The US had rejected proposals by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to make Berlin a “free city” with access controlled by East Germany, and in August 1961, communist authorities tried to prevent East Germans from fleeing West Berlin. Started building on the wall.

history of cold war

Reporters take photographs of US President John F. Kennedy behind his desk after the signing of an arms embargo against Cuba in 1962. The embargo effectively isolated Cuba. In 1961, an American-organized invasion of 1,400 Cuban exiles was defeated by Castro’s forces in the Bay of Pigs. President Kennedy took full responsibility for the disaster. The following year, the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles on Cuba capable of reaching most of the US. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba until the Soviets removed the missiles. Six days later, the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles, thwarting one of the deadliest confrontations of the Cold War.

history of cold war

The Soviet cargo ship Fijik Kurchatov sailed from Cuba en route to Russia in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There are six canvas-covered missile transporters with missiles on the deck.

history of cold war

American troops were sent to South Vietnam in 1965 after it was alleged that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired upon the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Vietnam War lasted almost a decade and resulted in the deaths of more than 58,000 Americans.

history of cold war

Missile launchers displayed during a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square in 1967.

history of cold war

A young Czech woman shouts “Ivan go home!” For soldiers sitting on tanks on the streets of Prague in 1968. On January 5, 1968, reformer Alexander Dubek became general secretary of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, pledging “the widest possible democratization” as the Prague Spring movement spread across the country. The Soviets and the leaders of the Warsaw Pact sent an invasion force of 650,000 soldiers in August. Dubsek was arrested and the partisans were restored to power.

history of cold war

Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. walks on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. He and Mission Commander Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the Moon. His mission was considered an American victory in the Cold War and the space race that followed, fulfilling President Kennedy’s goal in 1961 to “land a man on the Moon and bring him safely to Earth” before the end of the decade. The voice was raised to bring back”.

history of cold war

US President Richard Nixon shakes hands with Communist Party chairman Leonid Brezhnev after signing one of several agreements signed during their seven-day summit in 1974, watching Kremlin leaders and presidential allies.

history of cold war

Afghan rebels are seen atop a knocked-down Russian armored vehicle in Afghanistan in February 1980. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 as Communist Babark Karmal seized control of the government. US-backed Muslim guerrilla fighters waged a costly war against the Soviet Union for nearly a decade.

history of cold war

Balloons are released during the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. After the US boycotted the Moscow Summer Games in 1980, Eastern Bloc countries – including the Soviet Union and East Germany – boycotted the 1984 Games.

history of cold war

US President Reagan addresses the people of West Berlin at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin Wall, on June 12, 1987, to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Berlin. Due to the use of amplification system, the words of the President could also be heard. On the eastern (communist-controlled) side of the wall. “tear down this wall!” Reagan’s famous appeal directed to Gorbachev was to destroy the Berlin Wall. Reagan’s address that day is considered by many to mark the beginning of the end of the Cold War and to confirm the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

history of cold war

President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed an arms control agreement banning the use of medium-range nuclear missiles in December 1987.

history of cold war

In November 1989, a protester walked away from the Berlin Wall. Gorbachev abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine, which pledged to use Soviet forces to defend his interests in Eastern Europe. In September, Hungary opened its border with Austria, forcing East Germans to flee west. After massive public demonstrations in East Germany and Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November.

history of cold war

Jubilant people step over the head of a statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder and chief of the Soviet secret police, later known as the KGB, which was toppled in front of the KGB headquarters in Moscow on August 23, 1991. The KGB was responsible for mass arrests and executions.

history of cold war

Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin, left, and Soviet President Gorbachev look at a document while attending the Congress of People’s Deputies in Moscow in September 1991. While vacationing in the Crimean peninsula, Gorbachev was ousted in a coup on 19 August by communist hard-liners. , 1991. The coup soon faltered after citizens took to the streets of Moscow and other cities in support of Yeltsin, who condemned the coup. Yeltsin was the first democratically elected President of Russia.

history of cold war

In this photo of a TV screen, Gorbachev announced his resignation on December 25, 1991, ending his nearly seven years in power and signaling the end of the Soviet Union.

history of cold war

The Russian flag flies over the Kremlin shortly after Gorbachev resigns. The red communist flag with a gold hammer and sickle symbol waved over the Kremlin came down in the final act to mark the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

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