Moments Posted in Russia/Soviet Union

This is an archive of Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History posted in the Russia/Soviet Union category.

The Assassination of Ambassador Spike Dubs — Kabul, 1979

Adolph “Spike” Dubs was a career diplomat who served in Germany, Liberia, and the Soviet Union. He became a noted Soviet expert, and in 1973-74 he served as charge d’affaires at Embassy Moscow. In 1978, he was appointed Ambassador to Afghanistan following a coup d’etat which brought the Soviet-aligned Khalq faction to power. On February 14, 1979, Dubs was kidnapped by armed militants posing as […]



A Real Life “Thunderball”: The Day the U.S. Lost Hydrogen Bombs in Spain

The March 2009 edition of Time magazine called it one of the world’s “worst nuclear disasters.” On January 17, 1966, a B-52 bomber of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) carrying four hydrogen bombs collided with a tanker during mid-air refueling at 31,000 feet over the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. The tanker was completely destroyed when its fuel load ignited, killing all four […]



Bob Strauss – “Hell, Mr. President, I didn’t even vote for you”

Ambassador Robert S. Strauss is one of the giants of Twentieth Century American politics and diplomacy, whose service dates back to Lyndon Johnson’s first Congressional campaign in 1937. He served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee between 1972 and 1977 and served under President Jimmy Carter as the U.S.Trade Representative and Special Envoy to the Middle East. He was chosen by […]



The Missiles of October

October 14, 1962, witnessed the start of one of the most potentially devastating moments in history, when the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Photographs taken by a high-altitude U-2 spy plane offered clear evidence that Soviet medium-range missiles — capable of carrying […]



Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History

Our web series of over 700 “Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History” captures key historical events — and humorous aspects of diplomatic life, using our extensive collection of oral histories. Note:  These oral histories contain the personal recollections and opinions of the individual interviewed.  The views expressed should not be considered official statements of the U.S. […]



Blood on Ice: The 1969 Hockey Championships and Vengeance for Czechoslovakia

On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in order to quash the liberal reforms instituted by Alexander Dubcek during the Prague Spring. Over 200,000 troops and 5,000 tanks were sent in and were able to occupy the country the very first day. The […]