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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 25, 1946

    Notes on the discussion between I.V. Kurchatov, lead scientist for the Soviet nuclear effort, and Stalin

    Kurchatov's notes on his meeting with Stalin, Molotov and Beria. Stalin promises the all necessary help to the soviet effort to build an atomic bomb. He suggests that the project should be build on "a Russian scale," without concerns for cost saving.

  • September 29, 1946

    Letter from Igor V. Kurchatov to Lavrenti Beria requesting additional support for the project on buiding an atomic bomb.

    Igor Kurchatov, the scientific director of the Soviet nuclear project writes secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, whom Stalin had given principal responsibility for the atomic effort, asking for additional resources to solve uranium shortages faced by the project. (excerpts)

  • September 23, 1949

    Statement by President Truman in Response to First Soviet Nuclear Test

    Shortly after the first Soviet nuclear bomb test on August 29, 1949, United States spy planes detected evidence of radioactivity from the blast. In this statement, President Truman revealed to the public for the first time that the Soviet Union had built and successfully detonated a nuclear bomb.

  • January 09, 1951

    Stalin's Conference with East European Delegates

    Stalin and Ministers from Eastern European countries discuss the current military status in Eastern Europe, focusing specifically on potential moves by the United States. Topics also included a discussion on the strength of Eastern European armed forces

  • November 25, 1953

    Memorandum by V. A. Malyshev, et. al., to the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee on the Creation of a Long-Range Missile with a Nuclear Warhead

    On the creation of a long-range missile to carry nuclear warheads

  • January 01, 1956

    Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 'Agenda Items Relating to Disarmament'

    Summary of the Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly's agenda on disarmament

  • September 26, 1959

    Report by Chairman of the Committee for State Security on American "Discoverer" Satellites

    A report to the CC CPSU on six American "Discoverer" model satellites with speculation about the satellites' military or surveillance purposes.

  • October 06, 1959

    Report by the Director of CC CPSU Department of Military Industry on the American 'Discoverer' Satellites

    Report outlining the need to organize systematic observation of newly launched American "Discoverer" satellites to determine their orbit and radio frequencies.

  • June 16, 1960

    Memorandum by the Chairman of the Committee for State Security on Disruption of Soviet Missiles

    Shelepin reports on intelligence claiming that US scientists have developed a method to disrupt the guidance of Soviet missiles during launch.

  • July 21, 1960

    Report by Ustinov on the Alleged US Ability to Disrupt Soviet Missile Guidance

    Ustinov analyzes reports that American scientists have developed a method for disrupting the guidance systems on Soviet missiles and concludes that this is not possible.

  • January 20, 1961

    John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address

    Kennedy's inaugural address, in which he discusses US foreign policy and relations with the rest of the world, especially the Eastern Bloc.

  • August 03, 1961

    Walter Ulbricht's Speech at the Moscow Conference, 3-5 August 1961

    Ulbricht speaks at the Moscow Conference of Secretaries of the Central Committees of the Communist and Workers' Parties of Socialist Countries for the Exchange of Opinions on Questions Concerning the Preparation and Conclusion of a German Peace Treaty.

  • October 08, 1963

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev, Marked 'Final Version'

    Letter from Gomulka to Khrushchev discussing Polish opposition to Soviet proposal for a Non-Proliferation Treaty. Gomulka suggests that the treaty will further split the communist camp. While discussing the state of Sino-Soviet relations, the Polish leader suggests that the Soviet Union and the PRC adopt a common position in matters of foreign policy in order to strengthen the power of the Socialist camp.

  • November, 1963

    Ion Gheorghe Maurer, 'The Unshakeable Foundation of the Unity of the International Communist Movement' (excerpts)

    Prime Minister Ion Gheorghe Maurer describes Romania's new policies and approach to relations with China and the Soviet Union at a time when Romania was increasingly attempting to distance itself from the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union's military control. Toward this end, Mauer proclaims a policy of military disengagement and disarmament, declaring that mediation and negotiation are the only legitimate way of resolving international tensions.

  • March 03, 1967

    Research Memorandum REU-14 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'How Major NATO Countries View the Prospect of an ABM Deployment'

    Despite new information that the Soviet Union was deploying anti-ballistic missile defenses around Moscow, the United States had not yet decided to deploy its own ABM defenses (although a decision would be made later in the year) and there was some hope that U.S.-Soviet talks would prevent an ABM race. If, however, talks failed, some NATO allies worried about the “adverse consequences” of an ABM race, especially whether having an ABM system might incline Washington toward risk taking.

  • March 17, 1967

    Research Memorandum RAR-8 from George C. Denney, Jr., to the Secretary, 'The Latin American Nuclear Free Zone: Pluses and Minuses'

    The treaty creating the Latin American Nuclear Free Zone (LANFZ) was signed at Tlatelolco, Mexico, on 14 February 1967. Taking a close look at key provisions, INR found that the entry into force provisions included loopholes which “unenthusiastic” states could use so the treaty did not cover their territory.

  • August 14, 1967

    Intelligence Note 669 from Thomas L. Hughes to the Secretary, 'Tests of Soviet Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS)'

    Soviet tests of a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) attracted the interest of the US intelligence community because of the unique challenges it posed to defenses. At that point, August 1967, the US had no means to detect a FOBs attack but INR noted that a satellite detection system would be operational during 1970. This was a reference to the secret Defense Support Program (DSP), which would use infrared technology to detect missile launches and reduce any surprise advantage from the FOBs. The Soviets recognized this and later retired their twenty or so ICBMs with FOBs capabilities in 1983.

  • May 24, 1972

    [Report on Warsaw Pact] Presentation about the information (intelligence) concerning Warsaw Pact's military potential, explained at the meeting of NATO Defence Planning Committee (Bruxelles, 24th May 1972)

    This rather technical document compares the strategic capabilities (conventional and nuclear) of Warsaw Pact and NATO. The document notes that Warsaw Pact has considerably increased its capabilities catching up with the West, and raises the question about Soviet intentions, and whether continuing armament is in line with peaceful coexistence.

  • May 13, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French President Giscard d'Estaing and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping: First Meeting

    French President Giscard and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss the current international situation, including the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States and issues of European unity and security. They also discuss the current situation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.

  • 1977

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Disarmament'

    This note my the Italian Foreign Ministry discusses the growing tensions caused by the ongoing arms race and introduces different disarmament strategies suggested by the Soviet Union, Denmark, and the Warsaw Pact.