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Russian Revolutions: Sex, Lies and Nuclear Weapons

ABC News Nightline programs feature: Dimitri Shalin, Olga Lipovskaya, Artyem Troitsky.
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Russia [electronic resource]

A case study examines the history of St. Petersburg and its adaptation to a post-Soviet society. Students learn, through a constructivist teaching approach, about the geographic factors behind the location of St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. Cultural mosaics are the focus of a case study on the Russian republic of Dagestan and a classroom segment in which students role-play the negotiation of cultural boundaries in a fictional country.

Bosnia's Rite of Return [electronic resource]

What is it like when tens of thousands of refugees return home from several years of exile to rebuild their lives? In this program, Muslim refugees from the village of Stolac describe the challenges of living with their wartime enemies; Croat refugees, preparing to celebrate Easter, seek guidance from a clergy that is itself divided between a desire for reconciliation and a belief in racial supremacy; and Bosnia's major religious leaders in Sarajevo discuss the struggle to keep the nation's multi-ethnic society alive.
2007; 1998

Kosovo [electronic resource]: Of Blood and History

To fully understand the recent bloodshed in Kosovo, one must go back 600 years and trace the causes of the undying hatreds that permeate Serbia and the surrounding region. Using eyewitness accounts, maps, and footage both of historic events and of Serbian life, this program examines the ethnic nationalism and religious extremism that have resulted in the long-standing hatred between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians-a hatred that continued to destabilize the Balkans during the Milosevic regime.
2005; 1999

Eric Hobsbawm and Slovakian Nationalism [electronic resource]

Nationalism is not compatible with the progress of history, says Eric Hobsbawm. In this program, the renowned Marxist historian travels 35 miles on the Pressburg Railway to prove his point-a brief trip from Vienna to Bratislava in 1996 and a century-long journey through a landscape that has seen some of Europe's most turbulent political changes. Using the excursion as a paradigm for the nationalistic struggles of the region, Professor Hobsbawm traces the birth of modern Slovakia from its roots in the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to the region's annexation by Hitler and subsequent domination by the Soviet Union, to Slovakian independence.
2009; 1996

A Fatal Stroke [electronic resource]: Fall of Lenin and Rise of Leninism

In late 1922, Lenin wrote a secret speech censuring General Secretary Stalin, to be read the following spring at the Twelfth Party Congress. But on March 9, 1923, Lenin suffered a debilitating stroke, and the speech was never given. Featuring Orlando Figes, of Cambridge University; Boris Starkov, of St. Petersburg Academy of Economics; and Yuri Amiantov, chief archivist of the Communist Party, this program focuses on the sequence of events surrounding the twist of fate that left Lenin speechless and presented Stalin with the opportunity to ruthlessly maneuver his way into supreme power.
2008; 1999

Boris Yeltsin [electronic resource]: Legacy of Change

Boris Yeltsin dismantled the Soviet Union and destroyed the Communist Party-and then resigned before he could create a political party to continue his vision or build the institutions necessary for democracy. This intriguing program traces Yeltsin's climb to the top of the Communist Party and his personal power struggle with Mikhail Gorbachev. Interviews with opposition leaders as well as many of Yeltsin's top advisers, including Eduard Shevardnadze, Boris Nemtsov, and Yeltsin's wife, Naina, provide a candid appraisal of a man who changed the course of world history.
2006; 2000

Eisenstein and Stalin [electronic resource]: When Art and Politics Clash

Drawing on sixty volumes of diaries and other recently revealed archival materials, this program presents the struggle between Joseph Stalin and Sergei Eisenstein, who fought for freedom of expression in a climate of exiles and executions. Rare clips of the preeminent Russian director's controversial films-including the deleted Trotsky scene in October, the original ending of The General Line, and recovered footage from the banned Bezhin Meadow-and interviews with the director of the Eisenstein Museum, friends, associates, and former students underscore the coercive power of Stalin's authoritarian regime.
2006; 1999

Peter the Great [electronic resource]

This program details the nature of the Swedish Empire in the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries and draws a fascinating portrait of Charles XII. But the major part of the program is devoted to a portrait of the extraordinary and contradictory Tsar Peter the Great, the Oriental Russia into which he was born and the ways in which he turned Russia toward Europe, the problems he faced and the sometimes inventive and sometimes incredibly brutal ways in which he imposed solutions, the city he built, and the spirit he aroused-which is why he is considered the father of his country. It also tells of his conflict with Sweden and the Battle of Poltava.
2005; 1990

Powerplay [electronic resource]: End of an Empire

In the midst of the trauma of the Vietnam War, a U.S. diplomatic strategy evolves that begins the unraveling of the Soviet Empire. This program on the Cold War of the 1970s and 80s, hosted by David Frost and featuring historian Michael Beschloss, focuses on such key events and tactics as detente, the manipulations that sparked Middle East tensions between Soviet-supported Egypt and American-backed Israel, Nixon's historic trip to China, the SALT talks, the "dirty little wars" in Central America, the Reagan Revolution and his Strategic Defense Initiative, the fall of the Berlin Wall, "perestroika" and "glasnost," and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. Exclusive Frost interviews with Margaret Thatcher, Norman Schwarzkopf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush, [...]
2005; 1998

Russian Avant-Garde [electronic resource]: Romance With the Revolution

This program documents the achievements of the Russian avant-garde movement and the impact of the Russian Revolution, which at first nurtured modern art as an emblem of communist culture and then banned it in favor of socialist realism. Set within the context of the life of the pivotal art critic Nikolai Punin, the key events of the Lenin/Stalin years and the contributions of major artists such as Malevich, Tatlin, and Filonov are described. Plentiful examples of paintings and sculptures plus period newsreel footage add a strong visual appeal to the story of a compelling period of both art and world history.
2008; 1999

Russian Revolutions [electronic resource]: Sex, Lies, and Nuclear Weapons

In segment one of this program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel reports on issues related to the new openness in Russia surrounding sexuality, including the growth of prostitution, resistance to contraception, and the spread of AIDS. In segment two, Koppel and correspondent John Donvan examine the ongoing controversy revolving around the political sellout of the independent Russian media. And in segment three, Koppel and Donvan analyze the impoverished and demoralized state of Russia's soldiery, tasked with fighting the Chechens and presiding over one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world.
2010; 2000

Russian Revolutions [electronic resource]: The Heavy Hand of Corruption

In segment one of this program, ABC News anchor Ted Koppel and correspondent John Donvan investigate the endemic nature of corruption in Russia, where bribery is commonplace and paying protection money is considered a business expense. In segment two, Koppel and billionaire Boris Berezovsky, identified as the unseen force behind Vladimir Putin's rise to power, discuss Berezovsky's recent foray into politics. And in segment three, after providing detailed background on Putin, Koppel interviews the man himself, touching upon his plans to fight corruption, his KGB affiliations, and his surprising sense of humor.
2010; 2000

Soviet Disunion [electronic resource]: Ten Years That Shook the World

This comprehensive ten-year history of Russia following glasnost and perestroika presents a dismal picture of a nation in disarray, battling with seemingly insurmountable economic, social, and political problems. Major topics include the election of Mikhail Gorbachev; dissolution of the gulag system; Boris Yeltsin's opposition to Gorbachev's initiatives; environmental legacies, including the disaster of Chernobyl; the break-away of the Baltic states; Gorbachev's arrest; the rise of Yeltsin; creation of the stock exchange; an explosion of crime; and decay of the military. Interviews with Gorbachev and with Russian officials Edvard Shevardnadze, Nikolai Ryzhkov, and former KGB chief General Oleg Kalougine provide insights into the causes and severity of the problems. Journalists and or [...]
2005; 1995

Stalin [electronic resource]: Red God

When atheistic Joseph Stalin assumed power, he put to use his training as a Russian Orthodox priest to redirect his people's devotional fervor and to cast himself as a secular god. Using eyewitness accounts, reenactments of key events in Stalin's life, and examples of Soviet film, art, music, and architecture, this provocative program demonstrates how Stalin ennobled communism and elevated it to the level of a state religion. Neo-Stalinists, nostalgic for their godlike leader, provide insights into how a terrifying dictatorship can ignite a devotion both deep and disturbing.
2005; 1999

Superpowers Collide [electronic resource]

The end of World War II brought a desolate European landscape with two countries and two ideologies in an epic face-off. Sir David Frost and noted historian Michael Beschloss examine a multitude of essential topics and events of the period, including the roots of the Cold War, the early challenge to Truman, the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War and the spread of "red scare" paranoia, the arms race and the threat of nuclear Armageddon, Khrushchev, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, and the growing quagmire of Vietnam as navigated by Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. Frost's interviews with Alexander Haig, Helmut Schmidt, Bobby Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, and others provide insight into the nerve-wracking tensions and high drama of this pivotal str [...]
2005; 1998

Modern Slavery [electronic resource]: Human Trafficking

In search of a better life, Natasha and Galia Gutu thought they had found fulfilling jobs in Turkey through their seemingly helpful neighbors. But when the Gutu sisters left their home in Moldova they were actually traveling into a nightmare-not the health aide employment that their "friends" had promised, but rather enslavement as prostitutes. This program follows their story by recording their own painful accounts, a different side of the narrative as told by the mother-daughter pair who led them into deception, and the real-life courtroom drama that unfolds when the sisters bring charges against their former neighbors. Will a guilty verdict start Natasha and Galia on the road to healing?
2010; 2008

Radio Revolution [electronic resource]: Broadcasting for Freedom in Cold-War Romania

Likened to "a strange religion. with millions of invisible believers," Radio Free Europe gave listeners in Eastern Bloc countries a much-needed alternative to government media. This program examines the impact of RFE broadcasts on Nicolae Ceausescu's Romania and the lengths to which Romanian authorities went to suppress U.S.-backed radio. Viewers learn how the 1977 Vrancea Earthquake enabled RFE to step up its activities in the country; how Ceausescu's operatives in the Romanian Securitate-and, allegedly, even the notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal-committed violent acts against RFE personnel; and how the power and popularity of RFE found full expression in the Romanian Revolution.
2010; 2009

Russia's Last Tsar [electronic resource]

In tsarist Russia, Nicholas II had absolute power over his vast realm, yet he was helpless in the face of his son Alexei's life-threatening hemophilia. Enter Rasputin, a self-styled holy man whose apparent ability to heal the young heir to the throne won him the devotion of Empress Alexandra, to the dismay of practically everyone else. This program presents the wrenching drama of the collapse of the centuries-old Romanov dynasty-a story of abdication, imprisonment, and assassination-against the backdrop of a nation under unendurable stress: military disasters, economic collapse, widespread unrest, and the rampant spread of Bolshevism. The program ends by revealing the location of the tsar's lost grave, a mystery for decades solved at last.
2010; 1996

Nikita Khrushchev [electronic resource]: Fidel Castro

Nikita Khrushchev, born of peasant parents, ruled the Soviet Union with an iron fist while preaching peaceful co-existence. Fidel Castro led the Cuban Revolution, and then became Prime Minister of Cuba, then President of the Council of Ministers. This episode of A&E Classroom examines how these two men joined forces and how their tenuous alliance was tested by the Cuban missile crisis.
2011; 1996