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Rustam Alexander

On 10 November 1982, Leonid Brezhnev, who had been ruling the USSR for almost two decades, passed away. A few hours after his death the members of the Politburo gathered in the Kremlin to decide who was going to be the new leader of the country. All members of the Politburo took the floor, delivering eulogies to Brezhnev and proposing candidates who in their opinion were best suited to fill the role. It was decided that sixty-eight-year-old Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, would be Brezhnev's successor

in Red closet
Rustam Alexander

pursuit of individual benefits were all to the detriment of the public good. There was also continued repression of overt political activism. In a society afflicted by so many problems, and where political freedom in any case was suppressed, any gay activism was out of the question. Unlike in the USSR, where homosexual people made no attempts to self-organize in any meaningful way, gay people in the US were, by the mid-1970s, actively standing up for their rights, engaging in activism and protests against the government

in Red closet
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps
,
Lasse Heerten
,
Arua Oko Omaka
,
Kevin O'Sullivan
, and
Bertrand Taithe

attacks on civilian targets and their suffering. For example, it was usually appealing for Biafrans to hear that they were fighting with Britain and not Nigeria. They saw the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, as the real enemy of Biafrans while General Gowon [military head of the Nigerian state] was portrayed as his deputy. The USSR also gave open support to the Nigerian government. What helped Biafra so much was the kind of propaganda machine it was able to set up. The

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A different history

Drawing on fresh and previously undiscovered sources, this book fills an important gap. It reveals that from 1956 to 1991 doctors, educators, jurists and police officers discussed the issue of homosexuality. At the heart of their discussions were questions which directly affected the lives of homosexual people in the USSR. Was homosexuality a crime, disease or a normal variant of human sexuality? Should lesbianism be criminalised? Could proper sex education prevent homosexuality? What role did the GULAG and prisons play in spreading homosexuality across the USSR? Far from being abstract questions, these discussions often had practical implications – doctors designed and offered medical treatments for homosexuality in hospitals, while prison workers used these treatments in prisons.

Superpower rivalry
Author:

Four questions stand before the historian of the cold war and the Arab-Israeli conflict: 1) Did Israel and the US have a 'special relationship'? 2) Were Soviet-Israeli relations destined for failure from 1948? 3) Was the Arab-Israeli conflict insoluble because of the cold war or in spite of it? 4)Was detente between the superpowers the key to solving the Arab-Israeli conflict? Israel failed to get a security guarantee from the US because if it were granted ally status the Arab states would turn to the Soviets. Instead of a security guarantee Kennedy used the nebulous term 'special relationship', which did not bind America politically or militarily. Relations with the USSR looked promising at first, but the Zionist ideology of the Jewish state made it inevitable that relations with would worsen , since the Kremlin rejected the notion that Soviet Jews were by definition part of the Jewish nation, and therefore candidates for emigration to Israel. As for the Arabs, they were adamant that the Palestinian refugees return en mass, which meant the destruction of of Israel. No compromise suggested by the US was acceptable to to the Arabs , who were always supported by the USSR.The Soviets demanded detente cover not only the Arab states and Israel, but Turkey and Iran as well. Consequently the Middle East remained a no-man's-land between the superpowers' spheres of influence, inexorably paving the way for the wars in 1956 and 1967.

Abstract only
The hidden history of gay oppression in the USSR

This book begins in 1934, when the brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin enacts sodomy laws, unleashing a wave of brutal detentions of homosexual men in large Soviet cities. It then recounts the individual stories of people whose lives were directly affected by Stalin’s decision to outlaw male homosexuality. This varied cast includes a naive Scottish journalist based in Moscow who dares to write to Stalin attempting to free his lover from detention, and a homosexual theatre student who comes to Moscow in pursuit of his dreams amid Stalin’s harsh repressions and mass arrests. A fearless doctor in Siberia provides medical treatment for gay men at his own peril, while a much-loved Soviet singer hides his homosexuality from the secret police. A polarising and wily KGB officer goes on the run, in pursuit of sex with men, yet willing to betray them if it helps to resurrect his career. The book also paints the poignant picture of a young returning Soviet diplomat who has contracted a strange new immune disease in Tanzania and his journey to discover the truth. All these stories are true, based on real people and carefully researched. Each vignette helps paint the hitherto unknown picture of how Soviet oppression of gay people actually originated and was perpetuated, from Stalin’s rule until the demise of the USSR. And again recently, under Putin’s rule, homophobia is again on the rise."

Author:

This book offers a brief review of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations from 1947 to 2014. It examines international politics at the United Nations from 1988 to 1991 when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) dissolved. The book offers new explanations for the dwindling support for UN peacekeeping operations from late 1993 to 1995. It examines the diplomatic discussions at the Security Council, the General Assembly and the UN Secretariat on the objectives and principles of success of the operations from January 1992 to mid-1993. It is accepted by researchers and even the UN Secretariat that peacekeeping operations can be divided into two separate time periods: from 1947-88, or the Cold War era, and from 1988 to the present, the post-Cold War era. The book further explains what occurred in the UN during 1995 that called for a re-examination of the new concept and practice of peacekeeping in civil wars. It shows how the international community succeeded in providing only part of the requirements for the many operations, and especially for the large multidimensional operations in Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia and Somalia. Finally, the book emphasises the importance of regional organisations with regard to the maintenance of international peace and security.

For over five decades, the Cold War security agenda was distinguished by the principal strategic balance, that of a structure of bipolarity, between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This book seeks to draw from current developments in critical security studies in order to establish a new framework of inquiry for security in the Middle East. It addresses the need to redefine security in the Middle East. The focus is squarely on the Arab-Israeli context in general, and the Palestinian-Israeli context in particular. The character of Arab-Israeli relations are measured by the Israeli foreign policy debate from the 1950s to the 1990s. A dialogue between Islam and Islamism as a means to broaden the terrain on which conflict resolution and post-bipolar security in the Middle East is to be understood is presented. The Middle East peace process (MEPP) was an additional factor in problematizing the military-strategic concept of security in the Middle East. The shift in analysis from national security to human security reflects the transformations of the post-Cold War era by combining military with non-military concerns such as environmental damage, social unrest, economic mismanagement, cultural conflict, gender inequity and radical fundamentalism. By way of contrast to realist international relations (IR) theory, developing-world theorists have proposed a different set of variables to explain the unique challenges facing developing states. Finally, the book examines the significance of ecopolitics in security agendas in the Middle East.

John Lough

. This in turn encouraged a sense of deep gratitude to Moscow for making such an unexpected outcome possible. Yet the neat conclusion of the Cold War with its quixotic vision of an all-European cooperative security framework stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok was only a flicker before the sobering realities of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the disintegration of the USSR intruded. Three decades later, there is still nostalgia in Germany for this seductive moment when it finally seemed possible to square the circle and for the country to be fully reconciled with both

in Germany’s Russia problem
John Lough

wide areas of Russian life is testimony to an astonishing achievement of soft power not diminished by Hitler’s invasion of the USSR. Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Drei Kameraden ( Three Comrades ) first published in 1936 was very widely read in the USSR in translation in the late 1950s. At the same time, West German writers such as Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass and Siegfried Lenz also became widely available in translation. The Soviet authorities looked favourably on them because they criticised social conditions in West Germany. Böll’s novella Das Brot der frühen

in Germany’s Russia problem