Matthias Rust Lands His Plane In Red Square

Matthias Rust, a 19-year-old amateur pilot from West Germany, takes off from Helsinki, Finland, travels through more than 400 miles of Soviet airspace, and lands his small Cessna aircraft in Red Square by the Kremlin. The event proved to be an immense embarrassment to the Soviet government and military. Rust, […]

Continue Reading

George Shultz Condemns Soviet Spying

Just days before he is to travel to Moscow for talks on arms control and other issues, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz states that he is “damned angry” about possible Soviet spy activity in the American embassy in the Soviet Union. Soviet officials indignantly replied that the espionage charges […]

Continue Reading

United States Walks Out Of World Court Case

For the first time since joining the World Court in 1946, the United States walks out of a case. The case that caused the dramatic walkout concerned U.S. paramilitary activities against the Nicaraguan government. For the Reagan administration, efforts to undermine the Sandinista government in Nicaragua had been a keystone […]

Continue Reading

Soviets Announce Boycott Of 1984 Olympics

Claiming that its athletes will not be safe from protests and possible physical attacks, the Soviet Union announces that it will not compete in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Despite the Soviet statement, it was obvious that the boycott was a response to the decision of the United States […]

Continue Reading

Samantha Smith Leaves For Visit To The USSR

Samantha Smith, an 11-year-old American girl, begins a two-week visit to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Soviet leader Yuri Andropov. Some American observers believed that Smith was merely being used by the Soviets for their own propaganda purposes, while others saw her visit as a positive step toward […]

Continue Reading

Andropov Writes To An American Fifth-Grader

The Soviet Union releases a letter that Russian leader Yuri Andropov wrote to Samantha Smith, an American fifth-grader. This rather unusual piece of Soviet propaganda was in direct response to President Ronald Reagan’s vigorous attacks on what he called “the evil empire” of the Soviet Union. In 1983, President Reagan […]

Continue Reading

Reagan Links Arms Talks With Soviets To Oppression In Poland

In a revival of the diplomacy “linkages” that were made famous by Henry Kissinger during the Nixon years, the administration of President Ronald Reagan announces that further progress on arms talks will be linked to a reduction of Soviet oppression in Poland. The U.S. ploy was but one more piece […]

Continue Reading

Tito Dies

Josip Broz Tito, communist leader of Yugoslavia since 1945, passes away at the age of 88 in Belgrade. During his 35-year rule, Tito guided Yugoslavia along a pathway that combined dogmatic allegiance to Marxism with an independent, and often combative, relationship with the Soviet Union. The child of peasants, Tito […]

Continue Reading

U.S. Olympic Committee Votes Against Moscow Games

At the request of President Jimmy Carter, the U.S. Olympic Committee votes to ask the International Olympic Committee to cancel or move the upcoming Moscow Olympics. The action was in response to the Soviet military invasion of Afghanistan the previous month. Demonstrating once again that the Cold War infiltrated every […]

Continue Reading

U.S. Announces Military Equipment Sales To China

In an action obviously designed as another in a series of very strong reactions to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. officials announce that America is ready to sell military equipment (excluding weapons) to communist China. The surprise statement was part of the U.S. effort to build a closer relationship […]

Continue Reading

United Nations Vote “Deplores” Soviet Intervention In Afghanistan

In a crushing diplomatic rebuke to the Soviet Union, the U.N. General Assembly votes 104 to 18 to “deplore” the Russian intervention in Afghanistan. The resolution also requested the “immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan.” The immense margin of victory for the resolution indicated the […]

Continue Reading

Carter Reacts To Soviet Intervention In Afghanistan

In a very strong reaction to the December 1979 Soviet military intervention into Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter requests that the Senate postpone action on the SALT-II nuclear weapons treaty and recalls the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. These actions indicated that the U.S.-Soviet relationship had been severely damaged by […]

Continue Reading

Carter And Brezhnev Sign The SALT-II Treaty

During a summit meeting in Vienna, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-II agreement dealing with limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally went into effect, proved to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War. The SALT-II […]

Continue Reading

Afghan President Is Overthrown And Murdered

Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by procommunist rebels. The brutal action marked the beginning of political upheaval in Afghanistan that resulted in intervention by Soviet troops less than two years later. Daoud had ruled Afghanistan since coming to power in a coup […]

Continue Reading

Korean Air Lines Jet Forced Down Over Soviet Union

Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk. The jet was […]

Continue Reading