Eurasian Enigma: The Collapse of the USSR

Man tears down Lenin's image

Photo Credit: Mark Kramer / Project on Cold War Studies, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Monday, April 30, 2018

The fall of the USSR was, for some, a win for independence and self-determination. For others, it meant the loss of power and a guiding ideology. In this episode, former Soviet citizens and American scholars discuss why the Soviet Union collapsed, and the impact it had on the everyday lives of people in Russia, the Baltics, and Central Asia.

"And all of a sudden the door is kicked open in the classroom, and this student runs in and he basically says in Ukrainian, 'University has been taken over, classes are suspended, revolution is coming.'"


Bak Beshimov is a faculty member in the Global Studies and International Relations program and Professor of Practice at Northeastern University.

Mark Kramer is the program director of the Project on Cold War Studies at Harvard University.

Oxana Shevel is Associate Professor of political science at Tufts University.

Hugh Truslow is the head librarian of social sciences and visualization, maps, media, data, and government information at Harvard College Library.