Russian MiniLessons: Холодная война – The Cold War

Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev meeting John F. Kennedy.

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.

Холодная война was a геополитическая, военная, экономическая, и идеологическая конфронтация between the Советский Союз и его союзники on one side, and США и их союзники on the other. It is generally regarded as having lasted from 1946 until the end of 1991, when the USSR fell.

The Cold War in Russia is understood has having had several periods: период эскалации from 1953-1962; достижение стратегического паритета, разрядка from 1963-1978; and Вторая Холодная Война from 1979-1985. Разрядка was caused by сотрудничество между США и СССР, such as переговоры об ограничении стратегических вооружений – ОСВ. Détente ended in 1979 when the СССР ввел войска в Афганистан. That marked the beginning of the Вторая Холодная Война.

Напряжение было всегда высоким during the Cold War. The самые драматичные события of the Cold War were Берлинский кризис 1961 года, Кубинский ракетный кризис, which is better known in Russia as Карибский кризис, столкновения между советскими и американскими военными during война в Корее and война во Вьетнаме. Инцидент с корейским Боингом 747, in which a passenger plane was shot down over Soviet airspace in 1983, обострил отношения between the USSR and the West.

Космическая гонка , from 1955-1975, was an example of соперничество в области освоения космоса. In addition to having большое значение для научных и военных разработок, space exploration had a пропагандистский эффект in both countries. The USSR was the first to запустить искусственный спутник Земли on October 4, 1957, and to отправить в космос человека in 1961. The USA later опередили the USSR in высадка на Луну.

One of the factors that helped предотвращать войну was взаимное гарантированное уничтожение. Each side had nuclear weapons в количестве, достаточном для уничтожения другой, which делает бессмысленными любые попытки применения доктрины Первого удара.

The Cold War resulted in the железный занавес, an информационный, политический, и пограничный барьер that separated the СССР и другие страны социалистического блока from the Западный мир.

As technology advanced, so did the opportunity for potentially fatal mistakes. Ошибки компьютера, such as the 1979 NORAD Computer Glitch and the 1983 Nuclear False Alarm, brought the world на грань ядерной войны based on false information. Хотя технологии ядерного мониторинга улучшились в определенных аспектах, вероятность технических ошибок все еще остаётся.

Anytime that major geopolitical tensions exist, especially between heavily armed parties with multiple alliances, any small misunderstanding or mistake can result in potentially disastrous events that can affect millions of innocent lives.

About the Author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov has reported on political and social issues for the Russian press as well as American outlets such as Russian Life, Worldpress.org, and Triangle Free Press. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the "real Russia" which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and went on to study TESOL and teach Russian at West Virginia University. He is currently working on an MA from St. Petersburg State in International Relations. Andrei contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS site, and is an overall linguistics and research resource. He additionally helps coordinate activities for our students in Moscow.