Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 and the leader of the USSR from 1924 to 1953. Known in particular for his rule of terror over the USSR, Stalin governed Russia with an iron fist, propelling the country into rapid industrialization through his infamous five-year plans, introducing forced labor camps known as gulags and committing a string a brutal crimes and atrocities. In just 50 minutes, you will learn about […]
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The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the major battles of the Second World War, and saw the German Wehrmacht and Stalin’s Red Army fight savagely, often in close quarters, for control of the city. The combat also involved civilians and was unprecedented in its scale; the Battle of Stalingrad is now widely regarded as one of the largest and bloodiest battles in history. It marked a turning point in the war: the Germans were defeated for the first time since the outbreak of […]
Josip Broz Tito was the first President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, holding the role from 1953 to his death in 1980. After distinguishing himself in the resistance during the Second World War, he played a crucial role in shaping the new federal state and went on to defy Stalin, calling instead for a “third way” between the Eastern and Western Blocs. In just 50 minutes, you will find out about his decisive influence on the history […]
Vladimir Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary and politician whose actions shaped the fate of Russia. He toppled the centuries-old tsarist regime to lead the proletariat to victory during the Russian Revolution, becoming a legendary figure for the people of Russia in the process. However, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction, as Lenin became surrounded by a cult of personality after his rise to power. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how Lenin’s actions shaped events […]
The Battle of Kursk was one of the major clashes between German and Soviet troops during the Second World War and one of the most important tank battles in history. Having launched Operation Barbarossa to invade the USSR in 1941, the Nazis sought to regain the initiative on the Eastern Front with this new offensive in the summer of 1943. However, the Red Army was able to push back the invading forces at an enormous human cost, effectively putting an end to Hitler’s […]
It is impossible to understand modern European history without first understanding the Cold War. Indeed, the tensions between the USA and the USSR, the two great powers to emerge from the Second World War, dominated the second half of the 20th century, resulted in a series of brutal proxy wars and brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war. The clash between two diametrically opposed systems, capitalism and Communism, divided the planet as each side did everything in their […]
Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the USSR and had a major impact on the path that Russia took at the end of the 20th century. He was a somewhat controversial figure, known in the West as the man who ended the Cold War while being one of the least popular 20th century leaders in Russia. This is understandable, as Gorbachev brought Russia closer to the West, made Communism more democratic and granted independence to the Eastern bloc countries. […]