Intervention of the United States and the Soviet Union

The documentary on the Afghanistan and Soviet Union war stated that the cause of the war was completely due to the United States and the Soviet Union. Throughout the documentary the enemy was revealed to be the Soviet Union, it was said that the cause of the war was due to their unnecessary intervention, but this opinion cannot fully be relied on because of its bias and because it is in the point of view of the United States.

The documentary also blames Afghanistan’s current problems with its own people solely on the United States and the Soviet Union; it blames the two countries for providing weapons that were used to fight against people of their own country. This brings up the question of, what if the United States hadn’t had intervened in this civil war? Would’ve conditions still have been the same or would it have decreased the amount of casualties during and after Soviet Union intervention? What would’ve happened if the U.S. hadn’t encouraged the rebels to continue their cause?

It also mentions that the Soviet Union tried very hard to conceal the events in Afghanistan from its people. The Soviet Union covered up the war by depicting soldiers building schools and not contributing to any type of combat. They also tried very hard to cover up the number of casualties and “invalids” that returned back from Afghanistan. Why would’ve the Soviet Union tried so hard to do this and why was it so important to cover up the truth?

View On Their “Lost Generation”

Both interviews that Donald J. Raleigh performed struck me to have very different perceptions. The two interviewees definitely represented different attitudes towards the subject of their lives, but this was mainly due to their backgrounds, Gennadii Viktorovich Ivanov definitely gave the feeling that he had “formulated his answers specifically” for the interview and was careful of what information he disclosed, but one would expect a policeman or an operative to act in such a way. Natalia P. on the other hand seemed to be less careful and cautious in what she said in the duration of her interview. Both Gennadii and Natalia seemed to agree in that they did not consider themselves as to be apart of a “lost generation”.

Natalia Pronina discusses the way in which she participated in activities that made her youth-self different from the generations after her. She explains that her generation expressed much more freedom and expressiveness, which adults at the time did not like and were not used to, she says ”the next generation no longer subordinated themselves to her” (regarding her director who rejected her short skirt). She referred to her life as a normal life, where she was in a comfortable and happy situation, although she mentions she both lost and gained certain things throughout her time growing up. She explains the way her parents instilled both the sense of duty and responsibility into her in which today’s younger generation has no grasp on.

In regards to the way he grew up, Gennadii Ivanov explains it to have been much like the way his parents grew up, especially considering their views. He makes no complaints in the way he grew up and like Natalia seems to have expressed a comfortable upbringing. Gennadii does share the same opinion as Natalia, he does not consider his generation to be termed a lost generation, but considers later generations to be lost. He also explains the way in which people really did not care about things that are considered important now, including money.

Both interviewees seem to share the same views on their generation; they describe it be a place where they were comfortable where old views were still held and where new views were being developed. Overall they did seem to express a belief in a change in where society was headed.

Sevastopol and the Soviet Union

The article, “Who Makes Local Memories?: The Case of Sevastopol after World War II” makes a distinct focus on the impact and significance of Sevastopol to the Soviet Union in the time following World War II. Qualls asserts the point that Sevastopol, simultaneously shed its identification with two countries at the same time, he explains how the city marginalized the Soviet Union and completely ignored Ukraine and refused to be apart of it, which was due to the goal of tying to highlight a deeper Russian history, but instead creating a localized mythology. Quall’s argues that through the emergence of mythmaking and by introducing military valor and extraordinary feats by civilians, military personnel were combining pre-Revolutionary and Soviet conceptions of heroism. With this, heroism, resistance and self-sacrifice became the face of the city and what it was most known for. The city became to be the “glory of the Russian soul’, and a “symbol of faithfulness” the lives that were lost during the war. Quall’s explains how Sevastopol focused only on becoming local and not national, further removing itself or “shedding” itself from its Soviet identification. He argues that local city planning changed the topography and toponyms of the city that put society back to pre-revolutionary heroism and guidebook authors who wrote for international audiences further scattered the myth of Sevastopol more broadly.

With the removal of Soviet identity, the article has me question how Sevastopol’s evolution really affected the Soviet Union in a negative way, if it seemed that the city was only raising the Soviet Union on a pedestal, representing its victories and its heroic features.

Stalin Against Capitalism and Churchill

Throughout Stalin’s speech, given at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin continually mentions the superiority of the Soviet system and its greatness. This is also evident in his response to Winston S. Churchill’s speech on the “Iron Curtain”, given in 1946. In both of these speeches Stalin makes frequent comments on the inefficiencies of capitalism. This further proves that Stalin was not a fan of capitalism and its capitalistic ideas. In his speech to the voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin blamed the Second World War on the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism, mentioned that the capitalistic system contains some aspects of a general crisis and military conflicts and almost never proceeds smoothly. He glorified the Soviet Union’s victories over their enemies and the war and determines the nation’s victory through the “victorious” Soviet social system, in which he says “passed the test of fire and war and prove to be fully viable”.
Stalin continues further to exaggerate the Soviet Union’s greatness by direct attacking Winston Churchill in his response to the “Iron Curtain” speech. Stalin directly states that Churchill only thought of English speaking nations as the only valuable nations that were actually worth something and should rule over the rest of the world. This is a very strong statement to be said especially to such large public, it proves that Stalin only had one intention in these two speeches, to increase his popularity within the people of his nation and to encourage his nomination as a supreme Supreme Soviet. I would say that these two speeches were mainly used as a way to increase his popularity within the public he appealed to.


In the Russian film, Circus, directed by Grigori Aleksandrov, a clear message is carried throughout the entire content of the film. One can automatically catch on to the film’s pro-Soviet message, which includes a positive portrayal of the country. This is first is shown when Marion finds refuge in the Soviet Union from the United States because she is the mother of an African American baby. The film tells the audience that the Soviet Union does not discriminate against any race and embraces everyone with open arms, portraying themselves in a positive manner and informing the nation on their improvement as a collective group. This specific message is also shown in the very end of the film, the closing scene includes the circus’ audience singing a lullaby to the baby and shunning the circus manager for his racist comments and actions towards the baby. The baby is passed around through the audience as everyone sings and lulls the baby to sleep (denoting their collective unity). At the very end of the film, Marion understands that her new home (the Soviet Union) is the right place for her and her baby and understands that the Soviet Union is the only place she can be happy and ends the movie with a song dedicated to her motherland.

This specific piece shows the change in the arts of the time, this film was made at the time where the arts were used for the purpose of the state. It is a prime example of where the Soviet Union is portrayed in a positive and welcoming way where the outside world could see its improvement and impeccable state.c

The First Provisional Government

Russia was going through great turmoil in the year of 1917. Pressure was increasing drastically for the Russian tsar, Nikolai II. The people of the nation demanded change and Nikolai could not provide it, drastic change had risen in the years before, culturally and socially. The people of Russia felt great pressure from the way things were being handled; the war had brought economics issues as well as a drastic loss of casualties. The abdication of Nikolai II was a move forward to the future where many thought life would prosper and the First Provisional Government was a critical/crucial opportunity to move forward into the future and to push forward the change that had began to rise years before. The first provisional government was truly beneficial to the social need at the time, Although the First Provisional Government only lasted about eight months, could have it been what the nation needed if it had ran longer, was the future of Russia on the right track with this kind of authority and government. This new government did offer what the people needed; it offered the type of change and innovation to a new way of life. The first cabinet to represent the public guaranteed freedom of speech, amnesty, the removal of restrictions on class, religion, and nationality, arrangement for a Constituent Assembly, a substitution for a people’s militia, and universal and equal elections. The continuation of the First Provisional Government could’ve opened many different doors to the people of Russia as well as a new and different future.