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With hindsight, we see that the Soviet Union never had a chance of world domination, but we didn't know that then.
In Soviet times, the border was closed, so we couldn't get out of the country, and I had been reading Robinson Crusoe. I wanted to see the ocean, I wanted to see boats, I wanted to see black people, because we didn't have that in the Soviet Union. I was all excited by that stuff.
In the first day of the Soviet Army's arrival, I and the other comrades were isolated and then found ourselves here, not knowing anything... I can only conjecture what could have happened.
Even during the years of the Cold War, the intense confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, we always avoided any direct clash between our civilians and, most certainly, between our military.
But the most important thing about that story, which is not often told, is that as a result after the Cuban missile crisis, immediate steps were taken to correct our inability to collect on the movement of nuclear material out of the Soviet Union to other places.
If the Soviet Union let another political party come into existence, they would still be a one-party state, because everybody would join the other party.
The Soviet government is the most realistic regime in the world - no ideals.
Textbooks are Soviet propaganda.
Castro couldn't even go to the bathroom unless the Soviet Union put the nickel in the toilet.
Richard M. Nixon
The Berlin Wall wasn't the only barrier to fall after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Traditional barriers to the flow of money, trade, people and ideas also fell.
Why should the Negroes ever fight against the only nations of the world where racial discrimination is prohibited, and where the people can live freely? Never! I can assure you, they will never fight against either the Soviet Union or the peoples' democracies.
There were a lot of negatives, of course, but there were positives to living a life unfettered by possessions. It gave us the chance to focus on education, which was very important in the Soviet Union.
After the Cold War ended, there was an agreement between the former Soviet Union and America to convert weapons-grade nuclear materials into reactor-grade materials. So disarmament and nuclear energy actually are strongly linked.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, decisions made by President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev could have plunged both countries into thermonuclear war.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, if you start the clock, then 47 journalists, reporters, cameramen, photographers have been killed in Russia since the fall of communism. That makes it the third most deadly country on Earth to practice journalism. That's not a record to be proud of.
When I was in the White House, I was confronted with the challenge of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and I had 30,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire earth and I had to maintain the peace.
It doesn't work the same way everywhere. The Americans are the most gullible, because they don't like to deny co-workers' requests. People in the former Soviet bloc countries are less trusting, perhaps because of their previous experiences with their countries' secret services.
I have a Ph.D. in philosophy and sports science. At 14, I went through this really tough Soviet training system. A lot of my roommates got psychologically broken or physically injured. Either you came through, or you were out. I made my Ph.D. work in the field of young athletes aged 14-19 because at this age any human is changing.
From the days of biplanes and silk scarves, the aviator has been the archetype of masculine glamour. Aviators have personified national ideals, from French elan to Soviet party discipline. They've inspired lust and admiration. They've turned sunglasses and short, utilitarian leather jackets into fashion statements.
On the day I became Soviet leader, in March 1985, I had a special meeting with the leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries and told them: 'You are independent, and we are independent. You are responsible for your policies, we are responsible for ours. We will not intervene in your affairs, I promise you.'
President Ronald Reagan used to speak of the Soviet constitution, and he noted that it purported to grant wonderful rights of all sorts to people. But those rights were empty promises, because that system did not have an independent judiciary to uphold the rule of law and enforce those rights.
Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason was that their ideals and beliefs had been shaken.
It is well known that the Soviet Union closely regulates all organizations and movements, including religion.
I am well aware that there are prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union, including some who have said they have chosen to resist the law because of religious reasons.
Fall of the Berlin wall? Being there was fun. Nations that flaked off of the Soviet Union in southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus? Being there was not so fun.
P. J. O'Rourke
I see that not everyone in the West has understood that the Soviet Union has disappeared from the political map of the world and that a new country has emerged with new humanist and ideological principles at the foundation of its existence.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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