Checkmate in Berlin: The Cold War Showdown that Shaped the Modern World

    In 1945 the Soviet Red Army captured Berlin.  For the next four years, a handful of charismatic but flawed individuals – British, American and Soviet – fought an intensely personal battle over the future of Germany, Europe and the entire free world. Checkmate in Berlin tells this exhilarating, high-stakes tale of grit, skullduggery, … Read more

The state funeral of Josef Stalin

This episode is sponsored by MUBI, a curated streaming service with an ever-changing collection of hand-picked cinema. From new directors to award-winners. From everywhere on earth. Beautiful, interesting, incredible films — with a new one added every single day. Right now on MUBI, you can watch STATE FUNERAL, an astonishing archival vision of the Soviet … Read more

Confrontation at the Stößensee

In April 1966, a state-of-the-art Soviet aircraft, the Yak-28P crashed into the British Sector of West Berlin. This intelligence gift to the Allied forces resulted in a tense confrontation with the Soviet forces We speak with historian Bernd von Kostka of the Allied Museum in Berlin-Dahlem who has researched this story for his upcoming book Capital … Read more

Yuri Gagarin – the first human in space

9.07 a.m., April 12, 1961. A top-secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile – originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead – and blasts into the skies. His name is Yuri Gagarin. And he is about to … Read more

Soviet Tours

Soviet Tours is a Berlin-based tour operator focussed on off-the-beaten-path destinations across the globe. Their core area, as the name suggests, lies mainly in and around the former USSR. From the mystic forests of Central Siberia to the austere peaks of the High Caucasus, from the scorching deserts of the Soviet Stans to the windswept … Read more

A Splinter of Ice – Cold War Spy Drama discount

  A SPLINTER OF ICE – SPECIAL COLD WAR CONVERSATIONS DISCOUNT USE OFFER CODE COLDWAR15 TO GET £5 OFF THE TICKET PRICE HERE  A new play by Ben Brown Directed by Alan Strachan with Alastair Whatley Starring Oliver Ford Davies, Stephen Boxer and Sara Crowe Online from 15 April until 31 July 2021 Original Theatre are … Read more

The Happy Traitor – The Life of Soviet Spy George Blake

  I talk with acclaimed author and journalist Simon Kuper, has written The Happy Traitor, the story of British spy and Soviet Union double agent George Blake, the last major British traitor of the Cold War. A deeply human read, wonderfully written, on the foibles of a fascinating, flawed, treacherous and sort of likeable character.’ … Read more

Advanced English studies in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s

Vadim was at school in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s. He attended an Advanced English Studies School where all subjects were taught however, the focus was on English. He provides us with insights into the setup of Soviet education as well as the school life, teaching methods, and pop culture. We hear how the … Read more

Sovietisation of Estonia

Michael Zdanowski was born and raised in the UK, but his interest with the Cold War goes back generations.  His grandfather having emigrated from Poland to the United Kingdom during the second world war and was a distinguished member of the RAF in the battle against Germany.  Many of Michael’s relatives remained in Poland during the Cold … Read more