Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev – aspiring actor and poetry fan

Now, what do you think of when you hear the name Leonid Brezhnev who ruled the Soviet Union for 18 years from the 1960s to the 1980s? An old guy waving weakly from the Lenin mausoleum? Well, think again! We speak with Susanne Schattenberg, the author of a new biography that systematically dismantles the stereotypical … Read more

Handshake in the heavens – the Apollo-Soyuz mission

On 17 July 1975 the first manned international space mission, carried out jointly by the United States and the Soviet Union. Millions of people around the world watched on television as a United States Apollo module docked with a Soviet Union Soyuz capsule. The project, and its memorable handshake in the heavens, was a symbol … Read more

Eyewitness to the 1991 Soviet Coup with Brett Elliott

Today’s episode is different. Brett Elliott died earlier this year and I was contacted by his ex-wife Polly who offered me a cassette tape. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Polly and Brett had met in college and got to know each other in Russian Club at Oklahoma State. In the summer … Read more

Life in the underground Soviet music scene Part 3

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsListen on Podcast AddictListen on Amazon MusicBecome a Patron! In the final part, we hear of Joanna’s heartbreak when her visa is refused, preventing her from marrying Yuri.  However, using an ingenious method she manages an emotional reunion and eventual marriage as the Soviet Union begins to … Read more

Life in the underground Soviet music scene Part 2

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Joanna Stingray who was only 23 years old when she first set foot in the USSR and started meeting now-legendary musicians and artists of the Soviet underground. By 1985, she was writing and recording with them, and smuggling their music to the West in order to … Read more

Soviet and U.S. Military Liaison Missions & US Counterintelligence

I speak with Aden Magee who operated as the commander of a highly specialized Counterintelligence (CI) unit in West Germany during the last decade of the Cold War. We talk about his book The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors – Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990. This is a rare book … Read more

Popular Cold War culture of the 1980s

Over the past, nearly two decades, the Stuck in the 80s podcast has emerged as the go-to for all aspects of 1980s nostalgia from a North American point of view. And, much like Cold War Conversations, Stuck in the 80s is an award-winning podcast. Recognizing that decade’s popular culture was heavily influenced by the Cold … Read more

The forgotten cosmonaut

This week it’s the 60th anniversary of the flight of Gherman Titov on Vostok 2. The forgotten 2nd cosmonaut overshadowed by the exploits of his friend Yuri Gagarin. Titov’s 25.3 hours and 17 orbits flight was much more ambitious than Gagarin’s and more dangerous. It was also a very political flight, intending to distract the … Read more

Life in the underground Soviet music scene Part 1

Joanna Stingray who was only 23 years old when she first set foot in the USSR and started meeting now-legendary musicians and artists of the Soviet underground. By 1985, she was writing and recording with them, and smuggling their music to the West in order to produce the ground breaking album Red Wave: 4 Underground … Read more