The Cold War as a special type of conflict between two political supersystems brought the arms race to an unparalleled level and first created the possibility of global catastrophe. Historian of US-Russian relations Victoria Zhuravleva shall rise a number of historical themes that, far from receding into the past, have recently regained their significance.
This session will look at the history of how the construction of the atomic bomb by the United States and the ensuing bombardments of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered the US-Soviet nuclear arms race. In the propaganda war between the United States and the Soviet Union, the image of nuclear war as potential reality in accordance with the logic of the division of the world into "friend" and "foe" was set forth in newspapers, television, caricatures, posters, and cinema. The "nuclear missile mentality" eventually led to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, putting the world on the brink of total catastrophe.
What was the responsibility of politicians, the military, and the scientific meritocracy of the United States and the Soviet Union in creating this highly dangerous nuclear dimension of international relations? In what social and psychological context did nuclear diplomacy function and what were the mechanisms of its development? What is "containment culture" and why did it become a positive result of the Cold War? How great is the nuclear threat today? The search for answers to these and other questions leads us to consider the military, political, ethical, and humanitarian aspects of relations between the United States and Russia—two nuclear superpowers whose interactions continue to determine the future of Earth's inhabitants.