Resources from the American Historical Association

In March 2022, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we compiled a list of AHA resources on the history of Ukraine, Russia, and the Cold War and its legacies. Teachers can use them in classrooms to help students understand the history of the present; journalists can draw on them to provide historical context for current events; researchers can draw on them to inform future scholarship.

The AHA released a statement “condemn[ing] in the strongest possible terms Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine” and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s abuse of history as justification for the attack.“Putin’s rhetorical premise for this brutal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is anchored by a set of outlandish historical claims, including an argument that Ukraine was entirely a Soviet creation,” the AHA wrote.“We vigorously support the Ukrainian nation and its people in their resistance to Russian military aggression and the twisted mythology that President Putin has invented to justify his violation of international norms.”

Russia and Ukraine: History Behind the Headlines

In March 2022, the AHA hosted a webinar about the conflict. The webinar brought together three leading scholars to place current events in historical context. With each historian approaching the current conflict from a different perspective, attendees learned about the deeply intertwined histories of Russia and Ukraine.

2013–14 Ukraine Crisis

“History and Historians in the Ukraine Crisis”

by Sarah Fenton (AHA Today, 2015)

“National History Center Holds Congressional Briefing on the Ukraine Crisis”

by Dane Kennedy (AHA Today, 2015)

“Serhii Plokhii of Harvard University on The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

a National History Center talk (YouTube, 2015)

Legacies of the Cold War

“Democracy and Misinformation: The Cold War and Today”

by Jennifer M. Miller (Perspectives on History, 2019)

‘‘'Our Biggest Mistake Is That We Trusted You Too Much’: Geopolitics, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin’s Historical Memory”

by Jeffrey A. Engel (AHA Today, 2018)

“Is Today’s Russia a Relic of the Past? A New Look at Contemporary Theories of Soviet History”

by Michael David-Fox (AHA Today, 2016)

“'The Armored Train of Memory:’ The Politics of History in Post-Soviet Russia”

by Nikolay Koposov (Perspectives on History, 2011)

International History of the Cold War

“Soviet Secrecy: Toward a Social Map of Knowledge”

by Asif Siddiqi (American Historical Review, 2021)

“Paper Plans: Inside the Mysteries of Soviet Mapmaking”

by Elizabeth Elliott (Perspectives on History, 2017)

"'Cuba, My Love’: The Romance of Revolutionary Cuba in the Soviet Sixties"

by Anne E. Gorsuch (American Historical Review, 2015)

"Muslim, Trader, Nomad, Spy: China's Cold War and the People of the Tibetan Borderlands"

a National History Center talk by Sulmaan Khan (YouTube, 2015)

Before the Cold War

“Capitulations Redux: The Imperial Genealogy of the Post–World War I ‘Minority Regimes’”

by Laura Robson (American Historical Review, 2021)

“Sounds of February, Smells of October: The Russian Revolution as Sensory Experience”

by Jan Plamper (American Historical Review, 2021)

“To the East Turn: The Russian Revolution and the Black Radical Imagination in the United States, 1917–1924”

by Winston James (American Historical Review, 2021)

“Beyond the Archive: What GIS Mapping Reveals about German POWs in Soviet Russia”

by Susan Grunewald (Perspectives on History, 2019)

Teaching Resources

“Teaching on the ‘Balkan Express’: A Collaborative Attempt to Write History for Reconciliation”

by Christina Koulouri (Perspectives on History, 2019)

“The Personal is Historical: What to Do When Your Profession Catches Up to You”

by Tyler Stovall (Perspectives on History, 2017)

“Being There: Writing History for a Postmodern World”

by Kate Brown (AHA Today, 2015)

“More than McCarthy: Teaching the Cold War, K–12 and Beyond”

by Beth Slutsky and Nancy McTygue (Perspectives on History, 2014)