Vadim Birstein

Dr. Vadim J. Birstein is a historian and geneticist. He is the author of over 300 scientific papers and books and has written two scholarly historical works, “The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science” and “SMERSH, Stalin’s Secret Weapon: Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII”. He received the inaugural “St. Ermin’s Intelligence Book Award” in 2012 for SMERSH.

Author Archives: Vadim Birstein

Medinsky Dissertation in Trouble

On October 2, 2017, the Expert Council on History of the Higher Attestation Commission (VAK) voted to deprive of Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Minister of Culture, of the Doctor of Historical Sciences degree. A very detailed official review of the VAK experts says that Medinsky did not present anything new in his work. The experts wrote: “The fact that… Read More »

Kalashnikov A “Cultural Brand” of Russia?

On September 19, 2017, a gigantic monument was unveiled in the central part of Moscow, ordered by the Russian Military-Historical Society (RVIO) founded in 2012 by President Vladimir Putin’s decree. It was a 5-meter-high statue of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the infamous machine gun in 1949, on a 4-meter-high pedestal. The gigantic figure of Kalashnikov holds a… Read More »

Russian Court Denies Wallenberg Family Request

Russian Court Denies Wallenberg Family Request In July 2017, Marie Dupuy, Raoul Wallenberg’s niece, filed a lawsuit in Moscow’s Meshchansky Region Court against the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB’s successor, seeking access to documents she believed could shed light on Wallenberg’s fate. On her behalf Ivan Pavlov, legal representative of the Dardel/Dupuy family (Team29, St. Petersburg, Russia),… Read More »

Third Raoul Wallenberg Roundtable

Third Raoul Wallenberg International Roundtable Stockholm, September 14–15, 2017 On September 14–15, 2017, the 3rd Raoul Wallenberg International Roundtable took place in Stockholm, at the Swedish Army Museum. It was organized by The Raoul Wallenberg Research Initiative RWI-70 and sponsored by a huge number of organizations and individuals. Among the distinguished sponsors were Nina Lagergren, the sister of… Read More »

Raoul Wallenberg Family Sues

Raoul Wallenberg’s Family Sues for Archival Access On July 26, 2017, relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who disappeared after helping at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews escape the Holocaust in Hungary in 1944, have filed a lawsuit asking the KGB’s main successor agency to provide full and uncensored documentation about his case. Wallenberg’s niece Marie Dupuy made… Read More »

George Orwell’s “Hate Week” on Russian TV

Angus Roxburgh is a British distinguished foreign correspondent. He knows Russia well: in the 1980s, he was the Sunday Times Moscow correspondent until he was expelled from the Soviet Union accused of espionage; in the 1990s, he was back to Moscow as the BBC’s Moscow correspondent. Later he worked as an advisor and speechwriter for Putin’s communications team. His knowledge… Read More »

Academy of Science Independence Imperiled

On June 9, 2017, a group of academicians and correspondent members published an open letter appealing to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Chairwoman of the Federal Council (upper chamber of the Russian Parliament) Valentina Matvienko, and Speaker of the Duma (lower chamber of the Parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin. In the letter, scientists described problems with the draft of… Read More »

Power of the Siloviks Widens

On July 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that expands the Federal Security Service (FSO) powers. The draft of the law was introduced in February of 2017 to the State Duma by Putin himself. Now the FSO is able to classify information about the property of the highest state officials. The text of the law is… Read More »