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

Attacks on the Memorial Society Continue

On March 9, 2017, Yury Dmitriev, head of the Karelian branch of the International Memorial Society, was additionally charged in the Petrozavodsk City Court (Karelia). As I’ve already written, previously he was charged with child pornography (Article 242.2 of the Russian Criminal Code). Now charges of dissolute acts against a minor (Article 135) and illegal possession of weapons (Article… Read More »

The Azeri-Agaralov-Trump Connection

On February 16, 2017, while speaking at a NATO conference in Brussels, US Defense Secretary James Mattis accused Russia of violating international law, labeling its actions as “aggressive” and “destabilizing.” He also said there is “very little doubt” that Russia has interfered in a number of democratic elections. The same day far away from Brussels, in Baku, the… Read More »

A Bad Day for Historical Truth in Russia

Vladimir Medinsky Remains “Doctor of Sciences” The attempt of concerned Russian historians to deprive Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky of his doctorate degree due to his doctoral thesis, which espouses the view “that historical events and figures should be assessed from the point of view of the national interests of Russia” have failed. On February 7, 2016, the… Read More »

Team29 fights for civil rights in Russia

On February 2, 2016, the Team29, an informal association of lawyers and journalists based in Russia that supports the Raoul Wallenberg Research Initiative-RW70 and defended historian Boris Sokolov in the court, distributed its weekly newsletter. Here are main points, compiled by Katya Alalykina, and translated by Vadim Birstein: On February 1, 2017, a regular court session on the… Read More »

U.S. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Introduces H. Res. 58 Supporting Research into Wallenberg’s Fate

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, has introduced just released House Resolution 58 into the 115 Congress calling on Russia to open their archives to assist Wallenberg researchers to finally settle the question of Raoul Wallenberg’s fate. Ros-Lehtinen, together with Rep. Nina Lowey (D-NY) jointly released a press… Read More »

Uncertainty with Vladimir Medinsky’s Dissertation Continues

The doctoral dissertation controversy of Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Russian Military-Historical Society that supported the recent publication of Ivan Serov’s controversial memoir Notes from a Suitcase, continues to be uncertain. In April 2016, two Russian historians, Drs. Vyacheslav Kozlyakov and Konstantin Yerusalimsky, specialists on the Russian history of the 15th-17th Centuries, and… Read More »