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Vladimir Voynovich
Vladimir Nikolayevich Voinovich, also spelled Voynovich (Russian: Влади́мир Никола́евич Войно́вич, born 26 September 1932, Stalinabad) is a Russian writer, poet, playwright and journalist, a former Soviet dissident
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Dushanbe
Dushanbe (Tajik: Душанбе, Duşanbe) is the capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means Monday in the Tajik language. It was named this way because it grew from a village that originally had a popular market on Mondays. As of 2016, Dushanbe had a population of 802,700. Historically a small village, Dushanbe was made the capital of the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1924
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Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political concept where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through rule by one leader and an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of terror. A distinctive feature of totalitarian governments is an "elaborate ideology, a set of ideas that gives meaning and direction to the whole society". The concept was first developed in the 1920s by the Weimar German jurist and later Nazi academic Carl Schmitt as well as Italian fascists
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Munich
Munich (/ˈmjuːnɪk/ MEW-nik; German: München [ˈmʏnçn̩] (About this soundlisten); Austro-Bavarian: Minga [ˈmɪŋ(ː)ɐ] or more common Minna [ˈmɪna]; Latin: Monachium) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union
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West Germany
West Germany was the informal name for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), a country in Central Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War period, the western portion of Germany was part of the Western Bloc. The Federal Republic was created during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its (provisional) capital was the city of Bonn. The Cold War era West Germany is unofficially historically designated the Bonn Republic. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Western and Eastern blocs
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Radio Liberty
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States government-funded organization that broadcasts and reports news, information and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East where it says that "the free flow of information is either banned by government authorities or not fully developed". RFE/RL is a 501(c)(3) corporation supervised by the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an agency overseeing all U.S. federal government international broadcasting services. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976
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Vasily Grossman
Vasily Semyonovich Grossman (Russian: Васи́лий Семёнович Гро́ссман, Ukrainian: Василь Семенович Гроссман; 12 December (29 November, Julian calendar) 1905 – 14 September 1964) was a Jewish Russian writer and journalist, who lived the bulk of his life under the Soviet regime. Grossman was trained as a chemical engineer at Moscow State University, earning the name Vasya-khimik, Vasya the Chemist because of his diligence as a student. Upon graduation he took a job in Stalino (now Donetsk) in the Donets Basin, but changed his career in the 1930s and published short stories and several novels. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he became a war correspondent for the Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda, writing firsthand accounts of the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin
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Life And Fate
Life and Fate (Russian: Жизнь и судьба) is a 1960 novel by Vasily Grossman and is seen as the author's magnum opus. Technically, it is the second half of the author's conceived two-part book under the same title. Although the first half, the novel For a Just Cause, written during the rule of Joseph Stalin and first published in 1952, expresses loyalty to the regime, Life and Fate sharply criticises Stalinism. Vasily Grossman, a Ukrainian Jew, became a correspondent for the Soviet military paper Krasnaya Zvezda, having been rejected for military service in 1941, having volunteered and been rejected for military service. He spent approximately 1,000 days on the front lines, roughly three of the four years of the conflict between the Germans and Soviets. He was also author of the novel The People Immortal
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Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Russian: Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов; 21 May 1921 – 14 December 1989) was a Russian nuclear physicist, dissident, and activist for disarmament, peace and human rights. He became renowned as the designer of the Soviet Union's RDS-37, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov later became an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union, for which he faced state persecution; these efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975
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Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and formerly Soviet politician. The eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of its governing Communist Party from 1985 until 1991. He was the country's head of state from 1988 until 1991, serving as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. Ideologically, he initially adhered to Marxism-Leninism although by the early 1990s had moved toward social democracy. Of mixed Russian and Ukrainian heritage, Gorbachev was born in Privolnoye, Stavropol Krai to a poor peasant family
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Masterpiece
Masterpiece, magnum opus (Latin, great work) or chef-d’œuvre (French, master of work, plural chefs-d’œuvre) in modern use is a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill, profundity, or workmanship. Historically, a "masterpiece" was a work of a very high standard produced to obtain membership of a guild or academy in various areas of the visual arts and crafts.

Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations (especially the various groups collectively known as the White Army) of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991
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Jiří Menzel
Jiří Menzel (Czech: [ˈjɪr̝iː ˈmɛntsl̩] (About this sound listen)) (born 23 February 1938, Prague) is a Czech film director, theatre director, actor, and screenwriter. His films often combine a humanistic view of the world with sarcasm and provocative cinematography. Some of these films are adapted from works by Czech writers such as Bohumil Hrabal and Vladislav Vančura. Menzel, a member of the Czech New Wave, became internationally famous in 1967, when his first feature film, Closely Watched Trains, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His controversial film Larks on a String was filmed in 1969, but was initially banned by the Czechoslovakian government. It was finally released in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime
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Samizdat
Samizdat was a form of dissident activity across the Eastern bloc in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. This grassroots practice to evade official Soviet censorship was fraught with danger, as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials
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The Good Soldier Švejk
The Good Soldier Švejk (pronounced [ˈʃvɛjk], also spelled Schweik, Shveyk or Schwejk) is the abbreviated title of an unfinished satirical dark comedy novel by Jaroslav Hašek. The original Czech title of the work is Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za světové války, literally The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War. Švejk has become a byword in the Czech Republic
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