Inheriting The Bomb: Soviet Collapse And Denuclearization Of Belarus, Kazakhstan, And Ukraine, 1990-1994

International and Public Affairs, Political Science, Morningside, Alumni, Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdocs, Prospective Students, Public, Staff, Students, Trainees, Lecture
Event Location: 
International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219
Date from: 
2017-09-26 12:00:00
Date to: 
2017-09-26 13:30:00
The dramatic collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991 presented the world with an unprecedented challenge: some 29,000 Soviet strategic and tactical nuclear weapons suddenly found themselves on the territory of not one but four new sovereign nations: the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. While Russia inherited more than two-thirds of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal and its status as a recognized nuclear weapons state, the scale of nuclear inheritance of the non-Russian republics was nevertheless staggering: Ukraine became home to the third-largest and Kazakhstan – the fourth-largest strategic nuclear arsenal in the world. By 1994, the three non-Russian Soviet successors relinquished their nuclear inheritance and joined the international nonproliferation regime as non-nuclear-weapons states. What could have been the greatest single wave of nuclear proliferation in history had been successfully averted. The talk is an exploration of how this happened and why. It exposes the dilemmas and ambiguities of post-Soviet nuclear predicaments and looks at how the divergent interpretations political leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine developed regarding their nuclear inheritance affected the path of these countries toward nuclear disarmament.
For further information regarding this event, please contact Carly Jacksonby sending email to or by calling 212 854 6217.
Contact Name: 
Carly Jackson
Contact Phone: 
212 854 6217
Event Contact Email: