The United Nations and the Soviet Union: Diplomacy and Propaganda in the Twilight of the Cold War




Stalin’s diplomacy; United Nations; Berlin crisis (1948); Trygve Lie; Soviet propaganda; Cold War


Referring to the preparation of Soviet diplomacy for the 3rd session of the UN General Assembly, this article examines the process behind the development of the political line of the Soviet delegation, as well as the principles of covering the “UN” theme by the press, informing the population and shaping public opinion on major international problems. On the basis of specific material, the author demonstrates the principles of Soviet diplomats’ work on the preparation of analytical materials, the development of recommendations, and the implementation of propaganda measures at the UN in response to the changing international situation. Archival materials allow us to understand the attitude of the Soviet political elite to multilateral diplomacy and reconstruct the USSR’s assessment of the effectiveness of the organisation’s activities both in the field of maintaining international security and in the non-political sphere. Referring to the analysis of materials from the Russian Foreign Policy Archive (AVP RF) and the Russian State Social and Political Archive (RGASPI), the author reconstructs the rationale behind the propaganda campaign in the Soviet press against Trygve Lie, the first UN Secretary-General, in connection with the publication of the annual report on the organisation’s work between 1947 and 1948. Coordinated criticism of the world’s highest-ranking diplomat became an integral part of the political game in connection with the settlement of the Berlin crisis, as well as an important element in the strategy of a massive propaganda offensive against the United States, aimed at portraying the Truman administration as the culprit of the imminent split in Europe and Germany.

Author Biography

Julia Zapariy

PhD (History), Associate Professor, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin.

19, Mira Str., 620002, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-1101-821X


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How to Cite

Zapariy, J. (2020). The United Nations and the Soviet Union: Diplomacy and Propaganda in the Twilight of the Cold War. Quaestio Rossica, 8(3), 995–1009.