L309 Winter 2019 20th-Century Russia and its “Near Abroad”
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 29–Feb. 12
Instructor: Edward Janusz
Russia’s drive for control of its “near abroad,” a term for lands directly to its west, is a well-documented aspect of Russian history. This class will address three periods in the early- and mid-20th century when that quest manifested itself in armed conflict. The first was the 1919–1920 Polish/Russian/Ukrainian war, a little-known war that contained the communist revolution for at least two decades. The second was the Soviet invasion of Poland and the Baltic countries at the start of WWII, and the third was the conquest and subjugation of those lands at the end of that war. These events laid the groundwork for the struggle for world supremacy known as the Cold War. That struggle has resumed today over the fate of Ukraine. The class will be presented from both a western perspective and from the perspective of the residents of the “near abroad” countries affected by Russia’s expansionist policies.
Ed Janusz is an engineer by education and profession and an amateur military historian by avocation. He retired after a career in the US Army Corps of Engineers and in the aerospace and computer services industries. He is the author of Fading Echoes from the Baltic Shores, which deals with that period in history.