American historian, an expert on Russia, and the USSR Stephen Cohen died in the USA. According to The New York Times, he died at age 81 from lung cancer. According to the wife, the writer died at his home in Manhattan on September 18.
Many colleagues accused Cohen of protecting and supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The professor answered that he was not “defending” the Russian leader, but only “having the same views” as the head of state. “‘I’m defending these views, not Putin,'” the professor stressed. The consultant befriended the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. In 1989, the American was invited to celebrate Pervomaya on Red Square. Together with the Soviet leadership, he watched the parade at Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum. Later, Cohen was Gorbachev’s supporter.
He also had a different view on the formation of the Soviet Union than many colleagues in the scientific community. In Cohen’s opinion, the Bolsheviks’ first steps were correct, contained democratic and socialist foundations, but we’re spoilt and changed because of the Civil War, the hostility of foreign states, and Joseph Stalin’s destructive actions.
Cohen taught courses on Russia at Princeton University and the University of New York, was fluent in Russian, and regularly visited Russia. During his visits to the country, he made friends with both the opposition and government officials, including Communist Party officials. He also published books and articles in The Nation and The New York Times.