Fascinating little website on the history of Soviet atomic weapons.
It's difficult for an American of 2012 - whose nation is only now beginning to exhume some of the worst aspects of one of the worst periods of governance and social economy (for those of us not in the two-yacht families) in its history - to really understand how for its entire fucking history the polity that is Russia and was the USSR does not have, and never has had, anything remotely approaching a political and economic system that had the sort of responsiveness and approachability that we associate with our own, as corrupt and ridiculous as it is.
Pre-Soviet Russia was an autocracy typified by a vast and brutal clumsiness. When the Soviets overthrew the czar, sadly, they adopted many of the czarist ways. When the Soviets fell they retained much of their economic crudity while devolving back into czarist kleptocracy.
What this has tended to produce is a society and a nation where - though many people have lived decent lives in decent circumstances (as in any society) - the sort of brute-force solutions that often were and are the Russian style can make things very bad for very many very suddenly.
(h/t to Lawyers, Guns, and Money that posted this link today)