ANN: Documents on Yakovlev-Kennan Discussion of Long Telegram

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From: National Security Archive <>

George Kennan and the Long Telegram - 75th Anniversary

Soviet Reformer Yakovlev Discussed with Kennan the Famous Cable, Soviet History, and the Future of Perestroika

Washington, D.C., February 22, 2021 - Leading Soviet reformer Alexander Yakovlev discussed the famous Long Telegram with George Kennan in a previously unpublished October 1990 meeting in Moscow; and Kennan actually dictated the Long Telegram while laid up in bed with the flu, a sinus condition, and a foul mood, according to documents and transcripts posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the 75th anniversary of Kennan's telegram from Moscow, which shaped the Cold War and U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union.

Today the Archive publishes for the first time in English the memorandum of conversation between perestroika architect Alexander Yakovlev and George Kennan where they discuss the Long Telegram, its relevance to the Soviet situation in 1990, and the problems faced by Soviet reformers.

Adding historical context to the anniversary, the Archive accompanies the Yakovlev-Kennan memcon with an excerpt about the Long Telegram from the lengthy interview of Kennan done by Jeremy Isaacs Productions in June 1996 for the award-winning CNN Cold War series, for which the Archive produced documentary briefing books.


THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.