Author (Your Name)

Yun Zhang, Colby CollegeFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. History Dept.


Paul R. Josephson

Second Advisor

John P. Turner


Since its first mass application in 1915, chemical weapons (CW) have tolled thousands of lives both on and off the battle field. The USSR, despite its weak industrial basis and a late-starter in the field of chemical weaponry, held the largest stockpile of CW by the conclusion of the twentieth century. While the military and political implications of the USSR CW stockpiles have been relatively well-studied, its domestic and internal effect also deserve thorough investigations. Through diaries, letters, and memoirs of the USSR civilians who had suffered from, worked for, and/or supported the CW program, this research looked into the reciprocal influence, both the positive and negative ones, between the CW program and the Soviet society.


USSR, Chemical Weapons, Russia, Soviet Union, Non-proliferation