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I tried a NEXIS search on this phrase a number of years ago. The references I found came from the early 1990s, and attributed the phrase, variously, to Helmut Schmidt, Margaret Thatcher, an unnamed "former US Secretary of State." I'm partial to Roland Popp's and Andrew Jameson's independent attributions of the quote to Helmut Schmidt. This might also explain why we get two versions in English -- "Obervolta mit Raketen" might be rendered either "Upper Volta plus missiles" or "Upper Volta plus rockets." My NEXIS search results indicated, as Frank Costigliola suggests, some of the "feelings of humiliation and resentment in Russia". Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1992 seemed more humiliated; he called the phrase "a painful image." But Andrei Baiduzhii opted for resentment in an article apocalyptically entitled "Be Civilized or Perish." When mentioning the phrase (which he attributed to Thatcher), Baiduzhii wrote as follows in October 1993: > When Margaret Thatcher once described the Soviet Union as an Upper >Volta with missiles, she was a bit off the mark.... To the missiles, >she should have added: atomic power stations, a nuclear navy, a gigantic >chemical industry and hundreds of other facilities posing a potential >threat.... And the phrase -- and concepts -- seem even more emotionally charged among Russians in more recent years. David Engerman UC-Berkeley -------------------------------------------------------- --Public reply to list: firstname.lastname@example.org --To unsubscribe send e-mail to: email@example.com with UNSUB H-DIPLO as the only text in the body of your message --To temporarily suspend your account: send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with SET H-DIPLO NOMAIL as the only text in the body of your message. To reactivate your account, send e-mail to email@example.com with SET H-DIPLO MAIL as the only text in the body of your message -- to receive a daily digest of events: send the following message to firstname.lastname@example.org: SET H-DIPLO DIGEST. To reverse this, send the the command SET H-DIPLO NODIGEST to the same address --Personal help from list moderators: email@example.com --Visit the H-Diplo web page at: http://h-net2.msu.edu/~diplo/