Michael Russell, a senior CIA analyst who studied the economy of the Soviet Union during that country’s final years and who in retirement devoted himself to preserving the artistic legacy of Hollywood dancer Fred Astaire, died Feb. 14 at a hospital in Washington. He was 74.

The cause was a heart attack, according to friend Doug Kreshover.

Russell, a District of Columbia resident, joined the CIA in the late 1960s, as a political and then economic analyst studying the Soviet Union. In the years before the Soviet collapse in 1991, he prepared the CIA director’s annual report on the Soviet economy to the congressional Joint Economic Committee. He retired in 1993.

Russell became a collector of Astaire memorabilia in the late 1980s after he visited a Smithsonian exhibition that included a pair of Astaire’s dancing shoes. He later acquired Astaire shoes, beginning with a pair the dancer used in the 1934 film “The Gay Divorcee,” which co-starred Ginger Rogers, as well as a top hat and other props.

Russell was a frequent contributor to an online forum devoted to Astaire and a crucial source for “Puttin’ On the Ritz,” a 2009 biography by music publicist Peter Levinson.

Russell feared Astaire’s artifacts and legacy would fade away, Kreshover said, and he willed his collection to Boston University. The school has a collection of Astaire memorabilia and papers.

Michael Alan Russell was born in Frankfurt, Indiana, Aug. 17, 1941. He graduated from Indiana University, served two years in the Army, and received a master’s degree in Russian studies from Columbia University.

He had no immediate survivors.