BEYOND THE KREMLIN

Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

Category Archives: Russia past and present

Honesty in Khabarovsk, Minsk, Omsk

On the morning of 20 August — this morning, long ago — Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s leading opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner, was taken ill on a flight from Tomsk to … Continue reading

August 21, 2020

The Russia Anxiety: UK paperback out now

The UK paperback of The Russia Anxiety, published by Penguin, comes out this week. ‘A brilliant dissection of western prejudices about the Russians… This exciting and provocative book blows apart … Continue reading

July 27, 2020

The many rooms of Eldar Riazanov

Stuck inside your own four walls during lockdown, you might have found solace from imagining the domestic interiors of past civilizations. The wooden houses of Meiji Japan! The villas of … Continue reading

July 23, 2020

Coronavirus: a history of now?

Can history make sense of Covid-19? Some answers to this question come from a podcast hosted by the Faculty of History here at Cambridge. I hope you’ve caught it; you … Continue reading

May 31, 2020

Coronavirus and mental health: reading Oblomov

Coronavirus is a mental health disaster zone. Some people fear a shortened life. Others have lost trust in the future. Many have uneasy feelings about people and places currently closed … Continue reading

April 14, 2020

Coronavirus: histories of emergency powers

As the proverb goes: it’s pointless to complain about losing your hair when they’re about to cut off your head. Across the world, coronavirus, not its longer-term impact, is the … Continue reading

April 3, 2020

Coronavirus, Russia and the world: can history help?

Russia has suffered its share of epidemics in the last century or so. As we face the global uncertainty of coronavirus, does knowledge of this history help us? Take three … Continue reading

March 29, 2020

Lewis Siegelbaum and the consolations of history

From time to time, many of us sense that our ancestors can guide and protect us. Such a feeling is a comfort. But can you read their messages? Historians console … Continue reading

February 15, 2020

Exiting the EU on Siegfried Sassoon’s time machine

Until today, Britain has been a member of the European Union for almost 47 years. Only people in their mid-fifties can have accurate memories of British life before accession to … Continue reading

January 31, 2020

The rule of law and workable paradoxes

Balding, but with a fantastical beard, Sergei Zarudnyi was one of the leading Russian lawyers of the nineteenth century, though he was a mathematics graduate with a taste for literature. … Continue reading

November 28, 2019