Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

Rights against Leviathan?

‘You never had any fucking rights and you never will,’ says a Russian mayor to a local man whose house he wants to steal. It’s late at night, somewhere in the … Continue reading

February 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Did human rights exist in the USSR?

If you’d spent half your life in a labour camp — perhaps you’d never left your Siberian village, until the NKVD arrested you on the charge of being an American … Continue reading

November 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Russian history in the year of Sochi

History and sport are set to collide in Sochi, thanks to Russia’s controversial staging of the Winter Olympics. For all the talk of ‘Putin’s Games’, many of the controversies are … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · Leave a comment