Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

The 9th Microdistrict: Moscow’s future

In 1956, they started to build a new future in Moscow out of both words and bricks. This was the year that Khrushchev gave the Secret Speech. He condemned the … Continue reading

January 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Prince Charles and President Putin: a view from 1956

In 1867, Walter Bagehot famously argued that the British monarchy’s strength was its mystery, and one can still see the point. But try to explain it to a Russian. However … Continue reading

May 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Khrushchev drops round

Someone once told me about the day that Nikita Khrushchev visited his Moscow neighbourhood. It was 1962 or 1963. Khrushchev’s car pulled up unannounced, and the great man walked about, … Continue reading

March 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Fun for rich kids and poor kids: Crimea under Khrushchev

‘Are you ready?’ ‘I’m always ready!’ So went the refrain of the Pioneers, members of the state organization for children in the Soviet Union. Set up in 1922, the Pioneers … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ukraine and Russia: sibling nations in the life of Nikita Khrushchev

Ukraine and Russia are ‘kin’, according to Andrew Wilson, a leading specialist from University College London, writing in 2005: they are ‘sibling nations rather than two parts of the same … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment