Russian history, Russian culture, Moscow today: a Cambridge historian's blog

The sleepwalkers

Would you trust a historian to get it right about Ukraine? After all, historians often get lost on the path of current events and fail to make predictions. They disagree confusingly with … Continue reading

February 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Blair and Putin go to the pub, secure world peace

‘We have a joke in Russia — that when Russian men get together at work they talk about ladies,’ said Vladimir Putin after a session in the pub with Tony Blair … Continue reading

January 16, 2015 · Leave a comment

Why today’s diplomats should read about the Cultural Cold War

Know your enemy. So inveighed Richard Pipes, the great historian of Russia, in a mid-1970s warning to American policymakers about the dangers of détente. This was how he put it: … Continue reading

November 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

How the Scottish referendum helps us understand Russia

The United Kingdom has pulled away from the precipice. Scottish people voted against independence, and we remain the same multinational country as before. But the basic problem is not solved. … Continue reading

October 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

Vladimir Putin meets Neville Chamberlain?

For some people, Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler are never far away. ‘We run the risk of repeating the mistakes made in Munich in 1938,’ David Cameron apparently said (of Ukraine) … Continue reading

September 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hugh Trevor-Roper in the USSR

Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003), whose centenary this is, was the ultimate grandee among British historians. Regius Professor at Oxford, Master of Peterhouse at Cambridge, friend of the clever or connected, scourge … Continue reading

June 18, 2014 · 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