Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

The analogy misleader

You don’t have to watch US cable news for very long before somebody asks about history and Trump. Can you find a comparison? A precedent? Or is Donald Trump so … Continue reading

August 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Post-Soviet Eurovision and the singer in the wheelchair

Held in Kiev in May, this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is an international incident waiting to happen. From selecting the Russian and Ukrainian entrants to calibrating the crowd’s response to … Continue reading

March 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Panama Papers: Soviet history lessons?

Are you any the wiser, or did you know it already? The massive leak of documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca reveals — pause — that David Cameron inherited … Continue reading

April 17, 2016 · 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

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

Victory Day: tanks on Red Square, Putin in Crimea

May 9, 2014: Victory Day, the annual celebration of the triumph against Nazi Germany. Powerful army formations and weapons of mass destruction parade across Red Square. President Putin receives the … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Europe whole and free? Russia, the West and Ukraine

Click here for my article on the Ukraine crisis in the Yorkshire Post. The article seeks to explain the crisis as the result of Russian opportunism and provocation, Ukrainian politics, and … Continue reading

April 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Jews of Ukraine and the Soviet past

When Jews came out of the synagogue in Donetsk a few days ago, they were met by men in black masks distributing leaflets. The terrifying message was simple: register with … Continue reading

April 21, 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