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GB-Russia Society Current Lecture Programme


THE GREAT BRITAIN - RUSSIA SOCIETY

Spring-Summer Session (May-August 2017)

Priority booking period for members until May 5th 2017

Book early - and book often.


3 talks will be held at The Open Russia Club, 16 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1HT. Nearest tube station is Oxford Circus (Victoria and Central lines). Walk down the west side of (Lower) Regent Street. Take the first right into Princes Street. Cross over Harewood Place, and No. 16 is about 3 doors further on. Ring the bottom bell. Or walk west along the south side of Oxford Street until you reach McDonalds, on the corner of Harewood Place. Walk down Harewood Place, which is a short road, and turn right into Hanover Square. No 16 is about 3 doors along. One talk is at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies, (SSEES), 16 Taviton St. WC1H 0BW. Nearest tube stations are Euston and Euston Square. Cross over to the South side of Euston Road. Walk down Gordon Street. Take the first left into Endsleigh Gardens and then first right into Taviton Street. The SSEES building is half way down on the right hand side. 2 talks will be held at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Way. Nearest tube stations are Holborn and Tottenham Court Road.


A SESSION OF SIX SUPERB SPEAKERS!

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Thursday11th May 20i7, at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Way. Wine at 6.30. Talk starts at 7.00 p.m.


"THE LIFE AND WORK OF BORIS ANREP"

MR. DAVID BRUMMELL C.B.

(Vice Chairman of the GB - Russia Society)


This is an illustrated talk about the life and work of Boris Anrep, the great British artist and mosaicist of Russian origin. The evening will include readings,  in English and Russian, of poems by Anna Akhmatova and Anrep. Boris Vassillievich Anrep was born in 1883 in St. Petersburg, his father being a distinguished physiologist and Professor of medicine. Although studying law Boris Anrep, during a trip to Italy, was so inspired by the Roman and Byzantine mosaics he saw, that he abandoned his legal studies and began to paint, to write poems, and to learn the art of assembling mosaics. He came to London in 1911, and became closely involved with leading members of the Bloomsbury Group, whose attitude to art and bohemian lifestyle he shared.  Outstanding mosaics  - of exquisite beauty - made by him can still be seen at the National Gallery and Westminster Cathedral and will be shown during the presentation. The talk will also feature the inter-connecting lives of Boris Anrep and the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova,  a number of whose poems were inspired by Anrep. He in turn was inspired to write poems about Akhmatova.


David Brummell, a graduate of Queens' College Cambridge, is a government lawyer with particular expertise in public law and constitutional law. In 2005 he was awarded the CB. He has for many years had a deep interest in all aspects of Russian culture, in particular Russian poetry. He is a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club, a former trustee of Pushkin House (2004-2013)  and has recently been appointed Vice Chairman of The Great Britain-Russia Society.


A FASCINATING, AESTHETIC, ILLUSTRATED PRESENTATION. 

COMBINING ART, MOSAICS & EXQUISITE RUSSIAN POETRY.

 A VISUAL AND AURAL DELIGHT - NOT TO BE MISSED!


 


Tuesday 23rd May, at16 Hanover Square W1S 1HT. Tea, Coffee & Biscuits at 6.30 pm Talk starts at 7.00pm


"RUSSIA'S ECONOMY OF FAVOURS IN CONTEXT: EVIDENCE FROM THE GLOBAL INFORMALITY PROJECT"

PROFESSOR ALENA LEDENEVA

Based on years of research on informal practices in the Soviet Union, during the 1990s' transition and under Putin's sistema, Professor Alena Ledeneva explains the role of informality in transformations of Russia's society, business and politics. Drawing on the evidence from the Global Informality Project that she is currently directing, Russia's economy of favours is viewed in the context of informal practices from the five continents. (An illustrated lecture).


Alena Ledeneva is Professor of Politics and Society at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies of University College London. She is an internationally renowned expert on informal governance in Russia. Her books Russia's Economy of Favours: Blat, Networking, and Informal Exchange (Cambridge University Press, 1998)  How Russia Really Works: Informal Practices in the 1990s (Cornell University Press 2006), and Can Russia Modernise? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance (Cambridge University Press 2013) have become must-read sources in Russian studies and social sciences.  She received her PhD in Social and Political Theory from Cambridge University (1996). Currently working on research projects funded by the European Union  (ANTICORRP. eu. INFORM) and by the British Academy- DFID. She is an editor of a special issue of Slavonic & East European Review on Innovations in Corruption Studies and of the Global Encyclopaedia of Informality (UCL Press, forthcoming).

REVEALING & UNMISSABLE. EARLY BOOKING IS  ESSENTIAL.

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Monday 12th June, UCL SSEES 16 Taviton Street. WC1H 0BW.  Wine at 6.30p.m in Room 437, the

 Senior Common Room, on the 4th floor. Talk starts at 7.00 p.m in Room 347 (3rd floor)


A lecture  co-sponsored by the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies

"THE FAKING OF RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY AND THE FRACTURING OF DEMOCRACY IN THE USA: POLITICAL TECHNOLOGY VERSUS DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY" (an illustrated lecture)

PROFESSOR ANDREW WILSON


Professor Wilson contrasts the dramatic effects of 'disruptive technologies' like social media and 'alt news' in the 2016 US elections, with the 'political technology' practised in Russia since the 1990s. Russia allegedly hacked the American election, but there are deeper problems of technology-sharing and technique-sharing that are an even bigger threat to Western democracy than already realised. Many of these threats are internal. Combating Russian propaganda requires more  than strong defences, it also needs an understanding of Western democracies' own weaknesses.


Andrew Wilson was recently appointed Professor of Ukrainian Studies at the  University College London School of Slavonic & East European Studies. He is the author of many books including The Ukranians: Unexpected Nation (Yale University Press 2000 & 2002) Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post Soviet World (Yale U.P. 2005) , Ukraine's Orange Revolution (Yale U.P. 2005) Ukraine's Crisis. What it means for the West (Yale U.P 2014). All these books have reinforced Professor Wilson's reputation as Britain's pre-eminent academic expert on Ukraine, who is frequently consulted by 10 Downing Street.


 


PROFESSOR ANDREW WILSON HAS THAT RARE ABILITY TO UNMASK THE REALITY BEHIND THE FACADE.

BOOK EARLY TO SECURE YOUR SEATS!

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Wednesday 28th June, 16 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HT. Tea etc 6.30 pm. Talk starts at 7.00pm.


"WHO LOST RUSSIA? HOW THE WORLD ENTERED A

 *****    NEW COLD WAR"     *****

Mr. PETER CONRADI

(Foreign Editor of The Sunday Times)

*****


The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 appeared to usher in a remarkable new  era of peace and co-operation between Moscow and the West. This, we were told, was the end of history: after decades that were defined by the strategic struggle between capitalism and communism, the entire world would embrace enlightenment values and liberal democracy. Reality has proved very different, with each US President leaving relations with Russia in a worse state than he found them. First Georgia, and then Ukraine and Syria have become battlefields in what looks increasingly like a new Cold War. Will Donald Trump, a self-confessed fan of Vladimir Putin, find a way of breaking out of the dead end?


Peter Conradi witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union first hand during more than six years as a Reuters foreign correspondent in Moscow, during which he travelled from Kaliningrad in the west to Vladivostok in the east. Now foreign editor of The Sunday Times, he returned to Russia to research his critically acclaimed new book, Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War. Drawing on a series of exclusive interviews, with everyone from former ministers and Kremlin advisers to the man accused of  killing Alexander Litvinenko, Conradi charts the ups and - mostly -  downs of Russia's relations with the West over the past 25 years, from Boris Yeltsin's "time of troubles" to the growing authoritarianism of the Putin era. Conradi is a graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford and Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich and the author of a number of books including Hitler's Piano Player and (jointly with Mark Logue), The King's Speech, which told the true story of the events that inspired the multi Oscar-winning film.


Peter Conradi's latest hardback book "Who lost Russia? How the World entered a New Cold War" whose retail price is £18.95 will be on sale at this talk at a BARGAIN PRICE for members of just £12.00. Please bring the exact money. We have no facility to accept payment by credit or debit card.


WHO IS TO BLAME? RUSSIA? THE WEST? OR BOTH?

CAN BOTH SIDES EASE THE CURRENT TENSION?   

A FIVE STAR HIGHLIGHT  OF THE SESSION.  

WE ANTICIPATE A HUGE DEMAND FOR SEATS. BOOK EARLY!


 


=========================================================================Monday 10th July, Pushkin House, Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2TA Wine at 6.30.Talk starts at 7.00 pm


"THE ANGLO - RUSSIAN CONVENTION OF 1907"

MRS. BARBARA EMERSON

(HON. SECRETARY OF THE GB-RUSSIA SOCIETY)


At the end of the Napoleonic Wars Anglo-Russian relations were relatively cordial. The Polish Revolution of 1830 that was brutally put down by Russia marked a turning point. After this the two countries were constantly at loggerheads. They were only once at war, the Crimean War, but were several times on the brink of hostilities. From the 1890s Britain sought to improve relations with Russia, but Russia's expansionist involvement in the Far East in the late 1890s precluded any agreement being reached.  This changed in the early 1900s with Russia's defeat in the war with Japan, the 1905 revolution and in Britain the coming to power of a Liberal government determined to end the acrimonious relationship. Sir Edward Grey and Alexander Izvolsky were the major players in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 that resolved long standing disputes in Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet but which also had repercussions in Europe.


Barbara Emerson read PPE at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. She later spent a year as an associate at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, and was Sackler Fellow at St. Hilda's in 2001. She has published work on 19th century diplomatic history and has now completed a book on Anglo-Russian relations in the 19th century, having had access to the Russian Imperial Foreign Ministry Archives in Moscow. Among recent talks she has given was one to The Great Britain-Russia Society on Russian and British attitudes to Decipherment in the 19th century and last July she gave a paper on Gladstone and Russia at the Gladstone Library in Hawarden.


ON THE 110TH ANNIVERSARY, BARBARA EMERSON DELIVERS A CONSUMMATE TOUR D'HORIZON.

GRAND HISTORY AT ITS BEST!


 


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Thursday 27th July,16 Hanover Square, London W1S 1HT. Tea etc. at 6.30pm Talk starts at 7.00pm.


"DYNAMICS AND CONTRADICTIONS OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY"

PROFESSOR RICHARD SAKWA


This talk draws on Richard Sakwa's forthcoming book "Russia against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order" (Cambridge University Press 2018).


When George Orwell coined the term 'cold war' for an article in Tribune in October 1945, he could hardly have imagined that 70 years later we would still be discussing whether the term was the right one to describe the renewed period of confrontation between Russia and the West. The nuclear balance helped  prolong indefinitely a 'peace that is no peace', as Orwell put it. In 2014 the European security system established in the wake of the Cold War collapsed. For a quarter of a century old institutions and practices were perpetuated while new ideas failed to flourish. The fundamental questions of European security had not been resolved. The failure to create a comprehensive peace order gave way to renewed confrontation and divisions. Europe once again resumed its apparently interminable 'civil wars', and Russia focused on Eurasian integration and the establishment of an anti-hegemonic alignment. The elements of a new Cold War are only part of a broader global shift.


Richard Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent in Canterbury and is an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. After graduating in History from the London School of Economics, he gained a PhD from CREES at the University of Birmingham. He held lectureships at the Universities of Essex and California, Santa Cruz, before joining the University of Kent in 1987. He has published widely on Soviet, Russian and post-communist affairs. Books include Communism in Russia: An Interpretative Essay (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), The Crisis of Russian Democracy (CUP 2011) and Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia (London & New York, Routledge, 2014). His latest book is Frontline in Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands, an extended paperback version of which was published by I.B. Tauris in 2016.


A CRUCIAL PERSPECTIVE ON CURRENT ANTIPATHY & NEW REALIGNMENTS. DEFINITELY NOT TO BE MISSED!

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40 seats for members - THE MARIINSKY ARE BACK!

at

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN

ON THURSDAY 10TH AUGUST 2017

            Please be inside the Main Entrance by 1.30 pm at the latest

The precise time my be subject to amendment.


THE MARIINSKY BALLET COMPANY AND ORCHESTRA

in the Dress Rehearsal of

"LA BAYADERE"

Music by Ludwig Minkus. Choreography by Marius Petipa.


Set in mythical India, Petipa's  lavish melodrama of love, betrayal and ultimate redemption tells the tale of the temple dancer Nikiya's doomed love for the warrior Solor. Scenes of exotic spectacle culminate in the choreographic glory of the 'Kingdom of the Shades'  - one of the greatest treasures in the company's repertoire. The Mariinsky's matchless soloists and exquisite corps de ballet combine to bring an experience which captures the soul with its magnificence, poignancy and excitement.


We are extremely grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Victor Hochhauser CBE, who once again are generously donating forty complimentary seats

to members of The Great Britain-Russia Society.


Maximum of two seats per member, but in the event of a lively demand we reserve the right to limit the allocation to one seat per member, or to enter applications into a draw.

AN OPTIONAL PRE-PERFORMANCE LUNCH PARTY WILL BE ARRANGED.


You cannot book for this event on line with other reservations. You will need to contact Mrs. Ute Lynch either by email: [removed] or by 'phone: 0788 4464 461 or you can indicate your wish on the booking form if you POST it to  Mrs. Ute Lynch, Hon. Membership Secretary, 43 Kenilworth Court, Lower Richmond Road, London SW15 1EN.

Those who come to talks regularly may get preference.


 A FABULOUS FINALE TO THE SESSION!

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