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ABOUT US

Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity No. 1148802 Patron: His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent G.C.V.O. Honorary President: Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Alan. Hosking OBE FBA F.R.Hist. S. Honorary Vice Presidents: The Right Revd & Right Hon Lord Williams of Oystermouth PC, FBA, Emeritus Professor Philip Hanson OBE, Sir Roderic Lyne KBE, CMG. The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind PC, KCMG, QC, The Rt. Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen PC, GCMG, The Rt. Hon. Baroness Williams of Crosby PC, CH Talks Organisers: Lincoln Pigman email: lincoln.pigman@sant.ox.ac.uk and Daragh McDowell email: daragh.mcdowell@gmail.com "Advancing the education of the public in all aspects of the Russian Federation, the republics of the former Soviet Union, the USSR and Tsarist Russia." Background and details of The Great Britain-Russia Society Founded by H.M. Government in 1959 as The GB-USSR Association, and re-named in 1992, The Britain-Russia & British East-West Centres were a Non Governmental organisation (NGO), generously funded by the Foreign (& Commonwealth) Office, with the object of promoting contacts and understanding between the citizens of the USSR and the United Kingdom - in a spirit of friendship, frankness and objectivity. With well appointed, albeit rented, premises in Grosvenor Place, the organisation had a full time Director, a Secretary, research staff, a library, and a membership and meetings section open to the public. Among the six Honorary Presidents between 1959 and 2002 three were former Prime Ministers, Clement Attlee, then Harold Macmillan, and later Harold Wilson. In March 2002 the FCO ended its funding of the British-Russia, British East-West Centres because the USSR had split into its component Republics, and the economy was no longer perceived as a Socialist-Communist Command economy. Most importantly, The Cold War appeared to be over. The Membership and Meetings Section was re-launched in September 2002. It is called "The Great Britain-Russia Society". It is run and funded entirely by its members. We are a separate legal entity, but we adhere to the ethos of our predecessor organisations. Our membership is around the 300 mark, and we welcome as members (or as guests or non members) anyone who is interested is any aspects of the Russian Federation and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Amongst our members are seven former British Ambassadors, several FCO officials, some twelve University Professors, and other University academics, people who have studied The Russian language and literature, or Russia's history. We welcome Russians and other nationalities from the former USSR and from other countries, and we also welcome people who do not know or speak any Russian, but who are interested in Russia and international relations in general. The Aims of the Society The aims of the Society are to keep its members informed about the historical background, culture, the economic, foreign policy, political, social conditions and trends in the Russian Federation and in all the former republics of the USSR through a programme of some 20 topical, relevant and highly informative lectures a year from leading British and international experts. The 'membership year' is divided into three sessions (September-December, January-April & May-July) - and the programme of talks for each session is on our web site - www.gbrussia.org; Virtually all talks are preceded by an informal drinks reception from 6.30 pm to 7.00 pm. Talks begin usually at 7.00 pm lasting for between 45 to 60 minutes, and are followed by a question and answer session of up to half an hour. Meetings end usually by 8.30 pm. Our 20 talks a year are divided between 3 different venues. Approximately 11 talks at Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square (front entrance on Bloomsbury Way) London WC1A 2TA, 7 talks at The Open Russia Club, 16 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1HT, and 2 talks at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. The venue for each talk is clearly printed on the programme, together with the nearest tube stations, and how to reach each venue. There are usually at least two social events a year, and members receive the Society's 3 Journals a year - a prestige 40 pages plus illustrated publication, which is stocked by the British Library. We welcome all new members who will abide by the Constitution of the Society, a copy of which can be made available to any paid up member. Bring some friends as guests and persuade them to become members. Membership With a Standing Order Mandate annual membership costs, payable every July 15th, are £17 (individual) and £20 (joint husband and wife, or parent and child). Without a Mandate, subscriptions cost £20 (individual) and £23 (joint). Members are free to cancel their Standing Orders at any time if they feel that the Society is no longer offering them what they want. Commercial/professional membership is £100. Small academic corporate memberships start from £20. All annual membership payments are due on July 15th. Late joiners subscription fees are reduced in the initial year by £5 for each copy of the Journal missed. Please pay by STANDING ORDER (it saves us time, and it saves you money). Click on our web site www. gbrussia.org to download the application form. Thank you.

MEMBERSHIP

With a Standing Order Mandate annual membership costs are £17 (individual) & £20 (joint husband & wife). Without the Mandate, subscriptions cost £20 (individual) & £23 (joint). Commercial/professional corporate membership is £100. Small academic corporate memberships start from £20. All annual memberships are due on July 15th. Late joiners’ subscription fees are reduced by £5 for each copy of the Journal missed. Please pay by standing order (it saves us time & saves you money). download the application form

LATEST POSTING

"THE LIFE AND WORK OF YURI DOMBROVSKY" 22 JULY (PETER DEBBINS' TALK POSTPONED) This is an automated message: Monday 22nd July 2019, at Open Russia, 67 Wimpole Street London W1G 8AP at 6.30 for 7 pm   Unfortunately Peter Debbins' talk on Putin's Russia has been postponed. Our Chairman, David Brummell, has agreed to give an illustrated talk on The Life and Work of Yuri Dombrovsky (1909 -1978).   Yuri Dombrovsky is comparatively unknown in the West. However, his two main literary works,The Keeper of Antiquities, and its sequel, the Faculty of Useless Knowledge, along with Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, stand as the greatest achievements of 20th century Russian literature.   Yuri Osipovich Dombrovsky was born in 1909 into the family of a well-known Moscow lawyer. He got into trouble with the authorities as early as 1932, while still a student in the capital. As a result of this incident he was arrested and exiled to Alma-Ata, the then capital of Soviet Kazakhstan. Although exile from Moscow was a punishment for Dombrovsky, he fell deeply in love with Alma-Ata and its history. He spent many years there, although this was interrupted by three further arrests and a total of 11 years’ imprisonment in the Gulag.   Dombrovsky not only wrote two incredible novels, but also a great collection of articles on both famous and long-forgotten artists and writers. Shakespeare was one of his main interests and was the inspiration for his novel, The Dark Lady. Dombrovsky’s knowledge of history and literature was encyclopaedic and suffused with his love for these subjects. He also wrote many poems in which he depicts his experience of the Gulag.   David will outline the key events in Dombrovsky’s life and link these to Dombrovsky’s creative development as a writer of both prose and poetry. The evening will include readings in Russian by Alla Gelich and in English of three poems by Dombrovsky and (in English) of extracts from his prose works.   We do hope that you will join us on the 22nd.  Please let Ute know on membership@gbrussia.org if you would like to attend this lecture, or if not, whether you would like to have a credit for Peter Debbins’ talk when we manage to re-arrange or for a future talk.  



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