Remember me
Forgotten username or password?


Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Charity No. 1148802 Patron: His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO Honorary President: Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Alan Hosking OBE FBA FRHistS Honorary Vice Presidents: The Rt Revd & Rt Hon. Lord Williams of Oystermouth PC FBA FRSL FLSW; Emeritus Professor Philip Hanson OBE; Sir Roderic Lyne KBE CMG; The Rt Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG PC QC; The Rt Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG PC FRSA FRSE; The Rt Hon. Baroness Williams of Crosby PC CH Talks Organisers: Lincoln Pigman 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, as re-named in 1992, The Britain-Russia & British East-West Centre, were a Non-Governmental organisation (NGO) generously funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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, Harold Macmillan and 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 as 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 aspect of the Russian Federation and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Amongst our members are former British Ambassadors, FCO officials, University Professors and other academics, and many other people who have studied, and at some level continue, perhaps informally, to study Russia's history, language, literature or culture. We welcome Russians and other nationalities from the former USSR, and from other countries; anyone with an interest in one or more of the many aspects of Russia, and international relations in general. Many of our members have at least some knowledge of the Russian language, but that is not in any way a necessary condition. 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 around 15 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 can be viewed by clicking on PROGRAMME in the blue panel to the left of this page. Virtually all talks are preceded by an informal drinks reception from 6.30 pm to 7.00pm. Talks begin usually at 7.00pm, last for 45 to 60 minutes and are followed by a question and answer session of up to half an hour. Meetings usually end by 8.30pm. For the most part, our 15 or so talks each year are held at one or another of these three London venues: Pushkin House (5a Bloomsbury Square (front entrance on Bloomsbury Way) WC1A 2TA); The Open Russia Club (67 Wimpole Street, W1G 8AP); and The UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW). The particular venue for each talk is shown on the Programme page, together with directions (including nearest tube stations). There are usually at least two social events a year, and members receive three issues each year of the Society's journal, East-West Review - a high-quality illustrated publication, usually of 48 pages, which is stocked by the British Library and other prestigious national and university libraries in the UK and Éire. 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 UK membership costs, payable every July 15th, are £17 (individual) and £20 (joint two-person membership). Without a Mandate, subscriptions cost £20 (individual) and £23 (joint). The overseas rate for Individual Membership is £27 for ‘Europe’ (includes all of Russia), £30 for World Zone 1 and £33 for World Zone 2. Zones are as defined by the UK Royal Mail. 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. If possible, please pay by Standing Order (it saves us time, and it saves you money). To download a Membership Application Form, click on JOIN in the blue panel on the left of this page and follow the further link. Thank you. The most recent Chairman's Annual Report, outlining the full range of the Society's current activities, is available for download here: GBRS Chairman's Report for 2018-2019Download


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


VARIOUS EVENTS THIS WEEK Dear All, Reminders for 3 events taking place this week: 1- Pushkin Club Zoom Event: Pushkin on People Confronting Statues - and vice-versa.  Tuesday, 29 September at 6pm 2-SCRSS talk: The Society’s President Professor Bill Bowring will give a talk on Russia and the European Convention on Human Rights on Wed 30 Sep, starting at 7pm.   3- London Translators' Group talk - Natasha Dissanayake: “What were the Russian Experiences in London? 16th Century onwards”  Thursday October 1 at 19:00.     And 4-Bibs Ekkel & Adrian Zolotuhin The Balalaika & and other tall stories. Livestream from Sands Films Music Room Thursday 1 Oct 2020 at 19:45   1-Pushkin Club Zoom Event: Pushkin on People Confronting Statues - and vice-versa.  Tuesday, 29 September at 6pm Illustrated talk, musical interlude, theatrical-style readings in English and Russian.  Please see the Pushkin House link below for more information: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zoom-event-pushkin-on-people-confronting-statues-and-vice-versa-tickets-120237139521   2-SCRSS talk: The Society’s President Professor Bill Bowring will give a talk on Russia and the European Convention on Human Rights on Wed 30 Sep, starting at 7pm. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the ECHR. Russia has been a member of the Council of Europe for 25 years, and of the ECHR for 22 years. Professor Bowring discusses how this has been possible, and whether the close and mostly positive relationship between Russia and the Council of Europe and ECHR is about to end. The event will be hosted using the Zoom online conferencing app. To ease administration, we are using the Eventbrite app to take bookings. The event is free, but there is a donation option when registering. Here is the link to the event: Prof Bill Bowring on Russia & the ECHR . Please sign up for the event yourself and spread the word amongst friends and colleagues. Do please report any issues or questions - this will help improve the creation of future events. When you sign up via Eventbrite (click on the green “Register” box), you should receive an initial confirmation from Eventbrite, and then further reminders two days, two hours and ten minutes before the event starts. This is all very new to me, the Hon. Secretary, so your feedback will be invaluable! We hope this will be the first of a series of online talks.   3-Natasha Dissanayake: “What were the Russian Experiences in London? 16th Century onwards”  Thursday October 1 at 19:00.  The talk will take place via Zoom. It will be in English and costs £3. This is a London Translators' Group talk.  Natasha Dissanayake has spent some 20 years researching for her book on this subject.  There are some 20 different sections in her book covering major aspects of the Russian presence in London from the 16th century to the present day, and featuring a wide range of Russian characters: members of the Imperial family, aristocrats and Bolsheviks, diplomats and churchmen, musicians, painters and people of the theatre, writers and scientists, soldiers, sportsmen and even spies. Fortune favoured some Russians, while others met sterner destinies. For some, London was a temporary home, others lived here until the end of their lives. However, almost none of the Russians escaped the problems of adapting to the way of life in the new country, to its traditions and language. All the above is presented not as an academic study, but as a collection of stories based on research, interviews, observations, published and unpublished memoirs and wider literature. A Muscovite born and bred, Natasha Dissanayake taught Russian language and literature at a high school in Moscow. She then worked as an editor at the Progress Publishing House. She came to live in England in 1972 and taught Russian in schools and colleges. Then Natasha did the Blue Badge Guide course and also interpreted for the Bolshoi, Mariinsky and other companies on their tours of Britain. Natasha has written for ballet magazines, London Courier, RUTAGE and other publications. From 1990 to 1998 she travelled almost non-stop to Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries interpreting for petroleum companies. Working as a Blue Badge Guide, Natasha started researching about Russians living in London, which resulted in her massive book which was published in Russian in 2017. To book, please contact Alla Potapova on a.potapova@hotmail.com who will arrange for the Zoom link to be sent to you.   (Received from a member) 4-Bibs Ekkel & Adrian Zolotuhin - The Balalaika & and other tall stories  Virtuoso fret-bothering duo Bibs Ekkel and Adrian Zolotuhin present Folk & Gypsy music from Russia and eastern Europe featuring some of the instruments from their vast collections.  Bibs Ekkel, prima balalaika soloist, is one of few masters of the instrument outside Russia. His style elevates the balalaika to the stature of concert instrument while retaining close ties with the instrument's folk heritage. He has entertained Royalty as well as ordinary folk with his extensive repertoire in settings ranging from cabaret to symphony hall. He has toured regularly with his song and dance company, "Tziganka" and folk group "Russian Tornado" and performed as soloist throughout the world - with concert and TV appearances in Russia, Poland, China, Britain, the US and Canada. Movie soundtracks include Enemy at the Gates, Eastern Promises, Englishman Abroad, The Man who Knew too Little. Strummer of guitar and a plethora of fretted instruments, Adrian Zolotuhin started performing professionally aged fifteen with Russian folk ensemble Kabak and alt-rock band Honeycomb Veil. Over the years he’s played rock, pop, jazz, world music and orchestral styles, and has performed at venues from The Marquee club to the Royal Opera House. He tours regularly with Budapest Café Orchestra, instrumental ensemble Sultan’s Picnic and funky pop band Twisted Karaoke. He is a regular collaborator with composer Howard Moody and his orchestra La Folia, and appears on the soundtracks of films & TV dramas including The Silver Skates, The Lost Prince, Our Kind of Traitor and Kursk. Livestream from Sands Films Music Room Thu 1 Oct 2020 at 19:45 It’s free to watch but donations are strongly encouraged (the venue is very kindly paying the group, so it helps them recoup their costs). You can watch on these platforms: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandsfilmsmusicroom/events/?ref=page_internal Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bibs-ekkel-adrian-zolotuhin-tickets-119902033209 Sands Website: https://www.sandsfilms.co.uk/sands-films-music-room.html Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/455492611 Best wishes Ute

Registered Charity Number 1148802; Company Number 8143145;
Website by Pelinor; Header by MvB