Fear & Loathing in Russia.

How a distorted, repetitive past dictates the future in Russia, & how a reckoning with those distortions could change everything…

Vladimir Bukovsky. Lifelong dissident who died in 2019.

The birth of Soviet Nostalgia…

In September 1991 Vladimir Bukovsky, anti-communist and human rights activist, and long time Soviet dissident, was trying to persuade Boris Yelstin that there was a need for Russia to confront it’s Soviet era crimes, to have a Nuremberg style reckoning with a full public airing of all the facts, just as Germany had at the end of WWII, to cleanse the past and move into the future free of the dreadful encumbrances of the past.

Historic parallels…

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, 1961. Image from Foreign Affairs.
Ukraine’s estimated Russian losses as of 18th May 2022.

The past reiterated is the future…until it isn’t.

For anyone interested in the workings of today’s Russia, of Putin’s Russia, then I can’t recommend enough Catherine Belton’s book, Putin’s People (2). She wrote this with admirable prescience:

Nikolai Patrushev. The next Tsar?
  1. Putin’s People: How the KGB took back Russia & then took on the West; Catherine Belton, 2020.



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Peter Winn-Brown

Peter Winn-Brown


Sports nut with a penchant for international politics & affairs, history and the West's turbulent relationship with Islam.