The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has caused international outrage with his seizure of Crimea and military actions in Eastern Ukraine. His supporters claim that there is no such country as Ukraine – it’s a part of Russia, they say – and that Russia has the right to defend the interests of Russians wherever they happen to be. Are Russia’s actions in Ukraine the first steps towards the re-creation of the USSR? Or are they the desperate attempts of a bankrupt regime to prolong its existence? One thing’s for sure: the sense of humour which helped Russians survive in Soviet times is alive and well…



Stephen Dalziel has been involved with Russia and Russians ever since he started learning the Russian language at school. He first visited the Soviet Union in 1974 and has been traveling there regularly ever since. After graduating in Russian Studies from the University of Leeds, having spent a year studying in the USSR, Stephen worked as a lecturer on the Soviet military at the RMA Sandhurst, before joining the BBC World Service as Russian Affairs Analyst in 1988. In his 16 years at the BBC, Stephen covered the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s crazy crony capitalism of the 1990’s, and the emergence of Vladimir Putin as President. He interviewed many of the senior players on the Russian political scene, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Eduard Shevardnadze. After leaving the BBC, Stephen was Executive Director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce for five years, and now runs his own business, DLC Training & Consultancy. His first book, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire was published in 1993.

8:30 PM @ The gallery bar 

* Entrance over 18


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