Modern day Russia is as much an enigma as the vast sprawling nation has ever been. To offer contrasting – but complementary - perspectives on the Russia that has evolved out of the communist era, Petworth welcomes two writers with first hand experiences of a remarkable period of history. The ‘Russian Londoner’ Jana Bakunina tells the story of her childhood in the Soviet Union from the early days of perestroika to the collapse of the USSR, whilst former BBC Moscow Correspondent Angus Roxburgh offers his own perspective on a world that changed around him and which saw him meeting with some of the key players in Russian government, not to mention encounters and spoiling tactics of the KGB.
Jana Bakunina was born in Ekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, situated nearly 2,000km east of Moscow. At 16, she won a scholarship to a boarding school in Germany and from there secured a place to study Economics & Management at Oxford. She moved to London and built a career in corporate finance. Most recently, she has teamed up with Lord Waheed Alli to invest in start-ups run by female and/or ethnic minority founders.
A graduate in Russian, Angus Roxburgh worked as a translator in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s before becoming a journalist and, eventually, BBC’s Moscow Correspondent in September 1991. During these ‘Yeltsin years’ he covered the war in Chechnya and the chaotic introduction of capitalism to Russia following the collapse of communism and the rise of Vladimir Putin.
Angus Roxburgh (photo: David Packard)