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Peter Conradi – Folkestone Book Festival

10th November, 2017

The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 appeared to usher in a remarkable new era of peace and co-operation with the West. This, we were told, was the end of history: now the entire world would embrace enlightenment values and liberal democracy.

Reality has proved very different. Russia emerged from the 1990s battered and humiliated, a latter day Weimar Germany, its protests ignored as NATO expanded eastwards to take in Moscow’s former satellites. Vladimir Putin offered a new start when he took the place of the erratic Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin, but, determined to restore his country’s bruised pride, he has wrong footed the West with his incursions into Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. A cold war threatens to turn hot once again.

In this provocative new work, based on exclusive interviews with key players either side of the new divide, Peter Conradi addresses the failures of understanding on both sides over the past twenty-five years and outlines how we can get relations back on track before it’s too late.

This event will be chaired by Helen Forbes. Helen Forbes studied History at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and for many years taught Politics and History, including Russian history in schools. She has also taught Adult education classes in Russian literature. She lived in Moscow from 2013 to 2016.

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