7th March “Russia and Europe:What Next!” John Pilkington

Passions run high in Ukraine and the Caucasus. Putin’s adventures in Ukraine took the West by surprise. But followed the pattern of the legendary ‘Great Game’ between Russia and Britain in Victorian times. John has always loved Eastern Europe and 2015 seemed the perfect time to get to know it better, discovering the stories behind the news. Visiting two places that hosted the worst events in past history Auschwitz and Chernobyl. The trip was both upsetting and heart-warming. After five months, I’m none the wiser. But I did get a surprising insight into the people, their sadness and the practical steps some are taking towards a calmer future.

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