When Mikhail Gorbachëv introduced perestroika in the mid-1980s, the USSR went through a springtime of growth and change. The Soviet order collapsed in 1991, and Boris Yeltsin initiated a summer of transformation as Russia acquired a market economy and aspired to a new place in the world community. It was a season of achievement but also of disappointment, leading Yeltsin to relinquish the Russian presidency at the end of the century in favour of Vladimir Putin, his young prime minister. Under Putin’s rule, Russia has been locked into a winter of authoritarian rule at home and military adventures abroad. Bringing his expert knowledge of Russia’s history to the fore, Robert Service will look at the seasonal shifts in events since 2012 and those that may be expected in the immediate future.
Robert Service is a Fellow of St Anthony’s College, Oxford. He has written many books on Russian history including biographies of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin
David McCullagh is a journalist and broadcaster with RTE
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