News from the Scotland-Russia Forum
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24 March 2017
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Contents: SRF News, What's OnNotices


28 March: "The current situation in Ukraine"
Hope to see you at former UK ambassador in Ukraine, Robert Brinkley's, talk on this topic at 5pm on Tues 28 March.  Details on  
A much needed authoritative review of a conflict that seems to be receding from public view at the moment.
No need to book, no charge - all you need to do is turn up earlyish in order to make sure of a seat. 

29 March (2-5pm):  SRF Library Open Day
We'd like to remind you that we have a small, but interesting, library.  Books are available on loan to SRF members and we are happy to post, for a small fee, if you are not able to visit.  Visit us on the afternoon of Wed 29 March and you will get a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit as you tour the shelves.  While stocks last.  And please don't all come at once - our office / library is not large...  More information -   The library will be open on Wed afternoons after that, until further notice, and at other times too so long as you let us know you are planning to visit.

Next Chai n Chat is 6 April.  All welcome!

SRF has had a busy time recently...
In January and early Feb we participated energetically in SCILT schools events ("Business Brunches"), taking our stand all over Scotland and talking to school students about Russian.  The eye-catching (whatever else you might think of it) yellow banner seen above at the Language Show was designed with these events in mind.

At the end of January we published our winter magazine - with a 1917 themed cover and first article. 

We have had 3 events since February, all fully booked.  The first, Dairmid Gunn talking about his interviews with Arctic Convoy veterans, will be repeated by the NLS in the summer.  The second, Maxim Katz on the Russian opposition, has already had an encore (organised by the Glasgow University Russian Speaking Society) and the third, "Revolution" at the Filmhouse (Q&A with director Margy Kinmonth) last week was also a sell out.  Click the link on the image above to order an extended DVD of the film.

Apart from all that we had a stand (and associated language classes) at the Language Show in Glasgow in March, and Jenny Carr gave a talk to the UK Russian Teachers Assn conference in London on the causes of, and possible solutions to, the poor showing of Russian in British schools.  She also wrote a letter to the Times (3 March) on the same subject.

A listing of events from or about Russia and her neighbours.
Please check in between these bulletins for changes - the listings are updated all the time.

Church services:  details of Orthodox and Ukrainian services in Scotland 
outside Scotland
Regular events in London and nearby:
ARCC (Anglo Russian culture club), Arbuzz, CamRuSS (Cambridge), Dash Arts, GB-Russia Society lectures, Open Russia Club, Pryamaya Rech, Pushkin House, RBCC business networking events (London and Russia), SCRSSStonehill House Russian Days (Abingdon), Ukrainian events in London
Events all over the UK:
Many art and cultural events are listed by Russian Art and Culture.
26 March:  Central Asian Spring (Novruz) Festival. UCL, London
31 March:
Remembering/Forgetting Imperial Past: Nationalism and the Making of Ethnicities around the Black Sea.  Conference, Aston University, Birmingham
11 Feb-17 April:  Revolution: Russian Art 1917-32. Royal Academy, London
1 March-31 July: Caught in the Russian Revolution: the British Community in Petrograd, 1917-1918. Leeds Russian Archive exhibition. Leeds
April-August: Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths. British Library, London
8-9 April: SCRSS Russian Language Seminar 2017 - for advanced students, teachers and professional linguists. London
3-13 May: Sovremennik Theatre in London. London
19 May: Postgraduate Symposium on the Writing and Screening of Violence in Russian Culture.  Call for Papers. Oxford University
26-30 June: Translate in the City.  Translators' course, incl. Russian with Robert Chandler. London
10 Oct-4 Feb 2018: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Tate Modern, London
8 Nov-18 Feb 2018: Red Star Over Russia. Tate Modern, London


Russian in Scottish schools
Andy Wightman MSP (convenor of the Cross Party Group on Russia in the Scottish Parliament) tabled a motion regretting the loss of Russian on 9 February.  7 MSPs supported it  - not huge numbers but better than none!  And we are of course grateful to them and to Andy for his interest and support.

Teaching opportunities in Russia and Kyrgyzstan
  • Russia (various), esp Rostov:   If you are interested in teaching English in a Russian university download details of the SRF programme English Language Assistants in Russia.  Contact Joe Wake
  • Kyrgyz Republic:  Volunteers in Kyrgyzstan, a project of the Erayim Aid Trust UK (Charity Commission UK 1163524), are currently recruiting volunteers with a knowledge of Russian to teach English to disadvantaged children and isolated teachers in the Kyrgyz Republic this summer.  Summer-schools 12 July to 12 August 2017.  Kyrgyz Teachers’ training 25 May to 10 June 2017.
    Please visit: or write to .  It’s a wonderful and worthwhile adventure !
  • St Petersburg:  A St. Petersburg private school is looking for a motivated young teacher to work with children 5-6 years old on an International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for the academic year September - May 2017.  
    The Host provides: 
     -  full time job 5 days a week, 4 hours a day
     -  all teaching materials for the IPC
     - free accommodation
     - salary 50 thousand  roubles a month
    Candidate requirements:
     - resident native speaker of the UK
     - University degree
     - love for children and wish to work with them on a new programme
     - wish to work in a new environment
    Information on the IPC can be found on
    Applicants should send a letter of application and full CV to Anastasia Beliaeva
Scotland-Russia: Cultural Encounters since 1900
Edinburgh University's new Scotland-Russia: Cultural Encounters since 1900 website provides a digital gateway to previously unavailable or dispersed cultural materials dealing with Scottish-Russian relations.  The Archive is divided into five sections: Arts, Literature, History & Politics, Resources and New Translations, and gathers together an extensive array of texts, images, websites, recordings and films.  Highlights include a series of specially commissioned translations of articles on Scotland from pre-revolutionary and Soviet-era periodicals; a photographic exhibition of Russian theatre in performance; portions of the BBC Radio Scotland documentary about the Scots in Russia; specially digitised books; and a wide selection of scholarly and primary texts dealing with Robert Burns, Arthur Conan Doyle and other Scottish writers in Russia.  They are actively looking for more materials to display, so please get in touch with Anna Vaninskaya ( with suggestions and contributions.

Sharmanka's history is now online in a series of videos:
SHARMANKA (Russian for hurdy-gurdy) was founded by sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky and theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya in St.Petersburg (Russia) in 1989. Audiences in many countries have been fascinated by its magic, and based in Glasgow since 1996 it has gained a reputation as one of the city’s hidden treasures.
Eduard Bersudsky won a Creative Scotland Award in 2005
If you haven't yet visited Sharmanka in Glasgow - GO SOON.  See for more information.

Artic Convoy Museum Project
The ACMP have organised an ambitious series of events around Loch Ewe in early May to celebrate World War II and specifically the role of the convoys.  Details on our website (links from and theirs ( 

Russia and the Rule of Law
The new editor of our magazine, Ian Mitchell, has asked us to give you the link to a short video he has made (with plans to do more on the topic) -  He would be very interested to know what you think so please send us your comments.

Русские судьбы в Лондоне
From the author:
“Русские судьбы в Лондоне” (The Fate and Fortunes of Russians in London), a book by Natalia Dissanayake is about the presence of Russian people in London since mid-XVI century up to our time. The author who is a Blue Badge Guide and a member of the British Guild of Registered Tourist Guides has been living in London for the last 45 years. The book has 607 pages and numerous illustrations was for the author a labour of love. She researched in archives, used the wider literature as well as listened, recorded and brought together hundreds of stories that describe members of the Russian Imperial family, aristocrats and Bolsheviks, writers and scientists, musicians and painters, diplomats and clerics, actors and sportsmen, army men and even secret agents.
This book can be bought in some London shops, which sell Russian books, and also directly from the publisher NED Publishing, email for £20 (less expensive than in bookshops), p&p £4.20.

How can you support the Scotland-Russia Forum?
The SRF works to improve understanding of Russia and her neighbours in Scotland.  We are a voluntary organisation and an educational charity ( SC038728).

If you would like to support us please consider becoming a full member and playing a part in decisions on how best to implement our aims.

We also welcome donations and offers of help with our various activities.

Please find details on our website.
Tel. 0131 560 1486 or email to discuss.
Our mailing address is: The Scotland-Russia Forum, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
Tel: +44(0)131 560 1486

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