News from the Scotland-Russia Forum
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21 March 2015

Contents: SRF News, What's OnNotices

SRF News

Website and competition for 5-12 year olds

The SRF has just launched a new website with the aim of interesting British children in Russia, its culture and its language.  Please have a good look at and  tell any children / schools you know about it!
To launch the website we have announced a competition.  Details are on the Start page of the website.  Children aged 5-12 are eligible and (thanks to our kind sponsors*) generous prizes will be offered - as well as a very cool** "mystery gift" for the first 400+ entrants.
* Main sponsors are CRCEES, the Scottish Government and the Russian Teachers Group.  We are also grateful for help from the Russian Consulate and Early Start Languages.
Many thanks also to all contributors (list on the Start page)
** not my description - definitely coolish though

Message from the editor of the Scotland Russia Review
  • Volunteer designer required for SRF’s magazine ‘Review’, next issue due out early September.
  • Letters to the editor, suggestions for features etc are welcome
  • The Spring issue of the Review can be seen on  If any member did not receive a paper copy in the post please let me know asap!  We have very few copies left.
Contact Elizabeth Roberts at

DON'T MISS - events involving SRF members
  • The first of three exciting new plays by young Ukrainian and Russian writers (the latter translated by SRF committee member Dr Alexandra Smith) will premiere at the Oran Mor in Glasgow this week.  The first play transfers to the Edinburgh Traverse too.  Details on
  • Glasgow University workshop on 25 May - lots of interesting speakers starting with the Russian Consul General.
  • Conference in Aberdeen 10-11 April organised by SRF member Anna Vaninskaya "Scotland and Russia: Cultural Perception Since 1900". Speakers incl SRF Vice-President Dairmid Gunn.

What's On

This listing is updated as and when we hear of new events.  Please tell us if you are organising something you'd like advertised. 

Church services:  details of Orthodox and Ukrainian services in Scotland 
23 November - 19 April 2015: The Bolshoi Ballet - live broadcasts. Edinburgh
23 March - 30 May: A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Plays from Ukraine and Russia.  Glasgow and Edinburgh
25 March: The Many Faces of Russia.  Glasgow
4 April: AfternoonTea at the Ukrainian Club.  Fundraiser, Edinburgh
10-11 April: Scotland and Russia: Cultural Perception Since 1900. Aberdeen
7 May: Prof Jan Levchenko - Soviet “Westerns” and Imperial Cultural Policy. Edinburgh
9 May: "Our common victory" 70th anniversary concert. Glasgow
21 May: Prof Michael Gorham, University of Florida - title tba. Edinburgh

Events outside Scotland
11 May: Robert Chandler "Alive Not By Bread Alone: Poetry and the Gulag". Lecture, London.
September, tbc: Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age. Science Museum, London


Russian language help for nursery in Kilmarnock
A nursery school in Kilmarnock (Hillbank Early Childhood Centre) has Russian speaking children and is looking for some basic tuition for its staff - either a couple of sessions to teach them relevant language or possibly more ongoing support.  If you can help please contact Sonia Coughlan,

The need for Russian speakers
As the government wakes up (a bit) to the need for Russian speakers and even the Russian Embassy (diplomat Sergei Nalobin, speaking at the House of Lords seminar mentioned below) complains about the lack of Russian of FCO officials, this BBC World Service item may be of interest:  See also (eg) the Independent 27 Feb.

Compass Translation Award 2015 – Boris Slutsky 
The 2015 Compass Award competition from the SRF's partner StoSvet is dedicated to the poetry of Boris Slutsky (1919-86). Together with David Samoylov and Alexander Mezhirov, Slutsky belongs to the WWII generation of Russian poets, whose anti-war poetic intensity was intertwined with the anti-Stalinist messaging.
Deadline: 1 August 2015. 
More information:  Queries to

EU-Russia Relations
The House of Lords recently published an excellent report on EU-Russia relations: The EU and Russia: before and beyond the crisis in Ukraine (Feb 2015).  On 19 March they held a seminar, participants including distinguished politicians, academics, Russian Embassy diplomats and others.  The topic was presented by Sir Rodric Braithwaite, Michael Binyon and Rory Stewart MP.  There is a video link to the whole seminar on  Report on Russian TV - ITV1 20 March.

Teach in Kyrgyzstan
Teach English as a volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic this summer.  Visit

Second income
Message from Victoria Kostoris:
"I would like to hear from you if you are interested in developing a second income both here and in Eastern Europe. Different options available, with the possibility of long term financial security through a 50 + year old proven business plan and international support.For further info please contact Victoria Kostoris,"
[SRF note: we have no more info on this business opportunity and take no responsibility for the success or failure of any applicants]

Russian economy
A recent Chatham House paper by Richard Connolly, one of the speakers at our January discussion of the Russian economic crisis -
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

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