News from the Scotland-Russia Forum
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12 February 2015

Contents: SRF News, What's OnNotices

SRF News

26 Feb - talk by Peter Pomerantsev, author of the controversial new book "Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible".  He will discuss his book (some of you might have heard an abridged version on BBC R4 recently) and other current developments in the Russian media. Full details on  We are delighted to have the support of the Edinburgh University Politics & International Relations Society with this event.  And of longterm SRF member and Scottish Russianist Martin Dewhirst who will be the discussant.  We expect a large audience (well over 100 came to the economics discussion in January) so you are advised to come early.  There will be an opportunity to buy the book and chat to the speaker / others after the talk.
26 Feb, 7pm, Chrystal Macmillan Building, George Square.  Open to all, no need to book.
Scotland Russia Review - the Spring edition is just out.  Members have already received their copy (let me know if it hasn't arrived!) and others can read it online or ask us to post a paper copy (please send us at least £1 to cover p&p). An excellent issue, co-edited by our outgoing editor Varvara Bashkirova (many thanks to her for her hard work on this and other aspects of the SRF's work during her time at Edinburgh Uni) and new editor Liz Roberts - who introduces herself in the magazine.  Other articles include "Walter Scott and Russia" and a topical feature on the snowdrops now blooming in Scotland which originate from Crimea.  And much else - excellent book and film reviews and even a pancake recipe just in time for Maslenitsa and Shrove Tuesday.  Download here.
Our monthly tea club Чай н Чат continues to meet in the Summerhall Cafe, at 11am.  Next meeting is 5 March. All welcome - whatever your level of Russian (the range is non-existent to native speaker - so you are bound to fit in somewhere). 

What's On

Church services:  details of Orthodox and Ukrainian services in Scotland 
23 November - 19 April 2015: The Bolshoi Ballet - live broadcasts. Edinburgh
17 January - 8 February: Doorways to the Divine. Exhibition. Edinburgh
12-14 February: Swan Lake - Russian State Ballet of Siberia. Edinburgh
15 February: St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Edinburgh
21 February: Annual Burns-Shevchenko Supper. Edinburgh
26 February:  Cartography and Cultural Revolution: Maps, Modernity and the New Soviet Man. Edinburgh
26 February: Peter Pomerantsev - Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible. Edinburgh
5 March: Чай н Чат, Edinburgh
23 March - 30 May: A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Plays from Ukraine and Russia.  Glasgow and Edinburgh

Events outside Scotland
4 Nov 2014-22 March 2015: The 2nd Buta Festival of Azerbaijani Arts. (See also Twitter). London.
2015, date tbc: Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age. Science Museum, London
8-15 February: Maslenitsa in London.
18-21 February: Eugene Onegin. Vakhtangov Theatre at the Barbican, London.
27 February: Timothy Snyder ‘The Fog of Memory: From the Great Fatherland War to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine". Lecture, Cambridge
19 March: an evening to mark the launch of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. Oxford



Renewed calls for reprieve for SQA Russian exams
Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko wrote to the Herald newspaper on 26 Jan calling for the SQA to reconsider giving up school Russian exams in Scotland.  The Herald then interviewed a number of people who all agreed with him - incl. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, representatives of Scottish university Russian depts, and of course the SRF.  See Herald 26 Jan - A.Yakovenko, 26 Jan - editorial, 26 Jan - A.Denholm, and 27 Jan - A Denholm

News from the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club
  • Saturday 21 February: Annual Burns-Shevchenko Supper. Details.
  • Lessons in Basic Ukrainian & Intermediate Ukrainian continue to be held at the club on Sundays at 1400 - 1530 & anyone wishing to join is welcome to do so. (These lessons have been really well attended so far with around 15-20 participants each week!)
  • Ukrainian Choir. There will be a combined choir practice at the club (Church & Club choirs) this Thursday @ 1900.  The choir will be practicing Taras Schevchenko songs with a view to participating at the forthcoming Schevchenko/Burns evening & possible future concerts.
More information on all Ukrainian Club events:  Email Maria Dudziak on

Teachers and volunteers sought by RCS Haven
RCS Haven (Glasgow) is looking for Art, Mathematics and Russian teachers.
Also, we are looking for volunteers.
The job search facility on the RCS Haven website collects vacancies from British and Russian employers. It can be accessed by clicking here.

News from Scottish charity DniproKids
Download the January Appeal Update.

Orthodox baptism
Advice please.  A Scottish SRF member has been asked to be a godson to a friend's child in Ukraine.  He asks if anyone can recommend children's orthodox story / prayer / bible books he could purchase as a baptism gift.
He would also like to know if the priest would be upset if he wore a kilt to the service. 
Please send any advice to and I will pass it on.

Simplified recruitment process for foreign students wanting to study in Russia
The 15 Russian universities that make up the Global Universities Association are creating a unified center to recruit foreign applicants.  More information - RBTH (15 Jan).

New exam for foreigners working in Russia
Ref. Federal Law of 20.04.2014 N 74-ФЗ “On Amending the Federal Law “On Legal Status of Foreign Nationals on the RF” which entered into force on January 1st 2015. More info and test examples here.
You are obliged to pass these exams if you are applying for:
А) a temporary residence permit;
B) a permanent residence permit (vid na zhitelstvo);
C) a work permit (excluding HQS);
D) a patent (a document confirming the right of a foreign national who entered Russia on visa-free basis to temporarily work in Russia)
Any advice from readers currently working in Russia would be appreciated since we are often approached for advice by (eg) students planning to work Russia after graduation.

Call for papers - Platform Ukraine conference
5-6 June 2015, University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
Platform Ukraine, a multidisciplinary attempt to analyse the Ukraine crisis of 2014 and the post-Soviet space more broadly, welcomes proposals for its 2015 conference. The project aims to provide a unified resource and network of academics studying the area. The conference will also mark the one-year anniversary of the project, which has been running since May 2014. More information on the project can be found at
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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