I visited Russia for the first time in July of 2017. The country has long fascinated me, and the visit had been a long time coming; over the previous few years I'd been edging ever further east – first to Poland and then to Ukraine – and the final logical conclusion was to bite the bullet and visit the Motherland, Russia. 

Russia has always fascinated me for the same reason it fascinates most people; because of its scale, its vastness, its geographical and cultural diversity, its otherness. Coming, in particular, from Britain, a small island nation, the intrigue of a continent straddling country like Russia holds firm over the imagination.

Given my interest in the Cold War, I spent a lot of time devouring history books about the period, and obviously Russia is central to that history. Also, when I discovered literature, I quickly fell in love with the Russian writers, and Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are still to this day my favourites. I felt, therefore, that I knew a lot about Russia before visiting. Russia, though, surprised me, and surprised me in lots of ways. I didn’t see a lot of the country in absolute terms, but I saw a lot nonetheless. I hope sharing my experiences here will encourages others to make the journey over to Russia and enjoy being surprised as much as I was.


Moscow - coming soon

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urbanks is a labour of love, a one-man band. There isn’t, strictly speaking, an ‘us’. As a solo project, the urbanks website grows incrementally, one page at a time. Concerned with urbanity, urbanks looks at the historical and geopolitical events that have shaped our towns and cities, primarily those of the 20th century.

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