UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Book Discussion - The Compatriots

01 December 2020, 4:00 pm–5:15 pm

Compatriots book cover

Join us for a discussion of the hit book The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia’s Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad with the authors, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, in conversation with SSEES Lecturer in Russian Politics, Ben Noble. Part of the Russian Studies Seminar Series.

This event is free.

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Russian Studies Seminar Series



The history of Russian espionage is soaked in blood, from a spontaneous pistol shot that killed a secret policeman in Romania in 1924 to the attempt to poison an exiled KGB colonel in Salisbury in 2018. Émigrés have found themselves continually at the centre of the mayhem.

Celebrated Moscow-based journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan masterfully look at the complex, ever-shifting role of Russian émigrés since the October Revolution to the present day in The Compatriots. From comely secret agents to tragically doomed dissidents, the story of Russian émigrés is at times thrilling, at times touching, and always full of intrigue. But their influence and importance is an invaluable angle through which to understand Russia in the modern world.

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan are cofounders of Agentura.ru and authors of The Red Web and The New Nobility. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Guardian, Moscow Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, CNN and the BBC. The New York Times called Agentura.ru ‘a website that came in from the cold to unveil Russian secrets.’ Andrei and Irina live in Moscow.

Registration is free but essential via Zoom.