Twilight of the Soviet Union – Memoirs of a British Journalist in Moscow



Kate is sent to Moscow in 1985 to write articles for The Morning Star, a left-wing British daily newspaper founded in 1930 as the Daily Worker by the Communist Party of Great Britain. She lives in a block of flats alongside Soviet citizens and enrols her 3 children in Soviet schools.

Three weeks after Kate arrives Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power and she finds herself having to cover the disorientating number of rapid reforms and attacks on the Soviet system by its leadership for a newspaper, that had always supported the Soviet Union.

Kate is fluent in Russian, speaks with Soviet citizens on the bus or at the shops, and visits every Soviet republic bar one of the then-largest country on Earth. In 1986 she reported on the Chernobyl disaster and was one of the first journalists to arrive in the area.

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Podchaser - Cold War Conversations

This video features Kate in Moscow

✍️ Episode References

ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries)

Moscow State University

Daily Worker (newspaper)

Salvador Allende

Morning Star (newspaper)



Mikhail Gorbachev

Star City (cosmonaut training center),_Russia

Helen Sharman

The Kite Runner (novel)

Boris Yeltsin

🔑 Episode Keywords

Soviet Union, Russian Language, Teaching, Moscow State University, Chile, Salvador Allende, Military Coup, Journalism, Morning Star, Cold War, Detente, Soviet History, Soviet Institutions, Old Church Slavonic, Soviet Friends, Soviet Scientists, Russian Literature, Glasnost, Perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev