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Martin and Daniel Sixsmith on Putin and the Return of History

21 March @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Martin and Daniel Sixsmith on Putin and the Return of History


Join Toppings for an original and informative look at Russia’s thousand-year past, tracing the forces and the myths that have shaped Putin’s politics.

Putin is a paradox. In the early years of his presidency, he appeared to commit himself to friendship with the West. But the Putin of those years is now unrecognisable, an autocratic nationalist dedicated to repression at home and anti-Western militarism. So, what happened? Was he lying from the start? Or, if he was he sincere, what was it that made him change his mind?

Putin and the Return of History examines these questions in the context of Russia’s thousand-year past, tracing the forces and the myths that have shaped Putin’s politics of aggression: the enduring terror of encirclement by outsiders, the subjugation of the individual to the cause of the state, the collectivist values, the willingness to lie and deceive, the co-opting of religion and the belief in Great Russia’s mission to change the world.


MARTIN SIXSMITH is a bestselling author, television and radio presenter and journalist. He was the BBC’s correspondent in Moscow, Washington and Warsaw and a Communications Director for the British government. His work on Russia includes the 2011 history Russia: a 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East, the 2019 novel An Unquiet Heart and Putin’s Oil in 2012.

DANIEL SIXSMITH worked as an archaeologist in Siberia and Kazakhstan before turning to historical research. His co-authored book The War of Nerves: Inside the Cold War Mind was short-listed for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Non-fiction in 2023. Daniel has done extensive and ground-breaking research in the creation of this book.

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