31st January 2017

Russia and Europe: What Next?

John Pilkington

JOHN PILKINGTON has been called “one of Britain’s greatest tellers of travellers’ tales”. In 1983, after journeys in Africa and Latin America, he completed a 500-mile solo crossing of the western Nepal Himalaya and told the story in his first book, 'Into Thin Air'.

His interest in Asia grew further with the opening in 1986 of the border between Pakistan and China, making it possible – for the first time in forty years – to retrace virtually the whole of the Silk Road. John was one of the first modern travellers to do so, and he wrote about the journey in 'An Adventure on an Old Silk Road'.  This was followed in 1991 by 'An Englishman in Patagonia', recounting eight months in the enigmatic southern tip of South America. After the break-up of the Soviet Union he became one of the first Western  journalists to report from the new Central Asian republics.

Passions are running high in Ukraine and the breakaway states of the Caucasus. Vladimir Putin’s adventures in Ukraine took the West by surprise. But John thinks in some ways they followed a pattern that goes back more than a century to the days of the ‘Great Game’. Since the Soviet Union’s break-up, Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have become Russia’s ‘forgotten’ satellite states – unrecognised and unheard of by most outsiders. Now Donetsk and Luhansk have joined the list, and Russia has full control of Crimea.

In 2015 John met people on both sides of these disputed borders, and promises a talk full of intrigue with one or two surprises.

The Society meets at the Hull Royal Hotel, 170 Ferensway, Hull HU1 3UF

All lectures are presented in the Royal Suite and start at 7.30pm prompt.

 

Doors are normally open at 6.45pm but access may be delayed if lecture preparations are not complete.

 

The audience are requested to please be in their seats before 7.25pm

The Hull Literary & Philosophical Society is registered as a Charity No 507226