Insights from a Russian Political Refugee
With Anna Kharzeeva
Author of The Soviet Diet Cookbook
I wish I was here today to share with you a lovely, thoughtful conversation about Anna’s remarkable cookbook, The Soviet Diet Cookbook, which serves as a fascinating anthropological, historical analysis of the Soviet regime. Unfortunately, we can’t have that conversation. Because rather than looking back at the Soviet regime in retrospect, Anna reports that almost overnight, beginning with the invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, Russia has instead plunged directly back into that dark and difficult part of Russian history. Anna shares her story of the rapid, nightmarish descent into this new period of repression, isolation, paranoia, and deprivation, including the specific events that led her realization that she had to flee Russia - that or face over a decade, perhaps several, in jail.
Today, Anna speaks to us from Istanbul, where she is living in her 6th apartment in just 2 weeks, sick with concern for Ukraine, fear for her dissenting family and friends remaining in Moscow, and only beginning to guess how she can put back together a life that Putin has smashed into a thousand pieces. I welcome her and her very important perspective to the podcast, I do commend her book The Soviet Diet Cookbook to you as a way to understand what is happening right now, and I thank you, listeners, for being here.
Highlights of This Episode
- Were Russians surprised by the invasion?
- Anna’s story: 1 interview and 3 laws that forced her decision
- Resurrecting Stalin’s reputation
- Are average citizens of the former USSR enemies or friends? And the many complicated connections between Ukrainians and Russians
- What is Putin telling Russians and do they believe him?
- True or false? “Russia regressed 30 years in 2 weeks”
- Can/Will Russian citizens rise up and stop the war?
- What’s coming next for Russian citizens?
- What can/should members of free nations do in response to this?
Also listen on:
How To Contact Anna Kharzeeva Or Buy Her Book
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Recipe Shared by Dora Hurley
A very simple Soviet-era Potato Soup and Poppy Seed Bread Pudding from Dora Hurley's Hugarian Grandmother
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