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Nick Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister, will chair a distinguished jury for the 2018 Russian Book Prize run by Pushkin House, the UK’s leading independent Russian cultural centre. 

Now in its sixth year, the £5,000 award rewards the very best non-fiction writing in English that promotes public understanding and intelligent debate about the Russian-speaking world.

The jurors are Nick Clegg, Rosalind Blakesley, Oleg Budnitsky, Dervla Murphy and John Thornhill. Nick Clegg, chairman, said: "I am delighted to be chairing such a distinguished panel of judges whose job it will be to pick the very best of the many excellent books being written about and in Russia today. As someone who has some Russian ancestry myself and has been intimately involved with the ups and downs of the relationship between the UK and Russia for many years, I cannot think of a better time to explore the current body of non fiction literature about that great nation. I am hugely looking forward to immersing myself in the task with the other judges ahead of the announcement of the winner next year."

The 2018 Pushkin House Russian Book Prize is made possible thanks to generous support by by Douglas Smith (author and winner of the inaugural award in 2013) and Stephanie Ellis-Smith and the Polonsky Foundation.

Douglas Smith said: "It’s exciting to see another fantastic panel of judges has been chosen for this year’s Pushkin House Russian Book Prize. Their task will not be easy given an especially strong list of new books on Russia. I can’t wait to see who will be the winner!"

The full jury is:

Nick Clegg (chair)

Deputy Prime Minister in Britain’s Coalition Government 2010-15, leader of the Liberal Democrats 2007-15, and MP for Sheffield Hallam for 12 years until 2017. He was previously a leading MEP and an international trade negotiator in the European Commission, and has Russian ancestry. He is author of Politics: Between the Extremes (Bodley Head) and How to Stop Brexit And Make Britain Great Again (Penguin).



Rosalind Blakesley

Head of the department of the history of art at Cambridge University, and co-director of the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre. She is author of The Russian Canvas: Painting in Imperial Russia, 1757-1881 (Yale University Press), which was winner of the 2017 Pushkin House prize.




Oleg Budnitsky

Professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow and director of The International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences. He is author of Russian Jews between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920 (University of Pennsylvania Press).




Dervla Murphy

An Irish author interested in social issues and non-party politics.  She has travelled solo by bicycle or on foot  through some of the less populated regions of four continents. Her 26 books include Through Siberia by Accident and Silverland: a Winter Journey beyond the Urals.




John Thornhill

Innovation editor of the Financial Times and founder of the FT125 Forum. He was previously deputy editor, news editor, Europe editor, Asia editor, and former Paris and Moscow bureau chief.





Submissions for the Prize closed on 31 December 2017. The shortlist was announced in Moscow at the Higher School of Economics on 20 April 2018 and the winner was announced at a ceremony and dinner in London on 7 June 2018.

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