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STUDENT IN LENINGRAD, THE PRAGUE SPRING & THE BBC: AN ILLUSTRATED TALK WITH ELISABETH ROBSON

This event is organised by the GB-Russia Society and tickets are only available from the GB-Russia Society website: www.gbrussia.org


This talk draws on Elisabeth’s experiences as a post graduate student in Leningrad (1967-69), in particular around the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact in August 1968 when she was in Leningrad, cut off from communication with the outside world. In 2015 she was part of a team looking at archive holdings from BBC Monitoring, to assess their value for future historians. These were the first rough translations of broadcasts from Czechoslovakia during the invasion, which were the basis of the published reports prepared by BBC Monitoring. They turned out to be extraordinarily fresh and expressive, and this talk explains their significance.

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Dr. Elisabeth Robson worked for may years in the BBC World Service. Her early roles included production and editorship of features in the Russian Service, followed by founding and heading the Ukrainian Service in 1992, the headship of the Central Asia and Caucasus Service and Regional Editor of the Eurasian Region. Her last post in the BBC was Head of the Russian Service. For nearly a decade she was also on the Editorial Committee in charge of “The Slavonic and East European Review” – the highly regarded Research Journal of The School of Slavonic & East European Studies. From 2002 until 2018 Elisabeth was Vice Chair of The Great Britain-Russia Society, and she is married to Dr. Iain Elliot OBE, Director in the 1990s of The Britain-Russia, British East-West Centres. Elisabeth now writes freelance and currently edits the Keston newsletter. Her long career gave her many memorable encounters and experiences, from meeting and subsequently working with Soviet dissidents to high level negotiations with officials from State broadcasting in different parts of the former USSR.