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Discussion: the 'Chronicle of Current Events': Back to the Future

To celebrate the launch of a website that brings together all the scattered translations of the famous dissident bi-monthly, a panel chaired by John Crowfoot will discuss this alternative and uncensored history of the post-Stalin USSR: Alexander Podrabinek, Melek Maksudoglu and Martin Dewhirst examine the past of this key underground publication and its relevance to contemporary concerns in the former Soviet Union.

Alexander Podrabinek a lifelong human rights activist, has in recent years become one of Russia’s best-known political commentators. In 1979 the publication of his Punitive Medicine about the abuse of psychiatry in the USSR, led to imprisonment and internal exile. On his release in 1987 he set up the independent weekly Express Chronicle; today he writes for Yezhednevny zhurnal, and Radio France Internationale.


A specialist on the post-deportation history of the Crimean Tatar nation, Melek Maksudoglu recently attended the World Congress of Crimean Tatars (Ankara) where she talked, among others, to Mustafa Djemilev, veteran leader of the nation, founding member of the Action Group on Human Rights and a constant subject of reports in the Chronicle.

While lecturing at the University of Glasgow from 1964 to 2000 Martin Dewhirst also worked periodically during vacations from 1970 to 1990 in the samizdat section of Radio Liberty in Munich, where the Chronicle of Current Events was prepared for broadcasting and distribution in printed form.

The evening is chaired by John Crowfoot, independent researcher and translator, who lived and worked in Moscow from 1986 to 1999. He is a trustee of the Rights in Russia website and has just finished work on Vladimir Bukovsky’s Judgment in Moscow (due out spring 2016).