John Russell

john-russellEmeritus Professor of Russian and Security Studies University of Bradford

I enrolled on a postgraduate research degree at CREES in October 1975 but, after completing one full year, and much to the dismay of my then supervisor Moshe Lewin, left to work as a stylist-editor in Moscow in order to marry a Soviet citizen, returning when my wife became pregnant. With a young family to care for in London, I worked there as General Secretary of the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR and then as a simultaneous interpreter for NBC TV during the Gorbachev era, while working on a thesis entitled 'The Role of Socialist Competition in the Establishment of Labour Discipline among the Soviet Working Class, 1928-32', finally completing my PhD, under the supervision of Bob Davies, in 1987. CREES was then in the circular Ashley Buildings with its celebrated carrels (in which two postgraduate students, allegedly, were once crushed in flagrante!) and was a fabulous place to study, with up to 45 colleagues researching the USSR and attending the weekly seminars.

After graduating I worked as a Lecturer in Russian language at the University of Surrey, Brighton Polytechnic and finally, from 1989, the University of Bradford. I became Head of Modern Languages there in 1996, Head of Languages and European Studies in 2000, Professor of Russian and Security Studies in 2007 and, finally Head of Peace Studies in 2010. In that year I returned, to my great pleasure, to CREES as an external examiner for Aglaya Snetkov's PhD thesis on Chechnya (my monograph 'Chechnya - Russia's "War on Terror" had been published by Routledge in 2007. I retired in 2012 and am now Emeritus Professor, currently writing a book on Chechnya's young leader - Ramzan Kadyrov.

Best wishes, for your project - regards to all at CREES