I've been meaning to start writing a blog for some time. Recent events in the Caucasus have finally galvanised me into action.
I've been learning and writing about Russia, the Russian Empire, the USSR and the post-Soviet world for years now. As we are all finding at the minute, the place is as fascinating and hard to understand as ever: huge disparities of wealth; enormous hospitality combined with terrifying patriotism; and a jaded view of democracy.
Like all blogs, this one will mix some of my thoughts on Russia with those of others who are more eminent and erudite. I hope it sparks debate and shines a few rays of additional light on this dark area.