Posts Tagged ‘russia’

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

St. Petersburg: The Secret Agent I spent six days in St. Petersburg, touring Gustaf Mannerheim’s old haunts, interviewing scholars and immersing myself in the city’s grand architecture and cultural institutions. The highlights included touring the city with retired Russian naval officer and Mannerheim aficionado Alexey Shkvarov, and interviewing the director of the State Hermitage Museum [...]


Russia’s New Nobility lacks ‘noblesse oblige’

Russia's New Nobility lacks 'noblesse oblige'

In 2000 to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Cheka, Nikolai Patrushev, who succeeded Vladimir Putin as director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), made a rather frightful comment: “Our best colleagues, the honor and pride of the FSB, don’t do their work for the money… It is their sense of service. They are, if you like, our new ‘nobility.’”


EPILOGUE

EPILOGUE

To the Finland Station Gustaf Mannerheim had originally planned to return to St. Petersburg via Japan and the United States, or perhaps via India and the Suez Canal, but he was terribly short of money. The only option remaining, he grumbled in a letter to his brother, would be “the unpleasant railway trip across Siberia.” [...]