Talks, conferences, courses

If you are holding a talk or conference related to Russia or her neighbours please email brief details and an image to  The SRF reserves the right to accept, reject or edit material sent in.

Thursday 26 May:  Secret histories in Edinburgh and Shrivenham – Soviet / Russian Military Studies and the Cold War

A talk led by Dr Steven Main, assisted by Catherine Booth, curator of the Erickson collection at the NLS.

An NLS event in partnership with the Scotland-Russia Forum.

Following extensive backroom work, two Russian military history collections are now open to researchers.  The National Library of Scotland is proud to publicise the archive generously donated by Professor John Erickson, former prominent defence specialist and expert on the Red and Soviet Armies.  At the same time, Cranfield University is launching the Russian Military Studies Archive, formerly held by the Ministry of Defence, and based at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham.  Dr Steven Main, a Russian military historian, will lead this event, revealing some of the hidden gems in these two complementary collections.  Catherine Booth will talk about the Erickson Collection and Dr Main about the Russian Military Studies Archive.

6-7pm, Board Room, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW


Any SRF members wishing to reserve a place should contact  (tel. 0131 560 1486).  The NLS have kindly agreed to keep 20 tickets for our members. 

Others can book on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.

Monday 6 June: The human and ecological impact of burning coal in Russia

7-9pm Mon 6 June at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL. Doors open 6.30pm. Refreshments. All welcome.
Please register via

We know that burning coal causes climate change, but what do we know of the human and ecological impacts? Learn more about the impacts on the indigenous Shor people from Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefense from Russia. Ditch Coal Roadshow: Film plus speakers.

He says: “The consequences of coal mining in Russia are terrible. There are environmental and economic disasters happening in mining regions, especially in Kuzbass where most of the coal reserves are located. Public health is getting worse and worse, indigenous people being forced out of their land, air and water poisoned.”
Vladimir Slivyak is a Russian environmental and human rights activist. He is coming to talk about the impact on the indigenous people of the UK importing 31% of its power station coal from Russia. Most of the coal for export in Russia is mined in the the Keremovo Oblast region where people are forced off their land by mining operations close to their homes, resulting in the loss of their culture and traditional ways.
Malcolm Spaven is the Chair of the Scottish Opencast Communities Alliance. He will discuss the issues caused by coal mining in the UK with a focus on the current problem in Scotland - how we ensure that the mines which have been abandoned are restored?
Anne Harris, is a co-author of the Ditch Coal report, it follows the UK's supply chain for coal. She will describe the conditions surrounding coal mines in Colombia and the USA and look at the power stations here.
We will conclude with exploring what we can do about this issue to ensure a complete and timely end to the coal industry and social justice for coal field communities. More details at,,  "The Cost of Coal" (Ecodefense 2015)

Monday 20 June: Truths and Fictions: Two Centuries of Scottish-Russian Encounters

All day conference and dinner, Dalhousie Building (room 2S17), University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Dundee DD1 5EN.  

Registration: The event is free but places are limited, so please register here: Book on Eventbrite

The symposium is sponsored by the University of Edinburgh,  the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Centre for Global History at the University of Dundee

This one-day symposium, the third in a series organised by the 'Scotland and Russia: Cultural Encounters Since 1900' Project, aims to explore the history of Scottish-Russian cultural exchange and influence.  For the first time, it will also look at the nineteenth-century roots of twentieth-century perceptions across a range of talks on literature, translation, performance and revolutionary politics.  Keynote speakers include Dr Dmitry Fedosov of the Institute of General History, Russian Academy of Sciences and Billy Kay, producer of 'The Scots in Russia' series for BBC Radio Scotland.  Full programme and booking link.