Talk on Russia at Lyme Regis U3A

PUBLISHED: 07:02 27 October 2017

Woodmead Halls at Lyme Regis. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Woodmead Halls at Lyme Regis. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Archant

Sir David Ratford wil talk about his work at the UK's Moscow Embassy - including his meetngs with President Gorbachev

A diplomat who served twice at the UK’s Moscow Embassy during extraordinary times will be sharing his experiences of Russia and its people with the Heritage Coast Lyme Regis U3A on Friday, November 10.

Sir David Ratford’s distinguished career covered British Embassies in Prague, Mogadishu, Moscow, Paris and Copenhagen before he become UK Ambassador to Norway between 1990 and 1994.

Trained as a Russian interpreter during National Service, he studied Russian at Cambridge.

His years in Moscow took in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the expulsion from London of 105 KGB officers and tit-for-tat expulsions from the British Embassy, the death of Brezhnev, the first months of Gorbachev, the shooting down of Korean Airlines flight 007 and the ‘exfiltration’ of the KGB double agent, Oleg Gordievsky.

He will illuminate Russian society through some of the individual Russians he met, varying from Gorbachev to humble Russian émigrés whose life-stories can be heartrending. The suffering of Russia and so many individual Russians, Sir David says, is almost unimaginable for us British.

This talk will begin at 11am, in Woodmead Halls, Lyme Regis.

Beforehand, at 10am, the AGM will be held when people can hear a summary of the year’s activities across the many groups, monthly talks, trips and visits. They can also ask questions, make suggestions, and elect, or change, the committee.

During the coffee break at 10.30am, members can book tickets for the Christmas Quiz on Friday, December 8. Entry is free for U3A members; for non-members, a £2 donation is suggested.

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