glyph 201: russia ... pyotr patrushev ... civil society


"A Fatherless Land", by Pyotr Patrushev

A Visit to Russia, December 2004

"This was my eighth trip to Russia since 1990. On my first trip the KGB arrested me as soon as I walked off the plane because my death sentence for escaping Russia in 1962 still remained on the KGB's computer. On each successive trip I coined a different metaphor that would allow me to understand Russia better. Before my first trip I felt like an elderly Jew returning to Auschwitz. I wanted to touch the doors of the oven to make sure that I was indeed alive and that the past was gone forever."


The full article is at

Pyotr Patrushev was born in Russia, Western Siberia, in 1942. In 1962 he had to escape from Russia faced with government persecution for his anti-war views. As a former college swimmer, he was able to cross a dangerous and closely guarded part of the Black Sea to Turkey. After his escape he was sentenced to death on charges of high treason and put on the KGB wanted list.

In the West, he worked as a journalist and translator in England, the US and Germany. He now lives near Sydney, Australia, with his wife and son. Pyotr Patrushev is a Sydney-based freelance writer and translator.

See also Patrushev's article "The World is Full of Kooks and Some of Them Are Us"
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated November 26, 2015

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