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Barred by Moscow

Putin's Russia has turned insular and paranoid—it won't even give me a visa

By Thomas de Waal   July 2006

I am a Russophile. I have spent much of my adult life in Russia. Half the books on my shelves are in Russian, a good proportion of my friends are Russian. I met my wife, another English Russophile, in Moscow. The great Russian authors have shaped my worldview. So I find myself in the curious position of reflecting on how I came to be denied a visa to visit the country I love.

I have good connections in Russia, including in the foreign ministry. In Russia, when one door closes you can always try another. So to be barred for…

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