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Georgi Arbatov

From his country dacha, the Soviet Union's top America-watcher discusses Putin's Russia, US foreign policy and nuclear proliferation

By Jonathan Power   February 2008

Georgi Arbatov, the éminence grise of the Soviet foreign policy apparatus, was waiting for me at the bus stop an hour out of Moscow. A little bowed at 84, he grabbed me by the arm and leant on his homemade walking stick, cut from a nearby birch, and led me through the wood I had arrived in to a clearing in which stood a small, shabby block of flats, paint peeling in the entrance, a year’s dust and leaves on the staircase. Like his mentor, Yuri Andropov, the former KGB chief and later head of the Soviet Union, Arbatov has…

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