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Glasnost at the FCO

We can now read the official reflections of British diplomacy as it battled with the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s. The documents reveal fascinating differences of opinion

By Archie Brown   July 1998

Thirty years ago I sat in the office of the cultural attach? of the British embassy in Moscow and handed him a notebook containing a long hand-written note. Its author was a British graduate student on a year’s exchange in Russia. He had been given a drugged glass of wine by a Soviet “friend” and had woken up naked in bed with a Russian homosexual. Standing a few yards away were two KGB officers and a photographer. On the floor lay icons and dollars. The student was threatened with seven years’ hard labour for homosexual activity (a criminal offence in…

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