Helen Womack has lived in Russia under three Kremlin leaders. In all that time, what has really changed and what remains essentially the same? Better equipped than most Westerners to answer that question, Helen draws not only on her own experience but on the eyewitness accounts of ordinary Russians, who struggled to survive and make sense of the historic changes in their country from 1985 to 2012.
Helen saw it all: Gorbachev’s perestroika, Yeltsin’s reforms and Putin’s return to order. She was in Russia long enough to grasp the recurring pattern of its politics. Like the weather, the political climate is cyclical. The thaw offers hope but comes with dangers; the freeze brings stability but also a shut-down. Winter is long and miserable but in the cold and dark lives the seed of spring.