Book Talk – A Misfit in Moscow: How British Diplomacy in Russia Failed: 2014-2019

One of the most tragic stories of recent years has been the failure of diplomacy to avert the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The reasons for this failure involve ample blame for all the parties involved. Britain, both as the closest US ally in Western Europe and the one that has taken the hardest line against Russia before and during the Ukraine War, has a special place in this story. To discuss the record of recent British diplomacy towards Russia and in the world more generally, Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute, was joined by Ian Proud, former British diplomat in Moscow and author of the memoir A Misfit in Moscow (2023).


Ian Proud

Ian Proud was a member of His Britannic Majesty's Diplomatic Service from 1999 to 2023. He served as the Economic Counsellor at the British Embassy in Moscow from July 2014 to February 2019. Prior to Moscow, he organized the 2013 G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, working out of 10 Downing Street. He has also served in Afghanistan and in Thailand. He has recently published his memoir of ten years' diplomatic service in Russia.

Anatol Lieven

Dr. Anatol Lieven directs the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and the southern Caucasus. Lieven is the author of several books, including "Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power?" and "Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry."