term "closed cities" sounds mysterious - how can a whole
city be "closed"? In the days of the Cold War, the greatest
advances in scientific research were made in such cities, away from
the prying eyes of the West. Now the closed cities are appearing
on the map - literally and metaphorically - and contact is being
established by such people as scientists and academics.
British-Russian Society has already had a talk on one such city
and looks forward to a broader outline at the next meeting on 26
April 2002. The first talk was entitled "Ekaterinburg and Birmingham:
Two cities - one strategy?" It was given by Dr Elena Denezhkina,
our Chair, who is the Project Manager for the RACE Project (Russia:
Adviser to the City of Ekaterinburg.) This project is funded by
the DFID and is based at the School of Public Policy, University
of Birmingham. The emphasis of the project is on helping the Ekaterinburg
authorities to use the experience of other cities (including Birmingham)
to formulate and implement their own policies. Birmingham and Ekaterinburg
have many features in common - population, industry, social problems
- and Birmingham has overcome many of the problems which Ekaterinburg
faces at present. Ekaterinburg is perhaps better known here as Sverdlovsk,
the city where the family of the last Tsar was assassinated. Located
on the boundary with Siberia, it was a closed city until 1991.
forthcoming talk on 26 April 2002 is entitled 'Introducing Local
Democracy to Closed Military Towns in Russia'. It will be given
by Noel Hibbert, the Managing Director of Democon Consulting Ltd
since 1999, who has been actively involved in the Former Soviet
Union/CIS since 1987. At present Democon Consulting is working with
the EU in introducing local democracy into a small number of the
1,250 Closed Military Towns in Russia. Many of these towns are home
to ICBM missile and biological warfare sites, and their communities
have little experience of the wider Russia or the rest of the world.
Democon is assisting their fledgling new municipal authorities to
develop a democratic culture and ethos amongst these far-flung communities.
details about the talk on 26 April, and about the British-Russian
Society are obtainable from email@example.com or the
British-Russian Society website at http://www.britishrussian.org.uk.
(sponsored by Netmail http://www.netmailweb.co.uk)
Haslett (Secretary of British-Russian Society)
further information contact