Author(s): Jens Muhling
The recent crises in Ukraine have reminded us that Russia s interests run counter to those of many other nations, but what of the Russian and Ukrainian people themselves? What kind of lives are they leading, and what are their feelings toward the political regime that has so inflamed the West? When German journalist Jens Muhling met Juri, a Russian television producer selling stories about his homeland, he was mesmerized by what he heard: the real Russia and Ukraine were more unbelievable than anything he could have invented. The encounter changed Muhling s life, triggering a number of journeys to Ukraine and deep into the Russian heartland on a quest for stories of ordinary and extraordinary people. Away from the bright lights of Moscow, Muhling met and befriended a Dostoevskian cast of characters, including a hermit from Tayga who had only recently discovered the existence of a world beyond the woods, a Ukrainian Cossack who defaced the statue of Lenin in central Kiev, and a priest who insisted on returning to Chernobyl to preach to the stubborn few determined to remain in the exclusion zone. Unveiling a portion of the world whose contradictions, attractions, and absurdities are still largely unknown to people outside its borders, "A Journey into Russia" is a much-needed glimpse into one of today s most significant regions."
Shortlisted for Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015.
Jens Muhling, born in 1976, was the editor of a German newspaper in Moscow between 2003 and 2005 and since then has been working for the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. He has won the Axel-Springer-Prize and the Peter-Boenisch-Prize for reportage.