For many years I have supported Pax Christi in a very small way, and believed in the vital importance of reconciliation between peoples. So, I was distressed last night to hear Oleg Gordievsky talking in Cheltenham Town Hall about the implacable determination of Russia, in the thrall of Putin and his cronies, to rebuild the Soviet Empire by all means at its disposal.
He spoke in hair-raising terms about the murder of Alexander Litvinenko three years ago in London, as well as his own dramatic escape to Finland in June 1985. Without having the opportunity to take him up on his pessimistic forebodings, I sat opposite him afterwards at a sponsors' dinner, given by the Summerfield Charitable Trust to mark its 20th anniversary. (Here he is with one of the Summerfield Trustees. The hyperlink is to the Trust's anniversary publication, which - as I mentioned a while back - I was pleased to have had a hand in.)