From Soviet Latvia to the BBC Russian Service
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Svetlana came from a dissident Jewish family opposed to Soviet rule in Latvia. Her parents survived World War 2, but during the Stalin era two members of her family were held in the Gulags. The family never resigned themselves to Latvia's occupation by the Soviet Union in 1940. It was almost impossible to legally leave the Soviet Union, however, in 1971 the first opportunities for "Jewish" emigration appeared, and Svetlana, then aged 12 and her family left legally. At the age of 16, she is staying with her Uncle in London when she comes across Bush House, the home of the BBC Russian Service. Svetlana manages to get a job there and begins to get promoted. She meets Georgi Markov who is assassinated by Bulgarian Security Services on Waterloo Bridge in London and later she is introduced to Oleg, the Chief Editor of the Russian Service of Radio Liberty, a CIA-financed station beaming Western propaganda into the Soviet Union. This meeting has a profound effect on her life… The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to keep this podcast on the air. You’ll become part of our community and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.  Just go to If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, We also welcome one-off donations via the same link. Details and extra video content on this link St Petersburg (Leningrad) aircraft hijack episode Support the project! Follow us on Twitter Facebook Instagram Youtube Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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