I Love Russia

Elena Kostiuchenko


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Vintage Publishing
19 October 2023
ISBN: 9781847927699
384 pages

From the publisher

'Would you like to know where Putin comes from? What the Russians are like today? And why? Read this book' SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH

'Brilliant and immersive ... reportage at its brave and luminous best' OBSERVER

To be a journalist is to tell the truth. To be patriotic is to be critical, honest and fearless.

I Love Russia takes us to places that non-Russians have never seen and brings us voices we have never heard. It is Elena Kostyuchenko's courageous attempt to document Russia as experienced by those whom it systematically and brutally erases: village girls recruited into sex work, queer people in the outer provinces, patients and doc tors at a Ukrainian maternity ward, and reporters like herself.

At once uncompromising and deeply humane, it stitches reportage and personal essays into a kaleidoscopic, often other-worldly journey. Here is Russia as it is, not as we imagine it.

I Love Russia may be the last work from her homeland Kostyuchenko will publish for a long time - perhaps ever. She writes driven by the conviction that the greatest form of love and patriotism is criticism. And because the threat of Putin's Russia extends beyond herself, beyond Crimea, and beyond Ukraine.

This is a singular portrait of a nation, and of a woman who refuses to be silenced.

'Elena's bravery and reportage are astonishing' CHRISTINA LAMB

'Kostyuchenko is an important guide to the twenty-first century' TIMOTHY SNYDER