On Monday 6 March, the school welcomed Professor Orlando Figes who spoke to our History students.

Professor Figes’ talk examined the links between the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the conquests of the Russian emperors before the Russian Revolution. His thought-provoking discussion began with an introduction into Putin’s admiration of past Russian leaders who successfully took territory and went on to explain the parallels between Putin’s rule and policies, and those of past leaders. This displayed Putin’s attempts to emulate those past successes.

Rafaela (U6 PC) said: “It was a fascinating indication of how Putin is so actively trying to repeat history in the modern day for his benefit and showed us how essential the study of history is as we learn and utilise lessons of the past.”

The students broadened their understanding during a question-and-answer session, where Professor Figes commented on Russia’s use of propaganda and censorship, which has altered the nature of how historians can use sources and the care that they must take when piecing together a narrative.

The History students thoroughly enjoyed this informative talk which helped them to make links between their studies and to extend themselves beyond the school syllabus.