It was unheard-of for Soviet ambassadors to keep personal diaries during Stalin’s rule, for on return to the USSR those diaries would be examined by the relevant authorities and could prove fatal to the diarist. Ivan Maisky kept very detailed diaries over his period as Soviet Ambassador to Great Britain (1932 to 1943) and years later used them, but very selectively, as the basis for a series of memoirs. Only following their discovery by Gabriel Gorodetsky in the archives of the Russian Foreign Ministry in more recent times have they been made available to the world, first in Russian and,…
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