The Moscow Kremlin. Russia’s fortified heart

Although it came out this spring, I realise to my chagrin that I didn’t post anything about this, my latest Osprey book. Here’s the blurb:

An illustrated study of the history of the Moscow Kremlin, a metaphor for Russia, a symbol for its government and an enduring icon of the country.

A fortified complex covering 70 acres at the heart of Moscow, behind walls up to 18m high and watched over by 20 towers, the Kremlin houses everything from Russia’s seat of political power to glittering churches. This is a fortress that has evolved over time, from the original wooden guard tower built in the 11th century to the current stone and brick complex, over the years having been built, burnt, besieged and rebuilt.

Starting with the initial building of a wooden watch tower on the banks of the Moskva river in the 11th century, this book follows the Kremlin’s tumultuous history through rises and falls and various iterations to today, supported by photographs, specially commissioned artwork and maps. In the process, it tells a story of Russia, and also unveils a range of mysteries around the fortress, from the 14th-century underground tunnels built to permit spies to enter and leave it covertly through to today’s invisible defences such as it GPS spoofing field (switch on your phone inside the walls and it may well tell you you’re at Vnukovo airport, 30km away) and drone jammers.

Very nicely illustrated by Donato Spedaliere, this was quite a fun book to write and research, and I’d hope a nice little complement to Catherine Merridale’s brilliant Red Fortress.

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  1. Congratulations, Mark! This looks très cool!You are cranking out the books!I can’t keep up — but I am trying. Melissa Melissa Rossi NOTE: This e-mail from Melissa Rossi, including any attachments, is intended solely for the person(s) or company named and may contain confidential information. Forwarding, disclosure, copying, or use of this information, without her express permission, may be unlawful and is prohibited.

  2. Mark, Looks fun. I had several fine lunches in the early ‘90s in the diner adjacent to the office of the Head of the Administration during Filatov’s tenure. How times change ! Jeff G.

  3. Beautiful tome, Mark !


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