Introducing Vostok Cable

By Josh Black, Editor, Vostok Cable

Vostok Cable is a blog about Russia and Eastern Europe – its past, present, and future. Founded by a group of students on the Russian and East European Studies course at Oxford University in 2013, it aspires to provide a unique perspective on the region, bridging the gap between academic and media debates.

Vostok Cable logoSince then, we have gained contributors from universities across the UK, America and Europe. We organise ourselves on Facebook, sharing articles and comments. Usually publishing two articles a week, we’ve had 28,000 hits in just over a year.

Given the huge demands on academic institutions and students, many of whom want to go into journalism or research, to provide commentary on the politics, economics, or culture of faraway places, we decided it was important to apply academic ideas to current events. We set out to do this using the methodologies and reading lists prepared for more formal academic essays, and our own research.

Just as importantly, we enjoy a wealth of resources that aren’t accessible elsewhere, so we set about interviewing professors like Robert Service, and summarising lectures with the permission of speakers. The result has been to create a valuable resource, and we soon found ourselves followed by research bodies like the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Economist Intelligence Unit, along with around 800 other users of Twitter, Facebook, and Wordpress.

We continue to welcome new contributors, so if you’re interested in writing for Vostok Cable, please do get in touch at

Also, find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Josh Black graduated with an MSc in Russian and East European Studies from St Antony’s College, Oxford, in 2013. He edits Vostok Cable and works as a journalist in London.