(K) Back when there was a USSR, Peel went there for 2 weeks in early 1988 (with Sheila, Johnny Beerling and a producer: in Margrave he says it was Dave Tate of the World Service*), and when he got back made a documentary about it. Here it is. I have had this on my desk for months but I sort of imagined everyone had it but apparently it might not have surfaced much. It's now very much a historical curio for all kinds of obvious reasons, coming not long after the dawn of glasnost and perestroika under Gorbachev (readers under 30, like my students, will need to look all this up in the history books), and just over a year before the wave of collapses of communist governments across the Warsaw Pact. Peel sort of writes about the trip on pp 64-70 of the hardback edition of Margrave, but he says he went in the Yeltsin era, which is clearly wrong. But the anecdotes are amusing.
John and Sheila did do many World service backed trips with Dave Tate between 86-93ish - eastern Europe, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong - but I thought it was Mike Hawkes who went on the Russia trip, just as he had on the Japan trip in late 86.
In the Summer of 1992, Peel visited Russia again, along with the Baltic states.