About the Book
Life and Work in Post-Soviet Russia revolves around the professional and personal experience of living and working in Moscow of a Singapore diplomat, beginning in the aftermath of the USSR’s collapse and ending in the first decade-and-a-half of this century.
The book seeks to provide readers with glimpses of life in Moscow and Russia in the mid-1990s, as well as in the early years of this century. It deals with not only the sociopolitical and economic challenges of Russia’s post-Soviet leaders, but also those facing the man-in-the-street. That the man-in-the-street had to personally bear the brunt of the momentous changes in post-Soviet Russia’s rush to reforms is made plain in the book, and not so much the trials and tribulations of his leaders.
Life and Work in Post-Soviet Russia also looks to broaden the outlook of Singaporeans, in the first instance, and non-Russians, in general, about Russia, a country which has been portrayed in a negative light by most of the Anglo-Saxon and Western media.
This book also gives readers some insight into Singapore’s relations with Russia, deals with issues from a personal standpoint without any attempt to inject political science theories into its analyses, and concludes with some thoughts on its future role in the world.
About the Author
Chris Cheang is a Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). He has a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours, Second Upper) from University of Singapore, graduating in 1980. Before joining RSIS, he was a Foreign Service Officer, working in various capacities in the European department dealing with Western and Eastern Europe, the Southeast Asia department dealing with Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the Computer and Security Information Department (self-explanatory), and the International Economics department dealing with APEC, and FreeTrade Agreements.He also served in the Singapore Embassy as First Secretary, essentially the number two, in Bonn (November 1983-June 1987); as First Secretary and subsequently Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy in Moscow, also the number two position (August 1994-August 1997; December 1999-March 2004; November 2006-June 2013) and finally as Consul-General in San Francisco (August 2013-August 2017).Chris is relatively fluent in the Russian language, having done a 3-month full-time Russian language course in MGU (Moscow State University, Russia’s best university), from May-August 1994 and having practised the language during his 3 tours in Moscow; he subsequently acquired a Russian language certificate at advanced level from the Russian MFA’s Academy.He has an excellent command of the German language, having done a full-time course in the Goethe-Institut in Mannheim and Munich from April 1982-February 1983 and graduating with an advanced level certificate; since then, he regularly took and passed with flying colours, the advanced level exams at the Goethe-Institut in Moscow, Singapore and San Francisco, the latest being undertaken in November 2016, as required by the Singapore MFA.