Son of refugees from the former Soviet Union, he works as a journalist and lived in Moscow for seven years.
Geoff Winestock grew up on the North Shore of Sydney but his interest in Russia and the Russian language started with his family who arrived as refugees from the former Soviet Union after the war.
He took an Honours degree in French Literature and then worked as a journalist, but in 1992 when the Cold War ended and it suddenly became possible to return to his parents’ homeland, he moved to newly independent Russia. He lived in Moscow for the next seven years, the period of unstable rule under President Boris Yeltsin. In that time, he helped found Moscow’s first daily English language newspaper, The Moscow Times, which survives to this day. He has a graduate diploma in Economics and his special interest was the transition from communism to Russia’s Wild East version of capitalism, involving the privatization of huge Soviet factories and the hyperinflation and government defaults that destroyed many middle class people’s savings. He covered the rise of the oligarchs who now wield power, meeting many of them personally. For his final two years in Russia, he was the editor-in-chief of The Moscow Times.
He left with his young family in 1999 to work in the Brussels bureau of the Wall Street Journal where he covered the European Union for four years. Since returning to Australia he has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor and columnist.
Russian history has always been part of his identity, from the darkness of Stalin’s Terror to the literature that still holds a unique place in western civilization to the gracious, fascinating alleys of Moscow’s inner ring where he loves to wander.