‘The first who came to Tuva had come in search of Belovode: a mythical Russian utopia that peasants believed existed out in Siberia’

‘It was then that it hit me: I was being interrogated by the FSB. It was only then I began to see how terrified the locals were’

‘When I finally reached Magadan, I hunted for days for a survivor. “I’m sorry, they are all dead, was the refrain. With male life-expectancy in Russia a mere 58, I should not have been surprised, but I was devastated’