Mikhail Klochko

Mikhail Klochko

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Mikhail Klochko

Soviet Scientist, Cold-War Defector, Canadian Storyteller

Vadim Koukouchkine and Carter Elwood

Canada-Russia Series, No. 3

IN AUGUST 1961, while attending an international congress in Montreal, Dr. Mikhail Klochko defected to Canada. Klochko had two distinct careers: as a scientist and as a writer. Before his defection, he was an esteemed Soviet chemist, the holder of a professorship in Moscow, and the recipient of a Stalin prize.

After 1961, he became a writer of political commentaries, scientific reports, and especially short stories. Following his death in 1985 his manuscripts, many of them unpublished, passed into the hands of the National Archives of Canada (NAC), while other documents relating to his unusual life came into the possession of the CRCR.

Based exclusively on these archival holdings, this volume includes:

    • a lengthy and original essay by Vadim Koukouchkine and Carter Elwood of Carleton University using material from Klochko's unpublished diary that highlights his career as a Soviet chemist, his extraordinary escape to Canada, and his subsequent attempts to make a new life for himself as a storyteller in his new land;
    • seven of Klochko's unpublished short stories, which provide a comic, satiric and revealing picture of daily and academic life in Khrushchev's Russia;

    • a finding aid to his extensive collection of manuscripts, letters and research notes presently found in the NAC;

    • a comprehensive list of works published by Klochko after he left the Soviet Union.

Vadim Koukouchkine


Vadim Koukouchkine is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Carleton University. He specializes in the history of early twentieth-century labour immigration to Canada from the Russian Empire.
He was born in 1969 in Chelyabinsk, Russia, has a BA in history from Chelyabinsk State University (1991) and MA in Canadian history from Perm State University (1994). From 1992 until 1999 he taught Canadian, American and European history as lecturer and later Assistant Professor at Chelyabinsk State University. In 1996-97 he was a Junior Fulbright fellow at the University of North Dakota. He is the author of several articles on the history of Canadian imperialism and nationalism and the history of emigration from Russia to Canada.

Carter Elwood


Carter Elwood is currently Professor Emeritus of Russian History at Carleton University and Honorary President of the Canadian Association of Slavists. He was educated at Dartmought College and Columbia University where he received his PhD in1969. Prior to coming to Carleton in 1968, he taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Alberta. He is a specialist in the field of Russian Social Democracy and the development of the Bolshevik Party. His biography of Inessa Armand: Revolutionary and Feminist won the Heldt Prize awarded annually for the best book in Slavic women's studies and has just been re-issued in a paperback edition by Cambridge University Press.

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