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Cupola of Russian churches


Armed with youthful optimism, a degree in Russian Area Studies, and a desire to contribute to post-Cold War Russian/American relations, Kenneth Maher thought he’d landed his dream job when he joined a US company in unraveling former Communist Russia. Despite his best intentions, he may have gotten just a bit more than he’d bargained for. 


Wind of Change is a keenly observed, insightful, and wry outsider’s look at a nation and people in transition and the systems that wield the power, but not the appetite, for progress. Illuminating the communication and cultural breakdowns —from the comical and harrowing—alongside a memorable cast of characters, Maher takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the Soviet Union and back again.  


With astute cultural and political insights and a healthy dose of humor, Wind of Change delivers a front-row seat to the post-Soviet breakdown that foreshadowed Russia’s return to authoritarianism. 

Chapter Excerpts 

"... then I saw the large face with yellow eyes bordered by orange and black stripes."

The Snow Picnic 

Tiger, cold winter in taiga, Russia. Snow flakes with wild Amur cat.  Tiger snow run in wi

"See, you will be a real Russian by the time we’re done today…."

 Banya Blues

Russian sauna broom _ sauna accessories, broom for sauna, Russian traditional sauna, steam

"It’s such a beautiful day,” stated our host, “enough of business!  Let’s go shooting!"

Guns and Vodka

Shooting Target

Actual Photos

Troika Ride in Khabarovsk

Failed Attempt to Horseride

Memorial to WWII Soldiers - Khabarovsk

 Square -


Kazan, Tatarstan

Dicussing "Exit Fee" at Khabarovsk airport

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