Alexei Nikitin: Истеми (Y.T)

The latest addition to my website is Alexei Nikitin‘s Истеми (Y.T). In 1984 five students play a war game which involve inventing countries and transposing real historical characters to other eras and places. It is seemingly harmless but the KGB somehow finds out and they are arrested. They are held for two months but are then released but expelled from university. With one exception, Yurka Kurochkin, who becomes a member of parliament and deputy prime minister, they do not fare well in post-independence Ukraine. Then one of them, in 2004, Alex Davidov, receives an email replicating exactly a document they had used and seemingly long since destroyed. When parts of the game creep into a letter about a major financial deal in which Kurochkin is involved, Davidov and Kurochkin investigate what is going on and eventually find that it is very murky, particularly as regards who might have betrayed them to the KGB in 1984 and what is going on with Kurochkin. While, of course, the investigation does not turn out either how we or they expected, the overall picture of 2004 Ukraine is hot a happy one.

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