Ukrainian author, broadcaster and Letchworth resident Dr Vitali Vitaliev is set to give a talk on the background of the war between Russia and Ukraine at an interactive event.

This is a rare opportunity to hear more than just the daily headlines about the Ukraine conflict. This talk will expose some of the history and the tensions that led to the invasion - and the floor will be opened to a question and answer session, which allows those attending to dive more deeply into the crisis and it's far-reaching implications.

Dr Vitaliev spoke with the Comet last month about the shock of Russia's invasion.

At the time, he said: “I was almost paralysed when I first heard, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t speak for quite some time which was scary – but then staying silent became more painful than speaking out or writing."

The event is free to attend and takes place at 7pm on Friday, April 29 in Letchworth Educational Settlement.

There will be a fundraising collection in aid of the International Red Cross in Ukraine made on the night. Vitali Vitaliev is donating his speaker’s fee to this fundraiser.

Dr Vitali Vitaliev was born and raised in Ukraine when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He is a multi-award-winning British author, editor, columnist, broadcaster and filmmaker.

The Comet: Ukrainian Journalist Vitali Vitaliev, who fled the USSR, will give a talk at Letchworth SettlementUkrainian Journalist Vitali Vitaliev, who fled the USSR, will give a talk at Letchworth Settlement (Image: Courtesy of Vitali Vitaliev)

He is presently a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Magdalene and Wolfson Colleges, University of Cambridge. He is also an accomplished travel writer, has written several books based upon his extensive travels and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

This will be the first interactive public event scheduled for the new Settlement Forum. The forum follows a Letchworth tradition of bringing topical issues and debates to the people of the town.

The Settlement Forum is just one of many events and activities that take place at The Settlement.

The 102-year-old charity based in Nevells Road offers a wide variety of courses, workshops and talks aimed at adults to encourage lifelong involvement in learning and creativity.

Places at the talk are limited and the event is expected to be very popular.

The free tickets need to be booked in advance via the events page at

For additional information about this talk, the Settlement Forum and venue, email