Information about the author:
Evgeny A. Zatshevsky, DSc in Philology, Professor, Independent Researcher, St. Petersburg, Russia.
The article is based on the analysis of the travel notes by the West German writer W. Koeppen written during his trip to the USSR. He went in search of the Russia he knew from the books of Russian and some Soviet writers, but the reality he faced did not always correspond to the image he had in his mind. Koeppen pays special attention to human rather than political causes of the transformation of a once revolutionary country into a state devoid of a live relation with its citizens.