My friend John Slatter, who has died aged 73, was an academic in the field of Russian studies. As well as research into the peasantry, he produced interesting work on the role of Russian émigrés in Britain during the final half-century of Tsarist rule.
Born in Richmond, south-west London, John was adopted by Henrietta (nee Grundy) and Albert Slatter, a wine taster. He went to Latymer Upper school, Hammersmith, then read Russian and French at Jesus College, Cambridge (1963-66). At Cambridge, we became close friends from the start.