Red Fortress: The Secret Heart of Russia's History by Catherine Merridale (Allen Lane) has been named as the winner of the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize.
Chair of the judges Dr Rowan Williams announced the winner at a ceremony this evening (30th April) at Pushkin House, the Russian cultural centre in London.
The book is described as a "biography" of the Kremlin, and Willams called it "a profoundly engaging history."
He said the book: "gives the reader a much enhanced understanding of the imaginative as well as the political life of Russia, the myths and (literally) icons of power that have made the country and culture what they are. It’s the kind of understanding we badly need at the moment."
The £5,000 prize, run is association in Waterstones, is now in its second year, and rewards non-fiction writing on Russia, designed to encourage debate about the Russian-speaking world.
The other shortlisted titles were Glorious Misadventures: Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America by Owen Matthews (Bloomsbury); Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: a Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen (Transworld); Musorgsky and His Circle: a Russian Musical Adventure by Stephen Walsh (Faber & Faber); The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov (Head of Zeus) and A Spy in the Archive: A Memoir of Cold War Russia by Shelia Fitzpatrick (IB Tauris).