While the Beatles were at the height of their success in the West, back in the USSR they were a forbidden influence. But that did not stop them from being heard.
Presiding over his “John Lennon Temple of Peace and Love” in St Petersburg, Kolya Vasin is Russia’s ultimate Beatles fan.
An affable bear of a man with a wild beard, Mr Vasin sits amid his fantastic collection of Beatles memorabilia – ceramic statues of the “Fab Four”, an All You Need is Love teapot, an Abbey Road street sign – and says: “I fell in love with the Beatles 40 years ago. They became my friends, my spiritual brothers.”