Image - author and detail from his book cover
Live Stream

John Sullivan: Midnight in Moscow

Buy Tickets

If you are not a member yet, now is the time to join our community and receive the great benefits of membership. We are a group of people seeking truth, insight and wisdom about the issues we face as individuals and as a society. Please join! You can become a monthly sustaining member for just $10 a month.

For weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, John J. Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, was warning that it would happen. When troops finally crossed the border, he was woken in the middle of the night with a prearranged code. The signal was even more bracing than the February cold: it meant that Sullivan needed to collect his bodyguards and get to the embassy as soon as possible. The war had begun, and the world would never be the same.

Sullivan has laid down his story in his new book Midnight in Moscow, in which he leads readers into the offices of the U.S. embassy and the halls of the Kremlin during this climactic period—among the most dangerous since World War II. He shows how the Putin regime repeatedly lied about its intentions to invade Ukraine in the weeks leading up to the attack, while also devoting huge numbers of personnel and vast resources to undermining the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia. And he explains how, when Putin ultimately gave the order to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, he proved that Russia was not just at war with its neighbor: it was also at war, in a very real sense, with the United States, and with everything that it represents. But while Putin decided how this conflict started, its ending will be shaped by us.

Join us for an online-only talk with Ambassador Sullivan as he shares his unique perspective on a pivotal moment in world history, how our relationship with Russia has deteriorated, where it’s headed, and how far we should be prepared to go in standing up to the menace in Moscow.


This program is online only; pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream.

The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

Copies of Midnight in Moscow are available for purchase during checkout (U.S. domestic shipping only).

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Photo by U.S. State Department .

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Wed, Aug 7 / 12:00 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California
United States

Image - John Sullivan

John Sullivan

Former United States Ambassador to Russia; Author, Midnight in Moscow: A Memoir from the Front Lines of Russia’s War Against the West

Image - Gloria Duffy

In Conversation with Dr. Gloria Duffy

Co-President and CEO, Commonwealth Club World Affairs


12–1 p.m program
(all times Pacific Time)


Members receive 30–50 percent discounts (not a member? Join)

$43 with a book