Oliver Bullough was born in 1977 and grew up on a sheep farm in mid-Wales. He studied modern history at Oxford University and moved to Russia in 1999. He lived in St Petersburg, Bishkek and Moscow over the next seven years, working as a journalist first for local magazines and newspapers, and then for Reuters news agency. He reported from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, but liked nothing more than to work among the peoples and mountains of the North Caucasus. He moved back to Britain in 2006, and has spent the following years travelling for and writing this book.He now lives in east London. He likes to travel, to take photographs, to watch Welsh rugby, to cook and to read.