Economics was once reputed to be the dismal science. To the Kremlin it must indeed seem so. President Putin's troubles abroad, the payback for militarising foreign policy, are to be compounded by a slowdown in the economy to a degree not experienced for a decade. Gross domestic product in the last quarter grew at an … Continue reading The Implications of a Coming Slump
It is an old English joke that a traveller in Ireland asks someone on the road how to reach his destination and the Irishman responds "I wouldn't start from here." Well, generally speaking, one has no choice. And this is certainly the case with a statesman who has been in power long enough so that … Continue reading Putin’s Predicament
We have already learned a great deal through extraordinary detective work leading to the precise identification of the two Russian military intelligence officers - Grushniki - who attempted and botched the assassination of Skrypal', who betrayed his own service some years ago on behalf of MI6 ("Tretii otravitel' iz Solsberi - GRUshnik Denis Sergeev. Kto … Continue reading Another (G)RU Officer Identified
At a time when the Russian economy has been seriously compressed by NATO sanctions and a shrinking oil price, the presidency less popular than ever and assailed for cutting pensions, Vladimir Putin seems to want to go the way of his French counterpart. Regardless of the absurd addition to costs with no real strategic return, … Continue reading A Russian Air Force Base in Venezuela
The hardline Vzglyad.ru has appeared today with an article by P. Akopov - "Pochemu Brezhneva bol'she osuzhdayut za afganskuyu voinu" - justifying the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. The author, Akopov, resumes the tired lie that the Russians were, after all, invited in, without of course mentioning that Soviet special forces attacked the … Continue reading Back Into Afghanistan or Backing into Afghanistan?
On 3 November I concluded the blog on the GRU's cock-ups with the question: is it goodbye Korobov? Well, it is. Announced tonight in Moscow and confirmed by TASS but with no notification on the Ministry of Defence website, General Igor Korobov has apparently succumbed after a long illness; no doubt hastened by the chastening … Continue reading It is Goodbye General Korobov
The liberal Novaya gazeta, having already aired private revelations about him in its pages on Thursday, has today drawn attention to a video recording the presence of President Putin's favourite restaurateur, owner of Concord Catering, Evgenii Prigozhin, seated to the left of Defence Minister Shoigu in a meeting with the head of the Libyan military. Indicted … Continue reading What are the Russians Cooking in Libya?