Today Vechernyaya Moskva appeared with an article entitled UN General Secretary Manuel "Guterres has said that Donbass becoming a part of Russia has no juridical force." He added that the UN "fully supports the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its recognised borders and in conformity with resoluts of the UN General … Continue reading The Russian Press Begins Reporting the Truth
"The army and society demand mobilisation without mistakes" was yesterday's headline in the hardline paper, Vzglyad. It is extraordinary what a dog's dinner the Russian military have made of conscription. So much so that the popular tabloid Komsomol'skaya pravda has opened a hotline to help sort out the problem of those not nominally qualified to … Continue reading Screw-ups in Partial Mobilisation
I cannot conceive of a more horrendous prospect were I a Russian below the age of 65 than to be called up to fight an unwinnable war led by an incompetent and cruel leadership against a fierce, well trained and better armed opponent determined to liberate Ukraine from oppressive and at times sadistic invaders. Clearly … Continue reading Gambler Putin Intended to Strike Fear into the Enemy. Instead he Has Struck Fear into Russia.
At a time when its army is on the run, Russia's consensus on the war among those on the right is breaking under the strain. An article in Komsomol'skaya pravda today trots out the usual, xenophobic banalities but is nonetheless revealing in other respects. Among the most ridiculous claims is that once the population in … Continue reading The Splintering of Opinion in Russia
Yesterday there appeared a crucial admission from the Russian press in the form of an inflammatory editorial in Nezavisimaya gazeta, entitled "Putin under Pressure", which, in stark contrast to the way the Kremlin portrayed the summit in Samarkand as a great success, shows Russia to be in growing isolation, its back against the wall, facing … Continue reading Insurrection? The Fate of the Country is at Stake
When Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine back in February he caught everyone by surprise but he craftily managed to make it look as though the Chinese were not only privy to his decision but approving of it. Had his two day Blitzkrieg worked, no doubt China would have gladly allowed people to believe what … Continue reading The Ukraine Effect: China Reconsiders Seizing Taiwan
No sooner are the Russians on the run in North-east Ukraine than Azerbaidzhan breaks the cease-fire of 13 September 2021 and relaunches hostilities against neighbouring Armenia, which has in the past been to all intents and purposes a Russian protectorate since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both Nezavisimaya gazeta and Komsomol'skaya pravda are in … Continue reading Now There is Turkey to Worry About
It was going to be a breeze. Despite the mobilisation of troops and equipment along the border with Ukraine over the best part of a year, and in the face of alarm raised by NATO intelligence, most of us in the West who work on Russia could not believe they would be so foolish as … Continue reading Putin’s War: The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?
He finally passed away yesterday. A willing instrument of history. A Cromwell in his time. The man who ended the Cold War as an act of will but destroyed the Soviet Union without meaning to. Gorbachev can certainly be criticised. People died because he gave in to the loaded advice of the military and the … Continue reading Goodbye Mr Gorbachev. And Thanks.
A fortnight ago Nezavisimaya gazeta appeared with a fascinating leader about Putin and the people that shows every sign of last minute, heavy editing. Without venturing into the grim reality that elections have long been fixed in Putin's favour, with independent journalists liquidated along with political opponents and censorship now an uncontrovertibly unpleasant fact of … Continue reading The Undoubted Limits to Putin’s Power