The Russians are still weighing up the US reaction to their military intervention in the Eastern Ukraine. They had been expecting more, according to the hardline Vzglyad ru, and got less than investors thought likely: "But the most important thing is that it has shown a split within the American political elite on the question … Continue reading Russian Hopes Rise on Divisions Within the US
The last time the Russians did what they did on Monday, cross frontiers in Eastern Ukraine by force, President Biden was Vice President and Anthony Blinken, now Secretary of State, was deputy national security adviser and the current national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, was about to come into his own in the conspiracy to entrap … Continue reading Measuring Western Resolve
Observing the Russian media this morning as the stock market was again dropping, with the noticeable exception of Gazprom - surely the Germans would never abandon Nordstream II - there was an air of uneasiness, a desperate urge to avoid discussing the events of last night. The party was over. The morning after the night … Continue reading President Putin’s State of Mind: Jekyll and Hyde?
It was visible on screen, in his occasional breathlessness, that Putin felt himself at the end of his tether. After a very long and emotional tirade just finished on television directed against the United States for expanding NATO across Eastern Europe and aiming to take in Ukraine, Putin announced Russia's recognition of the independence of … Continue reading President Putin Takes the Decision to Recognise the Independence of Donetsk and Lugansk
One recent newspaper columnist in Moscow joked that Putin's choice of positioning himself at the very end of a very long table not just when meeting foreign statesmen but also his foreign and defence ministers, though not the president of Byelorus, will become a new subject in Kremlinology. But today at the Security Council, it … Continue reading Who Took the President’s Table?
In a bizarre turn up for the book, after Russia's ambassador to the United States declared on CBS, Sunday, that his country recognised the rebel areas of Eastern Ukraine as Ukrainian territory, though absolutely not Crimea (and he read from a document in making this declaration), today at the Russian Security Council President Putin has … Continue reading Moscow’s Decision-Making in Chaos
The Russian ambassador, Anatolii Antonov, interviewed on CBS has just emphasised that Russia recognises that rebel areas like Donetsk and Lugansk, which members of the Duma want recognised as Russian territory and whose citizens have a right to Russian passports, are in fact Ukrainian. At the same time he emphasised that ownership of Crimea is … Continue reading An Olive Branch from Moscow: Russia Explicitly Accepts Rebel Areas as Part of Ukraine
The current standoff between Russia and NATO recalls the old black and white comedies of the prewar period typified by the film "Another Fine Mess", where two comedians invariably found themselves at odds with a bad tempered character and came out the worst from the inevitable exchange of blows; as a result of which the … Continue reading “This is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”
The Russians have been working their way through all the still classified documentation on the most famous British spies working for Soviet intelligence during the thirties and forties. These men later, in the sixties, became known as the Cambridge Five - there were more like a dozen in all including Oxford recruited by the great … Continue reading King But Not Country: Anthony Blunt of the Cambridge Five
No one seems to know where exactly the implausible rumour originated that war will occur between Russia and Ukraine precisely on 16 February. Bloomberg, a source of financial news, seems to have been the first, followed by the President Biden. In contrast the Russian financial press, such as Vedomosti, always appeared sceptical of doom and … Continue reading Rumours of War: 16 February