Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine inadvertently inaugurated a new era in international relations; but not quite the one he expected. The Russian president has achieved a great deal without meaning to while failing to achieve the one goal he had set himself for a place in history worthy of Catherine the Great. The most … Continue reading Kazakhstan and Turkey Find Common Cause
It did not take long for the hardliners in Russia - in the military-industrial newspaper - to call for a purge of higher education and the media under the slogan "The Denazification of Ukraine Makes No Sense Without the De-liberalisation of Russia." The demand appears beneath a caricature entitled "Words Can Kill." The social sciences … Continue reading The Call For Purges in Russia
In order to evade accusations of inflating prices for consumer goods, groceries in particular, Russian manufacturers are following a practice not unknown in the West with respect to chocolate, for example, or those half empty packets of cornflakes for sale or bottles of vitamins that are two-thirds empty. Komsomol'skaya pravda, said to be Putin's favourite … Continue reading Signs of Suppressed Inflation in Russia
Perhaps the world's greatest living pianist, the Russian, Grigorii Sokolov, has rarely given an interview. He rarely talks of anything other than music or instruments. He has never sought a platform for his opinions. And his stage, since the fall of the Soviet Union unveiled his prodigious talents to the rest of the world, has … Continue reading Russia’s Moral Conscience in Music
How long does it take for the penny to drop for Vladimir Putin finally to accept that he is not going to win? At every step the West takes ever more drastic measures across every front - short of military intervention - to stop and reverse Russian aggression in Ukraine. The Paul Volcker style head … Continue reading Kremlin Chaos: Staging a Retreat?
Today a senior military figure let the cat out of the bag. It is no accident, as Pravda used to say in the old days, that Moldova is now formally proceeding with membership of the EU. The Commander ad interim of the Central Military district, Major-General Rustam Minnekaev (formerly Deputy Commander), announced that the Russian … Continue reading Target Moldova: Transnistria
Yesterday the Deputy Director of the North American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Koshelev, announced that any vehicle carrying armaments across the (Polish) frontier into Ukraine would be considered a legitimate military target. Clearly there has been some difference of opinion on this matter hitherto between the Ministry and the Ministry of Defence, … Continue reading Russia Threatens Military Transports to Ukraine
After a meeting with Defence Minister Shoigu just after 10.00am Moscow time Putin announced that he was calling off the "inexpedient" storming of the massive steel plant in Mariupol. The reason given was that the expected loss of life among Russian troops did not make it worth the effort. But that they would instead blockade … Continue reading Putin Calls Off Siege of Azovtstal in Mariupol