Today in an extraordinarily self-obsessed leading article, Vzglyad' ru declares that "Italy has chosen a man for the removal of anti-Russian sanctions." Well, that man, Giuseppe Conti, is a lawyer with no real political experience of government and a very peculiar curriculum vitae - listing one month studying in the library of Girton College, Cambridge, … Continue reading How Self-Centred Can One Get?
Now that President Putin has a new term of office, it could have been expected that this would provide a great opportunity for fundamental change to put right what has gone wrong over the past decade and a half. Yet the old guard remains - Lavrov at the Foreign Ministry and Shoigu at Defence. The … Continue reading Russian Military Capability in Doubt
Moscow does not give up easily. The President had a long bridge built to join Russia to the Crimea and then apparently drives a large lorry from one side to the other. Perhaps Britain's Prime Minister can score a second by finally building the new railway connecting north and south of England and then drive … Continue reading Is it Worth Wedge-Driving into NATO?
In major conflicts practitioners and historians might argue whether, as Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin believed, morale is more critical to success in warfare than materiel. But in minor wars that have to be confined in time and extent the quality of military technology could matter more. The Russians traditionally relied on the weight of numbers … Continue reading Low Tech Undercuts Local War
Anyone watching the international scene, particularly those transfixed by American television, has long been accustomed to reaching for a stiff drink and succumbing to weary resignation at the endless stream of unhinged hysteria, the fog of verbal war. But then we can switch off and look for rational statements emanating from within government to adjust … Continue reading Russian Hysteria and Russian Sang Froid
Presumably the measure of an effective government in domestic policy or international relations is whether it has by dint of effort and inspiration expanded the potential for growth not only economically but also in overall political influence across the globe. By that measure many states in the West have failed in the past. France under … Continue reading Russia Has Diminishing Options
At first it seemed that the Kremlin could get away with finishing off Skripal', who would pay the price for treachery with his life and that of his daughter. The Russian press and officials, such as its inept ambassador to London, sneered and mocked British indignation at not only the blatant infringement of sovereignty but … Continue reading Putin Pays the Price for Vengeance