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Section: New Statesman (The United Kingdom)

    Victory Day in Russia: why use a huge military display to commemorate peace?
    May11

    Victory Day in Russia: why use a huge military display to commemorate peace?

    Cutting through the patriotism in Russia’s Victory Day march. Celebrating the end of the Great Patriotic War. Photo: Jana Bakunina Every country has a national holiday which defines it. For Russia, it is Victory Day, celebrating the end of the Great Patriotic War, as the World War II is referred to by the Russians. When the peace treaty had...

    Mare Nostrum and the high price of guarding “our sea”
    Apr23

    Mare Nostrum and the high price of guarding “our sea”

    It seems that the British government views migrant deaths as a useful deterrant, but criminal activity remains unaffected by the decision to let desperate migrants drown. A shipwrecked migrant and child on arrival in Greece. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty In 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. “As a community of...

    The mystery president: How the Charlie Hebdo shooting saved François Hollande’s reputation
    Apr08

    The mystery president: How the Charlie Hebdo shooting saved François Hollande’s reputation

    François Hollande was elected on a promise to rule from the left, but proved an unpopular figure – until the January attack on Charlie Hebdo offered an unexpected reprieve. Illustration: John Thys/AFP/Getty On a late February night in Brussels, François Hollande was bleary-eyed after two days without sleep, but also jubilant. He’d spent 16...

    Vladimir Putin is fighting for political survival – by provoking unrest in Ukraine
    Mar31

    Vladimir Putin is fighting for political survival – by provoking unrest in Ukraine

    Writing from Sevastapol, the BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson explains how Russia’s premiere is stalling. His Crimean coup is an attempt to distract the west. Among the ruins: a collapsed building in Vuhlehirsk, eastern Ukraine, destroyed in the fighting between Ukrainian and rebel troops in February. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty...

    From popular leader to enemy of the west: it is 15 years since Putin came to power
    Mar27

    From popular leader to enemy of the west: it is 15 years since Putin came to power

    The Russian president has been in power in some capacity for 15 years. Is his political autumn finally looming? An unsettled diplomatic winter lies ahead of spring. Photo: Getty Spring came more quickly in the Caucasus. Those first warm days that year made the late winter cold of Moscow seem even more remote, yet the signs of the destructive...

    Vladimir Putin is not dead
    Mar17

    Vladimir Putin is not dead

    While his statements on Crimea are alarming, rumours of the Russian president’s death have been – oh, you know how it goes. A woman watches the Crimea documentary this week. Photo: DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV/AFP/Getty Good news for those who have spent the last eleven days in the “Putin’s probably not dead” camp: the Russian president has...

    Russia vs the west: the consequences of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
    Mar07

    Russia vs the west: the consequences of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destroyed the peace in Europe for a generation. Illustration by André Carrilho A year since Vladimir Putin shocked Europe by annexing Crimea and fomenting rebellion in Ukraine’s previously quiet Donbas region, his undeclared war on the Russians’ east Slav brothers has become the “new-old normal”...

    The assassination of Boris Nemtsov shows that in Putin’s Russia, anything is permitted
    Mar06

    The assassination of Boris Nemtsov shows that in Putin’s Russia, anything is permitted

    The west can do very little to intervene as Putin hunkers down. Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AFP/Getty Images In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky explores a concept that doesn’t translate easily into English. In Russian, it is vsedozvolennost. Dictionaries usually give “permissiveness” but that isn’t quite right. Literally,...

    Why do Russians still support Vladimir Putin?
    Mar05

    Why do Russians still support Vladimir Putin?

    Talking to Russians young and old, Jana Bakunina found five main reasons why support for the president has not declined in the face of international pressure. Vladimir Putin addressing a rally of supporters at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow in 2012. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images The news of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian...

    Vladimir Putin has torn my family apart
    Feb27

    Vladimir Putin has torn my family apart

    I grew up in a family of Soviet intelligentsia, but the relentless propaganda from Russia’s state-controlled media has convinced my father that I am not a patriot. I am a disappointment. My father’s infatuation with Vladimir Putin is absolute. Photo: Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images During the long Russian winter my mother watches a...

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