Category Archives: Russia

Russia and Ukraine: how social media is the new espionage, finance, recruiter, propaganda and weaponry of modern warfare

Both sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are using civilian populations as a military resource to fund, hack, spy, spread propaganda and enlist through social networks, a Kensington audience heard. Gregory Asmolov, a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics, … Continue reading

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Russophobia Today, recolonisation, and David Lynch’s Dune: history repeats itself (again) in new Afghanistan spymaster biography

The controversial former British ambassador to Uzbekistan has warned that Russia and the West keep rehearsing the same parts they’ve played for the past 200 years; and that a famous portrait of a legendary British secret agent in Afghanistan isn’t … Continue reading

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Dagestan, Game of Thrones, and a Gorbachev adviser: a Russian afternoon in London

Russia has its own Commonwealth, administered by the Rossotrudnichestvo state agency, with a UK office just off Kensington High Street. Upstairs to the first floor, through a door and a group are registering with a young woman and a laptop. … Continue reading

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The great Central Asian fiction you’ve never heard of: part one

A sunny afternoon, and a surprise in Waterstone’s: the August book of the month is by a Central Asian writer, and from 1957. The crystalline beauty of Chingiz Aitmatov’s Jamilia was the first Central Asian fiction I’d read, back in August, … Continue reading

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Postcard from Central Asia #2: encounter with a not very good spy

One of my favourite places in Bishkek is Smokie’s Bar-B-Q, a 24-hour American ribs and beer joint where many a late evening has been spent in good company. You meet all sorts there: aviation engineers, diplomats, journalists, musicians. I’m talking to … Continue reading

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Russian splendour: luxury hotels of Moscow – from £70 a night

It is a truth universally unacknowledged that Moscow is only slightly more than three hours from London by air, and that its five star hotels offer surprisingly affordable deals at weekends. Red Square, the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Theatre, great shopping, … Continue reading

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Among the Russians: the fourth anniversary of Angliya newspaper

The address is off Piccadilly Circus. We expect deafening music, a corner of an overcrowded bar. It’s the fourth anniversary party of a newspaper for Russians in the UK. I’m coming along with a colleague who knows the advertising manager. … Continue reading

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