Category history

Peter Tatchell in Moscow, 2018

Reuters reported from Moscow on Thursday: Russian police briefly detained veteran British campaigner Peter Tatchell in Moscow on Thursday after he attempted to hold a one-man protest near the Kremlin in support of gay rights on the first day of…

Then it will be quiet

There’s a Soviet joke – probably of Russo-Jewish origin like many Soviet jokes – that goes this way, approximately (the original Russian is grammatically imperfect): Let go of Daddy’s foot, kids, and stop swinging! He didn’t hang himself for this,…

An object of interest

Bob Seely, the conservative MP for the Isle of White, made these claims during a hearing on May 1: …Christopher Chandler is a public figure, owing to the Legatum Institute… According to the French security services… Mr Chandler is described…

Anything but war

The demented belligerence of latter-day domestic Putinist propaganda was not at all typical of its Soviet predecessor in the late 1970s and the 1980s. “The Soviet block has always sought peace; NATO has always wanted war,” so went the official story.…

What’s next in Fortress Russia?

Jill Dougherty, one of America’s most experienced foreign-affairs journalists, wrote last month: Russia is now “Fortress Russia,” with Putin as its defender, an image hammered home by state-owned media, a stance supported by some Russian voters smarting over what they…

Tambov and Ghouta

Why would Bashar Assad order the chemical attack in eastern Ghouta? I’ve come across a helpful counterquestion asked by someone in the Russian-speaking parts of the web: And why did Mikhail Tukhachevsky use poison gas against the Tambov insurgents in…

Jack the Giant Killer or King Legume?

And now for a lighter note. While Googling “John Bayley” & “Wuthering Heights” yesterday, I stumbled on this: The greats we hateSpectator writers and others on the classic books they most dislike Christopher Howse, The Spectator‘s religion columnist, confesses: I…

Joe Bean’s misfortune

Johnny Cash sang this at Folsom Prison 50 years ago: Yes, they’re hanging Joe Bean this morningfor a shooting that he never did.He killed twenty men by the time he was ten –he was an unruly kid. It might be…