Notes on our “Era of Insecurity”

Last week my firm hosted a discussion in London on “Geopolitics in the Era of Insecurity”. The discussion was led by Major General Sir Rupert Smith, who commanded 35,000 British troops in the First Gulf War (1990/91), led UNPROFOR to suppress the war in Bosnia (1995/6), served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Commander Europe (1998/2001), and published […]

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Swimming for Roddy

10 years ago Roddy Scott, a freelance journalist, was shot dead by a Russian soldier in Ingushetia. He was travelling with a group of Chechen separatists, which he was filming for a documentary. The group had crossed over into Ingushetia from the Pankisi gorge, a journey on foot through mountainous country of very significant physical […]

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Putin Forever?

Days before his inauguration, Foreign Policy magazine has put together a slide show of Vladimir Putin’s political career in pictures, including images of Russia’s President-Elect feeding a fawn with milk from a baby’s bottle, shaking the flipper of a dolphin, playing piano and posing topless with a hunting rifle. Another pre-inauguration stunt (not quite the […]

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Russia’s middle class + a marvellous painting

Walking around the Tretakayov State Gallery I found Russia’s middle class. There they were sipping coffee among the tourists in the café, and tugging their young children past the 15th century icons. These people – the forward looking element of the Russian electorate –  have been thrust to the centre stage stage of this country’s politics. Whether or […]

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Notes on Moscow

The drive in from Dormodedovo Airport through black and white forest and then, as the traffic bunches at the first of the ring roads around the city, the close proximity of hundreds of filthy cars queuing to get back inside the capital. The snow under its black crust is melting and flooding the road. This […]

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Moscow

Nine years ago I flew to Russia to pick up the body of one of my closest friends. Roddy Scott was a freelance journalist. He was killed on 26th September 2002 by a Russian soldier. He was in Chechnya, travelling with a group of guerillas whom he was filming. The group was ambushed by Russian forces and […]

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