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We like to mock Trump, but Britain’s Russia stance is even worse | Jonathan Freedland 11 Aug 1:00am We like to mock Trump, but Britain’s Russia stance is even worse | Jonathan Freedland
When it comes to evidence of Russian intervention in the 2016 referendum, Theresa May is unaccountably relaxed There are not many laughs to be had from international diplomacy, but US foreign policy in the age of Donald Trump provides a grim kind of comedy all the same. This week the world’s diplomats allowed themselves a chuckle at the risibly inconsistent US approach to Russia, in which the State Department whacks Moscow with sanctions even as the president murmurs sweet nothings into the ear of Vladimir Putin. When it comes to Russia, the US has become the Jekyll and Hyde superpower. Just three weeks ago, Trump
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Why Stan Kroenke’s sole ownership of Arsenal is worrying news for fans | Andrew Mangan 7 Aug 10:35am Why Stan Kroenke’s sole ownership of Arsenal is worrying news for fans | Andrew Mangan
Once football clubs are bought, assets can be stripped or they can fall into disrepair – with nothing the fans can do to stop itFor some years now, Arsenal football club has been in an unusual ownership position. Two billionaires own 97.13% of the shares between them. Stan Kroenke, an American, is the majority shareholder with 67.09%, while Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov has 30.04% to his name. In a kind of throwback to a world we had left behind, the two men were involved in a football ownership version of the cold war. The American refused to allow his Russian counterpart onto the board, thus rendering Usmanov’s stake useless in terms of influence and power. The oil and gas magnate made offers to buy out Kroenke but was rebuffed, and in the end he has
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Dark forces gather as UK politics heads for rock bottom | Gaby Hinsliff 2 Aug 1:45pm Dark forces gather as UK politics heads for rock bottom | Gaby Hinsliff
Total Brexit incompetence on one side, troubling views on antisemitism on the other. What have we done to deserve this?Imagine a game of Russian roulette, except every single chamber of the gun contains a bullet. Or a lucky dip, but without any prizes; just endless, brightly wrapped, empty packages. There is still a choice, in theory, of disappointments. But it’s hard to get excited about the prospect of exercising that choice. This is the miserable place in which many voters find themselves right now. If a general election were called tomorrow, and you wanted to vote for a party that could conceivably win, then outside of Scotland or Northern Ireland the choice would be either the party currently accelerating
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Macron and the west must not play along with Putin’s Syria endgame | Natalie Nougayrède 1 Aug 1:00am Macron and the west must not play along with Putin’s Syria endgame | Natalie Nougayrède
The French president has made a serious mistake in allowing Russia to distribute French aid On 21 July a Russian military Antonov cargo plane landed on an airstrip in Châteauroux, central France. It was loaded with
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The Other Russian Meddling 22 Jul 4:09pm The Other Russian Meddling
Democrats howl about Putin’s offenses, but not in Latin America.
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Alone, Britain is easy prey for Trump. It must hug Europe close | Jonathan Freedland 13 Jul 12:46pm Alone, Britain is easy prey for Trump. It must hug Europe close | Jonathan Freedland
On his UK visit, the president gave Britons a glimpse of life after a hard Brexit: one of humiliation by a ruthless exploiterVladimir Putin must be dreading Monday’s edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia’s big and breezy tabloid. It will doubtless splash on an explosive interview with Donald Trump ahead of his visit to Moscow, in which the US president will slam Putin’s handling of the war in Syria, suggest US-Russian relations are doomed and lavish praise on the Russian leader’s “very talented” rival. Poor Vladimir must be quaking in his boots. Oh wait. No interview like that is coming, and not only because Putin would never allow it. Trump himself wouldn’t dare speak so harshly of his Russian counterpart, just as he only ever has words of comfort and admiration for
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Donald Trump is right. Nato is a costly white elephant | Simon Jenkins 12 Jul 1:03pm Donald Trump is right. Nato is a costly white elephant | Simon Jenkins
Its founding mission to combat a Russian invasion has faded. Europe needs a much leaner fighting forceDonald Trump is a pig, a liar, a woman-hater, a racist, a monster of bombast – and did I mention a disrupter and total bastard as well? Does that feel better? Comment on the current US president seems to require a wallow in the pit of competitive contempt. But it just plays his game. I regard Trump as an aberration, a temporary trauma afflicting US politics. He honours the thesis of the
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Judge and jury on the Wiltshire poisonings | Letters 10 Jul 12:58pm Judge and jury on the Wiltshire poisonings | Letters
Like Simon Jenkins, some readers are sceptical about the British government’s accusations against Russia after the use of novichok in the UK – but others think the circumstantial evidence is enough to implicate Vladmir Putin’s regimeSimon Jenkins asks where the evidence is to support the allegation that the Russian state was responsible for the poisonings in Wiltshire (
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Pride has changed the world for LGBT+ people. Long may it continue | Peter Tatchell 6 Jul 10:11am Pride has changed the world for LGBT+ people. Long may it continue | Peter Tatchell
Since 1972, Pride’s joyful form of protest has become a liberating force. This year we stand with persecuted Russian LGBT+ people London’s celebration of
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Putin will run rings round Trump in Helsinki. Bad news for the rest of us | Natalie Nougayrède 4 Jul 1:00am Putin will run rings round Trump in Helsinki. Bad news for the rest of us | Natalie Nougayrède
Trump’s ‘America first’ rhetoric is a gift to the Russian president, who wants to use it to break up the existing European orderWhen
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The Guardian view on the defence budget: be realistic | Editorial 27 Jun 1:31pm The Guardian view on the defence budget: be realistic | Editorial
The military has suffered from austerity and the world is a dangerous place, but that doesn’t mean the case for higher defence spending needs no interrogationIt is easier to assert that Britain needs a modern military capability than it is to say what that means. The existence of dangers – from terrorism and cyberwarfare to nuclear proliferation and a pattern of Russian provocations – is beyond question. But to identify a threat is not the same as knowing how to handle it and, since the imagination can always conjure a worst-case scenario, the shopping list of desirable hardware can be long and very expensive. But resources are finite; compromise is inevitable. Military chiefs always want bigger budgets, and ministers, keen to show voters that they take no chances with national security, are reluctant to contradict the khaki lobby. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has gone a step further, noisily demanding cash from the prime minister and the chancellor.
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Open Up the Horowitz Secret Appendix 15 Jun 5:21pm Open Up the Horowitz Secret Appendix
The public needs to know the history of the Russian info that had a big effect on Mr. Comey’s decisions.
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World Cup fever, gay rights abuses and war crimes – it’s an ugly mix 13 Jun 1:50pm World Cup fever, gay rights abuses and war crimes – it’s an ugly mix
I’m in Russia – but I’m not here for the football. Fifa has allowed the sport to legitimise Putin’s abnormal regime – and I’m here to protestI’m in Moscow trying to lie low and evade the Russian security service, the FSB. I’m exhausted from the stress. It’s my sixth time in the country; each time, I’ve visited in order to support LGBT+ campaigners who were attempting to hold a Pride parade and festival. On every occasion these were suppressed by the authorities, sometimes violently. I’ve been arrested twice and once been beaten almost unconscious. This time I’m here for the World Cup – but unlike thousands of fans, I won’t be cheering on this festival of football. LGBT+ people and many other Russians suffer state-sanctioned persecution and far-right violence. These abuses need to be challenged. Russia’s 2013 anti-gay law against “homosexual propaganda” has been used to suppress peaceful LGBT+ protests, sack LGBT+ teachers and suppress welfare organisations that support LGBT+ teenagers.
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Gay rights abuses, war crimes and World Cup fever – it’s an ugly mix 13 Jun 4:00am Gay rights abuses, war crimes and World Cup fever – it’s an ugly mix
I’m in Russia – but I’m not here for the football. Fifa has allowed the sport to legitimise Putin’s abnormal regime – and I’m here to protest I’m in Moscow trying to lie low and evade the Russian security service the FSB. I’m exhausted from the stress. It’s my sixth time in the country; each time I’ve visited in order to support LGBT+ campaigners who were attempting to hold a Pride parade and festival. On every occasion, these were suppressed by the authorities, sometimes violently. I’ve been arrested twice and once been beaten almost unconscious. This time I’m here for the World Cup – but unlike thousands of fans I won’t be cheering on this festival of football. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like that of Vladimir Putin. LGBT+ people and many other Russians suffer state-sanctioned persecution and far right violence. These abuses need to be challenged – that is why I am in Moscow.
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The ‘bad boys of Brexit’ have some big questions to answer | Matthew d’Ancona 10 Jun 2:04pm The ‘bad boys of Brexit’ have some big questions to answer | Matthew d’Ancona
The sheer scale of contacts between Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore and Russian officials has been revealed. The implications for our politics could be hugeAs Verbal Kint says in
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Keep calm – the Top Guns of Brexit have got our backs | Marina Hyde 8 Jun 12:36pm Keep calm – the Top Guns of Brexit have got our backs | Marina Hyde
Here’s hoping the EU negotiations can be fixed with a little psychopathic machismo. Because the Tories are awash with itBarely two weeks after Russian phone
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The Guardian view on a journalist’s return: the death was fake, the damage was not | Editorial 31 May 1:38pm The Guardian view on a journalist’s return: the death was fake, the damage was not | Editorial
The Ukrainian authorities say they had to stage the killing of an exiled Russian reporter to protect him. But their decision has serious repercussionsArkady Babchenko
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A Crackdown on Russian Money 25 May 6:39pm A Crackdown on Russian Money
British MPs call for sanctioning Putin’s oligarchs in London.
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Who, us? Russia is gaslighting the world on the Skripal poisonings | Alexey Kovalev 25 May 11:06am Who, us? Russia is gaslighting the world on the Skripal poisonings | Alexey Kovalev
From state television to the Russian embassy in London, indignation, mockery and flat-out denial is the order of the dayRussia’s reaction to Yulia Skripal’s bombshell
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The lessons of Yulia Skripal’s coded message | Angus Roxburgh 24 May 1:17pm The lessons of Yulia Skripal’s coded message | Angus Roxburgh
Russia is the likely perpetrator of the Salisbury poisoning. But ratcheting up the pressure is not the way forward The Russian authorities’ response to Yulia Skripal’s
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The UK’s obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn’t stack up | Mary Dejevsky 14 May 1:20pm The UK’s obsession with the Russian bogeyman doesn’t stack up | Mary Dejevsky
The head of MI5 has joined the security establishment’s anti-Putin onslaught. But his organisation agrees that Moscow is not the greatest threatToday’s
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Regulation of the media is in clear need of fresh thinking | Paul Chadwick 22 Apr 2:00pm Regulation of the media is in clear need of fresh thinking | Paul Chadwick
The absurdity of Ofcom investigating possible state bias in RT’s coverage of the Salisbury attack begs larger questionsIn these times of Russian meddling in democracies’ information environments and an authoritarian government in Russia hostile to media freedom, it would be a satisfying irony if Russia were to contribute indirectly to regulatory reform leading to greater media freedom in the UK. The thought occurred last week when Ofcom, the UK broadcasting regulator, opened seven new investigations into “the due impartiality of RT news and current affairs programmes”. The licence under which RT broadcasts in the UK is held by TV Novosti, an entity controlled by the Russian state.
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The Guardian view on Facebook: time to tame the surveillance economy | Editorial 13 Apr 12:12pm The Guardian view on Facebook: time to tame the surveillance economy | Editorial
Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress told us little new, but his evasions showed that he knows which questions go to the heart of his businessThe second day of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress answered some important questions: that is to say, it showed which questions the Facebook CEO was reluctant to answer honestly. Any inquest into the activities of Cambridge Analytica or the Russian “troll factories” are easily disposed of. Those horses have long bolted, but the stables they once occupied will now be fitted with wonderfully chromed locks. Third parties will no longer be able to make quite such free use of the unfathomable quantities of data that Facebook accumulates. The interesting question, however, is whether Facebook itself plans to make use of this, and here Mr Zuckerberg was less than entirely candid or open. He said the company “limits the amount of data” it collects and uses. Of course it does. There is no earthly use for much of the data it collects and there is probably some that it could collect but does not. The question he dodged is where these limits are set; once it is established where the company now sets them, the question for democratic politicians around the world is where they should be set and what legislation will put – and keep – them there.
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The Zuckerberg Collusion 11 Apr 7:27pm The Zuckerberg Collusion
Was it Facebook’s job to tell voters Russian bots were working for Trump’s election?
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The Guardian view on expelling Russian diplomats: spies and collective strength | Editorial 27 Mar 1:38pm The Guardian view on expelling Russian diplomats: spies and collective strength | Editorial
The decision of allies of the UK to eject suspected intelligence officers is a largely symbolic act, but the message of unity is importantWhatever the
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As novichok unites Europe, Brexit seems more absurd | Natalie Nougayrède 27 Mar 1:32pm As novichok unites Europe, Brexit seems more absurd | Natalie Nougayrède
Though Britain’s EU partners have shown solidarity, they note with sadness the loss of influence that makes the country vulnerableHistorians may one day be able to describe how, in March 2018, a major tipping point was reached in Europe’s fraught relationship with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. They will also surely ponder how a military-grade nerve agent called novichok, first developed in the Soviet Union of the 1970s and 80s, became a deciding factor in a continent finally pushing back against Russian subversion. On Monday and Tuesday, 17 EU member states, joined by Norway, Ukraine, Macedonia and Albania, announced they would expel a total of
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Russian stereotypes hurt ordinary people – and play into Putin’s hands | Viv Groskop 26 Mar 2:04pm Russian stereotypes hurt ordinary people – and play into Putin’s hands | Viv Groskop
The kind of nuance-free Russophobia represented by the response to the Skripal case bolsters the presidentIn Moscow last month I had a long and weird conversation with an intelligent 30-year-old Russian woman about Downton Abbey. How accurate a depiction of real life was it, she asked. What did British people think of it? I was tempted to claim that, yes, everything in Brexit Britain is exactly as depicted in Julian Fellowes’ period soap opera. We all scoff at the
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Martin Rowson on the EU expulsion of Russian diplomats – cartoon 23 Mar 2:44pm Martin Rowson on the EU expulsion of Russian diplomats – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/mar/23/martin-rowson-on-eu-expulsion-russian-diplomats-skripal-cartoon">Continue reading...
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When Putin won in 2012, Russians took to the streets. Why not this time? | Anastasya Manuilova 21 Mar 5:00am When Putin won in 2012, Russians took to the streets. Why not this time? | Anastasya Manuilova
Since then, the Russia’s economy has tanked and so has our global reputation, but this week has been surprisingly free of protestThe Russian presidential election concluded on Sunday with the expected result –
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If you talk about Russian propaganda, remember: we have myths too | Afua Hirsch 21 Mar 2:00am If you talk about Russian propaganda, remember: we have myths too | Afua Hirsch
Britain suffers from cognitive dissonance when it comes to recognising our own great propagandists, like Churchill When Edward Bernays, the
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Boris Johnson’s miasma of evasion is straight out of the Putin playbook | Suzanne Moore 19 Mar 12:26pm Boris Johnson’s miasma of evasion is straight out of the Putin playbook | Suzanne Moore
We’re used to foreign powers manufacturing chaos and disguising mendacity with lies – but our own foreign secretary has also thrived despite his propensity for piffle In the swirl of disinformation that infects global politics, it is good to hold on to the truth, to ground ourselves slightly. This is a story we tell ourselves. There are places where no one bothers to differentiate between truth and lies; other places. Such as Russia, where there is the facade of a democratic election, but what matters is simply control of the narrative. We watch as various Russian diplomats deny any Russian connection to the poisoning of the Sergei Skripal and his daughter. We look at the US, where they have lost count of Donald Trump’s untruths. He lies as he breathes; the effect is numbing. He has told so many lies that the latest ones float by. This incessant lying wears the public down. Some Russians claim the
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Theresa May’s response to Vladimir Putin’s campaign against Russian dissidents living in Britain | Observer editorial 17 Mar 5:00pm Theresa May’s response to Vladimir Putin’s campaign against Russian dissidents living in Britain | Observer editorial
More than a dozen Russians have died in suspicious circumstances in the UK. Expelling diplomats should be just the start Is Vladimir Putin engaged in a long-running, murderous and ongoing campaign to silence Russian defectors, emigres and dissidents living in the UK? That is perhaps the most pressing of many questions facing the government after Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury. Russia’s retaliatory expulsion of 23 diplomats, announced on Saturday, was as unjustified as it was expected. Its vindictive and unwarranted decision to go further and
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We have to see through Putin’s fog of lies, and take action now | Jonathan Freedland 16 Mar 1:19pm We have to see through Putin’s fog of lies, and take action now | Jonathan Freedland
Moscow will not cooperate with an investigation into the Salisbury attack. The president relies on spreading doubtIn the Vladimir Putin showreel, doubtless given repeat airings in the run-up to Sunday’s presidential faux election, there’s usually a place among the shirtless poses and horseback shots for images of the Russian leader on the judo mat. Putin is
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This is how to curb Putin: stop welcoming Russian kleptocrats | Margaret Hodge 16 Mar 11:41am This is how to curb Putin: stop welcoming Russian kleptocrats | Margaret Hodge
The diplomatic reaction to the Salisbury poisoning won’t stop more terrorism. Better to stem the tide of dirty moneyThe monstrous attempted murders in Salisbury, allegedly authorised by the Russian state, were shocking. Expelling diplomats, limiting attendance at the World Cup, and orchestrating international condemnation through the UN and Nato are good symbolic gestures. But they will not stop Russian state-inspired terrorism taking place in the UK.
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The Guardian view on Theresa May and Russia: tackling the troll state | Editorial 14 Mar 2:10pm The Guardian view on Theresa May and Russia: tackling the troll state | Editorial
The prime minister makes a compelling case for Kremlin culpability in the Salisbury incident and is right that such a reckless, hostile act by another state requires a robust responseThere was no ideal response available to Theresa May, having decided that the Russian state
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No love lost between the UK and Russia | Letters 13 Mar 1:49pm No love lost between the UK and Russia | Letters
Readers offer their thoughts on the fallout from the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal in SalisburyPatrick Wintour is undoubtedly correct when he says that “the UK has long been the anti-Russian outrider in Europe” (
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Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor? 12 Mar 7:33pm Why Is Russian Gas in Boston Harbor?
Environmentalists’ war on fossil fuels helps Vladimir Putin.
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Getting to Yes With Turkey 12 Mar 7:32pm Getting to Yes With Turkey
There’s a common interest in countering the Russian-Iranian axis in Syria.
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Nicola Jennings on the Tories and Russian donations – cartoon 11 Mar 2:40pm Nicola Jennings on the Tories and Russian donations – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/mar/11/nicola-jennings-on-the-tories-and-russian-donations-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Salisbury spy attack: moral equivalence and the defence of the realm | Letters 11 Mar 2:03pm Salisbury spy attack: moral equivalence and the defence of the realm | Letters
Readers react to the poisoning of the Russian spy Sergei Skripal, while
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Fake news according to the Russian bear - cartoon 10 Mar 7:05pm Fake news according to the Russian bear - cartoon
Chris Riddell on Vladimir Putin’s lies
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Guardian view on the Russian spy attack: Sergei Skripal and the sowing of discord | Editorial 9 Mar 12:11pm Guardian view on the Russian spy attack: Sergei Skripal and the sowing of discord | Editorial
Theresa May will need a demonstration of European solidarity in standing up to Vladimir PutinWhen Vladimir Putin was asked recently
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Are Russian Bots Controlling Your Thoughts? 5 Mar 6:26pm Are Russian Bots Controlling Your Thoughts?
Only if you uncritically believe political events have secret—and probably nefarious—explanations.
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Mueller Focuses on Molehills 20 Feb 7:30pm Mueller Focuses on Molehills
The mountain is whether the FBI was an unwitting agent of Russian influence.
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The Guardian view on Holocaust responsibility: Poland cannot wholly escape blame | Editorial 19 Feb 1:26pm The Guardian view on Holocaust responsibility: Poland cannot wholly escape blame | Editorial
Germans planned the genocide and carried out most killings. But they had helpers and informants who should not be forgotten“When you find yourself in a hole, don’t call for a bulldozer” is a useful maxim in diplomacy. The prime minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, is not a man to follow it. He seems to believe that any problem can be solved with a sufficiently powerful bulldozer. His Law and Justice party has already passed a law making it a criminal offence to suggest that “the Polish nation” was in any way responsible for the murder of six million Jews. This has infuriated opinion in Israel, and disturbed impartial historians everywhere. Worse was to come. When an Israeli journalist asked him on Saturday whether this meant he could be jailed in Poland for writing the true story of how his mother’s family had had to flee the Gestapo because their Polish neighbours were planning to denounce them, Mr Morawiecki replied: “It is not going to be punishable to say there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators.” This was disgraceful. It blurs the morally vital distinction between those few Jews who collaborated with the Germans because they were confronted with agonising choices between evils, and those many Poles, Ukrainians,
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The Guardian view on Russian trolls: democracy is much too easy to hack | Editorial 18 Feb 12:13pm The Guardian view on Russian trolls: democracy is much too easy to hack | Editorial
Of course the Russians tried to influence the US presidential election. The shocking thing is that they found it so simpleMost of the coverage of the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has concentrated on who did it, and for whose benefit. But there is a sense in which this was not news. Anyone who has paid attention to the story, which has been hard to avoid, already believes that the Russians did what they could to get Donald Trump elected. The detail of what was done has been less examined. The
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Putin’s quest for lost glory | Shaun Walker 17 Feb 7:04pm Putin’s quest for lost glory | Shaun Walker
As our correspondent prepares to leave Russia, he argues that the Russian leader’s rule has been dedicated to restoring pride lost in the collapse of the Soviet UnionWorking on one of my final stories as the
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The Observer view on Donald Trump’s Russian connections | Observer editorial 17 Feb 7:02pm The Observer view on Donald Trump’s Russian connections | Observer editorial
Robert Mueller has not yet proved that the US president colluded with Moscow but he will get another chance There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides
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The Russian Indictments 16 Feb 6:59pm The Russian Indictments
Where were James Clapper and John Brennan when the Kremlin was meddling?
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Russian Meddling This Election 13 Feb 6:41pm Russian Meddling This Election
How about if our spies alert Americans this year in real time?
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13 Feb 4:51pm Spy vs. Spy?
A new warning on Russian meddling and a declassified memo about Obama-era surveillance.
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As Vladimir Putin steals the Russian election, our leaders are shamefully silent | Simon Tisdall 8 Feb 1:00am As Vladimir Putin steals the Russian election, our leaders are shamefully silent | Simon Tisdall
If such an obviously rigged poll were being held in Iran or Zimbabwe, there would be screams of outrage from the westRussia will vote in presidential elections next month that Vladimir Putin is certain to win. Consider that statement for a moment. An election implies a contest. So how can the current president, who has already served three terms and wielded power in the Kremlin continuously since 1999, be assured of victory in advance? The answer is that Russia’s is an election in name only. In truth it is a sham and a smokescreen, designed to confer democratic respectability on to a corrupt oligarchy. For Russians accustomed to unaccountable rule from on high, this is nothing new. More surprising is the supine acquiescence, bordering on complicity, of western democracies.
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Britain already throws money at defence. Ignore this Russian red herring | Simon Jenkins 22 Jan 6:19am Britain already throws money at defence. Ignore this Russian red herring | Simon Jenkins
The fearmongering over cyber-warfare with Russia isn’t about actual threat, it’s about vanity, history and MoD greed The Russians are coming. The terrorists are at the door. Feel afraid, feel very afraid. Give us the money. Every year at budget time, the defence lobby waves shrouds and howls blue murder. With yet another defence review in the offing, the army fears it will lose thousands of soldiers, while the navy and the Royal Air Force fear the (long overdue) merger of the paratroop and marine brigades and the loss of more frigates.
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Railbirds Are All the Same, Even Long-Lost Russian Counts 12 Jan 4:51pm Railbirds Are All the Same, Even Long-Lost Russian Counts
The racetrack may be the most democratic ground in America, even if there are fewer of them now.
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We laugh at Russian propaganda. But Hollywood history is just as fake | Simon Jenkins 11 Jan 1:00am We laugh at Russian propaganda. But Hollywood history is just as fake | Simon Jenkins
From Churchill to Getty, the trust we rely on to interpret the world is being corroded by an entertainment industry that has lost faith in fictionShe staggers on to the screen, blood streaming from her face. Some of her wounds are flesh ones, but others are deep. Nobody cares, because her performance is sensational. Her name is truth, and she has taken a terrible beating. The new thriller
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The Russian Transparency Front 8 Jan 7:49pm The Russian Transparency Front
A House committee is finally getting to see Steele dossier papers.
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McMafia makes chilling TV. But the reality is even worse | Luke Harding 3 Jan 1:00am McMafia makes chilling TV. But the reality is even worse | Luke Harding
The BBC’s caviar knives and hired killers reflect a less glamorous truth: Russian organised crime is all too at home in the UKThere are many gripping moments in
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What TV taught us in 2017: from David Bowie to The Crown 18 Dec 2017, 12:54pm What TV taught us in 2017: from David Bowie to The Crown
This year, we learned there was no such thing as too long, complicated, dark or difficult; that every Doctor is the ultimate until the next one – and that the future is stalking us like prey It was the best of years, it was the … no, wait, it was just the best of years: 2017 for television was like 1867 in Russian literature: alive with creativity, unexpectedness and creative works of incredible length. In the olden days, we would periodically ask why only Americans could make good TV (because they have bigger writing teams), and then the pendulum would swing and we’d ask why only the British could (because we have a tradition of public service broadcasting, and also a better sense of humour), and those conversations have vanished, because everybody is so brilliant at it that the idea of trying to locate the vibe ethnographically has become preposterous. There’s been a reversal over time of the old norm, that films were for grownups because they had more money, and TV was for kids who couldn’t go out. Now, films are for kids trying to escape their parents, and are largely nonsense, and TV is for adults who are too tired to leave their sofas, but apparently not so tired that they can’t watch 50 hours straight of intricate character analysis in a foreign language. Broadly, it’s not so much facts we’ve learned – I don’t have brilliant recall for things I absorb outside office hours; I’m sure you’re the same – as how much we’ve developed as people. I’ve never thought so hard about the effects of plastic on the oceans, or totalitarianism on the self (Blue Planet II,
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The Guardian view on Putin in Syria: victory and desolation | Editorial 12 Dec 2017, 2:50pm The Guardian view on Putin in Syria: victory and desolation | Editorial
The Russian president has been on a victory lap to Syria and the Middle East, intent on showing that he has outplayed the US in the regionVladimir Putin
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The Guardian view on Finland’s centenary: a social democratic triumph | Editorial 5 Dec 2017, 2:15pm The Guardian view on Finland’s centenary: a social democratic triumph | Editorial
From universal suffrage to the universal basic income, Finland is a European country that pioneered egalitarian policies and technological innovation alikeFinland celebrates its 100th anniversary as an independent country on Wednesday. From the chaos of the unfolding Russian revolution this small nation state emerged, already the first in Europe to give equal voting rights to men and women, to allow female candidates to stand and, in 1917, to elect a social democratic prime minister. Famously resilient in the face of historical and geographical odds, memories of the winter war after Soviet forces
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Mueller investigation takes a big step closer to Donald Trump 2 Dec 2017, 7:05pm Mueller investigation takes a big step closer to Donald Trump
Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, is co-operating with the investigation into Russian influence in the White HouseFirst came the lie. Then came the cover-up. It’s a classic Washington two-step. And the news that Michael Flynn, a former White House national security adviser, has
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Fifa’s new broom Gianni Infantino exhibiting signs of limited shelf life 29 Nov 2017, 6:11am Fifa’s new broom Gianni Infantino exhibiting signs of limited shelf life
World game’s president has already wrecked his flagship event and with the World Cup draw due on Friday still has only one of 20 local sponsors in place and has yet to agree terms for the TV rights with Russian broadcastersGood news and bad news once more for Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, who refuses to abandon his delusions of adequacy. The good news is that Gianni has pre-announced that there will be no racist incidents at the Russia World Cup next summer. “This is a very high priority,” he explained, “and we will make sure that no incidents will happen.” The bad news is that there may be no local sponsors at the Russia World Cup next summer. I say “no local sponsors” – in fact, there is currently just one of a possible 20 places in Fifa’s regional sponsorship tier taken up, with that spot filled 16 months ago by Russia’s Alfa Bank. Since then, nothing.
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Here’s what Russians think: Brexit is your creature – don’t blame it on us | Alexey Kovalev 17 Nov 2017, 7:57am Here’s what Russians think: Brexit is your creature – don’t blame it on us | Alexey Kovalev
Russian trolling had little effect on the referendum outcome – it was like pouring a bucket of water into the oceanIt’s become a staple of “
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How Facebook and Google threaten public health – and democracy | Roger McNamee 11 Nov 2017, 4:00am How Facebook and Google threaten public health – and democracy | Roger McNamee
The sad truth is that Facebook and Google have behaved irresponsibly in the pursuit of massive profits. And this has come at a cost to our health In an interview this week with Axios, Facebook’s original president, Sean Parker, admitted that the company intentionally sought to addict users and expressed regret at the damage being inflicted on children. This admission, by one of the architects of Facebook, comes on the heels of last week’s hearings by Congressional committees about Russian interference in the 2016 election, where the general counsels of Facebook, Alphabet (parent of Google and YouTube), and Twitter attempted to deflect responsibility for manipulation of their platforms.
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Beware: this Russian cyber warfare threatens every democracy | Natalie Nougayrède 4 Nov 2017, 2:00am Beware: this Russian cyber warfare threatens every democracy | Natalie Nougayrède
Kremlin-inspired interference is about much more than skewed elections. It’s the world of mind control imagined by George Orwell Anyone in Europe and Britain worried about the state of US democracy should take time to
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Putin’s Russia can’t celebrate its revolutionary past. It has to smother it | Catherine Merridale 3 Nov 2017, 2:00am Putin’s Russia can’t celebrate its revolutionary past. It has to smother it | Catherine Merridale
The Russian Revolution was a fight against the excesses of the rich. No wonder Vladimir Putin wants to ignore the centenaryNovember always brings a welcome holiday for Russians. The day off work is about some great historical event, but most use it to catch up with their families. On 7 November 2017, it will be exactly 100 years since
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How Putin could yet save Britain from Brexit | Mark Galeotti 2 Nov 2017, 10:06am How Putin could yet save Britain from Brexit | Mark Galeotti
Word of Russian ‘black cash’ financing leave campaigns is fast becoming a torrent. As the inquiries pile up, hard evidence could delegitimise the EU referendumThe presidential administration is the most
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We can’t assume Britain is immune from Trump’s toxic politics | Rafael Behr 1 Nov 2017, 2:00am We can’t assume Britain is immune from Trump’s toxic politics | Rafael Behr
Given the president’s attack on liberal democracy, with Kremlin interference his cult of personal power could spread across the AtlanticThe friendliest polling station I have visited was in Grozny, Chechnya. Separatist rebellion had been crushed by the Russian army, and a referendum was being held to confirm the republic’s loyalty to Moscow. Journalists were bussed in to witness democracy reborn amid the ruins of war. Officials were cheerful, as were our military minders. The
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How will Donald Trump respond to the Russia investigation? | Lawrence Douglas 31 Oct 2017, 6:00am How will Donald Trump respond to the Russia investigation? | Lawrence Douglas
We know how Trump behaves when cornered. His only defense is to attack – recklessly, mendaciously and unrelentingly Of the twelve counts enumerated in the indictment, the first stands out: “Conspiracy Against the United States.” Let us just take that in: The president’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, as well as the manager’s close associate, have been charged with serving as “unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine” and its pro-Russian leader, Victor Yanukovych.
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Those who lived through the Russian Revolution understood history – unlike us | Paul Mason 30 Oct 2017, 9:28am Those who lived through the Russian Revolution understood history – unlike us | Paul Mason
As the events of 1917 unfolded, many working-class people would have been able to understand the parallels with the French Revolution. A century later, our ignorance may be our downfall Things were going badly for Lenin this time 100 years ago. We are eight days away from the centenary of the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power, but, as he prepared to strike, Lenin fell victim to one of the great scoops of the 20th century. After a scratchy committee meeting had set the date of the revolution for 2 November (western calendar), two leading Bolsheviks, Zinoviev and Kamenev, who thought the whole idea crazy, leaked the plan to a pro-government newspaper.
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Why the Soviet attempt to stamp out religion failed | Giles Fraser: Loose canon 26 Oct 2017, 11:54am Why the Soviet attempt to stamp out religion failed | Giles Fraser: Loose canon
The British Museum’s Living with Gods exhibition describes some of the myriad ways in which faith expresses itselfThe Russian revolution had started earlier in February. The tsar had already abdicated. And a provisional bourgeois government had begun to establish itself. But it was the occupation of government buildings in Petrograd, on 25 October 1917, by the Red Guards of the Bolsheviks that marks the beginning of the Communist era proper. And it was from this date that an experiment wholly unprecedented in world history began: the systematic, state-sponsored attempt to eliminate religion. “Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy. It is not a side effect, but the central pivot,” wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Lenin compared religion to venereal disease. Within just weeks of the October revolution, the People’s Commissariat for Enlightenment was established to remove all references to religion from school curriculums. In the years that followed, churches and monasteries were destroyed or turned into public toilets. Their land and property was appropriated. Thousands of bishops, monks and clergy were systematically murdered by the security services. Specialist propaganda units were formed, like the League of the Godless. Christian intellectuals were rounded up and send to camps.
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It’s the Russian Revolution’s centenary, but don’t expect Ukrainians to celebrate | Serhii Plokhy 19 Oct 2017, 12:19pm It’s the Russian Revolution’s centenary, but don’t expect Ukrainians to celebrate | Serhii Plokhy
Ukraine’s under-reported conflict continues to rage while Vladimir Putin still looks to expand his federation’s borders
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The Guardian view on Stanislav Petrov: an unsung hero | Editorial 18 Sep 2017, 2:26pm The Guardian view on Stanislav Petrov: an unsung hero | Editorial
At the height of the cold war, one man did his bit to save the world, and no one knewIt takes about half an hour for a nuclear missile to travel between the population centres of Russia and the US, its warheads freighted with the end of the civilised world. At the height of the cold war, when detection systems were less sophisticated than today, there would have been as little as 15 minutes for the other side to react in. On a couple of occasions the world brushed past such a catastrophe – once in 1962 at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, when a captured Russian double agent, Oleg Penkovsky, gave
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Britain doesn’t need a Fox News. The regulators must block the Murdochs’ bid | Ed Miliband 1 Sep 2017, 12:12pm Britain doesn’t need a Fox News. The regulators must block the Murdochs’ bid | Ed Miliband
These owners are neither fit nor proper, and must not be given yet more power over the UK’s media landscapeImagine a media organisation where a slew of senior employees at its biggest selling Sunday newspaper were convicted of criminal acts, including phone-hacking and perverting the course of justice. Then imagine that same media organisation, having claimed a few years later to have cleaned up its act, is revealed to have its most high-profile TV station rife with sexual harassment by its former chief executive and onscreen star, as well as allegations of widespread racial harassment, both now the subject of legal action and US federal investigation. Imagine also that the TV station was a byword for bias and slanted coverage and that as recently as May this year it falsely besmirched the name of a murdered Democratic staff member by claiming he, not the Russian government, had leaked thousands of emails from the Democratic party during the presidential campaign. Imagine that it had then withdrawn the story, but three months on taken no action against those responsible nor apologised to the dead man’s parents, who had publicly explained how the claims their son was a traitor had
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I voted Labour for a softer Brexit. Now, I might get one | Isaac Qureishi 29 Aug 2017, 9:23am I voted Labour for a softer Brexit. Now, I might get one | Isaac Qureishi
The party had struggled to differentiate itself from the Tories on Brexit, so I’m delighted with Keir Starmer’s announcementWalking to the polling station on 23 June this year, I knew there was only one party I could vote for. I was brought up in Bradford, a city famous for its industrial heritage and a history of immigration. As a third-generation half-Pakistani, my life has been undeniably shaped by my ethnic makeup, and having moved to London in 2011 to read Russian and Spanish at University College, I suppose I would be considered quintessentially European. In my mind, a vote for Labour was a vote for a softer Brexit. I am not naive enough to believe that a reversal of the referendum result is attainable, however much I yearn for that. Labour’s manifesto made it clear: retaining the benefits of the
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Russia and the US are jittery about spies. But facts are hard to come by | Robert Service 8 Aug 2017, 5:00am Russia and the US are jittery about spies. But facts are hard to come by | Robert Service
Amid the allegations swirling around Washington sits a private company called the Kaspersky Lab. But beyond that, nothing is clearDoes the west have reason to worry that the Russian authorities have penetrated its communications networks and used the information for malign purposes? Declarations by US intelligence agencies in 2016 suggested that the case is clearcut. Russia stands charged with systematic malpractice, including the
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Donald Trump, look behind you – cartoon 5 Aug 2017, 7:05pm Donald Trump, look behind you – cartoon
Chris Riddell on the US president and the Russian bear that just won’t go away
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There will be no justice for Flight MH17 until we contain Russian financial power | David Patrikarakos 17 Jul 2017, 8:08am There will be no justice for Flight MH17 until we contain Russian financial power | David Patrikarakos
No one has been arrested for the deaths of 298 civilians three years ago, a state of affairs in which London, the money-laundering capital, is complicit
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Learn a Language, but Not a Human One 16 Jul 2017, 4:05pm Learn a Language, but Not a Human One
Fluency in coding is a more useful skill than French, Spanish or Russian.
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Keystone Kops Collusion 12 Jul 2017, 2:17pm Updated Keystone Kops Collusion
Did Don Jr., a Russian pop star and a lawyer steal the 2016 election?
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Theresa May’s biggest mistake? Tying herself to a sinking Donald Trump | Jonathan Freedland 12 Jul 2017, 7:02am Theresa May’s biggest mistake? Tying herself to a sinking Donald Trump | Jonathan Freedland
The rush to lash Britain’s fortunes to the US president was always humiliating. Now, after Donald Trump Jr’s Russian revelations, it looks even worse
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10 Jul 2017, 6:56pm Updated What Did Hillary Know about Russian Interference?
A congressional committee examines the Kremlin’s campaign to influence U.S. energy policy.
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Trump Must Stand Strong Against Putin 6 Jul 2017, 6:57pm Trump Must Stand Strong Against Putin
The president needs to show that the U.S. is prepared to deter Russian aggression.
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The Guardian view on Trump and Putin: mind games and the risk of a misstep | Editorial 6 Jul 2017, 3:02pm The Guardian view on Trump and Putin: mind games and the risk of a misstep | Editorial
The US and Russian presidents are expected to hold their first meeting as leaders on Friday. Vladimir Putin is a master of detail and adept in manoeuvres. Donald Trump had better read his briefing notesDonald Trump is expected to hold
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I thought nothing in Russia could shock me. Then I went to a television broadcast | Angus Roxburgh 30 Jun 2017, 2:00am I thought nothing in Russia could shock me. Then I went to a television broadcast | Angus Roxburgh
I was interrogated for seven hours and saw random people arrested. But the orchestrated hate and xenophobia I witnessed at Channel One was truly chillingIt takes a lot to shock me in Russia, after 45 years of studying it. But this month my blood ran cold. Not because I watched innocent kids being hauled off the street by thuggish riot forces, and not because I was myself arrested and questioned by police for seven hours – though those incidents played a part – but because of what I witnessed in a Russian state television studio. But let’s start at the beginning … On “Russia day”, 12 June,
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Obama stayed quiet on Russian interference. History will judge him for it | Walter Shapiro 28 Jun 2017, 6:00am Obama stayed quiet on Russian interference. History will judge him for it | Walter Shapiro
Obama, confident in Clinton’s electoral prospects, chose stealth instead of openness during the US elections. That was a mistake
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27 Jun 2017, 3:21am Tweeting, Not Leading, the Response to Russian Hacking
The Obama administration didn’t do enough to punish Russia for its election interference. But what is President Trump doing?...
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Labour’s win in Kensington reflects the area’s huge disparities of wealth | Rachel Obordo 12 Jun 2017, 11:56am Labour’s win in Kensington reflects the area’s huge disparities of wealth | Rachel Obordo
The constituency in which I live is home to Russian oligarchs, and some of the poorest people in London. The latter, daring to hope, have delivered this resultThe last result of the election
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10 Jun 2017, 2:30pm Updated The Power of the Russian State vs. a Librarian
Vladimir Putin’s Russia has fallen prey to the old Soviet notion that any deviation from the position of the state is liable to be prosecuted....
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The Guardian view on Macron and Putin: pressing, not pushing away | Editorial 30 May 2017, 3:12pm The Guardian view on Macron and Putin: pressing, not pushing away | Editorial
The French president did not mute his views in addressing his Russian counterpart – but nor did he shut the door to improving the relationshipWhen Peter the Great travelled to France in 1717, Louis XV was only seven years old. On meeting him, the tsar grasped the child king in his arms and lifted him up from the floor to kiss him heartily, shocking onlookers with his disregard of court formalities.
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Impeachment seemed impossible a few days ago. Not anymore | Lawrence Douglas 18 May 2017, 2:35am Impeachment seemed impossible a few days ago. Not anymore | Lawrence Douglas
The announcement that Robert Mueller III, the former FBI director, will oversee the Russian probe strengthens the spreading sense that Donald Trump is finished The “presumption of regularity.” It is a term largely unfamiliar to those outside legal or governmental circles but one that all Americans should now learn. Born of centuries-old common law, the presumption stands for the idea that government officials are presumed to act lawfully and in proper discharge their office – absent evidence to the contrary. Every elected and appointed official enjoys this presumption. It is not easily squandered. It is meant to withstand errors in judgment and lapses in leadership. What it does not indulge is a clear pattern of abuse. Once the presumption collapses, the official is no longer fit for office.
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Loose Lips Sink Presidencies 17 May 2017, 10:54am Updated Loose Lips Sink Presidencies
The Russian intel story shows the price of Trump’s lost credibility.
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9 May 2017, 9:22pm Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey
Despite claims to the contrary, the F.B.I. director was clearly ousted for leading an investigation into Russian ties that could threaten the president....
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Why does the Russian revolution matter? 6 May 2017, 5:59am Why does the Russian revolution matter?
One hundred years ago, Lenin’s Bolshevik uprising overturned centuries of feudalism in Russia. But what does it mean for the world today?Besides anything else, the socialist uprising in Russia in October 1917 is an extraordinary story. The culmination of the transformative months of that year, beginning with February and the abrupt popular overthrow of tsar Nicholas II and his regime, it’s all intrigue and violence and loyalty and treachery and courage. But what of that prevailing sense that these giant events occurred worlds away and eras ago? Since 1989 and the downfall of Stalinism, mainstream culture has consigned the revolution to the tomb and celebrated its interment – thereby concurring with the spurious claim of those sclerotic, despotic regimes draping themselves in its mantle that they represent something other than the revolution’s defeat. Are these giant events now just baleful warnings? Something else? Does the revolution even matter?
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1 May 2017, 7:32pm Meddling in the French Election
The best defense against Russian interference may be to expose it....
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Overhaul Britain’s rotten tax system or we won’t be able to sustain a healthy state | Will Hutton 22 Apr 2017, 7:07pm Overhaul Britain’s rotten tax system or we won’t be able to sustain a healthy state | Will Hutton
Arguing over whether a £70,000 salary makes you rich diverts us from a proper discussion of public financesAcommon feature of all countries in long-term decline has been an inability to overcome the grip of malign sectional interests on their affairs. Eighteenth-century Spain, 19th-century China or the 20th-century Soviet Union were all pulled into self-destructive vortices. For different reasons, none could address fundamental economic and political dysfunctions. The Spanish nobility, the Chinese mandarinate and the Russian communist kleptocracy might have benefited from the way their respective societies were rigged but they were too powerful to be challenged. The question is whether 21st-century Britain can escape from the way its society is rigged to avoid the same fate. A classic example is the British tax system. The country has become incapable of thinking or talking straight about tax. It may be, as Theresa May said in her shortlived campaign to win the Conservative leadership, that “tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society”. Equally, the chancellor, Philip
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Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front | Mary Dejevsky 10 Apr 2017, 4:00am Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front | Mary Dejevsky
He may be the hero of Crimea, but for the Russian leader the US strike on Syria could hardly have come at a worse momentMany reasons were advanced for Donald Trump’s decision to order last week’s strike on a Syrian airfield. In addition to the justifications he gave – the US national interest, the need to demonstrate that the
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Defend Gibraltar? Better condemn it as a dodgy tax haven | Oliver Bullough 8 Apr 2017, 7:05pm Defend Gibraltar? Better condemn it as a dodgy tax haven | Oliver Bullough
It sets its own taxes, makes its own rules and undermines Britain as much as the rest of the EUIn 1999, Vladimir Putin was angling to become president, a complex task considering the amount of money and violence in Russian politics at the time. He needed to talk to all the players and needed to do so somewhere unobtrusive, so he convened a meeting at an oligarch’s Mediterranean villa. This, however, caused a problem: how could he travel to southern Spain without alerting the Spanish, who might monitor the conversations and learn what was going on? Fortunately, there was a solution: Gibraltar. The then-FSB chief flew into the British territory, hopped on a boat and entered Spain illegally, on perhaps as many as five occasions. Russian spooks are not the only thing Gibraltar has smuggled across the border. According to media reports quoting a confidential EU investigation,
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27 Mar 2017, 8:31pm President Putin Under Pressure
As Sunday proved, Putin has failed to crush the spirit and courage of Russian citizens....
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Russia is the house that Vladimir Putin built – and he’ll never abandon it | Dmitri Trenin 27 Mar 2017, 2:00am Russia is the house that Vladimir Putin built – and he’ll never abandon it | Dmitri Trenin
By co-opting the masses against the elite, the president has shaped a country to echo his values and grievances. And now he’s working to secure his legacyWhen Vladimir Putin was asked about his job, two years after becoming master of the Kremlin on New Year’s Eve, 1999, he said something about being a hired manager elected by the Russian people for a term of office. When he is asked about his job now, he calls it “fate”. Yesterday saw thousands joined the biggest since anti-government demonstrations in many years to protest against Putin and his prime minister/protégé Dmitry Medvedev. Even so the Russian people, Putin is above all a symbol of stability after a decade and a half of turmoil that included the misguided and botched reform of the Soviet communist system; its abrupt end and the sudden advent of freedom that often looked like a free-for-all; the painful dissolution of the Soviet Union; market reforms, often dubbed “shock without therapy”; virtually instant crass inequality; the end of ideology and the collapse of morals.
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How to close down the Laundromat | Letters 22 Mar 2017, 2:16pm How to close down the Laundromat | Letters
Because I once worked as an English-speaking money transfer operator in Russian banks, I know perfectly well what Luke Harding, Nick Hopkins and Caelainn Barr are writing about (
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What is James Comey’s game? The media must expose the truth together | Jill Abramson 21 Mar 2017, 2:26pm Updated What is James Comey’s game? The media must expose the truth together | Jill Abramson
Why did Hillary Clinton’s emails supposedly warrant an FBI intervention in the election campaign, yet Donald Trump’s Russian connections didn’t?FBI director James Comey had a very busy July. He
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A thousand miles from Moscow: how Putin forged his Russian heartland | Anne Garrels 21 Mar 2017, 2:30am A thousand miles from Moscow: how Putin forged his Russian heartland | Anne Garrels
He may be reviled in the west but the president was a godsend in the desperate, dying old rustbelt townsAny number of journalists are now scouring the American heartland to find out what they missed in the run-up to the US presidential election. For more than 20 years I’ve done the same in Russia to try to understand the political aftershocks of the Soviet Union’s collapse. I was convinced, as a reporter there on and off from the 1970s, that Moscow was not Russia.
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16 Mar 2017, 3:21am The Russian Revolution: Then and Now
The overthrow of the Orthodox czar and Lenin’s victory don’t fit Putin’s preferred narrative of continuous Russian greatness....
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CIA hacking tools raise huge concerns | Letters 13 Mar 2017, 3:13pm CIA hacking tools raise huge concerns | Letters
The articles by your diplomatic editor on possible Russian cyber-attacks on British political parties during an election (
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This is not what Putin planned as he cosied up to Trump | Oliver Bullough 4 Mar 2017, 7:05pm This is not what Putin planned as he cosied up to Trump | Oliver Bullough
Russia’s president never wanted to dethrone America, but use it to further his kleptocracy. He’ll have to think again Anyone who tells you that they know what’s going on behind the Kremlin’s red battlements is lying. Those who speak don’t know, while those who know don’t speak. Moscow insiders with actual insight into what the Russian president thinks about the mess in America are keeping their counsel, thus leaving the uninformed and the hysterical to fill in the (very large) gaps. This is unfortunate, because it would be really useful to know what Putin thinks right now. I arrived in Washington on Wednesday, a couple of hours before the news broke that Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s attorney general,
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The picturebook world of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions 4 Mar 2017, 7:05pm The picturebook world of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions
Chris Riddell on the US president’s continuing Russian woes
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3 Mar 2017, 3:21am Vladimir Putin Comes Half Clean on Olympic Doping
he Russian president’s continuing denial of government involvement in athlete doping casts disgrace and doubt on the fairness of the Olympic Games.
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So Jeff Sessions met the Russians. Should the UK do the same? | Crispin Blunt 2 Mar 2017, 11:58am So Jeff Sessions met the Russians. Should the UK do the same? | Crispin Blunt
The US attorney general is under fire, and it’s true: the US should tread very carefully. But Britain urgently needs to get closer to its former cold war enemyTheresa May’s triumph at being the first foreign leader to visit Donald Trump, when she addressed the Republican caucus and advised that it is sensible to engage with Russia but to beware, appears to have come a bit late for Jeff Sessions. The details of any meetings he had with the Russian ambassador, and whether the parameters of his confirmation testimony to Congress give him adequate wriggle room, are yet to be determined. But Trump’s latest crisis shows the necessity of the UK engaging with the new administration and the priority that must be placed on aligning western policy on Russia.
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22 Feb 2017, 3:21am Ukraine and the Shadowy Freelancers
The stories of Russian ties were strange enough. Then came a plan to lease Crimea to Moscow.
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Michael Flynn is gone. But his ties with Russia expose a threat to Europe | Owen Jones 14 Feb 2017, 6:27am Michael Flynn is gone. But his ties with Russia expose a threat to Europe | Owen Jones
Trump’s US national security adviser resigned over his relationship with Putin, but the Russian leader remains a hero to those on the hard right across EuropeThere’s blood in the water, and the anti-Trump opposition should be in a hunting mood. Michael Flynn, the US national security adviser, is the
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This image of terror should not be photo of the year – I voted against it | Stuart Franklin 13 Feb 2017, 6:01am This image of terror should not be photo of the year – I voted against it | Stuart Franklin
Its impact is undeniable, but the winner of the World Press Photo of the Year furthers the compact between martyrdom and publicity On 19 December last year, the Turkish photographer Burhan Özbilici went to a press conference in an Ankara art gallery. He had been on his way home from the office and only attended by chance. As it happened, the event turned into a murderous spectacle when the Russian ambassador to Turkey, who was delivering a speech, was assassinated. Özbilici had the composure, bravery and skill to take the photograph that is today named World Press Photo of the Year, the judging of which I chaired. It’s the third time that coverage of an assassination has won this prize, the most famous being the killing of a Vietcong suspect, photographed by
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Will Donald Trump’s boastful bluster drown out the Obama legacy? | Joy-Ann Reid 22 Jan 2017, 10:29am Will Donald Trump’s boastful bluster drown out the Obama legacy? | Joy-Ann Reid
While Obama spoke to the whole country, including those who refused to hear him, Trump’s rhetoric is focused on himself, and those lined up behind himAmerica is about to experience a profound sense of whiplash as power is transferred from a president whose eloquence brought him to the public stage to one whose modes of communication are largely limited to political pep rallies (including the occasional pep rally disguised as a press conference) and “mean tweets”. We can argue until the end of time about how we got here: a Russian kompromat operation; a grandstanding, partisan FBI director; or a failure to plan campaign stops for the Democratic candidate in Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia due to hubris or bad data or both. But what belies argument is the fact that we are witnessing a sea change in the way the president of the United States communicates – from “hope over fear” to “American carnage”.
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Russian foreign policy and the Nato narrative | Letters 19 Jan 2017, 2:22pm Russian foreign policy and the Nato narrative | Letters
I hold no brief for Putin or Trump, and, unlike many on the left, I never had any illusions about the Soviet Union. But the conventional narrative on Nato still needs to be challenged (
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The Guardian view on Putin’s Europe: the new fellow travellers | Editorial 18 Jan 2017, 3:03pm The Guardian view on Putin’s Europe: the new fellow travellers | Editorial
Moscow may relish a role as a disrupter of liberal democracy as much as it would like to see the EU unravel, but that does little to hide the contradictions among pro-Russian political groups in EuropeWith all the speculation surrounding Russia’s influence over European politics, seeking clarity and finding a sense of balance is a challenge. To say that Mr Putin’s regime engineered the rise of populist forces on the continent is an exaggeration if not a fallacy. France’s far-right Front National was created in 1972, years before Mr Putin got anywhere close to power. Austria’s nationalist Freedom party registered its first electoral success in 2000, at a time when Russia’s foreign policy was still geared towards finding a modus vivendi with the EU – not seeking to undermine it. Nor are all of Europe’s populists pro-Putin: Poland’s ruling nationalist PiS party is a staunch critic of the man. But that’s not to say Mr Putin’s regime hasn’t cultivated radical fringe groups in Europe, nor that some haven’t applauded him in return. Russia’s interactions with Europe have in fact become hard to analyse without taking into account the many political threads the Kremlin has built up within the EU, along with the ideological impact this has on the continent’s elections. With key European votes this year, Russia’s sway must be scrutinised, but in a cool-headed way. The double trap is to either deny or overstate Moscow’s hand. It’s not as if the Kremlin today ran a network of “comrade” parties in Europe as it did during the cold war. These days, it’s not communist revolution that’s on Moscow’s agenda, nor are its levers quite the same. If Mr Putin’s Russia finds a degree of sympathy in parts of European politics, it’s on a more complex basis altogether and in a much transformed global environment. In recent years, his swerve towards hardline nationalism and ultraconservative slogans have put him in tune with far-right European groups who share similar views. But it is also clear he has a constituency among parts of Europe’s far left, for reasons that have little to do with cultural affinities but point to the rise of anti-western sentiment.
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Watch out, Europe. Germany is top of Russian hackers’ list | Natalie Nougayrède 13 Jan 2017, 2:19pm Watch out, Europe. Germany is top of Russian hackers’ list | Natalie Nougayrède
The Bundestag was hacked in 2015. Angela Merkel should expect this year’s election to be targeted tooOne year ago in Berlin, Lisa F, a 13-year-old German-Russian girl, disappeared for 30 hours. When she returned to her parents, she claimed she had been kidnapped and raped by “Arab” men.
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Bonfire of the Intelligence Vanities 8 Jan 2017, 10:20pm Bonfire of the Intelligence Vanities
Putin is the winner as Washington melts down over Russian hacking.
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Chaos at the Etihad and all that jazz | Brief letters 6 Jan 2017, 2:07pm Chaos at the Etihad and all that jazz | Brief letters
UN aid target | Jazz and football | Passport applications | Consumer debt | Russian hacking | An audientYou fail to mention (
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What Does Trump Know About Russia? 2 Jan 2017, 6:12pm What Does Trump Know About Russia?
The president-elect has his doubts about Russian hacking. What are his motives?
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It is now May’s task to tell Trump the truth about Putin | Matthew d’Ancona 2 Jan 2017, 1:00am It is now May’s task to tell Trump the truth about Putin | Matthew d’Ancona
The PM has talked tough on Russian aggression. Convincing Washington will be a greater challengeThe American eagle swoops a little closer to the growling Russian bear. Tensions mount between Washington and Moscow.
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The Fable of Edward Snowden 30 Dec 2016, 10:21pm The Fable of Edward Snowden
As he seeks a pardon, the NSA thief has told multiple lies about what he stole and his dealings with Russian intelligence.
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Notable & Quotable: Snowden and Russian Intelligence 30 Dec 2016, 7:09pm Notable & Quotable: Snowden and Russian Intelligence
‘He has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services.’
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29 Dec 2016, 8:41pm President Obama Punishes Russia, at Last
No, Mr. Trump, Americans are not going to forget about Russian hacking.
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The Guardian view on 1917: the joy of 100 | Editorial 29 Dec 2016, 2:16pm The Guardian view on 1917: the joy of 100 | Editorial
Like the year that’s just ending, the year of the Russian Revolution was a moment of irreversible changeA century, a hundred years, a ton: whatever it is called, those two zeroes make it an irresistible measure, big enough to serve as a yardstick of human activity, not so great that the consequences of events beyond a human lifespan are fully comprehended. This year, 2016, feels unmistakably like a watershed, a point of departure to which future historians will return again and again in search of explanation and illumination. Brexit, Trump, these are events all the more shocking for their causes afterwards being so apparently plain to see. But moments in history often move swiftly from the astonishing to the blindingly obvious. The year that starts this Sunday, 2017, is the centenary of another year like 2016, a year that also marked an irreversible shift in the world order. The political world and, with it, the human imagination were reconfigured in ways that were sometimes instantly obvious – the two Russian revolutions in February and October, for example, or the dawn of total war marked by unrestrained U-boat attacks on allied shipping and the first bombing raids on civilian London.
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Ben Jennings on the doping scandal of Russian Olympic athletes – cartoon 28 Dec 2016, 4:52pm Ben Jennings on the doping scandal of Russian Olympic athletes – cartoon
a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2016/dec/28/ben-jennings-russian-doping-scandal-olympic-athletes-cartoon">Continue reading...
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Satire won’t rid us of Trump, but it will make us feel better | Anne Karpf 26 Dec 2016, 5:59am Satire won’t rid us of Trump, but it will make us feel better | Anne Karpf
In times of bigotry and prejudice, we need humour not just for escapism, but also to poke fun at the powerfulThe world’s natural resources may be at risk of depletion, but there’s one that’s still plentiful and has never been more vital: humour. Not the laughter that provides a temporary escape from the nastiness of the present, welcome though that is. No, the kind I’m talking about is humour that skewers the lies, boasts and taunts of those who claim to have “won”. Beleaguered people have long understood the significant political role that humour can play. Earlier this month the New York Times posted a video of comedians living in repressive regimes around the world advising Americans – oh bittersweet reversal! – on how to survive the next four years. In eastern Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall, satire was one of the few channels through which dissent could escape the censor, by using political propaganda to undermine itself. As in the joke about the Russian applying for an exit visa who is summoned to explain why. “Isn’t your salary good enough?” “No, I can’t complain.” “Isn’t your flat big enough?” “No, I can’t complain.” “So why do you want to leave?” “Because I can’t complain.”
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The Russian ambassador’s assassination was no work of art | Emma Brockes 22 Dec 2016, 10:01am The Russian ambassador’s assassination was no work of art | Emma Brockes
The killing of the Kremlin’s envoy to Turkey is the latest example of the infantile, tasteless, predictable aesthetics of atrocityTwo days after the
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22 Dec 2016, 3:21am Updated Investigate Russian Hacking the Right Way
A bipartisan congressional inquiry could avoid charges of partisanship and seek answers in a dispassionate manner.
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Why can’t we elect a Native American like Faith Spotted Eagle as president? | Julian Brave NoiseCat 21 Dec 2016, 9:31am Why can’t we elect a Native American like Faith Spotted Eagle as president? | Julian Brave NoiseCat
The indigenous leader is the first to receive a vote for president in the US electoral college. This historic act of defiance offers hope for our collective futureOn Monday, electoral college delegates convened in capitols across the 50 states and the District of Columbia to cast their votes for the 45th president and vice-president of the United States. Some said that the future of a global superpower, and liberalism itself, hung in the balance. Reeling from reports of Russian hackers and confounded by a president-elect viewed by many as a fascist-in-making, desperate voices from both the left and right called on the electors to vote their conscience.
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19 Dec 2016, 11:36am Russian Meddling and Europe’s Elections
To ensure that Moscow’s tactics fail, European leaders need to expose their use before voters head to the polls.
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15 Dec 2016, 3:21am Updated Donald Trump’s Denial About Russia
Mr. Trump’s rejection of the United States’ investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 election leaves him isolated.
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Saving Europe From Itself---Again 14 Dec 2016, 11:40pm Saving Europe From Itself---Again
A Russian aggressor could drive through NATO’s weak center or bite off its edges piece by piece.
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13 Dec 2016, 10:59am The Russian Doping Scandal Keeps on Growing
A new report uncovers even more cheating by Moscow’s sports authorities.
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This isn’t the start of a new cold war – the first one never ended | Andras Schweitzer 13 Dec 2016, 8:00am This isn’t the start of a new cold war – the first one never ended | Andras Schweitzer
Suspicion and mistrust between the west and Russia are growing. In years to come, we may see the Yeltsin era as merely a détente in hostilitiesIf Russian secret services did meddle with
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How I Learned to Love Putin 12 Dec 2016, 7:52pm How I Learned to Love Putin
The Russian’s methods would make Macbeth blush and Richard III smile.
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Russian Hackers and American Hacks 11 Dec 2016, 6:44pm Russian Hackers and American Hacks
The CIA that misjudged Putin for years is now sure of his motives.
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11 Dec 2016, 5:24pm Updated Russia’s Hand in America’s Election
Why would President-elect Trump object to a thorough, bipartisan probe into Russian meddling?
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The Guardian view on the fall of Aleppo: it will not end the suffering | Editorial 11 Dec 2016, 2:29pm The Guardian view on the fall of Aleppo: it will not end the suffering | Editorial
Almost six years of war have devastated Syria. There is more to come, in spite of the Russian-backed regime’s military advancesThe fall of east Aleppo now appears imminent,
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Russian MPs are not the first to try to write LGBT people out of video games | Keza MacDonald 7 Dec 2016, 5:45am Russian MPs are not the first to try to write LGBT people out of video games | Keza MacDonald
Fifa 17 is the latest target. But increasingly games reflect the world as it is – not as reactionaries would like it to be
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24 Nov 2016, 3:21am Warning Russia on Hacking Isn’t Enough
Because Mr. Trump, an outspoken admirer of Mr. Putin, is unlikely to act, it is up to Mr. Obama to hold the Russian president to account.
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12 Nov 2016, 2:30pm The Danger of Going Soft on Russia
What’s needed is a pragmatic review of American-Russian relations.
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1 Nov 2016, 10:21am Taking Note: Pussy Riot’s Nadya: Trump ‘Should Be Disqualified’
The Russian punk protester talks about the election, Putin and her new music video.
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23 Oct 2016, 2:00am Do you want your shower to help Russian hackers? | John Naughton
The internet of things has created a global network of devices vulnerable to cyber criminals – and no one wants to fix it M y eye was caught by a Kickstarter campaign for a
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19 Oct 2016, 11:17am If the US hacks Russia for revenge, that could lead to cyberwar | Trevor Timm
The US should attempt to de-escalate tensions by negotiating some form of international cyber treaty before this gets out of control What’s the CIA’s brilliant plan for stopping Russian cyber-attacks on the US and their alleged interference with the US election? Apparently, some in the agency want to escalate tensions between the two superpowers even more and possibly do the same thing right back to them. NBC News
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17 Oct 2016, 9:50am Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Israel Knows That Putin Is the Middle East’s New Sheriff
With the United States abdicating its leadership role, Netanyahu has to play along with Russian plans for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
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12 Oct 2016, 6:10am Protests outside the Russian embassy – what is Boris Johnson up to now? | Mary Dejevsky
Facetious or in earnest, the foreign secretary’s call in the Commons shows just how hard it was for him to defend the government’s line of inaction on SyriaYou never quite know what Boris Johnson is up to. Was he mischief-making, articulating a new official policy or demonstrating his inexperience when he asked why Britons were not flocking to the Russian embassy to protest against its actions in Syria? Where, the foreign secretary mused, echoing the campaigning Labour MP Ann Clywd, was the Stop the War Coalition when you needed them? (Both politicians were speaking at the Commons debate on Syria yesterday).
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5 Oct 2016, 3:21am Op-Ed Columnist: Let’s Get Putin’s Attention
The Russian leader’s rogue behavior threatens America and the E.U.
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1 Oct 2016, 11:30pm Is despair and disbelief all we can offer to the savagery being visited on Aleppo? | Samir Puri
As Russia and Bashar al-Assad seek to play out a deadly endgame, other world powers seem incapable of stopping the destruction of Syria’s second city, leaving an indelible and shameful stain on the global conscienceOutrage is the only conceivable reaction to the devastation wrought on Aleppo. A relentless aerial assault by Syrian and Russian forces has targeted hospitals, the water supply and facilities of White Helmet emergency workers, let alone the UN humanitarian convoy that was struck on 19 September. The images, of corpses pulled out from beneath collapsed masonry, to a bloodied underground emergency room floor, are simply appalling. Disbelief follows. How, in this day and age, could such tragedy come to pass? The use of airpower to devastate a city had seemingly been consigned to history. Where on earth, in the 21st century, are the legal mechanisms and the accountability to halt such devastation? The powerlessness of the UN and its associated bodies is palpable. This is especially the case when it is confronted with regimes such as those of Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin that feel no compunction over a scorched-earth response to insurgency and do so with calculation.
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30 Sep 2016, 1:48pm Only Russia and the US can end the war in Syria | Letters
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has sent an appeal to the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States, demanding an end to the armed conflict in Syria. Given the serious war crimes against the civilian population of Aleppo and other cities, we urgently call for a peaceful solution for Syria. The STP demands that Russia stop bombing the eastern parts of Aleppo that are controlled by Islamist rebels, and persuades the allied Syrian regime to withdraw its air force from there as well – immediately. The US must ensure that all radical Islamist groups in the area of Aleppo are disarmed, or that they will at least comply with a ceasefire. In our opinion, this would be the only way to prevent a mass exodus from the parts of the city that are controlled by the regime. There are still about 1.5 million people – including at least 100,000 Christians, Armenians, Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans, Kurds, Alevis, Ismailis, Shias and Yazidis – living there. For them, the radical Islamist groups, who want to turn Aleppo into a purely Sunni-Arab city, are a deadly threat.
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26 Sep 2016, 7:38pm The Sino-Russian Axis
Joint naval exercises show a common strategic purpose: Push the U.S. out.
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21 Sep 2016, 5:00am The Fancy Bears leaks shouldn’t tar all athletes with the same doping brush | James Riach
The cyber hackers are trying to conflate athletes’ therapeutic use drug exemptions with Russian state-sponsored doping. They do not amount to a ‘licence to dope’ We live in an age when many
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20 Sep 2016, 8:04am Op-Ed Contributor: How a Russian Fascist Is Meddling in America’s Election
How the antidemocratic ideas of Ivan Ilyin are guiding the Kremlin’s interference in U.S. presidential politics.
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17 Sep 2016, 7:05pm Information is a potent weapon in the new cold war
Loss of public trust killed the USSR and it can bring down Western elites tooAsked by Bloomberg this month about Russian involvement in the hacking of the US Democratic national committee, Vladimir Putin issued a non-denial denial. Basically, his answer boiled down to this: whoever did it did a good thing. This response only added to the stir created by the initial accusation that Russia was behind the activities of the “Fancy Bears”. The fear of Russia manipulating presidential elections in the world’s mightiest democracy has been spreading across the United States. Getting to the real perpetrators of hacking attacks is notoriously difficult. Yet seen from the Kremlin hackers perform a valuable public service by revealing secrets – not to foreign intelligence services, but to the western public. The political power of these revelations was first demonstrated by WikiLeaks, which broke the confidentiality of US diplomatic cables. The effect was much enhanced by the Snowden files, which exposed,
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