In Moscow's Shadows 49: Survivalism in Russia. And cheese.
While still processing a month spent in Russia, I feel that the uniting leitmotif is survivalism, that every sector - from ordinary Russians through the liberal intelligentsia and the bureaucracy, all the way to the Kremlin - are hunkering down, bracing for winter. I explore what this means to each.
Then in the second half I tackle a series of questions sent in by patrons, from whether I felt at risk in Russia (in short: no) to whether you can now get decent parmesan there (in short: yes). If anyone has any other such random questions they'd like me to answer, do send them my way.
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Something of a magazine episode. In the first half I talk about my being banned from Russia (here's the Foreign Ministry announcement), Putin at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lavrov interviewed by the BBC (see more here) and Pertsev's recent article about the elite in Meduza...
In the first part of this slightly rambling episode, I develop on a theme I covered for the Sunday Times (here) on whether Moscow will move beyond annexing the Donbas and Lugansk People's Republics and actually seek to grab more territories. And why on earth might anything think this a good...