What does it mean to be a man in Putin’s Russia?

If you were to conjure an image of Vladimir Putin in your mind’s eye, who do you see? Most likely, it’s President Putin, a thick-set, waxy figure waddling about in a dark suit and chilly frown, doing precisely what he wants on the world stage, regardless of the ramifications. Or perhaps it’s Sporty Putin, wearing…

Russia is on the ball with a resilient economy

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday and, expressing confidence in the world’s largest economy, signalled two more increases before the end of the year. The Fed has upped rates seven times since the “great recession”, with benchmark borrowing costs now in a 1.75pc-2pc range. The European Central Bank (ECB), meanwhile, overlooked evidence of a eurozone slowdown to “confirm”…

Could George V have saved the Romanovs?

Review by Gareth Russell The Imperial Tea Party by Frances Welch ★★★★☆ The Race to Save the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport ★★★★★ In 1983 Kenneth Rose, on publishing his biography of George V, found himself crossed off the Queen Mother’s luncheon party invite list, a blow she dealt with the vim and vigour usually reserved for people with…

Skripal effect sees England fans stay away as Russia’s nationalist heartland prepares to host first match

Just 2,000 England football fans will attend the nation’s opening World Cup game, in fear of both Vladimir Putin’s regime – and possibly the prospect of another dismal tournament showing. The number of supporters in Russia is far lower than previously thought. The Daily Telegraph can disclose that only 2,000 tickets were sold to England…

Russia orders media blackout on crime news for World Cup

Police have been ordered not to publish any information about crimes during the World Cup as Vladimir Putin attempts to craft an image of Russia as a transgression-free zone.  With fears lingering of a terrorist attack like the bloody underground bombing last year in St Petersburg, near where the England team is based, Moscow has…

World Cup 2018: battle of the broadcasters

The coming month will see a ding-dong footballing battle between the BBC and its terrestrial arch rival ITV. Shared rights mean that the 64 World Cup matches will flip back and forth between the channels until the final on 15 July, which will be broadcast by both. With England being the sole UK representatives and fans…

Petropavlovsk calls in FCA in row over board’s future

Petropavlovsk has called on the Financial Conduct Authority to probe the identity of two investors who are seeking to oust the board of the Russian gold miner at its meeting on June 29. Chairman Ian Ashby has written to the FCA calling for their invention in the heated battle for control of the company. Mr Ashby…

Brexit Bulletin: EU’s Guy Verhofstadt in hot water over Russia tweets

An almighty row has broken out between the European parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt and Leave campaign backer Arron Banks. Mr Verhofstadt, the EU’s bespectacled attack dog, accused Mr Banks of “colluding with the Russians to deliver Brexit” in a speech this week. He also claimed that Mr Banks, along with other prominent eurosceptics such…

Ekaterinburg Arena: The crazy Russia World Cup 2018 stadium where you pay to sit outside to watch the football

When Group A kicks off on Friday in the city of Yekaterinburg, 12,000 Egypt and Uruguay supporters will find themselves watching the match under open skies at either end of the stadium as Russia’s easternmost World Cup venue hosts its first match. The Ekaterinburg Arena normally holds 23,000 fans, but Fifa’s requirement that all host stadiums be able…

Peter Tatchell detained in Russia ahead of World Cup for LGBT protest

British activist Peter Tatchell has been detained outside the Kremlin while staging a protest against persecution of gay people in Russia.  Mr Tatchell, a veteran human rights campaigner, held up a sign accusing Vladimir Putin of failing to act against the torture of LGBT people in Russia’s Chechnya republic. Police officers quickly approached him and…

World Cup of car manufacturing

Thirty-two countries will battle it out for the football World Cup but which one is the winner when it comes to building cars? Forget 1966, penalty shoot-outs and Gazza’s tears, in the world cup of building cars the winners haven’t even made the finals. Like Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” goal against England in 1986, all is not what…

100 warheads enough to cause starvation and ‘nuclear autumn’

Nations with huge nuclear arsenals are wasting their money because just 100 missiles would be enough to destabilise the globe and kill their own citizens, scientists have said. Britain currently possesses approximately 215 warheads of around 15,000 worldwide, the vast majority of which are American or Russian. But researchers have determined that no nation could…

World Cup 2018: The top 11 England songs ranked

World in Motion? Three Lions? The Ant and Dec classic We’re on the ball? As the World Cup 2016 in Russia gets underway, which great and not-so-great tracks make up the top 10 official England songs?  1. ‘Three Lions 98’ — Baddiel and Skinner/The Lightning Seeds (1998)  Originally written for the European championships in 1996, this…

Petropavlovsk boss quit after board minutes were changed

The former boss of gold miner Petropavlovsk quit because company directors — including Chelsea Football Club chairman Bruce Buck — altered the minutes of a board meeting to remove extensive discussion of a refinancing deal and failed to act on its urgency. Pavel Maslovskiy was strongly criticised by the Petropavlovsk board earlier this month for leaving…

Brexit bulletin: ‘Bad boy’ Arron Banks lashes out at Remainer MPs 

Good afternoon. Leave campaign-backer Arron Banks sliced and diced a parliamentary committee this morning, accusing its MPs of being embittered Remain voters with a vested interest in undermining the referendum result. Mr Banks, who appeared before the committee for a grilling on whether his Brexit campaign was funded by Russia, insisted he was “not an…

Robbie Williams accused of handing PR victory to Putin by performing at World Cup opening ceremony

Robbie Williams has been accused of ‘shamefully legitimising’ Vladimir Putin’s ‘thuggish’ regime after the pop star agreed to perform at the World Cup opening ceremony. Williams, 44, a singer in Take That before embarking on a solo career, was unveiled yesterday as the headline act that signals the start of the tournament on Thursday. Williams…

New Petropavlovsk boss appeals for support ahead of crunch vote

Roman Deniskin, the recently appointed chief executive of embattled miner Petropavlovsk, has appealed for workers and shareholders to give him a chance ahead of a crucial vote on the company’s future.  Mr Deniskin, who joined the gold miner on April 16, rebutted questions over his track record, telling The Daily Telegraph: “I’ve spent two decades…

Vladimir Putin says he hopes to host G7 in Moscow

 Russia did not choose to leave the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia should have been at its latest meeting. Trump said on Friday that Russia should have attended a Group of Seven summit in Canada…

Asia’s regional powers eye Singapore summit warily from the sidelines

As Donald Trump, the US president meets Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, for one of the most unconventional and unpredictable summits in recent history, regional powers China, Japan and Russia will be watching warily from the sidelines.  The three nations, keen to guard their own interests on the Korean peninsula, have good reason to be…

Russia deleting records of Gulag victims under secret 2014 order

Activists have accused the Russian government of erasing Gulag victims from memory after it was revealed that agencies were destroying Soviet prisoner records under a secret decree. The director of Moscow’s Gulag museum complained to Mikhail Fedotov, the head of Vladimir Putin’s human rights council, that the interior ministry has been trashing irreplaceable cards containing…

Putin warns against Third World War in TV call-in show

Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of violating the nuclear balance and warned against a “Third World War” during a television call-in show.  Responding to a worried viewer who asked if such a war would occur, Mr Putin called for negotiations in an attempt to return to the strategic parity the United States and…

Russian court jails teenage Putin critics ahead of World Cup

A Moscow court has left a 19-year-old Putin critic in pre-trial detention until September, as the Kremlin uses sweeping security measures to drown out dissent during the World Cup. As her parents stifled tears in the stuffy courtroom, judge Anatoly Kostyukov turned down veterinary student Maria Dubovik’s plea for home arrest despite complaints about her…

Putin denies trying to divide Europe ahead of visit to Austria where he is accused of funding far-Right

President Vladimir Putin on Monday downplayed suggestions Russia was seeking to disrupt the European Union’s cohesion, saying it was in his country’s interests for the bloc to remain «united and prosperous». «We have an interest in an EU that’s united and prosperous, since the EU is our most important commercial and economic partner,» Putin told Austria’s ORF television a…

Donald Trump: ‘I have the absolute right to pardon myself’

Donald Trump has insisted he has an “absolute right» to pardon himself and called the special counsel leading the Russia probe “totally unconstitutional” in an escalating attack on those investigating him.  The US president suggested he would not use the power because he had “done nothing wrong” but the declaration will be seen as a shot…

Oleg Deripaska ally exits EN+ as US sanctions loom

The president of embattled EN+ has stepped down in a bid to ease the brunt of US sanctions on the Siberian power and aluminium group, which joined the London market late last year. EN+ has accepted the board room resignation of Maxim Sokov, an executive director and long-standing associate of majority owner Oleg Deripaska, effective from June…

Kremlin invites North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to Russia

Russia has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. Peskov said Kim may visit Russia as part of an economic forum held in the far eastern city of Vladivostok in September. The Kremlin’s invitation comes days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited North…

Russia should be suspended from Interpol after using international arrest warrant to detain Putin critic, MPs say

MPs will urge the Home Secretary to intervene over Russia’s «abuse» of Interpol to target a prominent British critic of Vladimir Putin. A cross-party group, including Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the influential Commons foreign affairs committee, is writing to Sajid Javid to urge him to demand the suspension of Moscow’s access to the international body’s databases….

Arkady Babchenko ‘still alive’ after staged assassination 

An anti-Kremlin journalist reportedly killed in Kiev on Tuesday is alive, it has emerged.  Arkady Babchenko appeared at a Press conference in Kiev saying that the reported murder was part of sting operation to catch a hit squad.  The murder was ordered by Russian security services, the head of Ukraine’s security service said Wednesday. «According to information…

British Putin critic Bill Browder tweets that he has been arrested in Spain on a Russian warrant

 UK investor and Putin critic Bill Browder has tweeted that he has been arrested in Spain at Russia’s request. Late last year Moscow issued a fresh Interpol ‘red notice’ for the «arrest and extradition» of the prominent campaigner for sanctions against Russian officials involved in human rights abuses.  The apparent arrest comes amid growing concern in Europe about the…

Anti-Putin Russian journalist shot dead in Ukraine capital 

A prominent Russian journalist known for his sharp criticism of Vladimir Putin has been murdered in the Ukrainian capital.  Arkady Babchenko, 41, was found by his wife in a pool of blood at their Kiev apartment on Monday evening night. He had been shot in the back.  He died in the ambulance on the way…

Russia and Israel ‘agree deal’ to hold back Iranian militias so Assad can take border region

Russia and Israel have reportedly reached an unprecedented deal which would allow Bashar al-Assad’s forces to take remaining rebel territory in southern Syria — so long as Iranian fighters do not participate. Moscow appears to have capitulated to Israeli demands to hold back Tehran-backed militias 15 miles from the occupied Golan Heights, according to Israeli and Saudi reports….

Netherlands and Australia call for compensation for MH17 victims as they accuse Russia of downing plane

Australia and the Netherlands have said they hold Russia legally responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 and will seek reparations for relatives of the 298 people killed.  Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop said Russia was “directly involved in the bringing down” of MH17 and would be held accountable…

Rusal boss and seven directors quit as sanctions take their toll 

The chief executive and half the board of Rusal have quit as the aluminium producer battles to escape punishing US sanctions that could cripple its business. The company, which is 48pc owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska, announced the departures of boss Alexandra Bouriko and seven directors. Evgeny Nikitin, head of its aluminium division, will act…

MH17: Missile launcher used to shoot down plane was part of Russian military, say investigators

The missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 was from the Russian military, investigators have said. The Joint Investigation Team has concluded the missile was from the Russian military’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in the Russian city of Kursk. Top investigator Wilbert Paulissen, of the Dutch National Police, told a press…

Belarus calls LGBT relationships ‘fake’ in row with UK embassy over rainbow flag

Belarus has called LGBT relationships “fake” and accused the UK embassy in Minsk of “creating problems” by flying a rainbow flag for International Day Against Homophobia. The embassy Instagram account posted a video of the rainbow flag above the building’s entrance on May 17, explaining that the banner was meant to “direct society’s attention to…

US justice department expands probe into origins of FBI’s Russia investigation after public pressure from Donald Trump 

The US justice department has expanded a probe into whether the FBI acted with political bias when investigating the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia after pressure from the president.  The department said its inspector general had been tasked with “determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation” in how the FBI acted before the…

Corrupt Russian oligarchs have turned from financial criminals into national security threat, MPs warn

Corrupt Russian oligarchs have turned from financial criminals into a direct threat to Britain’s national security, a senior Conservative MP has warned. Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, has called on the Government to clean up the City of London by going after Russians who launder billions of pounds of “dirty money”…

British-based academic and FBI informant ‘approached Trump campaign advisers about Russia ties before election’

A British-based US academic approached Donald Trump campaign figures before the 2016 election to investigate suspected Russia links for the FBI, according to American newspapers.  The New York Times and The Washington Post have both reported that the US informant made the approaches as suspicions rose in American intelligence community.  Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, two…

Sanctions-hit Oleg Deripaska quits boards of EN+ and Rusal

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has quit the boards of EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal in a bid to free the companies from crippling US sanctions. Mr Deripaska had agreed to cede control of EN+ to help the company escape sanctions imposed by Donald Trump’s administration that severely limit its ability to do business. Under a…

Syrian and Russian forces launch large-scale attack on Palestinian refugee camp controlled by Isil

Syrian and Russian forces have launched a large-scale attack on a Palestinian refugee camp under the control of Islamic State, as the regime closed in on the last rebel-held territory in the Syrian capital. Pro-government troops launched a barrage of air strikes and surface-to-surface missiles into Yarmouk camp in southeast Damascus on Wednesday morning, as…

Kaspersky Lab moving data out of Russia to combat Kremlin spy fears

Kaspersky Lab is moving its customers’ data from Russia to Switzerland following allegations that the company’s anti-virus software was used by the Kremlin to steal information from the US government. The $12m (£8.8m) move for the Moscow based company will see its core business transfer to Zurich and out of the rule of Russian law…

Deripaska ‘denies the basis’ of US sanctions against him

The embattled Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has told the High Court that he denies “the alleged basis” of US sanctions against him. Mr Deripaska issued the denial as part of a dispute with rival oligarchs Vladimir Potanin and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. He told Mr Justice Phillips how he understood that US sanctions were “not a…

Russia Today will not lose licence over nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Ofcom rules

Russia Today, the state-funded television station accused of acting as a platform for pro-Kremlin propaganda, will not lose its licence over the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, the broadcasting regulator has ruled. In an apparent U-turn, Ofcom said it would be «inappropriate» to place «decisive weight» on actions committed by foreign governments when considering whether they…

Here are the Russian Facebook adverts used to dismantle the US election

The entire cache of Russian-bought Facebook adverts, which were intended to distort voters’ political views ahead of the US election, have finally been released to the public.  The collection of memes and cartoons were promoted on Facebook in return for a fee as part of an aggressive, two-year campaign by Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA).  The…

Fresh revolt at Petropavlovsk seeks to reinstate directors

The boardroom struggles at gold miner Petropavlovsk have taken another twist after two mystery investors demanded the resignation of the entire board and the reinstatement of three former directors. Petropavlovsk, which has three gold mines in the far east of Russia, revealed that CABS Platform and Slevin – who hold 9.11pc of the company between…

What will Iran do if Donald Trump pulls out of the nuclear deal?

Donald Trump is due to announce his decision on whether he is abandoning the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday.  He has been an outspoken critic of the 2015 agreement, describing it as «insane» and the «worst deal ever». Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has travelled to Washington in an effort to persuade Mr Trump not…

Russia’s Putin sworn in for another six years in office 

Vladimir Putin was sworn in for another six years as Russian president on Monday. Standing in the Grand Kremlin Palace’s ornately-decorated Andreyevsky Hall with his hand on a gold-embossed copy of the constitution, Mr Putin swore to serve the Russian people, safeguard their rights and freedoms, and defend Russian sovereignty. Mr Putin was inaugurated for his fourth term as…

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny among at least 300 arrested during anti-Putin protests 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained on Saturday at an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow, two days ahead of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth Kremlin term. The 41-year-old protest leader was detained along with 300 others, as a huge crowd packed a central square in Moscow to protest Putin’s swearing ceremony on Monday. As police grabbed…

Russian Twitter bots: Menace to democracy — or overhyped distraction?

During elections, the letterboxes of millions of Britons weather month-long assaults from political leaflets. But the age of social media has created an entirely new campaigning battleground — and it may be attracting unwelcome activity from foreign actors. Recent research suggested that over 6,500 Twitter bots originating in Russia tweeted support for Labour in last year’s…

LSE to cancel trading in Oleg Deripaska’s sanction-hit EN+ from tomorrow

EN+’s journey from blockbuster flotation to ignominy appears to be almost complete after the London Stock Exchange said it would suspend trading in the sanctions-hit energy giant from tomorrow. The Russian aluminium and power company, which raised $1.5bn (£1.1bn) with much fanfare in a placing last November, has been crippled by punishing sanctions imposed by…

Green groups warn of maritime ‘Chernobyl’ as Russia launches floating nuclear power plant

A controversial ship-borne nuclear power plant was launched from St Petersburg as part of a Russian plan to power remote seaside settlements.  The Akademik Lomonosov, which green groups have dubbed «a floating Chernobyl,» was towed from the shipyard where it was built in the Gulf of Finland on Saturday.  It will be towed through the Baltic Sea and around…

Russian Twitter ‘bots’ attempted to influence election by supporting Jeremy Corbyn, investigation finds

Russia attempted to influence the results of the general election by promoting the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,  it has been claimed.  6,500 Russian Twitter accounts, many of which are run by internet robots known as «bots», supported Labour in the run up to last year’s election, an investigation by The Sunday Times has found. The…

Lawyer at Trump Tower meeting reportedly worked with Russian government 

An organisation established by an exiled Russian tycoon says it has obtained emails showing collaboration between Russian government officials and a lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr in 2016. The emails the Dossier organisation said it was sent suggest Natalia Veselnitskaya worked closely with a top official in Russia’s prosecutor-general’s office to fend off…

Gavin Williamson: Russia is a bigger threat to Britain than insurgents were in Iraq and Afghanistan

Russia poses a «far greater» threat to Britain than insurgents did in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defence Secretary has said. In a fresh attack on the Russian regime, Gavin Williamson said that the security threat Britain faces has  considerably “escalated” in the last three years, and acknowledged that returning to Cold War-levels of defence spending…

Chemical weapons inspectors enter Douma two weeks after attack

Chemical weapons inspectors collected samples from Syria’s Douma on Saturday, two weeks after a suspected gas attack there followed by retaliatory strikes by Western powers on the Syrian government’s chemical facilities. The site visit, confirmed by the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, would allow the agency to proceed with an independent investigation to determine what…

A guide to political voting: Who votes for whom at Eurovision?

Does Eurovision voting have anything to do with music at all? Many people complain that some participating – such those in Scandinavia or the Balkans – only vote for each other, and points aren’t awarded for the quality of the entry. It’s a topic UK islanders feel especially strongly about: A YouGov poll in 2013…

Britain’s armed forces ill-equipped to deal with cyber attacks from Russia and new era of electronic warfare

Britain’s armed forces are ill-equipped to handle the increasing threat of cyber attacks from Russia and a new era of «electronic warfare» because of a shortage of intelligence experts, a new report has suggested. The National Audit Office revealed that the military is facing a 26 per cent shortfall in intelligence analysts, equivalent to 700 experts, and…

President Trump hits out at Russian and Chinese currency devaluations

US President Donald Trump took a swing at the Russian and Chinese regimes on Twitter on Monday, in his latest public statement on rising trade tensions. Mr Trump said that there was a deliberate attempt by these countries to devalue their currencies at a time of rising interest rates in America, suggesting the nations were deliberately attempting…

Suspicions raised after journalist who reported on secretive Russian mercenaries in Syria dies in fall

Colleagues of a journalist who reported on Russia’s “shadow army” in Syria have raised suspicions about his death falling from a balcony as local authorities insisted there were no indications of foul play. Maksim Borodin, 32, died on Sunday from injuries sustained in a plunge from his five-storey balcony in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, on April…

France warns of fresh humanitarian crisis in Syrian region of Idlib

France has warned that a new humanitarian disaster is looming in Syria, in the rebel-held region of Idlib, which is seen as the next possible target of the regime’s fightback. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said two million people were at risk, including hundreds of thousands of Syrians who fled from previously rebel-held…

Boris Johnson warns UK must take ‘every possible precaution’ amid fears of Russian revenge for Syria strikes

Boris Johnson has warned that Britain must take “every possible precaution” to guard against the possibility of a revenge attack by Russia for the airstrikes in Syria. The Foreign Secretary said that whilst the UK had “clearly communicated” to Vladimir Putin that the strikes were limited, the possibility of a ‘dirty’ response by the Kremlin…

Russia hacked Yulia Skripal’s emails for five years and tested Novichok on door handles, bombshell intelligence dossier reveals

Russian intelligence agents hacked Yulia Skripal’s emails for at least five years before the Salisbury poisonings, a bombshell Government dossier has revealed. Cyber specialists from the GRU — Moscow’s Main Intelligence Directorate — targeted email accounts belonging to Miss Skripal as long ago as 2013, and possibly even before that, according to newly-declassified British intelligence. Russian…

Italy the weak link as West forges Syria plan

Italy has emerged as a weak link as the West gears up to launch military action against Syria in retaliation for chemical attacks on civilians. Paolo Gentiloni, who is caretaker prime minister after last month’s inconclusive general election, on Thursday said Italy would not participate in any bombing campaign against Syria. It would only offer…

Russia warns the US that Syrian airstrikes could spark war   

Moscow on Thursday night warned against any US move that could trigger a conflict between the nuclear-armed rivals. Russia’s UN ambassador warned the priority in Syria was to avert US-led strikes that could lead to a confrontation between the world’s two preeminent nuclear powers. «The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war,» said…

A Gentle Creature review: a head-spinning odyssey into Russian despair

Dir: Sergei Loznitsa; Starring: Vasilina Makovsteva, Marina Kleshcheva, Lia Akhedzhakova, Valeriu Andruiuta, Boris Kamorzin, Sergei Kolesov. 18 cert, 143 mins “Man is a wolf to his fellow man,” a taxi driver tells his female passenger, as their vehicle wends its way towards a monolithic prison block. “And how do wolves live? In packs. Got it?” …

Russian spy and daughter poisoned with ‘high purity’ strain of Novichok, chemical weapons watchdog finds

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a «high purity» strain of Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, an independent analysis has found. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said that it had been able to “confirm” the findings of British scientists about the nerve agent. It represents a significant boost to…

Russian counter-attack could target Western ships or planes in Syria, expert warns

A Russian counter-attack in Syria could involve targeting Western ships or planes, a Russian expert has warned. “It is possible that, if Russian planes or military are directly affected, there is a possibility of counter-strike” including “sinking a ship or hitting an attacking jet,” Ivan Timofeev, of the Russian International Affairs Council think tank, told the…

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