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Owen Matthews

Owen Matthews writes about Russia for The Spectator. His latest book is Overreach, a history of the origins of the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Russia

Boris Bondarev, Russia’s rebel diplomat

‘Putin needed the war to distract people from the fact that they had no future’

By Owen Matthews

Energy

Putin’s plan to freeze Europe has failed

The gas war of 2022 has been won only at a serious cost to Europe’s economies

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Russia’s media in exile

Their vital function is to persuade the audience in their homeland of a different narrative to the Kremlin’s

By Owen Matthews

China

Revealed: Biden and Xi’s secret Ukraine talks

The illusion of Chinese support was one of the many miscalculations that led Putin down the road to war

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Russian roulette: what ‘tactical’ nuclear war would mean

The chief power of nukes is in the dread they inspire, not their absolute destructive potential

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Kremlin crack-up: who’s out to get Putin?

Modern Russia is not just a security state but a state that has been taken over by its own security services

By Owen Matthews

Diary

War has come home to Russia

In his latest address Putin looked as pale and dead-eyed as Nosferatu

By Owen Matthews

Russia

More mad than Vlad: Russia’s ultra-nationalist threat

They have been armed by the Russian military and ideologically empowered by near-hysterical levels of state propaganda

By Owen Matthews

Book Review

Nothing is certain in Russia, where the past is constantly rewritten

Russia: Myths and Realities by Rodric Braithwaite and The Shortest History of the Soviet Union by Sheila Fitzpatrick reviewed

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Sanctions are working — whatever Putin says

His weaponizing of gas supplies to Europe is the financial equivalent of strapping on a suicide vest

By Owen Matthews

Russia

How Russia is holding Ukraine’s wheat exports to ransom

Ukraine’s grain is cheap, and is therefore usually exported to the world’s poorest countries

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Putin’s war is a cross to bear for all Russians

A tragically large proportion of the Russian population are actively complicit in their own delusion

By Owen Matthews

Middle East

Turkey’s dilemma: whose side is Erdogan on?

He is in a great hurry to patch up the conflict between two of his most important trading partners

By Owen Matthews

Russia

My one-way ticket out of Moscow

Anything is better than leaving money in Russia

By Owen Matthews

Russia

Has Putin lost it?

His sensible, peace-talking statesman act flipped into something dark and irrational that has worried even his supporters

By Owen Matthews

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