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Wolfgang Münchau

Cold war: Putin’s plan to hold Germany to ransom

Russia has a long history of using the cold to defeat Europe. The winter of 1812 arrested Napoleon’s special military operation. Hitler’s troops hit the deep-freeze outside the gates of Moscow in December 1941. Now Vladimir Putin has the option to turn off the gas sent to Europe – a strategy against which Germany appears

East Germans still find it hard to see Russia as the enemy

Not all of Germany is against Vladimir Putin. Sahra Wagenknecht, a Left party MP, recently defended him, saying he is not ‘the mad Russian nationalist’ of caricature and sending weapons to Ukraine was a ‘US-driven policy’ which played a role in provoking his invasion. Her views are quite common in East Germany and not only

War of words: Scrabble players are being censored

For some of us, world war has already broken out. Since 1 January, when a decision to ban 419 ‘offensive’ Scrabble words became ‘law’ on the orders of game owners Hasbro and Mattel, the previously genteel world of competitive Scrabble has become riven with hostility. The conflict started three years ago when the North American

A breakthrough on abortion is there if Biden reaches for it

The US Supreme Court has not banned abortion. The point made by its ruling – a pretty reasonable one – was that such issues should be decided by elected politicians, not by appointed judges. ‘It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,’ wrote Justice Samuel

An actor’s recipe for insanity

I’m on the road, a very proper place for an actor to be. Never mind all those jokes about some people having tours de force and others being forced to tour – a tour gets the stuff out to the people. If they can’t come to us, we must go to them, each actor on

Inside the clash between Boris and Charles

Boris Johnson is the kind of prime minister who believes that rules are there to be broken. This certainly seems to apply to his relations with the Crown. Conversation between the government and the monarchy is, by convention, kept strictly confidential. But when Prince Charles privately described the government’s Rwanda deportation policy as ‘appalling’ within

Notes on...

We’ve reached standing ovation saturation

‘And now the end is here / And so I face the final curtain…’ You said it, Frank. The lights dim, the curtain falls, exeunt all to rapturous applause. Too rapturous, if you ask me. The standing ovation, once the exception, is now the rule. Post-Covid, I got it. After months of empty theatres and