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Fraser Nelson

Putin’s terror: the politics of war crimes

In early February, when Vladimir Putin’s troops were on the Ukrainian border and much of the world thought he was bluffing, the Russian military’s guidance on mass graves was changed. Bodies should be covered with chemicals, diagrams showed, and then rolled over by a bulldozer to flatten the ground. The advice seemed so grotesque as

The law of war: conflict has always had its limits

The waging of war has never been a pure free-for-all. Every culture has had a sense of limits: when war could be legitimately declared and how it would be legitimately waged. For ancient civilisations, war was a means of preserving the cosmic order. The ancient Egyptians believed their wars had to be sanctioned by the

Male friendship is in crisis

Most of my women friends work hard to keep ancient friendships alive; the seasonal lunches, shopping trips and afternoon teas are observed as scrupulously as the feasts of the liturgical calendar. ‘Friends make all the difference in life,’ my mother used to say. In her late eighties, she would defy the wobbles of Parkinson’s and

Europe’s last dictator: Lukashenko’s fate depends on Ukraine

A young man wearing combat fatigues and an extravagant moustache, and carrying a heavy machine-gun over his shoulder, nods towards some burned-out armoured vehicles. ‘We smashed the orcs today,’ he says, using the Ukrainian soldiers’ term for the invading Russians, a reference to the sub-human legion in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. He goes

The cult of the extortionate ‘English’ kitchen

A house around the corner is on its fourth kitchen in a decade. Every two or three years, the house changes hands, the pristine kitchen comes out and a newer, pristiner kitchen goes in. They are always white, they are always shiny, and when I peer through the basement windows there is nothing in the

Nicola Sturgeon’s secret state

As Westminster grapples with the P&O scandal, a very different farce over ferries has been playing out in Scotland. In the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, a Glasgow shipbuilder went bust and was rescued by a Scottish National party adviser. It was later awarded a £97 million government contract to build two ferries. Neither

Can Imran Khan cling on to power in Pakistan?

In the brief interlude of Chechen independence between the Russia-Chechen Wars of the 1990s, I travelled with Imran Khan from Grozny to Baku, where we were due to meet Azerbaijan’s finance minister. We had different reasons for our visit. I was interested in the business potential of the countries of the Caucasus, while Khan, a

Notes on...

My love affair with the Wolseley

I was sitting alone at a small table in the Wolseley, Piccadilly, waiting for my supper and feeling a sense of absolute contentment. The evening buzz in that theatre-set of a restaurant has always been slightly more subdued than the lunchtime one. The lighting is lower; there are candles, there is calm. On my right,