Lisa Haseldine

Lisa Haseldine

Lisa Haseldine is The Spectator's assistant online editor

Is Russia trying to flood Finland with migrants?

Against the background of the war in Ukraine, a diplomatic row is brewing between Russia and Finland. Last week, Finland announced that it would imminently be closing four of its eight border crossings into Russia, promptly doing so on 18 November. The reason? An unexpected increase in the number of illegal migrants coming over the

Cameron’s Ukraine trip provides a welcome boost for Zelensky

Just days after returning to government as Lord Cameron, the former prime minister and new Foreign Secretary has made his first foreign visit. Unsurprisingly, the destination of this trip was Kyiv, to meet with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.  The news of Cameron’s visit broke early this morning, although whether it took place this morning or

Why Putin hosted Hamas at the Kremlin

Since Hamas’s attack on Israel nearly three weeks ago, Vladimir Putin has been torn between who to back. It took the Russian president several days to address the conflict, and even longer to speak to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, it increasingly appears that he has made up his mind. Yesterday afternoon, at the invitation of

Putin will be hoping for gifts from Xi in Beijing

In the early hours of this morning, Vladimir Putin touched down in Beijing to attend the third forum of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) at Xi Jinping’s invitation. The trip is clearly important to Putin: it is just the second time that he has left Russia, and the first time travelling beyond the former

Juncker dismisses ‘corrupt’ Ukraine joining EU in near future

Just days after Ukraine’s President Zelensky declared his intention to start EU membership negotiations by the end of this year, the bloc’s former president Jean-Claude Juncker has poured cold water on the idea, branding it a country ‘corrupt at all levels of society’. In an interview with the South German regional Augsburger Allgemeine paper, Juncker accused current

How a pro-Russia party triumphed in Slovakia’s election

The staunchly pro-Russian Robert Fico is back in power for a third time in Slovakia. Fico’s Smer party clinched at least 23 per cent of the vote – enough to lead a coalition government. His victory comes five years after Fico was forced to resign following mass protests over the murder of a journalist investigation corruption

The West and Russia are at war, says Sergei Lavrov

The United States and Britain are at war with Russia. So said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a UN press conference on Saturday. ‘You can call this whatever you want,’ said Lavrov. ‘But they are directly at war with us. We call this a hybrid war but that doesn’t change the reality.’ Lavrov

Olaf Scholz’s failing coalition is leaking support to the AfD

Germans are increasingly fed up with their hapless chancellor Olaf Scholz and his traffic light coalition. Just a quarter of voters believe the government has any long-term goals for the country, according to research conducted for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy. Seven in ten voters said they associated the coalition with poor

The crisis in language teaching

The British are, on the whole, rather rubbish at languages. We all know people who live up to P.G. Wodehouse’s description of the ‘shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French’. As more of the world speaks English, our monolingualism is getting worse. According to the British Council, only one in

Ukraine steps up its drone warfare against Crimea

In the early hours of this morning, Ukraine launched 42 unmanned drones at the annexed territory of Crimea, the Russian ministry of defence has claimed. Announcing on Telegram that the attack had been ‘thwarted’, the Russian MoD said nine of the drones had been shot down, while the remaining 33 were electronically jammed and downed

How Russia’s media reacted to the Prigozhin plane crash

After Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted march on Moscow at the end of June, the Wagner Group leader became a divisive figure in Russia. He was not quite a pariah – on account of his mercenary group’s huge contribution to the war in Ukraine and Putin’s seemingly weak decision to condemn him to barely enforced exile in

Yevgeny Prigozhin reported dead in plane crash

From the moment Yevgeny Prigozhin aborted his march on Moscow it was a question of when and how – not whether – he would end up dead. Yesterday we saw a video of him for the first time talking about Wagner promoting Russia’s interests in Africa. Now, two months to the day after that coup

Lisa Haseldine

Putin tries to turn Africa against the West

After Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Brics global summit in South Africa, there can be no doubt that the Russian president has set his sights set on wooing the nations of Africa. In an effort to present Russia as a cooperative ally to, and leader of, the Brics bloc (currently made up of Brazil, Russia,

James Heale, Lisa Haseldine and Neil Clark

19 min listen

This week: James Heale reads his politics column on why the Tories should fear the Greens (00:56), Lisa Haseldine outlines some of the changes to Russia’s school curriculum (06:04) and Neil Clark extols the joys of non-league football (13:02).   Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

From ABC to AK-47: Russia’s new wartime curriculum

Russia’s education system is about to undergo a radical transformation. Next month, when the new academic year begins, classes will be required to teach teenagers how to assemble, handle and clean Kalashnikov rifles, how to use hand grenades and how to administer first aid in combat. This military training for sixth-formers – 16 and over

Russian military chief lets slip the cost of invasion

When it comes to disclosing the true cost of the war in Ukraine for Russia, the Kremlin has rarely, if ever, chosen to be honest. But occasionally, things slip out. Last Wednesday, Mikhail Teplinsky, commander-in-chief of the Russian Airborne Forces, congratulated his troops on the anniversary of the division’s founding. He said how proud he

The drone attacks on Moscow are only just beginning

A drone has hit a tower in Moscow’s financial district – just two days after the building was targeted in another attack. In the early hours of this morning, the 21st floor of the IQ-Quarter building in Moscow City was hit by an unmanned drone, marking the second time in just over 48 hours that Russian governmental offices have been

Zelensky’s drone warning to Russians

Hours after Moscow was once again attacked by unmanned drones in the early hours of Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky has declared that the war is turning back on Russia. Speaking in his daily video address, the Ukrainian president stated that ‘Russian aggression had failed on the battlefield’. ‘Ukraine is getting stronger,’ he continued. ‘Gradually, the war