Pavel Stroilov

Will Donald Trump dare to challenge Putin over his political prisoners?

From Nixon’s ‘détente’ to Obama’s ‘reset’, every new US administration makes one attempt at reconciliation with Moscow. Today it’s Donald Trump’s turn, at his summit meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. At first, such meetings are sensationalised as historic turning points, with the future of the world hanging in the balance. But that view doesn’t

Exclusive: the Kremlin’s secret Margaret Thatcher files

‘I like Mr Gorbachev. We can do business together.’ This famous endorsement of the Soviet leader, from Mrs Thatcher, convinced the world that he was a fundamentally different figure from his predecessors. But did she really see in him a kindred spirit? In her memoirs Margaret Thatcher was equally generous about the Soviet leader —

Cameron mustn’t fall further into Putin’s trap

“Russian democracy has been buried under the ruins of New York’s twin towers”, famous KGB rebel Alexander Litvinenko wrote in 2002. The West, he warned, was making a grave mistake of going along with Putin’s dictatorship in exchange for his cooperation in the global war on terror. He would never be an honest partner, and

Moscow’s jihadi

The Russian secret service and the new al-Qa’eda commander What do we know about the new head of al-Qa’eda, Ayman al-Zawahiri? Not very much. We know he’s a former ‘emir’ of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad who spent three years in an Egyptian prison after his group assassinated the pro-western President Anwar Sadat. He’s also said

The Gorbachev files

The international stage is dominated by two men this March: Muammar Gaddafi, fighting like mad for the survival of his regime, and Mikhail Gorbachev, celebrated around the world on his 80th birthday for not being a Gaddafi. Nobody knows what will now happen in Libya; but the Gorbachev celebrations will culminate next week in a

Kinnock and the Kremlin

In the second part of our investigation into Labour’s dealings with the USSR, Pavel Stroilov reveals the secret Soviet diplomacy behind one leader’s most famous victory Labour leaders, past and present, will be wishing this week that Anatoly Chernyaev had not been such an assiduous diarist. Along with thousands of documents left in the archives

Reaching through the Iron Curtain

In the pages of the Kremlin’s secret diary, Pavel Stroilov discovers what Labour’s Soviet sympathisers said when they thought no one was listening It is almost 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall — and still the truth keeps trickling out of Moscow. The Soviets, like the Nazis, were meticulous note-keepers and there