Owen Matthews

The Tsar and his daughters (from left, Maria, Anastasia and Olga) under guard in Siberia a few days before their murder

Why the Romanovs were doomed

7 July 2018 9:00 am

The true tragedy of the last Romanovs was a failure of imagination. Both during his last disastrous months in office…

Putin says he’s making Russia great again. In reality, it’s crumbling

9 June 2018 9:00 am

This is Putin’s time. Next week, the Fifa World Cup kicks off in Moscow, and the Kremlin has spared no…

Vladimir Putin’s toxic power

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Vladimir Putin’s spies have a dizzying variety of weapons at their disposal. This week Britain learned of a new one:…

For Putin, the World Cup is not about football but global respect

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Authoritarian regimes love grand international sporting events. There’s something about the mass regimentation, the set-piece spectacle, the old-fashioned idea of…

The Russian summer embassy at Büyükdere on the Upper Bosphorus, built in 1840 for General Nikolai Ignatiev. The Tsar’s envoy is said to haunt it still

A love letter to Turkey’s lost past

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Patricia Daunt’s collection of essays is a fascinating exploration of some of Turkey’s most beautiful and evocative places, from the…

Mykola Bokan’s photograph of his family, including a memorial to ‘Kostya, who died of hunger’, July 1933. Bokan and his son were arrested for documenting the famine — both died in the gulag

The hunger

23 September 2017 9:00 am

In 1933 my aunt Lenina Bibikova was eight years old. She lived in Kharkov, Ukraine. Every morning a polished black…

Putin’s winning in Syria – but making a powerful new enemy

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Russia’s bombing of the city of Aleppo this week sent a clear message: Vladimir Putin is now in charge of…

How Putin outwitted the West

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Saddam Hussein hanged: is Iraq a better place? A safer place? Gaddafi murdered in front of the viewers: is Libya…

Can Putin ban homosexuality and endorse polygamy? Yes he can

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Homosexuality may not be tolerated in today’s Russia, nor political dissent. Polygamy, though, is a different matter. Ever since news…

Panic, profiteering and a mysterious girl in a Mini: notes from Moscow

17 January 2015 9:00 am

 Moscow Here we go again. The rouble slides, then tumbles, and slides again. For those of us who remember the…

Letter from Donetsk: peace, with missile attacks

11 October 2014 9:00 am

For what is technically peacetime, there’s a lot of shelling going on round here. Donetsk airport is still held by…

Meet Vladimir Putin's real challengers (they're even worse than he is)

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Strange times throw up strange heroes — and in Russia’s proxy war with Ukraine, none is more enigmatic than the…

Vladimir Putin’s empire of lies

26 July 2014 9:00 am

According to Russian state television, flight MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian government forces who believed they were targeting Vladimir…

No, Putin didn’t plot to invade Ukraine. But now he might have to

10 May 2014 9:00 am

So what, exactly, does Vladimir Putin want? ‘To start World War Three,’ according to the embattled Ukrainian prime minister Arseny…

A demonstration in Istanbul against the ban on Twitter, 22 March 2014

How did revolution become Istanbul's new normal?

5 April 2014 9:00 am

On a recent weekend I was thinking of taking my sons to downtown Istanbul to do some bazaar browsing. ‘Bad…

Let Putin have Crimea – and it will destroy him

29 March 2014 9:00 am

David Cameron says that Russia’s annexation of Crimea ‘will not be recognised’. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk promises that ‘we…

Vladimir Putin's new plan for world domination

22 February 2014 9:00 am

It’s been a generation or so since Russians were in the business of shaping the destiny of the world, and…

Putin’s own Cold War

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Whose side is Vladimir Putin on? It’s a question worth asking, because of late the Kremlin has come closer and…