Robin Ashenden

Georgia’s ‘foreign agent’ law protestors won’t go down quietly

17 May 2024 4:00 pm

Following the introduction this Tuesday of Georgia’s notorious ‘foreign agent’ law by the ruling party Georgian Dream, there has been…

The monstrous experience of surviving boarding school

28 April 2024 4:00 pm

Charles, Earl Spencer published a blistering denunciation of his prep school days – complete with constant corporal punishment and child…

How was ITV’s trans drama Butterfly ever made?

16 April 2024 12:32 am

In the wake of the Cass Report’s damning verdict on the reckless ‘social transitioning’ of children and the prescribing of…

The sacking of Frank Skinner is a loss to British comedy

14 April 2024 5:00 pm

The recent news that comedian Frank Skinner had been sacked from his job at Absolute Radio after fifteen years as…

Post-Soviet hostels and loveless nights

13 April 2024 7:11 am

I suppose there are people who stay in four or five-star hotels all their lives and become a kind of…

Where have the West’s liberal values gone?

29 March 2024 4:30 pm

Russia is ramping up preparations for a ‘large-scale’ war with Nato. That’s the verdict of the Washington-based Institute for the…

The trials and tribulations of Orthodox Lent

17 March 2024 4:30 pm

The Russian Orthodox Church, which I converted to in 2018, has disgraced itself in the years since. Its Patriarch Kirill…

Navalny’s death has left Russia’s opposition in despair

13 March 2024 1:11 am

Following the wave of articles that have appeared in the Western press since Navalny’s death come three pieces from émigré…

Lost friendships are a painful price of the Ukraine war

9 March 2024 5:00 pm

One thing you learn about war, if you are close enough for it to touch you, is that it splits…

Men don’t belong in Hampstead Ladies’ Pond

7 March 2024 5:00 pm

The waters of Hampstead ladies’ pond are this week, it seems, more troubled than ever. Last Sunday, amidst cries of…

The key difference between Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Putin

19 February 2024 8:29 pm

Following Alexei Navalny’s suspicious ‘sudden death’ in an Arctic prison camp last Friday, two scenes immediately come to mind featuring…

Russia’s ‘Red Ripper’ Andrei Chikatilo was a uniquely Soviet serial killer

11 February 2024 5:00 pm

In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, as atrocities like the killings at Bucha and Irpin came…

Why New Year trumps Christmas in Russia

30 December 2023 11:00 am

What a difference a decade makes. Exactly ten years ago, Russians celebrated New Year by watching Goluboi Ogoniek (‘Little Blue…

Can Jilly Cooper wreck your life?

26 December 2023 5:00 pm

What do the names Octavia, Prudence, Harriet, and Imogen all have in common? If you don’t know the answer to…

Where did the Christmas magic go?

24 December 2023 5:00 pm

It’s late December 1982 or thereabouts, and I’m standing in a Suffolk church before hundreds of people, wearing a cassock…

What fiction can teach us about terrorism

5 December 2023 12:34 pm

The first decade of this century, following Al Qaeda’s attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in September 2001,…

Have we forgotten the lessons of Shoah?

12 November 2023 5:00 pm

Since Hamas’s assault on innocent Israelis, a wave of anti-Semitism has swept across the world. Jews in Europe feel distinctly…

The full English: how to fall in love with this country

14 October 2023 9:00 am

A beginner’s guide to this country

My dreams perished — except the sports car

7 October 2023 9:30 am

They say that, against all expectations, after the age of about fifty you actually get happier, and that much of…

What happened to the Russia I loved?

30 September 2023 10:00 am

I first came to Russia as a travelling English literature-lecturer in the late 1990s. This wasn’t a job given to…

The dazzling classic The Red Shoes has several unfashionable lessons for us today

23 September 2023 9:00 am

Seventy-five years after its release, Powell and Pressburger’s dazzling, much-loved classic is more timely than ever, says Robin Ashenden

A tribute to the lost art of letter writing

4 September 2023 12:00 am

There are many good reasons, we’re constantly told, for millennials and Generation Z to resent their elders. What they can…

What Brits don’t understand about life in Russia

1 September 2023 10:10 pm

When I tell people in England I’ve just returned from several years abroad and they find out the country was…

Navalny exposes the truth about Putin’s ‘strong man’ image

7 August 2023 6:18 pm

The 19-year extended prison sentence handed out to Putin opponent Alexei Navalny on Friday may seem, to many, meaningless and…

The joys of provincial repertory theatre

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Robin Ashenden remembers the heyday of local repertory theatre – now sadly in terminal decline