Sasha Lensky

Russians feel bleaker than ever after Alexei Navalny’s death

22 February 2024 6:07 pm

The news about Alexei Navalny’s death came as a shock to anti-Putin Russians like myself – he’d been a central…

War with Russia won’t be what the West expects

3 February 2024 5:30 pm

Is war coming our way? The warning last month from Admiral Rob Bauer, the chairman of Nato’s Military Committee, indicates…

Can Europe match Russia’s remarkable rise in weapons production?

19 January 2024 5:50 pm

‘You need to understand that if Europe is under attack we will never come to help you and to support…

Why hasn’t Russia collapsed?

7 January 2024 5:00 pm

Following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the calamitous, early missteps of the Russian army, many Western…

How Vladimir Putin stays in power

22 December 2023 4:45 pm

With Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine well into its attritional phase, Western aid to Kyiv seems to be drying up.…

Why Putin doesn’t want to negotiate

14 November 2023 5:00 pm

Discussion of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia has until recently, among most Western governments, been considered something of a…

Ukraine’s Nato limbo is set to continue

11 July 2023 8:47 pm

As the Nato summit on international security opens this week in Vilnius, one obvious issue will be the success or…

Why Wagner’s coup failed

28 June 2023 12:56 am

When Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine was launched, the overall mood among those around me – Russians from a range…

Russian children are being groomed for the war in Ukraine

31 May 2023 6:09 pm

As we pass the 15-month mark of Russia’s war against Ukraine, it’s clear the Putin government is in a fix. It cannot…

Russians live in fear of Putin’s dreaded draft

11 May 2023 5:59 pm

On 9 May, Russia’s wet squib this year of a Victory Day, president Putin addressed his beleaguered troops in Ukraine…

How Russia is weathering the storm of Western sanctions

14 February 2023 2:35 am

After war broke out in Ukraine a year ago, amidst a slew of shop closures, sanctioned products and predictions about…

The budget black comedy that foreshadowed the rise of Putin

9 October 2022 5:00 pm

‘The truth is with us,’ said Vladimir Putin in a speech after the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and…

Putin is cornered

13 September 2022 12:35 am

On the evening of Sunday 11 September, a general alert was announced in nearly all the regions of Ukraine. A…

Beer and loathing: Why Russians loved and hated Gorbachev

4 September 2022 5:03 pm

A paradox about Mikhail Gorbachev for my generation of Russians – I was seven years old when he became general…

The two faces of Vladimir Putin

15 August 2022 9:35 pm

‘Putin’s Philosopher’ Aleksandr Dugin, self-styled deep thinker and ideological architect of current Russian expansionism, has claimed there are two distinct…

The tide is turning in Russia's war on Ukraine

24 July 2022 4:02 pm

Could Russia triumph? There’s a growing sense that, as the months wear on, Ukraine’s resistance is faltering. The West is…

The end of the Russian dream

16 June 2022 7:47 pm

I was born in the USSR in 1978 and was just becoming a teenager as the Soviet Union fell. For…

Russia’s anti-Putin backlash is gathering strength

22 May 2022 4:00 pm

The backlash in Russia to Putin’s war is now visibly getting underway. For the first time, the President risks becoming…

Putin has corrupted Russia’s 'Victory Day'

3 May 2022 3:58 pm

The Victory Day celebrations on 9 May have been, under Vladimir Putin, through a dramatic mutation. In my childhood, in the…

Russia’s dark path towards the death penalty

15 April 2022 6:00 pm

In Russia these days, the reintroduction of the death penalty has a grim inevitability about it. There has been a…

Why Russians like me aren't rising up against Putin

26 March 2022 6:30 pm

I was born, grew up and have lived in Russia all of my 45 years. This means that I belong…

Don't blame us Russians for Putin's war

22 March 2022 9:33 pm

Thousands of Russians who have fled to Georgia in the wake of Putin’s crackdown are receiving a poor welcome. ‘F***…