Keeping up appearances: Putin leads Russia to tactical wins

by Rashmee

Posted on June 29, 2020 / The Focus


Russia’s week-long vote on constitutional changes is expected to end in a predictable manner on 1 July: with the people gladly permitting president Vladimir Putin to stay on in office until 2036, if he so chooses. Equally predictably, Putin’s opponents will continue to say the 67-year-old president has pulled off a constitutional coup. Putin has … Continue reading “Keeping up appearances: Putin leads Russia to tactical wins”

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Trump eviscerates G7 - and America’s leadership

by Rashmee

Posted on May 31, 2020 / The Focus


Donald Trump wants to turn the G7 group of advanced economies into the ‘G10 or 11’ vs G1. Which is to say the US president wants an expanded G7 — with Russia, India, Australia and South Korea added on — to unite against China. This is wishful thinking. If anything, Mr Trump’s decision to postpone the summit, invite into … Continue reading “Trump eviscerates G7 - and America’s leadership”

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In Syria, history is repeating itself

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


What will be deemed normal in the Turkish-annexed part of Syria is likely to be just as arbitrary as in Russified Crimea. In Syria, other people’s history from lands near and far is repeating itself — not as farce but as a parody. Developments in Syria in 2019 are an ironic imitation of Iraq in … Continue reading “In Syria, history is repeating itself”

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A series of disputed elections show the myriad ways in which democracy’s rules are being warped

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2019 / The National


From the DRC to Bangladesh and Russia, the manipulation of election outcomes is a worrying worldwide trend In 2016, a fateful year for democracy in the US and UK, a book with a seemingly contradictory title was published. Against Elections: The Case for Democracy argued it was dangerous to boil democracy down to a foundational … Continue reading “A series of disputed elections show the myriad ways in which democracy’s rules are being warped”

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The G20 meets, a shadow of itself, the smell of death upon it

by Rashmee

Posted on November 30, 2018


Today (Friday, November 30), the G20 summit convenes, 10 years after its debut as a leaders’ confab. [When it was set up in 1999 the G20 was a forum for finance chiefs and central bankers from economies representing some two-thirds of the world’s population and 85 per cent of global output. It became a leaders’ … Continue reading “The G20 meets, a shadow of itself, the smell of death upon it”

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The glue that joins Russia and the Middle East in dreadful dependence

by Rashmee

Posted on October 30, 2017


What is Russia up to in the Middle East? On the one hand it seemed to support the Kurdish independence referendum. But equally, it wants to maintain the status quo. It’s playing off both sides just as the Soviet Union did. Remember how the Soviet Union balanced support for “national liberation movements” such as the PLO … Continue reading “The glue that joins Russia and the Middle East in dreadful dependence”

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Will overreach undo the modern-day Caesars?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 9, 2017 / The National


An American political scientist recently told a rueful joke to explain how he felt about Donald Trump’s effect on the United States’s institutions and its system of liberal democracy. The joke went as follows: a biologist on a beach holiday is stung by a stingray and even as he howls in pain he’s ecstatic to … Continue reading “Will overreach undo the modern-day Caesars?”

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Why the ‘Great Man’ theory applies to Trump

by Rashmee

Posted on January 26, 2017 / The National


We do not yet know if Donald Trump will prove to be a good president, but the “Great Man” theory of history began to apply to America’s 45th commander-in-chief from the minute he took office. That’s not just because he became head of the richest, most militarily powerful country in the world. The “Great Man” … Continue reading “Why the ‘Great Man’ theory applies to Trump”

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25 years ago today, the Soviet Union disappeared. Watch what’s coming in its place

by Rashmee

Posted on December 26, 2016


Today, 25 years ago, the Soviet Union officially became a relic of history. Its hammer and sickle flag was lowered one last time outside the Kremlin at 7:32 p.m. Russia’s red, white and blue flag went up in its place. It was a sudden, ignominious end for the Soviet Union that had lasted nearly 70 … Continue reading “25 years ago today, the Soviet Union disappeared. Watch what’s coming in its place”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK