Image description: Pelmeni

From Russia to Italy: food discoveries from our years abroad

Image description: Two plates of dumplings, on a table. Maga Flores-Trevino—Aosta Valley – Seupa à la valpellinentze (Zuppa alla valpellinzese)   Food in the Aosta Valley, where I spent a big part of my year abroad, is a reflection of the cow-filled, mountainous land situated between France and Switzerland in Northern Italy. Mountain climate and […]

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As Putin consolidates domestic control, democracy is once again on the back foot

Image description: A close-up shot of Saint Basil’s Cathedral. In the latest installment of this year’s biblical succession of bad news, July began with an ‘all Russia vote’ (lacking the legal status of a referendum) on a bleak new package of constitutional amendments: a mishmash of national populism, cultural conservatism and centralist authoritarianism. Those who […]

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First Putin, now Xi Jinping: how unlimited power became the ‘in’ thing

If you were to cast your mind back to the finest music of 2002, it’s unlikely that the first thing to come to mind would be a Russian chart topper. That year, a song titled ‘A Man Like Putin”, in which a Russian girl-band sang about how they wanted a man like Vladimir Putin, dominated the Russian charts. Unsurprisingly, it propelled the band to worldwide […]

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Bears too strong for valiant Blues

Blues 15 (Tries: Lamont, Hudson; Conversion: Marr; Penalty: Marr); Russia 29 (Tries: Tsnobiladze,  Temnov, Garbuzov, Simplikevich (x2); Conversions: Klyuchnikov (x2)) The men’s rugby Blues had plenty to be proud of after losing out to the Russian national team in a tightly-contested match at Iffley Road. When a university of 15,000 students takes on a country of […]

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