The flickering black and white films of men going “over the top” in the first world war seem impossibly distant. Yet the idea that the great powers of today could never again stumble into a war, as they did in 1914, is far too complacent. The rising tensions between China, Japan and the US have echoes of the terrible conflict that broke out almost a century ago.
Russians plus planes plus duty-free alcohol can be a dangerous mix (Getty)
Over the past year, the Kremlin has launched a relative successful crackdown on Russian alcohol consumption, restricting the hours when booze can be sold, raising prices and finally deciding to classify beer as an alcoholic beverage (rather than a soft drink).
Now, the government is stepping up to solve another, and perhaps bigger, alcohol-related problem: how do you stop airline passengers from becoming belligerently drunk in an enclosed space?
Over the past few weeks, two new videos have emerged confirming what most Moscow jetsetters could have told you already. Russians plus airplanes plus duty-free alcohol can – on occasion – be a horrible combination.
Take, for instance, the case of Vyacheslav Ismailov, a 28-year-old businessman from Podolsk, a sleepy Moscow suburb. Read more
Gideon became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections.
His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.