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  • The Day the World Changed: that was the headline in one British newspaper after the twin towers attack 13 years ago today. If you hadn’t heard of Al Qaeda by then, after 9-11 you certainly did. Those numbers themselves not just etched onto the world’s memory, but figures which now stand as a symbol of a civilisational struggle that we are fighting to this day. VoR's Brendan Cole hosts a discussion.

  • This week's NATO summit was originally expected to be a dull, mundane affair of discussing lessons learnt from Afghanistan and some brainstorming in the search for new raison d’etre after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. But so much more happened. So where to now for NATO, Russia and Ukraine? VoR's Nikolai Gorshkov hosts a discussion.

  • New restrictions are being introduced in England and Wales to curtail one of the most controversial powers in policing, Stop and Search. Concern remains over the most controversial aspect of Stop and Search - the claim that it is disproportionately applied to people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background. VoR's Juliet Spare hosts a discussion.

Telling It Like It Is
  • The United States' decison to conduct air strikes in Syria, the prospects of an unlikely alliance between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, and the Scottish independence vote are among the topics discussed by former Kremlin advisor Alexander Nekrassov, Independent journalist Maggie Pagano and US television and radio commentator Jeffrey Robinson.

  • The NATO summit in Wales, Western reactions to continuing developments in the middle east, the final weeks leading up to the Scottish referendum and the money spent in English football during the recent transfer window are among the topics discussed by Independent journalist Maggie Pagano and political analyst and former Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov.

  • The Rotherham child abuse scandal, the defection of Conservative MP Douglas Carswell from the Tories to UKIP, the Scottish referendum debate and the merits of the singer Kate Bush are among the topics discussed by David Coburn, the UKIP MEP for Scotland and the former Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov in this week’s Telling It Like It Is. VoR's Brendan Cole mediates.

     

Talking Points
  • In this essay based on his Edward Said Memorial Lecture in Adelaide, John Pilger argues that the assault on Gaza represents a wider threat to us all, and with episodic dangers in Ukraine, and the accompanying propaganda, we are drawn closer to world war.

     

  • The Cold War never really went away, you know. If it did, there wouldn’t be the circus we saw in Wales. Former Kremlin troubleshooter Alexander Nekrassov says that the very existence of NATO proves beyond all doubt that the West’s Cold War mentality never went away.

  • Former Kremlin troubleshooter Alexander Nekrassov wonders whether the NATO summit in Wales was just a circus. Here’s a question for you: what is more important when it comes to taking big decisions, a NATO summit or a quiet game of golf between a group of Wall Street bankers?

Debating Russia
  • In the wake of the recent NATO summit can anyone make the claim Europe’s security has been strengthened? Is it wise to have Russia designated as NATO’s enemy? And is Europe willing to foot the bill for a new Cold War with Moscow? Peter Lavelle hosts the latest edition of Debating Russia.

  • The presidents of Russia and Ukraine have shaken hands in Minsk. Beyond that fact, Ukraine’s civil war rages on as the country faces serious economic breakdown. On this edition of the programme Peter Lavelle discusses where Ukraine is heading.

     

  • Gaza is again under Israeli attack. What makes this assault different from past attacks? Should we stop talking about a peace process? And what role can countries like Russia play to finally resolve this conflict? Peter Lavelle hosts the latest edition of Debating Russia.

In Conversation
  • It’s long been said that we are what we eat. For many of us in the developed world almost everything we eat comes from commercially produced animals and crops, and is bought from supermarkets. A new book lifts the lid on the dangers of mass food production both for human health and for the health of the planet. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Philip Lymbery, one of the joint authors of Farmageddon: the true cost of cheap meat.

  • Australian by birth, author and adventurer Tim Cope decided to train as a wilderness guide in Finland. That led to an adventure riding across Russia to China by bicycle and then to a bolder journey on horseback across Mongolia all the way east to Kazakhstan and Ukraine eventually ending up in Hungary. The journey took three years and his story is told in On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Land of the Nomads. VoR’s Tim Ecott talks to Tim Cope.

  • In this edition of In Conversation, VoR's Tim Ecott talks to Christian Wolmar, Britain’s foremost writer on railways. His latest book is called To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Wolmar, who has himself travelled the line, describes the building of the Trans-Siberian as possibly the greatest human engineering achievement. I asked him what it was about the railway that inspired him.

     

Curtain Up
  • Families from all over England travel down to London to see the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas. But it wasn’t always such a hit. VoR's Alice Lagnado invited Russian music expert Daniel Jaffe into the studio and began by asking him how the ballet was first greeted back in the late 19th century.

  • The ballet world is going through a difficult time in Russia, with courtroom trials and a change in management at the renowned Vaganova academy in St Petersburg. VoR’s Alice Lagnado takes a further look.

  • In this edition of Curtain Up, VoR’s Alice Lagnado talks to conductor Alice Farnham, who is bringing Britten’s opera The Rape of Lucretia to the Mariinsky Theatre this month. It’s her first time conducting at the Mariinsky, and it’s also the first time the opera has been performed at the theatre.

Features
  • The work of British photographer James Hill, who captured photographs from the scenes of the Beslan school tragedy in Russia in 2004, is featuring in a new exhibition to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. The photos were taken two weeks after Chechen rebels held more than 1,200 people hostage in the Beslan no1 school, which resulted in the deaths of more than 330 people. VoR’s Alex Pichaloff caught up with him on the eve of the exhibition’s opening in Moscow and started by asking how it came to fruition.

  • Graham Phillips is a 35-year-old civil servant turned blogger from Nottingham who shot to fame when he started reporting from Ukraine as a freelancer for RT, the Russian television channel. But what made this young man from Nottingham go to Ukraine, a country where he did not speak the language or have any ties, in the first place?

  • Russia's top Antarctic scientists are hoping to penetrate Lake Vostok for the second time this autumn and obtain pristine samples of its water, which will provide clues to the climate of the past and the future.

Galleries
  • Moscow artists have marked the International Day of Journalists' Solidarity with a display of portraits of journalists killed in conflict zones. Among the journalists portrayed by the artists, were Rossiya Segodnya's photojournalist Andrei Stenin who died in Ukraine, Vyacheslav Veremiya, a reporter for the Ukrainian newspaper "Vesti", VGTRK's special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin who died in Ukraine, an American journalist James Foley abducted in northwestern Syria, killed by the Islamic State, and Italian photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli and Ukrainian journalist Vyacheslav Veremiy killed in Ukraine.

  • More than one million people have been displaced by the conflict in Ukraine, including 814,000 Ukrainians now in Russia with various forms of status, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). "It's safe to say you have over a million people now displaced as a result of the conflict, internally and externally together," Vincent Cochetel, director of the UNHCR's bureau for Europe, told reporters. "I mean 260,000 in Ukraine, it's a low estimate, 814,000 in Russia, then you add the rest ... Belarus, Moldova, European Union."

  • A vintage car exhibition displaying unique models of Soviet automobiles from the 1930-1970s has opened in GUM, the main Russian department store on Red Square in Moscow. Here's a selection of the sleek creatures for automobile geeks who can't make it to GUM by September 28, when the exhibition closes.

All programmes
  • It is being reported Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of a permanent ceasefire in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine. If true, will it last and what can we expect moving forward? VoR's Peter Lavelle hosts a discussion.

  • The execution of the journalist James Foley, the media frenzy surrounding Sir Cliff Richard and the press conference given by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are among the subjects tackled by the Independent journalist Maggie Pagano and the political analyst and former Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov. Joining them is VoR's Brendan Cole.

  • It is not exaggeration to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most recognisable leader in the world today. He is also regularly demonised by the West. What is it about Putin that captures the imagination of so many? Peter Lavelle hosts a discussion.

Featured
World

Just days ahead of the Scottish referendum on independence, the people of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea are today voting to formally elect their own members to Russian parliament for the first time since a March referendum delivered a 'Yes' for independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation. Analysts have highlighted similarities between the two situations, and also looked at the reactions of other states.

 

Russia this week took over the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), with President Vladimir Putin saying that a priority would be to strengthen the grouping's role as a regional security mechanism and its ties with the United Nations.

The Scottish independence referendum is going down to the wire and a key factor in whether people would vote 'Yes' is how it will impact the country's finances. VoR spoke to Alex Kemp, professor of petroleum economics and director of the Aberdeen Centre for Research in Energy Economics and Finance, who helped carry out an independent study of oil reserves projections which found there would be enough oil to keep Scotland going. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the murder of British aid worker David Haines as "an act of pure evil" after Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video that purported to show the beheading of the 44-year-old father of two from Perth, Scotland, who was kidnapped last year while working for the French agency ACTED.

 

The United States is using the crisis in Ukraine to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia economically and try to oblige European countries to buy US instead of Russian gas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today in a television interview. He added that while business interests are undoubtedly at stake, "geopolitical calculations are playing a big and even key role.”

Women have been fighting alongside men in the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to wrest Mount Makhmur in northern Iraq back from Islamic State (IS) jihadists, whose treatment of women makes the fight especially personal for the dozens of female fighters on the mountain.