The Kremlin invited 100 Moscow-based foreign reporters to make the trip to Palmyra for the concert on 5 May. Judging by the column inches which followed in Western mainstream media, the return on this investment was poor though not hopeless.
The grim expressions on the faces of Russian ministers seated in the front rows of the Kremlin hall where Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovich announced their agreement on rapprochement yesterday, sealed by $15 billion in loans and a steep discount on natural gas, indicated skepticism that many ordinary Russians also share over the generous handout to their dodgy southern neighbors. Has Putin got it right? Read on…