Lisa Haseldine

Lisa Haseldine

Lisa Haseldine is The Spectator's assistant online editor

Real Southerners never liked Elvis

Cowboy boots are ubiquitous in Nashville – although not hats. ‘That’s Texas,’ one woman told us earnestly. Locals say, ‘y’all,’ ‘yes, ma’am,’ and make eye contact when they speak to you. Despite the lack of cowboy hats, this is still the South. Welcome to Music City, the capital of country and the gleaming buckle of the

Putin can’t hide how dependent he is on Beijing

Vladimir Putin has arrived in China for a two-day state visit, the first since the start of his fifth term as president. The trip began in Beijing, where Putin met with Chinese premier Xi Jinping for the first of several talks. There remained a distinct sense that once again Putin has come to Beijing with

Zelensky feels the pressure as Russian offensive intensifies

Volodymyr Zelensky this morning cancelled all of his upcoming foreign trips. He was scheduled to travel to Madrid on Friday to meet King Felipe VI. The news was announced by the president’s press secretary, and comes as Ukrainian troops struggle to hold back a renewed offensive by Russia in the Kharkiv region. Recognising the urgency

Sergei Shoigu out as Russia’s defence minister

It’s reshuffle time in Moscow and it seems that Sergei Shoigu, who has served as Vladimir Putin’s defence minister for the last 12 years, is out. He’s being replaced with Andrei Belousov, an academic economist who has been advising Putin for 20 years and spent the last four as deputy prime minister. It’s a surprise

Germany’s AfD has become its own worst enemy

As the German AfD’s European election campaign kicks off tomorrow, the far-right party’s leadership could be forgiven for counting down to polling day in June with dread. This campaign launch marks the end of a torrid fortnight for the party that is threatening to jeopardise the AfD’s future in Brussels. Two of the party’s top

Sunak and Scholz gear up for an awkward meeting in Berlin

Rishi Sunak arrived in Poland today to announce a £500 million boost in aid to Ukraine, using the trip to Warsaw to also finally put a timeline on increasing Britain’s defence spending. By 2030, the Prime Minister pledged to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP. His announcements come ahead of a much

Is Georgia’s future with Europe, or Russia?

On Wednesday, Georgia’s government came one step closer to realising its desire to embed the country deeper within Russia’s sphere of influence. A year after mass protests forced them to pull the plug on a controversial ‘foreign agents’ law, the Kremlin-sympathetic ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party is once again trying to force this ‘Russian-style’ legislation

Time is ticking to save Vladimir Kara-Murza

A year ago today, the Putin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza was jailed for 25 years – the longest sentence handed down to a political prisoner in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union over 30 years ago. For the last year, Kara-Murza has been held in a prison in Siberia, often in solitary confinement, with

Can conscription save Germany’s armed forces?

Could compulsory military service soon be reintroduced in Germany? Since becoming defence minister at the beginning of last year, Boris Pistorius has grappled with the challenge of how to rejuvenate Germany’s dwindling armed forces. He increasingly appears convinced that conscription is the answer to his problems. Last week, Pistorius dropped the latest hint that a

Who will Putin blame for the terror attack?

A branch of the Islamic State terror group, Isis-K, has claimed responsibility for last night’s stadium terror attack in Moscow. US officials, who had warned of such an attack two weeks ago have said this sounded credible. But the Kremlin has not accepted the Isis-K claim and says it’s looking at all explanations – even

Putin rejected US warning of terror attack

As Russia comes to terms with what seems to be the largest terrorist attack on its soil in recent times, Vladimir Putin has something difficult to explain. For some time, Western intelligence agencies have been picking up chat about potential strikes in Moscow – and the US took the unusual step of making a public

Putin crowns himself president of Russia again

As expected, following a three day ‘vote’, Vladimir Putin has once again crowned himself president of Russia. As of 9 a.m. Moscow time, according to the central electoral commission, 99.7 per cent of ballot papers had been counted with Putin claiming 87 per cent of the vote – higher than he’s managed in any other

It’s time to declare Putin an illegitimate president

For the next three days, Russians are heading to the polls supposedly to choose the country’s next president. Except we already know, as do most Russians, who the winner will be. It is a foregone conclusion that after this weekend Vladimir Putin will win another six years in power.  But just because the Russian elections are a

Why Germans don’t want to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine

Yet again the question of whether to send arms to Ukraine is plaguing Olaf Scholz’s chancellorship. The issue was once more thrown into sharp focus when Russian intelligence leaked a discussion by Bundeswehr officials on the probability of sending long-range Taurus missiles to Kyiv. A recording of the conversation was splashed across the world by

‘We are not afraid’: Russians gather for Navalny’s funeral

Today is a sad day for Russia. Two weeks after his death in an Arctic penal colony, Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most vociferous opponent, has been buried in Moscow. Thousands of mourners lined the streets in southern Moscow to pay their respects, their sorrow compounded with a sense of anger and defiance that grew as the funeral wore

Will Navalny be given a public funeral?

Nine days after Alexei Navalny died in an Arctic prison colony, his body was finally handed over to his mother on Saturday for burial. The Russian authorities had been refusing to release his remains to her and his legal team while they claimed to be carrying out a ‘forensic examination’ to determine his cause of