The End of Empire

BY STEWART SLATER Wars, the old military saw has it, start when both sides have an unrealistic understanding of their own power and end when both sides have a realistic one. War is a learning process, stripping through delusion and self-deception to reveal the truth. We may assume that the Russian military, if not necessarily its leadership, has a slightly greater awareness of its capabilities … Continue reading The End of Empire

An Armchair General Writes …

BY PAUL T HORGAN I do not have a TV Licence so I did not see the newscaster at the BBC gently reminding viewers that the M4 motorway up which Wagner commander Yevgeny Prigozhin was advancing with 25,000 battle-hardened veterans was in fact the road from Rostov to Moscow, and not the one that runs from Cardiff to London. Prigozhin made good distance along the … Continue reading An Armchair General Writes …

Blue & Yellow

BY NIALL McCRAE Products are made in factories, but brands are processed in the mind. A remarkable feat of the government’s Covid-19 response in March 2020 was the readily produced slogans (such as ‘hands, face, space’) and other messaging. Initially the colours were red and yellow, signifying an emergency, but later the colour scheme changed. The constant barrage of marketing for the booster injections in … Continue reading Blue & Yellow

Mother Russia Calls in Vain

BY EFFIE DEANS Everybody including me got everything wrong about the war in Ukraine. The Germans and the French thought it wasn’t going to happen right up until the moment that it did. The British and the Americans thought that the Ukrainians would be defeated within a week or so. The fear was that the Russians would then threaten Lithuania and Poland and that NATO … Continue reading Mother Russia Calls in Vain

A Prayer for Ukraine

VICAR Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You are well and healthy this Sunday morning. Today, whatever You are doing, please spare a thought and a prayer for Ukraine. As You likely know already, heavy fighting, shelling and air strikes across Ukraine have had devastating consequences for ordinary people. Over 5 million people have fled the country in recent weeks, and many … Continue reading A Prayer for Ukraine

Too Little Wheat, Too Much Makeup

BY JIM WEBSTER During first lockdown, behind the scenes, major retailers performed logistical miracles. As a farmer I’m not somebody who is prone to praise them, but in spite of ridiculous levels of panic buying (there are people out there who won’t need to buy toilet paper for another couple of years) the retailers managed to keep the show on the road. During lockdown I … Continue reading Too Little Wheat, Too Much Makeup

What Ukraine Teaches Us About Scottish & Irish Nationalism

BY EFFIE DEANS The war between Russia and Ukraine is essentially about different forms of nationalism. It is for this reason that it is relevant to Scotland. This is why the SNP is trying to create a narrative which it hopes will be helpful to its goal. After all Ukraine is the result of a successful secession movement. But it is also the victim of … Continue reading What Ukraine Teaches Us About Scottish & Irish Nationalism

Ukraine Effects: A Farmer’s Thoughts

BY JIM WEBSTER On the agricultural front, so far nothing has really been said in the West, although I’ve noticed a couple of the papers starting to run stories about possible food shortages. Apparently the Chinese government, which seems to think about these things rather more than our governments do, has stockpiled 70% of world maize stocks, 51% of world wheat stocks and “enormous quantities … Continue reading Ukraine Effects: A Farmer’s Thoughts


BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN The 1944 Soviet Military Encyclopaedia refers to: “means of securing combat operations and the daily activities of forces; a complexity of measures, directed to mislead the enemy regarding the presence and disposition of forces.” Russian military deception, known as maskirovka (Russian for ‘disguise’), contributed to major Soviet victories including the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk. In both these cases, … Continue reading Maskirovka