Whatever the arguments, this debate exposed two fundamental flaws in our treatment of Russia. The first is that it is too Putin-focused. The motion concerned Russia, the speeches targeted Putin. Although Putin may have a seemingly inexorable grip on the country, he is not Russia and we would do well to remember that. The second flaw is our embarrassing self-righteousness. The unshakeable confidence in our opinions and inability to compromise is arguably the main reason our relations with Russia are so shaky.
Brazil can breathe a great sigh of relief. Disaster has been averted. Despite the predictions that Rio de Janeiro was unprepared and with many expecting the Olympic Games to be an embarrassment, Rio 2016 has just about delivered. Sure, it was a little rough around the edges, with some accommodation not quite up to scratch and a few visitors finding themselves the victims of petty crime. But that raw, fresh Olympic experience was the main reason for bringing the games to South America: to give a continent of sport-loving people access to the world’s biggest sporting event.
The Federal District is a bubble within Mexico City, home to the wealthiest people and run by the most liberal politicians. While other regions of Mexico battle crippling violence and poverty, the DF, as it is locally known, is a relatively prosperous and safe part of the country. However, despite a rosy outlook on paper, the DF is nevertheless inherent with the kind of inequality that sadly prevails in much of Latin America.