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Fragments of a Defunct State

Stephen Holmes: Putin’s Russia, 5 January 2012

Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia 
by Luke Harding.
Guardian, 310 pp., £20, September 2011, 978 0 85265 247 3
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... about the inability of commentators to loosen the Cold War’s lingering hold on their thinking. Luke Harding was the Guardian correspondent in Russia between 2007 and 2011 who last February was turned back at Domodedovo Airport and told that his presence in the country was no longer welcome. An editorial in the Guardian described it as ‘the first ...

Incendiary Devices

Daniel Soar: The Edward Snowden Story, 20 February 2014

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man 
by Luke Harding.
Guardian Faber, 346 pp., £12.99, February 2014, 978 1 78335 035 3
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... and any phone call we make, is potentially being analysed by the NSA and its friends. But, as Luke Harding discloses in his book on the Snowden affair, the most viewed story in the Guardian’s history wasn’t any of this: it wasn’t a piece of news at all. It was the 12-minute video, made by Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, in which Snowden ...

Murder in Mayfair

Peter Pomerantsev, 31 March 2016

A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West 
by Luke Harding.
Faber, 424 pp., £12.99, March 2016, 978 1 78335 093 3
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... back-channel negotiations. In 2010 she was still waiting. When Cameron became prime minister, Luke Harding writes in his gripping account of the Litvinenko case, his foreign policy objective ‘was quite simple: to sell stuff to foreigners’. London’s new role was to be ‘financial capital of the world’: the strategy for economic growth was to ...

Prince and Pimp

Paul Foot, 1 January 1998

The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken 
by Luke Harding and David Leigh.
Penguin, 205 pp., £6.99, December 1997, 0 14 027290 9
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... made in British factories. The price in every case was far higher than the manufacturing cost. Harding et al quote some examples: ‘A Tornado fighter-bomber which cost Nato £20m was to be sold to the Saudis for closer to £35m … Each 2000 lb bomb that went on the planes was fitted with a sophisticated electronic fuse made by Thorn-EMI … a total of 26 ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: Embedded in Iraq, 29 November 2007

... have become even more crucial to the information-gathering process than they were at the outset. Luke Baker of Reuters explains that in 2006 the company had 115 people working in the country and that ‘probably a hundred of them are locals.’ Of those, ‘seventy are journalists … our eyes and ears on the ground.’ A Boston Globe man unpacks a typical ...


James Meek: Waiting for the War to Begin, 28 July 2016

... I speak to Ewen MacAskill, the Guardian’s diplomatic correspondent, in London. We talk about Luke Harding, the paper’s reporter in northern Iraq, and what a good position he’s in there, with relative freedom to move about and report, and the likelihood of him being first into a series of important towns: Kirkuk, Tikrit. Whereas Suzanne in ...


Ian Sansom: I was a teenage evangelist, 8 July 2004

... resurrection of the Lord Jesus (Acts 4.33). I was also interested in restoring sight to the blind (Luke 4.19), casting out demons (Luke 9.1), cleansing lepers (Matthew 8.1-4), feeding thousands (Luke 9.10-17) and raising the dead (John 11.1-43), but I never quite managed any of those, and ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... but it ended with Julian and Sarah poring over the WikiLeaks book written by David Leigh and Luke Harding, which had been published that day. Sarah would read out the ‘bad bits’, and he would say, ‘it’s disgusting,’ or ‘that’s malicious libel.’ I thought it was all quite lowering, the book’s interest in his sex life and their ...

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