Roland Oliphant

Roland Oliphant

Senior foreign correspondent @telegraph

57665 followers  •  4340 follow  •    •  

There is basically nothing on the wires about whatever is happening in northern Kosovo.

Back when @RussianEmbassy  was a slightly funny troll account I met the diplomat I am fairly sure ran it. He told me the embassy blacklisted journalists who asked or wrote about it. When I persisted told me he would rather I asked him about Vladimir Putin’s private life.

There was a theory going around at the time that the trolling was self parody. A cry of desperation by serious diplomats deploring what their service had become. I wondered later if he felt the joke got out of hand and feared drawing attention to it.

Fwiw that guy is no longer in post and certainly not the author of tonight’s disgusting incitement/glorification/confession to war crimes.

But it’s clear there is no joke at all now, and I wonder if those serious, appalled professional diplomats ever existed. And if they did, where are they now? And what do they make of the service they joined.

I am not a Balkan expert. But I know the Italian military police are parked on the Mitrovica bridge pretty much everyday. A picture of two cars of Carabinieri is not “peace keepers rush to the scene”

None of this is good or reassuring btw. Am hearing comparisons with 2011 crisis etc. Will be a very tense few days. But just to say some of the things tweeted earlier on this were wildly exagerated/misleading

That said…I’ve seen Ukrainian troops in (evacuated/disused) schools & Ive spoken to civilians irritated by their presence making neighbourhoods potential targets. And asking not to be quoted on that in case they got in trouble. Dispute context by all means, but those are facts


Message from a Ukrainian solider: If anything happens don’t let us be forgotten. We are surrounded in Mariupol no way out.

Mariupol mayor Vadim Boichenko says Russian ministry of defence promised him ceasefire and safe corridor for civilian evacuation this morning - then proceeded to shell the road. Evac cancelled, talks on safe passage on going

Zelensky stakes Ukraine’s own claim to Soviet victory day, with a characteristically powerful and well delivered speech. Reclaiming May 9 instead of viewing it as irrevocably contaminated. Quite bold

Firing missiles at apartment blocks in Kyiv just as the G7 and Nato meet seems pretty dumb if your goal is to break Western unanimity about arming Ukraine. But as I keep being reminded, the world looks different from the Kremlin.

Aftermath of the strike on Kharkivs administration building on the central square. “That’s my car” says the man at the end.

Absolutely blistering watching @ZelenskyyUa  at Munich. Just furious: You’re telling me the invasion is 100 percent happening in a few days, and you won’t implement the sanctions until it happens. We don’t need your sanctions when our country is already being fired at.[paraphrase]