Puzzled by news of the stand-off between Russia and the UK over, of all things, the British Council. My own contact with this organisation consisted of two green and pleasant years, some while ago, editing a magazine named Soundings which helped to promote British music of all types and was distributed via BC offices around the world. A nicer, more mild-mannered and traditionally British bunch you couldn't hope to find. I believe that the gentleman who then headed the music section eventually left to become a poet.
Perhaps it's just the old schoolyard story: the quiet, sensitive ones are the easiest targets for the bullies...Otherwise, this could very easily become a latter-day Graham Greene novel.
Meanwhile it looks as if the planned exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings 1870–1925 from Moscow and St. Petersburg, will go ahead, opening on 26 January.