Charles Emmerson

Gabriele D'Annunzio and supporters in Fiume. 1919.

The poet’s conquest of the Adriatic city of Fiume in 1919 was flamboyant, comedic and never likely to last – but it ushered in a new era of showman politics across Europe.

In Ukraine, it’s not just the future which is at stake. It’s the past, too.

The year 1913 marked a resurgence for the Russian empire as the Romanov dynasty celebrated its 300th anniversary and the economy boomed. Had it not been for the First World War the country’s fortunes might have taken a very different turn, says Charles Emmerson.