Spectacular losers though the Russian people have been this week, they also have a strong claim to be the biggest losers of the 20th century. One of Russia's more charming exports to the West are sets of historical Russian dolls featuring the likenesses of Tsar Nicholas through Lenin, Stalin, Khruschev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev, to the biggest doll, a scowling Boris Yeltsin. Reflecting on these men and their achievements makes you wonder about the old adage that countries get the leaders they deserve. Boris and his predecessors have seen to it that, uniquely, the Russian people will leave the 20th century far worse off than when they entered it. Not for them the People's Century.
Winner of the week
It's not just Boris who's got a big belly just now. The current wave of preggers-plays-pop stars such as Melanie Blatt (pictured) are making political statements as fast as they're making babies. Girl Power is growing up and scoring points for womankind. Pregnancy used to be regarded as an illness; if you were unmarried, a crime. Now it's an obvious and vivid symbol of life and liberation. Girl Power feminism is born.
Hamster of the week
Quiet please, and respect, as we visit the Tomb of the Unknown Hamster for this week's posthumous award. A TV advert for Levi's jeans reduced children to tears by showing a "dead" hamster being poked with a pencil having been deprived of its only joy in life, an exercise wheel. But we soon learnt that the hamster in question, Kevin (pictured), was, in fact, alive and well. The dead "part" was played by a stuffed "body double". But what of this anonymous, pouched-cheeked understudy? After all, no greater love hath hamster than this - that he should lay down his life for denim.
Image of the week
A real bionic man: Mr Campbell Aird of Dumfriesshire and his electric limb, which is moved
by his pressing tiny switches at the top of the arm with the residual movement in his shoulder.
Now, if only they could do something bionic for Boris's brain.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
The New York Times sparks criticism after releasing an all-white reading list
Glastonbury lineup 2015: The Women's Institute to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people