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The Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, watched by his wife Raisa, right, kisses his East German counterpart Erich Honecker in East Berlin in October 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall eyewitness: An accidental explosion of freedom

A journalist who witnessed the events of 1989 from a Soviet perspective looks back on a surreal period when attempts at moderate reform quickly an uncontrollable momentum of their own

East German drivers queue at the Schirnding border crossing into Czecho-slovakia five days before the fall of the Berlin

Fall of the Berlin Wall, from the archive: ‘Another crack in the Wall...’

Politicians said  no one could have foreseen the events of November 1989. This report by Steve Crawshaw proves them wrong

East Berliners climb onto the Berlin Wall to celebrate the effective end of the city's partition on 31st December 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall: Timeline of a year of wonder, when the unthinkable became the unstoppable

The fall of the Berlin Wall was merely the highlight of a year of extraordinary political drama. Here are some key moments, described largely through headlines on The Independent’s reports. (The dates refer to the events rather than the reports.)

Police from both sides stand idly by as the Berlin Wall is breached for the first time between East and West, at the Sandkrug Bridge crossing-point on Invaliden Strasse, in November 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall: 25 years on, we remember the day the world fell apart

Twenty-five years ago next month, the man-made geographical feature that had defined post-war Europe vanished with dizzying abruptness. Introducing a week-long celebration of a still barely credible political earthquake, Boyd Tonkin reports from Berlin

Hitler was 'a regular user of crystal meth', American Military Intelligence dossier reveals

The Fuhrer was a famous hypochondriac and took over 74 different medications, including methamphetamines

Lest we forget: Frances tending a grave

Exeter College's rector is embarking on a journey to visit graves of Exonians killed in Great War

Together with the college's chaplain Rev Andrew Allen, Frances Carincross is spending 10 days visiting as many as possible of the "lost boys", leaving each a sprig of rosemary from the college gardens, tied in ribbon in the college colours of magenta and black

The beard token featured a picture of a large beard below the words 'The money has been taken', with 'The beard is a superfluous burden' on the flipside

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Peter the Great's beard token

* It doesn't seem like 316 years ago this week, does it, since Peter the Great returned to Moscow from a trip to Western Europe with a burning desire to modernise the country of his birth. Widespread political, military and social reforms were to follow over the next few years, but Peter knew exactly where to start. Beards.

These images show the crowds outside Buckingham Palace and Berlin Cathedral in August 1914 as war was declared

First World War Centenary: Powerful images that capture the moment cheering Europe heralded the declaration of war

Photos make stark contrast with those from bloody battlefields in years that followed

People pass the Royal Courts of Justice next to Serbian soldiers marching in the Lord Mayor's show, London, in the last days of the First World War in November 1918

First World War Centenary: Powerful photographs bring wartime Britain to life

Composite images put moments from the conflict in the present day

Empire Day at the Hall, 1918

First World War centenary: When the Albert Hall went to war

A quarter of its staff enlisted to fight, but there was also important work to be done by the rest...

Inside the brothels that served the Western Front: How one First World War soldier found love in the arms of a French sweetheart

Theirs was an impossible relationship – the Welsh officer and his young French sweetheart. Yet when Lieutenant William Morgan's granddaughter discovered a biscuit tin of photographs from the Great War, it wasn’t the shots of their affair that shocked...

Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?

A cache of a local photographer's portraits has come to light in a study of doomed youth
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele

5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during the war. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries in France and Belgium dedicated to First World War casualties number 2,400 and visitor numbers have never been higher

We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

Any direct connection with the conflict has gone but we’re not ready to consign it to history, says John Lichfield

Crowds in London celebrate the end of hostilities in 1918

A History of the First World War in 100 moments: After 1,560 days, at the eleventh hour, the guns fall silent – but for how long?

The conclusion of the ‘war to end all  wars’ was greeted with understandable jubilation. But, writes Boyd Tonkin, new storm clouds were already gathering

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Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
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The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'