News The Murmansk detention centre where 28 Greenpeace activists, a freelance photojournalist and a film maker were being held

30 men and women detained in September when Arctic Sunrise stormed by Russian military are being transported from remote northern city of Murmansk

Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a huge pike fish, after he caught it in the Tyva during his holiday

'It was this big' Really? Russia thinks there's something fishy about Putin's 26 pound pike

'This pike weighs no more than 26.5 pounds' one commentator noted. 'Unless it swallowed a bar of gold'

Vladislav Surkov was responsible for modernising the Russian economy at Mr Putin’s behest

A last audience for Vladimir Putin's 'grey cardinal' as the architect of Kremlin policy, Vladislav Surkov, quits

The man behind Russia’s tightly controlled political system, has resigned – but did he jump or was he pushed?

A portrait of Mikhail Beketov at his funeral in Moscow yesterday

Russian journalist Mikhail Beketov endured a life of torment in pursuit of the truth

Five years after his savage, unsolved beating, the campaigning journalist is buried

Putin in surprise support for Cyprus bailout as Russians shop around for other options

Russia has put aside its anger over what it sees as an unfair levy on major deposits held in Cypriot banks, and agreed to support Europe’s bailout of the island by refinancing a major loan to the country. The usually hawkish President Vladimir Putin had no sharp rhetoric for the EU or Cyprus today, but instead confirmed that Russia would backstop the EU bailout by restructuring a €2.5bn loan first extended two years ago.

Cyprus deal is model for future bailouts says top European official as banks are told to open

The deal will see investors with more than €100,000 in the nation’s largest banks forfeit a large chunk of their deposits

Cyprus bailout - the Russian angle: Vladimir Putin hits out at 'unjust and dangerous' bank levy

Easy visa access and lax banking regulations have made Cyprus a favoured tax haven for Russian businessmen

Moscow anger at UK decision to give controversial banker Andrei Borodin asylum

A controversial Russian banker has been granted political asylum in Britain in a move which is likely to increase tension between London and Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-smoking bill into law yesterday

Putin signs law banning smoking in public places

President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-smoking bill into law today that looks set to transform Russian public life. The legislation will see smoking outlawed in government buildings and other public institutions from this summer, and in all restaurants, bars and cafes from next year.

The News Matrix: Monday 28 January 2013

State of emergency after dozens die

Libel case puts fraud in the public forum

The London court case brought by Pavel Karpov is an interesting development, because if the case comes in front of a judge it would be likely to throw up details that officials fingered for their alleged involvement in the fraud would perhaps prefer to keep quiet.

The end of the world didn’t materialise and many were left with egg – or other objects – on their faces

11.12am came... and went. Oh well, it's not the end of the world

Everyone from nervous, hasty converts to tin-foiled pilgrims looking for room in a mountain were left somewhat wanting, says Peter Popham

Vodka continutes to take its death toll on Russians

Putin wages war on vodka as lifestyle death toll at 90,000

Vladimir Putin is waging the biggest public health drive since former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev failed to wean his country off alcohol abuse with a crackdown on tobacco and drink.

The Russian spring of the 1990s has passed. What happens now depends on the Opposition - and on us

Many Russians say that their country is returning to a Brezhnev-style era of stagnation. The question is not merely whether they're right, but what can be done about it

Ceasefire! It's a wedding

Firing off bullets into the sky has been a jubilant climax to thousands of weddings in Russia's remote areas - but now the custom is under threat, as armed guests venture closer to cities and stray bullets cause an increasing amount of mayhem.

President Putin has now taken to working from his suburban home to save angering his subjects with his massive motorcade, for which everything must give way

Politics: Mr President, your Tube carriage/limo/helicopter awaits...

And you thought Vladimir Putin commuted to the Kremlin topless on the back of a lion. Nope, the President gets around the Russian capital like millions of other Muscovites: via its notoriously snarled-up streets. So bad is gridlock in Moscow that the President has now taken to working from his suburban home to save angering his subjects with his massive motorcade, for which everything must give way.

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One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
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Smash hit go under the hammer

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A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
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Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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