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 opposition activist's wife Taisiya Osipova 'jailed over drugs'

A Russian opposition activist has said his wife has been sentenced to eight years in prison on drug charges.

Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici qualified in ninth

Synchronised Swimming: Team GB duo qualify for final

There will be British representation in an Olympic synchro final for the first time in 20 years after Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici qualified in ninth for the duet, as Russia close in on their fourth consecutive gold.

Vladimir Putin's Olympics snub welcomed by British MPs

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be coming to the London Olympics.

Vladimir Putin names new Russian cabinet

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a new Cabinet, warning that it will have to fulfil its duties in a difficult global economic climate.

Vladimir Putin pulls out of planned visit to the United States

Russia's President Vladimir Putin will skip a planned visit to the United States this month for a key global summit and a much-anticipated meeting with President Barack Obama, the Kremlin confirmed today, as he faced pressure from protests and opposition criticism at home.

Vladimir Putin sworn in as Russia's president amid protests

Vladimir Putin took the oath as Russia's president today with a ringing appeal for unity at the start of a six-year term in which he faces growing dissent, economic problems and bitter political rivalries.

Obama caught on open mic making promises to Russia

President Barack Obama had to engage in some damage limitation yesterday after comments he made to Russia's leader were picked up by an open microphone.

A boy looks at cars hit by Syrian army artillery in the town of Sarmeen

Annan heads to China with plans to end Syrian conflict

Former UN leader visits Beijing after winning Russian backing for negotiated peace deal

August 8th, the rival Russian film of Hollywood's Five Days of War

Georgia and Russia resume hostilities – on the big screen

Rival productions offer very different accounts of 2008 military conflict

President Dmitry Medvedev (left) will reopen case of former oil tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Medvedev vows to reopen controversial Khodorkovsky case

Muscovites went to bed on Sunday with Vladimir Putin breathing patriotic fire into the microphone in front of tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters.

Economy class: most passengers expect Putin to be re-elected President of Russia today

Train 109 reveals a Russia resigned to Putin's return

Passengers voice their dissatisfaction before today's presidential elections

Constitutionally, President Dmitry Medvedev is the most powerful man in Russia

Forgotten man – Medvedev fades from public view

Amid all the commotion surrounding Vladimir Putin's likely return to the Kremlin, one man has been surprisingly quiet.

Exiled Russian billionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin has funded the trip

The Russian satirical poet, his billionaire backer and a tour that Putin won't find funny

Mobile phone tycoon Yevgeny Chichvarkin is paying for performers to fly to the UK to perform work aimed at Kremlin

Darren Weller plays Julian Assange in the 'Wikiplay' Man in the Middle.

'Wikiplay' tells Assange's story up to the most recent chapter

The WikiLeaks founder's life is explored in a play that asks questions about the blurred boundaries between fiction and reality.

Fire breaks out on Russian nuclear submarine

Firefighters extinguished a major fire on a docked nuclear submarine yesterday as some crew members remained inside. No radiation leak was reported and the submarine's nuclear-tipped missiles were not on board.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick