Voices

Vladimir Putin played the role of the good tsar at his annual press conference, fielding questions, repeated declarations of grateful praise and requests to deal with unscrupulous businessmen and lazy bureaucrats. One excited journalist even credited him with an improvement in her love life, noting that she had “finally gotten married” shortly after meeting him in March.

Mikhail Shatrov: Playwright whose work asserted that Stalinism was a deviation from Leninism

Mikhail Shatrov was one of the Soviet Union's pre-eminent playwrights, producing a series of historical dramas that used archival sources to portray Stalinism as a deviation from Leninism. Nevertheless, even under Stalin's successors Khrushchev and Brezhnev, several of his plays were banned.

Second Stalin statue vanishes

Authorities in Georgia tore down another monument to Josef Stalin.

Dictator's home town says goodbye Stalin as statue is torn down

Georgian authorities have removed a massive statue of Joseph Stalin from the main square of his hometown, Gori, in a secret late-night operation underlining their determination to sever ties with their Soviet past.

Artists take on the new cult of Stalin

Attempts in Russian society to rehabilitate the despotic leader have provoked rebellion. Shaun Walker reports from Moscow

Picasso: Peace and Freedom, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool

Picasso was a communist party member, but he would have been locked up for his art under Stalin

Picture of the day: Uniforms in uniform

These Russian soldiers were being put through their paces yesterday at Alabino, just outside Moscow, in preparation for the huge Victory Day parade planned for 9 May in the capital.

Katyn: painful wound that has yet to heal

Could this disaster help rebuild relations with Russia, destroyed by a 1940 massacre of Poles? Shaun Walker reports

Never mind the Bolshoi

The Helikon, an opera company that breaks all the rules, is now 20 years old. Shaun Walker in Moscow celebrates its rise

Mary Tudor, By Anna Whitelock

"One sees nothing but gibbets and hanged men." The aftermath of Sir Thomas Wyatt's Kentish rebellion of 1553 characterises the tormented reign of Mary, sandwiched between the Stalinist revolution of Henry and the economic flowering of Elizabethan England. But worse was to come for Mary.

Martin Amis: You can judge a man by his enemies...

What is it about Martin Amis that makes him the object of so much vitriol? As Anna Ford joins the attack, Andy McSmith revisits his greatest feuds to find the answer

Eye of the Red Tsar, By Sam Eastland

An agent comes in from the cold of the Siberian gulags, in this breakneck Soviet-era thriller

Killing Auntie, By Andrzej Bursa

From the admirable CB Editions comes a delightful discovery. Dead at 25 in 1957, the Polish postwar firebrand Andrzej Bursa acquired a reputation as a quick-burning, existentially tormented rebel: a literary James Dean of the Stalinist era.

Chris Harman: Editor of 'Socialist Worker' whose intellectual stature gave him an influence beyond party ranks

Chris Harman, editor of International Socialism Journal and, before that, of Socialist Worker, and a leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party for more than four decades, has died in Cairo of a heart attack. This was all the more shocking because it was so unexpected.

Vitaly Ginzburg: Nobel Prize-winning physicist who helped the Soviet Union develop the hydrogen bomb

Vitaly Ginzburg, a Jewish Nobel Prize-winning Russian physicist, who was "saved" by the hydrogen bomb, died in a Moscow hospital on 8 November aged 93. He was widely regarded as one of the fathers of the Soviet H-bomb.

Stalin's grandson loses libel action

A Russian court ruled against Josef Stalin's grandson in a libel suit over a newspaper article that said the Soviet dictator had sent thousands of people to their deaths.

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