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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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

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From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn