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.

Grandson sues newspaper for Stalin 'libel'

Hearings began today in a libel case brought by the grandson of Joseph Stalin against a prominent Russian newspaper. Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, the Soviet dictator’s grandson, took offence at an article published by the liberal paper Novaya Gazeta that accused Stalin of personally signing death warrants for thousands of people.

Audrey Mossom: Railway Queen of Great Britain who was entertained by Stalin on a peace trip to the Soviet Union

Audrey Mossom, who has died aged 88, won considerable fame when, in 1935, as a vivacious 15-year-old schoolgirl, she was crowned Railway Queen of Great Britain. Subsequently one of the earliest celebrities to switch-on Blackpool's famous illuminations, not once, but twice, she also undertook a highly controversial peace trip to Russia, where, among others, she met Joseph Stalin.

Stalin's grandson fights for the good name of Joseph

Russian liberals sued over pamphlet saying that the dictator killed civilians

Shaun Walker: Signed in Moscow... the document which divided a continent

Few pieces of paper are as controversial as the one signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov. The foreign ministers of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia put their signatures to a non-aggression pact, as a jovial Joseph Stalin smiled from behind them. A week later, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. In a secret addendum to the treaty, which only became public after the war, the two powers agreed to slice up central and eastern Europe into spheres of influence. The Soviets got the Baltic States and part of Poland, and had invaded the territories by the middle of 1940.

Channel 4 boss brands BBC 'Stalinist' over relocation cost

The chairman of Channel 4 has branded the BBC as a "Stalinist" organisation with an "Alice in Wonderland" business strategy, after it emerged that the corporation's move of some of its operations to a new base in Salford has been budgeted at £876m.

Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love and War, By Owen Matthews

The intrigue and danger that surround the author's mother's relationship with his father, a Welsh-born student of Russian, in this book, are almost overshadowed by the earlier story of her childhood in Stalinist Russia. Any romance inevitably comes second to the tale of the young Lyudmila and her sister, Lenina, "orphaned" when their father, a rising star in Stalin's government, was whisked off by the authorities and forced to confess to crimes he hadn't committed against the Party.

Close-up: Rory Kinnear

He was more than a match for Maggie. Now the actor is squaring up to Stalin

Mary Dejevsky: Regime change happens fast – so how stable is Medvedev?

What seems obvious with hindsight was invisible in 1917

Tick three more countries off your list, kids

Can you fit Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia into a short holiday? Yes, says Andy McSmith

Stalin vies for top spot in 'greatest Russian' TV contest

Brutal Soviet dictator has a chance of being named later today as the country's greatest historical figure

Pandora: Hirst goes back to his roots with Paris show

After his astonishing windfall at Sotheby's last month, Damien Hirst has decided to return to his roots.

Thomas Sutcliffe: Stalin's Rocket

The Week In Culture: Stalin's towering modern vision was old before its time

Ethnic tensions: War in the Caucasus is Stalin's legacy

Arbitrary boundaries and forced repatriation are two of the causes behind the constant conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Shaun Walker reports

Russia buys the right to have a laugh at Moscow's David Brentski

Russia has become the latest country to buy the rights to produce a version of the cult British comedy The Office, in a sign that where comedy is concerned today, Slough is not so far from Siberia. The Russian version will initially feature 24 half-hour episodes, to be aired on the Kremlin-backed First Channel.

The dictator's cut: Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet'

Prokofiev originally wrote a happy ending for his ballet 'Romeo and Juliet' – and Stalin banned it. Now the long-lost score has been found, and is to be performed as the composer intended. By Alice Jones
Arts and Entertainment
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newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
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Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
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Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
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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
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
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Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

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Harry Kane interview

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The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

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