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.

Letter: No faith in Stalin

Sir: I wonder why it is that when people like Mark Steel (Comment, 21 December) decide to attack the Christian faith they always illustrate their arguments by describing the least Christ-like people they know. If I were proposing to attack atheism I would not take Joseph Stalin as my model. Perhaps they are implicitly acknowledging that Jesus was right after all.

Arts: Retouched by the hand of God

...or at least by Stalin's ideologues. But is it art? The composer Michael Nyman thinks so and has set it to music.

Letter: Secret Stalinists

Sir: Thanks to Mark Steel ("The Stalinists who sobered up and focused on Mr Blair", 9 November) I now realise that the over 50 per cent of British people who still support the current government are a bunch of raving Stalinist thugs wedded to the oppression of individual freedom, suppression of dissent and the committing of mass murder whenever the chance arises. I can't for the life of me work out how I managed to miss these obvious truths for so long.

The Stalinists who sobered up and focused on Mr Blair

`The only tenable stance was to support those battling against injustice in both East and West'

Last of the Stalins dies at 57

NADEZHDA STALIN, the granddaughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, died of cancer yesterday. She was 57.

This elderly Stalinist is just a relic of a bygone age

`Sometimes it seems to me the entire intelligence business is just one gigantic practical joke'

Books: Revolution in a French accent

Reports from Moscow suggest that Lenin's pickled corpse may be leaving Red Square at last. His ideals, and his apostles, also seem to have gone for good. But were the obituaries premature? By Robin Blackburn (below) and Robert Service (centre) apitalism. By Charles Shaar Murray Fiction's wayward wizard takes on global capitalism. By Charles Shaar MurrayThe Passing of an Illusion: the idea of communism in the twentieth century by Francois Furet University of Chicago Press, pounds 25, 702pp

The critics- cinema: Stalinism the Romany way

Black Cat White Cat

Monday Book: A battle between Marx and Freud

FREUD AND THE BOLSHEVIKS: PSYCHOANALYSIS IN IMPERIAL RUSSIA AND THE SOVIET UNION BY MARTIN A MILLER, YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, pounds 20

Obituary: Anatoli Rybakov

ONE OF the most compelling aspects of the last years of the Soviet Union was the erosion of authority and credibility of the Communist Party, a process initiated and fostered by the party itself. Some 18 months after Gorbachev's accession to the leadership, his ideological adviser, Alexander Yakovlev, was given the Politburo's assent to switch off the red light in intellectual and cultural life, and to leave it on amber, rather than green. Henceforth, it should be writers and their editors who would, for the most part, decide what to publish.

Is this justice or revenge?

Poland wants to extradite a Holocaust survivor, now living in Oxford, for the alleged murder of a wartime hero.

Georgians honour Stalin's birth

y

Obituary: Valentin Berezhkov

VALENTIN BEREZHKOV was a Russian diplomat who translated for Joseph Stalin and other Soviet officials during crucial Second World War conferences. Once freed from the constraints of Soviet historiography, he earned a good living recounting his experiences of the man he considered a great leader.

Classical: The sound of fury

SHOSTAKOVICH VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1/ SYMPHONY NO. 10 ROSTROPOVICH/ VENGEROV/LSO BARBICAN, LONDON
News
people

News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

News
The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Bruges
Lake Como
Burgundy
South AFrica
Paris
Northern Corsica
Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game