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.

Books: A long trek back to Stalin

Archangel by Robert Harris Hutchinson, pounds 16.99, 421pp

Historical Notes: Victory for the Soviet people, not for Stalin

FOR YEARS after the end of the Second World War Victory Day was honoured every 9 May in the Soviet Union. The Soviet victory was slowly transformed into one of the two chief founding myths of the Communist regime, Lenin's historic triumph in 1917, Stalin's in 1945. Even when Stalin was dead and then denounced the myth survived. The victory of 1945 became the victory of the progressive Communist peoples over fascism and imperialism. Schoolchildren were for years taught that "the Soviet nation saved man-kind from annihilation and enslavement". Thanks to Soviet efforts, ran the textbook, the USSR "preserved world civilisation".

Stalin's heirs have Kremlin at their mercy

THE MAN leading the assault on Boris Yeltsin in parliament is Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of Russia's rapidly reviving Communist Party.

Stalin's little prisoner

What was a British schoolgirl doing in Soviet Moscow, and why was she sent to a labour camp?

Travel: Cycle the Red route

History and pedal power combine to good effect in the Rebels and Radicals of the East End cycle tour. Simon Calder takes to the tandem

Photography: 98for98 The century in photographs: today 1929

The miners of Tilmanstone colliery in Kent, pictured here, could count themselves lucky to be on their feet for a few minutes - thin, inaccessible seams demanded that men often spend hours working on their knees. They were probably grateful for employment of any sort. In August it was revealed that the number of unemployed in the UK had risen to 2 million - nearly a two-fold increase since the Labour government's election the previous year. With the help of the Hulton Getty Picture Collection, this image of subterranean toil brings The Independent's photo-history of the 20th century to 1930.

Classical Review: Siege mentality

Philharmonia RFH, SBC, London

Choice: Film - The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden, Pictureville Bradford (01274 732277) 2pm

Books: Art for the people's sake

THE HERMITAGE: The Biography of a Great Museum by Geraldine Norman, Cape pounds 20

Russian Revolution: Lenin's bewildered heirs contemplate a lost kingdom

The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, 80 years old this week, produced the world's largest political machine, a sinister apparatus whose tentacles stretched into almost every crevice of the Soviet Empire and beyond. But what does it mean to belong to the Communist Party in today's Russia? Phil Reeves reports from Moscow.

Russian Revolution: The Party's over, but the memories still live on

This week marks the 80th anniversary of Russia's October Revolution, an event which heralded some of history's sorriest episodes. Yet Russians are increasingly ambivalent about their past.

Och aye, Dmitri: Russian 'Scots' find their roots

Scots, like Cornishmen and weak beer, have a reputation for penetrating parts that the rest of the planet doesn't reach, but even they are about to break new ground. Today sees the first Highland Games ever to be held on Russian soil. Stranger still, locals - who are part-Celt - will be taking part.

Flying with Tony, slaving with Joe

Reflecting on the pleasures of victory amidst the perquisites of success: Robert Harris traces his path from Hitler to Bletchley to Blair to Stalin. By Rob Brown

Letter: Where is the freedom we voted for?

Sir: Freedom of information and open government fall within the remit of Peter Mandelson. If New Labour does not go ahead with it, we will lose what faith and hope we have in them, which it is his job to maintain. Mr Mandelson has no portfolio of his own, just a remit to poke holes in other ministers'. It would dignify him and the Government if his efforts were directed towards a greater good than Labour spin-doctrine: the honest and open presentation of government in power.

Art of the State

EXHIBITIONS For 50 years, Russian painters suffered Stalin's straitjack et. A new show hints at creative defiance
News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
Life and Style
Fraud contributes 11p to a £2.00 box of half a dozen eggs
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
film

Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
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: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital