News Curwen: Oleg Gordievsky called him and his colleagues 'the real defenders of democracy'

Head of MI6 whose achievements included bringing the double agent Oleg Gordievsky out of the Soviet Union

Lies covered whale slaughter

RUSSIAN and Japanese whalers slaughtered almost 10 times more sperm whales than they admitted officially before the practice was banned in 1986, according to new figures.

Books: The trade of treason

Jana Howlett interrogates the KGB's motive for its latest leak: The Crown Jewels: the British secrets at the heart of the KGB archives by Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev HarperCollins, pounds 19.95

Obituary: Arkady Shevchenko

DEFECTIONS are mostly stealthy affairs, hushed up if possible by both winners and losers, albeit for very different reasons. Not so, however, the sensational passage from East to West of Arkady Shevchenko, Under Secretary-General at the United Nations for Political and Security Council Affairs, the highest-ranking Soviet diplomat ever to change sides during the Cold War.

Yeltsin bolsters security

President Boris Yeltsin has expanded the powers of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, by bringing Russia's border guards under its control. Under the new arrangement, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, will now have a broader mandate in dealing with issues involving counter-intelligence and domestic security issues.

Did the fifth man hand the A-bomb secret to Russia?

John Cairncross, the fifth man in the Cambridge spy ring, gave Britain's atomic secrets to the Russians, it was claimed yesterday. Ian Burrell notes that the KGB played an active role in making the revelation public.

Spies: Philby's widow tells of an Englishman's life in exile

As spies queue up to write memoirs, the life of a Cold War master- spy remains intriguing. Now the widow of Kim Philby, Independent reader and double agent, has written a memoir of life with the `Third Man'. Helen Womack interviewed Rufina Ivanovna Pukhova about her version of events.

KGB loses to Peter the Great

Moscow (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin decided yesterday that one of Russia's biggest military academies, named after the founder of the communist secret police, would instead carry the name of Tsar Peter the Great.

Feud - and it's a scorcher!

Right-wing controversialist Paul Johnson and the Guardian are natural enemies. But now mere enmity has turned into a vendetta.

A spymaster recalls the twists of the game

This man, who may have been le Carres Karla, has some surprises to share about the heights of Cold War espionage

Russian minister suspended over bath-house film scandal al

Russia's Justice Minister, Valentin Kovalyov, was yesterday temporarily removed from office while an inquiry is held into a secretly shot videotape which purports to show him with two naked women in a Mafia-frequented banya (baths).

`KGB' takes over MI5 phone service

Would-be spies who replied to an overt advert for covert agents were surprised to be greeted at the other end of a phoneline yesterday by a message from Colonel Botch saying "MI5 are crap. This is the KGB".

KGB's fight to counter the cunning chaps in smart suits

In the latest of our series, a former spymaster tells Helen Womack that old espionage habits die hard

Post-KGB spies keep the old flag flying

It is smaller and more discreet than in its Cold War heyday, but Russia's replacement for the KGB, broken up in 1991, is still very much in business, and has an estimated tens of thousands of employees to prove it.

Whatever happened to... Spies and spying?

1963 Christine Keeler is found cavorting with a Russian naval officer and a member of the British cabinet. James Bond, via detours for liaisons with scantily clad women, is chased by villains with funny foreign accents, and spies, counter spies, and counter, counter spies.

Le Carre dines out with Karla

The creator of spymaster George Smiley last night sat down to dinner with the man who, in 1991, became the real-life version of Smiley's arch- enemy, Karla.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home