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

Litvinenko died in November 2006 after he was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a meeting

Start of Litvinenko inquest delayed for five months

The start of the inquest into the death of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko has been postponed until 2 October.

Litvinenko died in November 2006 after he was poisoned with polonium-210 while drinking tea at a meeting

Alexander Litvinenko murder: Government accused of cover-up

The British government was accused of colluding with the Russians to cover up vital evidence into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko at a pre-inquest hearing into the former KGB agent's death today.

Strange truth of a life caught up with MI6’s ‘Martin’ and the KGB

Inquiry told Alexander Litvinenko was spying for Britain and Spain –  and Russia killed him

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Pussy Riot should not be in jail, says Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Prime Minister, directly contradicted President Vladimir Putin today by stating his view that the jailed members of the punk group Pussy Riot should be freed.

Alexander Litvinenko

Spies could be compelled to give evidence to Litvinenko inquest

British and Russian spies could be compelled to give evidence at the inquest into the death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died from radioactive poisoning after meeting former contacts for tea at a London hotel in 2006.

US-owned Groupon had nine out of 10 complaints upheld

Complaints soar about offers in website ads

Misleading adverts from group-buying websites that offer deals and discounts have prompted a rising number of complaints.

Alan Gatagov was hit in the back of the head with a paintball

Disgruntled fans who shot Dynamo Moscow players with paintballs 'are idiots' says club's president

Dynamo Moscow's president has vowed to find and punish fans who shot at players using paintball rifles at the soccer club's training ground earlier today.

Pussy Riot members, from left, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samusevich

John Kampfner: The Pussy Riot trial won't bring down Vladimir Putin

It is wishful thinking. He has yet to create the hunger for change that led to the Arab Spring

Inquiry into Litvinenko poisoning

A pre-inquest review into the death of the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko will be held next month.

Lyubov Kovaleva, mother of Vladislav Kovalev, one of the two men executed for the attack

Torture, execution, and a mother's fight for justice

Were two men executed for a bombing forced to confess, asks John Sweeney

Leveson Inquiry: Evgeny Lebedev defends political talks

Evgeny Lebedev has said he sees "no issue" with politicians and newspaper proprietors meeting each other because "we operate in the same sphere of existence".

Former KGB boss ahead in Ossetia vote

A former KGB chief and a human rights ombudsman faced each other yesterday in a run-off presidential election in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia.

Former Soviet KGB Leonid Shebarshin found dead in apparent suicide

Commemorative gun and diary revealing health problems found near body

Russian banker stable after attack

A wealthy Russian banker remains "critical but stable" under armed guard in hospital today after being gunned down in a suspected assassination attempt.

Colonel jailed for selling missile secrets to CIA

A Russian military officer was jailed for 13 years yesterday after he was convicted of treason for passing missile secrets to the CIA.

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
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