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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
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