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
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor