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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
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Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

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Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

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