Boris Berezovsky: Businessman who profited from communism's fall but

Boris Berezovsky was one of the original group of seven oligarchs, the powerful Russian businessmen who had built up considerable financial and political power in the period following the collapse of communism. But Berezovsky had gone from being a friend of President Vladimir Putin to his avowed foe within a few years. Fearing arrest, or worse, in his native country, he had spent the last decade in exile in the UK, from where he continued to criticise the regime.

Vladimir Putin and the people

Russia's Prime Minister is feared in the West – but adored at home, says Mary Dejevsky. Is the reason we don't trust him that we don't really understand him?

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New Russian law revives sweeping KGB powers

A new law which gives Russian security services sweeping powers to question people about crimes that have not yet been committed is being criticised by human rights activists as a dangerous return to the era of the KGB.

The Timeline: Russian spies

Anthony Blunt, the angular art historian and second cousin once removed of the Queen Mother, was exposed as the "Fourth Man" in the Cambridge Spy Ring by Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The former Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures had, in 1964, and after the defection of his former lover Guy Burgess, confessed to passing secrets to the Soviets during the 1940s. He was granted immunity from prosecution and his career flourished. In contrast to other Russian agents exposed at the time, Blunt's life was little changed by his confession; he remained on friendly terms with the Queen Mother, who was aware of his treachery.